email Sara: Sara.Sabourin@yahoo.com

 Teacher Travels


Do you believe that learning happens anywhere at any time from anyone?


 Market, South Africa
Do you want to experience what it's like in other places in this world? 


 Mkuze National Park, South Africa

I do and that's why I started Teacher Travels!


 Masks, San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua
It all started in September 2008 in a small Michigan town.  It was my eighth year teaching in elementary schools and ended up being one of the most exciting for me. 

But let me back up a little...

Since 2000, I taught in kindergarten, first grade, and even multi-age classrooms up to fifth grade.  Among many things, I loved reading books and magazines with my students about people and places around the world. Often, I dreamed of actually going there. 

 Kayaking in the canal near Turtle Beach Lodge; Tortuguero, Costa Rica

So, when my oldest brother, Kevin, invited me to join his family on a week-long trip to the rainforests of Costa Rica in November 2008, I was thrilled!  The trip was only a couple months away. I had to figure out a plan because the school year had already begun and I was teaching a class of first grade students.

First, I asked the principal and superintendent of the school if I could take an educational trip for a week.

They said, "Yes."

I said, "Thank you, thank you, thank you!"

Then we hired a guest teacher who would be with my students for the week I'd be traveling.

They explained that there was one condition, however.  I needed to connect with my students over the internet while I was there and tell them about my adventures.

"What a great idea!" I exclaimed.


 Hercules beetle; Tortuguero, Costa Rica

The next step was to figure out how to do this.  I met with Jeff and Mike who worked in the technology department at our school.  Together, we set up an account on www.oovoo.com.  It is a website for video calling. It's like Skype or Face Time on the iPhone.

The plan was that I would call from my computer to the computer at school.  A live video of me should appear on the computer screen at school.  At the same time, I should see a video of the students on my screen.  Easy, right?

Well, when I arrived to the lodge in the middle of the Costa Rican rain forest, I found out that our great plan had a small problem.  The internet connection wasn't very strong.  The students and I tried to connect with each other at the same time, but the pictures on our computer screens were scrambled and our voices sounded like aliens.  My heart felt like it fell into my stomach.  I wondered how I would stay in touch with my students.

We had to figure out another way to share my stories.  The good news was I discovered how to record a video and send it to them like an email.  We gave this plan a try and it worked!


 Banana Plantation, Costa Rica

The students watched my recorded videos whenever they could during the school day.  Then they made a video of their questions and sent it back to me. I was delighted that even in middle of the rainforest at this small lodge, which was miles away from the village of Tortuguero, my students and I could connect with each other!

Every day, I sent them a story about my experiences in the rainforest, such as watching poison dart frogs or zip-lining through the canopy layer.


 Zip-line adventure through the rainforest in Costa Rica

When I returned from my trip, I continued to share stories with my students that year and with new students many years since.

A couple of years after my adventure to Costa Rica, I took another big trip.  This time, to three countries in Africa! I decided to travel with the companies Eyes on Africa and Sunway Safaris, who helped me plan a two-week beach-and-bush safari.


 Sunset Safari, Hlane National Park, Swaziland

After I went on the trips to Costa Rica and Africa, I came back with lots of videos, pictures, stories, and even instruments to share with my students.  Their eyes were wide.  They laughed and gasped.  They asked questions. They pretended they were there, too, riding in the safari truck, watching hyenas, and acting like monkeys. They called out for more videos of the lions, elephants, and zebras! They, too, wanted more adventures.


 Lion walking alongside of our safari truck in Swaziland

Having loved these adventures,  I wanted to visit more of this big, beautiful world and bring it back to my students.  The idea for a website called Teacher Travels was born.


 Zulu village, Mkuze, South Africa

I decided to share my adventures on this website with children, teachers, and families... really anyone who wants to visit other parts of the world without leaving their home or school.  I simply want to be a teacher who travels and shares her experiences with those who want to learn about them.

 A long day at the market for this woman in South Africa

My passion for teaching has extended beyond the walls of the elementary public schools.  And though I wished I really could have taken my students with me on a field trip to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, South Africa, Mozambique, and Swaziland, I'm doing the next best thing... bringing parts of this amazing world to them through Teacher Travels.

Thank you for joining me on my journeys! 


 It is very common to have a truck or car load full of people. My family and friends are in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua.

 Pura Vida! 
A phrase used in Costa Rica that means "Pure Life"



A turtle was attempting to lay her eggs on the beach in Nosara, Costa Rica. My friends from the Nosara Beach Hostel and I were in
awe to see this majestic creature lumbering across the sand. We stayed back so as not to disturb her.


Pineapple plant


A white face capuchin monkey clamored on the tin roof outside of our room at the Luna Llena Lodge in Montezuma, Costa Rica.


Bunches of bananas are wrapped in a blue bag to protect them from insects and harmful UV rays. These bags were designed after the blue wings of the Blue Morpho Butterfuly. Scientists discovered that the blue wings reflect the harmful rays and protect the butterfly.


Blue Morpho Butterfly at a butterfly garden in Costa Rica


Spider, Costa Rica


Red, spiky fruit found in Costa Rica. My niece and her friend crushed the seeds and used the red color to dye their hair and paint their nails.