Mrs. Painter’s Journey

Back to Article
Back to Article

Mrs. Painter’s Journey

Bailey Stratton, Contributor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Have you ever wanted to travel to Antarctica? Well, World Geography teacher Mrs. Painter has! She was selected as the Grosvenor Teacher Fellow with National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions. If you’re wondering, the Grosvenor Teacher Fellow is a professional developmental field where they send teachers to different parts of the world. As a fellow Mrs. Painter started off her journey by traveling to Antarctica. But it all started with a mysterious call from Washington D.C. At first Mrs. Painter was not able to pick up, but when the second call came from the same number she picked it up and could not believe what she was hearing! “I actually asked them four times if they were serious,” says Mrs. Painter during an interview.

Mrs. Painter left for Antarctica on December 15. She would return on December 29, 2018. When asked she said she didn’t know the other teacher she was going with until a meeting she had in March about the trip. Not everybody on the trip got the opportunity to go like Mrs. Painter. Many of the people there were either crew or tourists. Mrs. Painter was there for two weeks but was only on the continent for 6 days. They were only allowed on land for no more than two hours due to tourist companies. Since they didn’t go camping on the continent, Mrs. Painter and the other teacher, as well as the other passengers, stayed on the ship. The ship was also their way of travel. Since there are no specific cities or parts of Antarctica it was kind of hard to explain where exactly Mrs. Painter went but if you look on a map at Antarctica you will notice a little peninsula sticking out, that is where Mrs. Painter went. In the photo above you’ll see Mrs. Painter holding up a plastic sample she collected from the ocean. Earlier on in the year, Mrs. Painter and technology teacher Mrs. Gerrol went on something called a “water walk” to see how much pollution and plastic was in the water. While in Antarctica, Mrs. Painter thought it would be interesting to see how much pollution and plastic was in the water there. On her first day, Mrs. Painter and the other teacher went on land to collect plastic samples. While there they found part of a broken plastic bottle, a piece of plastic, and the center of a tape roll. After taking pictures of the plastic and where they had been found, all the plastic was disposed of. Luckily, on the back of the ship, the crew members had been dragging a net with a plastic bottle in it to see if they could find any plastic in the ocean. Thankfully there had been no plastic found in that part of Antarctica.

Mrs. Painter says her favorite part about her trip was getting to see the penguins in their natural habitat. She also loved getting to see the penguin chicks hatch. The main thing Mrs. Painter was excited about was getting to see the penguins in their natural habitat instead of a zoo. Mrs. Painter also said that she liked getting to see the whales. She said there were many other animals that lived there including whales, orca, krill, and seals, but her favorite animal hands down had to be the penguins. Most of the animals that live there are only there for the summer and leave in the winter time due to temperature change but only four animals live there permanently or year round. Even though the part of Antarctica where Mrs. Painter went was not the coldest part, she still had to bring special gear including wet pants, parka, hat, gloves, and boots. Mrs. Painter said she had to bring the things like the hats and the gloves but was provided with the parka, the wet pants, and the boots. Half the things Mrs. Painter needed were provided for her. The other half she had to bring on her own. Mrs. Painter said the coldest the temperature ever got was in the low twenties and the warmest was in the thirties. Compared to some of the other temperatures in Antarctica, these temperatures were pretty warm.

Mrs. Painter said she was trying to find fun ways to incorporate her trip and experience into her classroom. How is she doing that you may ask? After every unit the class talks about, Mrs. Painter finds a way on how her trip and that topic relate. Right after she got back, Mrs. Painter used an app with her class, that helped them to compare and contrast the plants in Salem, Virginia and in Antarctica. Every day they would take a different snapshot of a plant from here and compare it to a plant from Antarctica. Mrs. Painter also makes her class do many fun projects that relate to her trip and what they have learned and done. One of the many fun projects they had to do was create a hypothesis statement on the differences between the plants in Salem, Virginia and the plants in Antarctica. Mrs. Painter said she used an app similar to an app called INaturalist to compare and contrast the different plants from here and from there.

Mrs. Painter arrived back in the United States on December 29, 2018. All in all, she had an amazing trip and said in an interview she would love to go back again sometime. Although on her first day there, Mrs. Painter was thinking the complete opposite. “I thought this was horrible and did not want to go back! But now that I think back on it, I really enjoyed it and would love to go back sometime.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email