In the morning, Steve Hartman introduces us to a classroom at Trinity Leadership School near Dallas, where students’ imaginations soar. Sonja White’s first-grade class is still buzzing with excitement from their recent one-day “Field Trip South of the Border” to Mexico.
Despite not actually leaving the classroom, the students vividly recount their experiences, from their first time on a plane to seeing the ocean for the first time. It may be hard to believe, but this incredible adventure did not cost the school a fortune. Sonja, a resourceful teacher, found a way to fulfill her students’ wish to fly on a plane by creating boarding passes and passports for each child and taking them on a “flight” to Mexico in their imaginations.
As the children snack and experience turbulence (in their minds), they fully immerse themselves in the journey. The impact of this imaginative activity is evident when one student shares a story of encountering someone who asked why they were not in Mexico. The student confidently responded, “We were, but we got back at 3 am.” This anecdote shows the power of imagination and how it can transport young minds far beyond the confines of a classroom. Sonja’s innovative approach exemplifies the magic that teachers possess in igniting their students’ imaginations. While many educators yearn for more resources, the best ones always find creative ways to take their students on meaningful journeys, often without even leaving the school premises.
This adventure has sparked a newfound desire for travel in Sonja’s students, with some even expressing an interest in visiting North Korea, though they jokingly acknowledge the need for caution, even on pretend flights..