The first day of the Global Teachers – China 2018 program is sometimes the hardest because of airport wait times and a lengthy flight. With an almost 15 hour flight time from the Raleigh-Durham International Airport to Beijing, there’s not much to do other than rest up for the upcoming program, though some teachers found the opportunity to stretch.
Paige Norris teaches kindergarten and first grade at Rocky River Elementary School in Concord, N.C., where she is also a member of the school’s Teaching and Learning Team.
Of starting the program:
“Anticipation is high today. After months of planning, preparing, & learning, we are officially on our way to China! Groups met before 4AM at Charlotte & in Raleigh & we all flew into Washington-Dulles to board the plane that would deliver us to Beijing. Last minute travel tips on exchange rates, managing data, & itinerary changes were discussed before we broke for breakfast/brunch. Visas were scanned, passports were verified, & we were allowed to board. In-flight, many of us slept, some watched movies, & some read, all trying to make the nearly 14-hour flight pass quickly. As I watched the flight route screen, I noticed we had just passed over Hudson Bay & the temperature below was reported as 72 degrees F BELOW zero. We were truly headed over the top of the world. We know in a few hours, we will touch down in China. We are excited about the opportunities & experiences in store for us. We are ready to collaborate, learn, & pass on our new knowledge. Most of us came to orientation in Raleigh a couple months ago as strangers. Today, as we look around, we notice friendships are forming. Day 1 was a huge success & we eagerly await our next 10 days representing Go Global NC as Global Teachers!”
Mascots of all shapes and sizes joined the delegation. Luckily they didn’t need visas to visit China.
— Ms. Hatmaker (@MsHatmaker) June 16, 2018
— Ms. Gower's Class (@MsGowersClass) June 16, 2018
— Anthony Johnson (@a_p_johnson) June 15, 2018
Teachers Megan Busick (Lacy Elementary School in Raleigh), Alicia Hatmaker (Athens Drive Magnet High School in Raleigh), and Andromeda Crowell (Orange High School in Hillsborough) take a moment for a selfie on the plane.
Teacher Evelyn Gower took advantage of the airplane’s wireless internet to talk to her first grade students at Willow Springs Elementary School. She’s blogging about her travels for her school.
After what seemed like forever, we boarded our flight to Beijing. The plane was huge a Dreamliner. There were 3 rows with 3 seats in every row. We had our own screens to watch movies, track our flight, or listen to relaxing sounds. My audio didn’t work on my screen so no movies for me, but I did buy WiFi so I got to communicate with family and my students through my class WeChat. It was super fun answering their questions while in the air. I think they’re just as excited as me! It helped pass the time. Our flight was a smooth, but LONG. The last 5 hours was the toughest with trying to get comfortable. I enjoyed seeing the places we were flying over, but I was really happy to land at 2:20pm. The airport was pretty neat. It was very big! Our group made it through customs, got our bags and then met our tour guide, William.
I MADE IT! We touched down on Sunday around 2:24pm (China time is 12 hours ahead of the East Coast). Now to get this “foreigner” through customs and inspection! #globalteachers #MsHatmakersWorldTour #BeijingOrBust?? pic.twitter.com/9sLSA3bQdV
— Ms. Hatmaker (@MsHatmaker) June 17, 2018
The delegation spends the first day adjusting to the change in time zones – there is a 12-hour difference – and have the opportunity to explore Beijing, a city with almost 22 million residents (twice the population of the state of North Carolina).
— Anthony Johnson (@a_p_johnson) June 17, 2018
Malena Robinson teaches is the head of the family and consumer science department at Mountain Heritage High School in Burnsville, N.C. and a continuing education instructor at Mayland Community College in Spruce Pine, N.C. Here’s her reflections on the first day of travel.
Delegation member and Global Teachers alumnus (Global Teachers – Germany 2017) Anthony Johnson (@a_p_johnson) put together a video to summarize day one of the program’s journey.
*The views, information, or opinions expressed by delegation images, videos, and social media posts are solely those of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent those of Go Global NC.