Top teachers get global perspective

Call it the evolution of the summer sabbatical for 23 globetrotting Hub teachers who just returned from Ghana, Vietnam and the Galapagos Islands.

City students will hear about it all beginning today as a new school year begins with tales of exotic adventures.

“The Galapagos is a mecca for biology people,” said Boston Arts Academy science teacher Joy Bautista, who spent the summer on the Galapagos.

Thanks to Fund For Teachers and Boston Plan For Excellence, Bautista and 23 other select public school teachers were provided with grants to travel across the globe.

“It’s important for science teachers to actually be scientists,” said Bautista, who spent five weeks nurturing tortoises and following the footsteps of evolution pioneer Charles Darwin.

McKinley South End Academy teacher David Russell traveled to Africa to teach English and social studies at St. George’s Parochial School in Ghana. The veteran teacher proposed to “set a relationship between schools” not only through pictures but with pen-pals to erase misconceptions.

“It was inspiring to see how people keep hopeful and are determined in what, to us, appears to be daunting circumstances,” said Russell.

Anatomy and physiology teacher Doannie Tran of the O’Bryant School of Math & Science will tell of his journey to Vietnam to follow medical students fighting HIV.

“I want to give my kids the perspective of practicing medicine in the developing world with fewer resources,” said Tran.