The teacher provides her students with the benefits of traveling and arranges a unique trip to Mexico from her classroom.
Travel is the best way to broaden the scope of thinking. Going to different places and meeting new people make individuals capable of understanding varied thought processes. Sonja White–who goes by @sonjawhite_teach–swears about the importance of traveling in nurturing young children and therefore, she organized a "trip" for her tiny tots to Mexico. The catch was that the whole trip took place in the classroom. With the teacher's ingenious efforts, she made everything seem as realistic as possible, right from passport to flight experience. The whole exercise was loved by social media and crossed 4 million views on TikTok.
The video begins with the children lined up in front of the "passport office." Since Mexico is a foreign country, people need a passport to enter. For the children, White created their make-believe passport. She took their picture for the purpose and stuck them in booklets. The day was quite hectic for White, as she shared what she needed to do before the trip, "I'm gonna laminate some boarding passes, and I'm gonna laminate our sombreros and make them our placemats."
The kids were excited about taking this trip and also packed a bag. She adds in the video some of the preparations she put into place to make this trip feel authentic, "I'm gonna change my classroom into an airplane. I found a video on YouTube that they're gonna watch to make us feel like we're in the air." She mentioned that the children and her are flying with Southwest Airlines. The students are given their passports and boarding passes before boarding the flight. The teacher also becomes a TSA agent while matching the kids with the photo on their passports. There are no assigned seats and children make themselves comfortable wherever they please.
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During the flight, White transformed into an attendant offering them beverages. In her character, she said to the kids, "Hello, I have Capri Sun apple juice. Capri Sun. And I have two chips." The whole experience went on for 15 minutes, and then they "landed" at their destination. For this, she used a video from YouTube showcasing two pilots getting a plane down on the land. It was clear that kids brought it hook, line, and sinker as one of them gave a horrified expression, emulating they had a tough landing.
After landing, the kids went through a customs agent who was also, to no one's surprise, White herself. Here, they got some money, through which they could shop for their families. White explained how the money worked, "Everything they do from here on out, they will have to pay me for. We are going to go to the gift shop as soon as we go through customs. And there are about seven gifts on that table. They each can choose three for their family members. And they have to pay me." As a teacher, she got elated when they did well with the money in their hand.
And today I received Teacher of The Year!! First Grade for the win!!! My first class, first year teaching, and my forever loves! pic.twitter.com/IImdrOGGLh— Sonja White (@mrssonjawhite) May 22, 2023
The last stop was a Mexican restaurant. She set it up in the classroom with contributions like enchiladas, rice, chips, and salsa from mothers. There were also beverages available for the students. The main attraction was the delicious tres leches cake. It is safe to say that the children had a trip of a lifetime. It soon went viral and the teacher was approached by Southwest Airlines, who offered to take the students on a field trip to their Dallas base, per PEOPLE. "I don't want this to be it for them, a pretend trip to Mexico," White says of her students in the interview. "I want them to get their passports and go."
The comment section loved the whole exercise. @queenku_ shared how the teacher fooled her at the start and wrote, "Not me thinking you really were taking a field trip to Mexico with the kids at the beginning! I loved every second of this!" @gingerandying commented about the impact that White is making on these students, "This is the type of teacher students always remember."
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