Monday, April 22, 2013

Vote Now for Your Favorite Teacher in the Hilton HHonors Teacher Treks Travel Grant Competition!

       Who was your favorite teacher?

       My favorite teacher was my kindergarten teacher, Ms. Edgebrooke. I remember distinctly my first day of kindergarten, when she greeted us at the door with puppets. Filled with enthusiasm, Ms. Edgebrooke made learning seem like an adventure: we hosted a circus that first year of school, learned to square dance, and traveled the world through the many books that she read to us all during circle time. I loved to read before kindergarten began, but Ms. Edgebrooke reinforced my love for reading, and sparked my interest in perhaps becoming a teacher myself someday. 

I    Today I'm a writer, a mom, and a teacher too! And of all the hats I wear in my life, teaching is one of the toughest. Over 100 kids pass through my classroom each day, and not only do I find myself teaching them the course content, I also sometimes find myself filling the role of mentor, counselor, disciplinarian, and sometimes even Mom. I teach at what many might consider a "rough" urban high school, and some of my students live in group homes and don't have a Mom reminding them to stay on track and praising them for a job well done. Despite the challenges, however, I love my job, and I love my students: they make me laugh and they keep me young and I love sharing my enthusiasm for learning with my students.

Every teacher, however, needs a break, and I'm so excited to share with you the Teacher Treks Travel Grant Competition. Hilton HHonors, the loyalty program for Hilton Worldwide’s 10 distinct hotel brands, has just announced the 30 finalists of this amazing program: 15 teachers will be given the chance to travel and to experience first-hand the subject they teach...around the world! Hilton HHonors developed the program in partnership with the Institute of International Education (IIE), a world leader in the international exchange (and administrator of the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship). The program is part of Hilton Worldwide’s Travel with Purpose™ commitment to celebrating cultures and the power of travel to build stronger communities. 

A panel of judges, including K-12 teachers and other education experts selected by IIE, narrowed the competition down to 30 finalists from 20 different states. Now through April 30, 2013, the public can vote for their favorite finalist at to help determine the 15 winning entries.15 winners will receive a grant valued at $6,000 to travel to a destination of their choice; in addition to the trip, each winning teachers’ school will also receive a $2,500 grant to use for cultural activities or enhancements.

Individuals can cast one vote per day during the duration of the voting period. For more information on the 30 finalists, voting or for full Terms and Conditions, visit today!  

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Hilton HHonors. All opinions are my own. 


  1. I have read all of the essays and my favorite by far is Sandra K. I love how she says that as a reading teacher, she has always promoted books as powerful and accessible means for students to travel. She would like to travel to the Indian Ocean islands of Zanzibar, just off the coast of Tanzania, and Mauritius, east of Madagascar “… to observe firsthand how the people on both of these islands – comprised of minorities and the meeting of cultures that have been in conflict in other parts of the world – have found ways to live side-by-side…” I hope she is one of the winners.

  2. I agree. What an admirable goal. I also hope Sandra K. is one of the winners. How fortunate it would be to be a student in her classroom after she returns.

  3. In her essay, Sandra K. wrote that she will travel "... with an open mind, an open heart, curiosity, and a deep thirst to learn."
    Only 3 days left to vote for her!