When Brent began teaching 17 years ago, he also started traveling with students. On his most recent history tour, he had 120 students enrolled within an hour.
But he hasn’t done it alone. Brent has strong support from his administration and board, and has created an amazing network of families in the community who trust him to take their children overseas. “For anyone thinking of leading their first tour,” he says, “it may seem daunting—dealing with board rules and policies and advisors. It takes motivation, time, and planning, but the payoff is so worth it. Not because you’re traveling, but because of the impact it has on the kids.”
This year, after 10 tours with EF, he’s taking a year off to focus on his lesson plans and relax with his wife. “It will be hard to miss out on interacting with the kids [this year], seeing them get excited about all of the places they’ll be going and answering their questions about the things they’ll see.”
This is why it was so important for Brent to find the right person to continue the tradition of travel in his school. He’s always gone on tour with people he trusts, “powerhouse teachers and killer chaperones” as he calls them, and he’s in the process of helping select the teacher who will take over for a year as Group Leader. “This was never a one-person show, and that speaks to the tradition itself—surrounding yourself with like-minded educators who understand the value of travel. They don’t take it for granted, or just want to travel for free, they want to help broaden students’ horizons.”
But we certainly haven’t seen the last of him. He'll be leading more tours in the future, because the impact it has on his students, even beyond high school, is something he loves to see. “I ran into someone who went on tour with me in 2011 and had just returned from a trip to Hawaii, China, and Japan with friends. You see the legacy.”