My unit on Ancient Rome begins tomorrow. I actually went to Rome about four years ago. On Monday, my kids get the pleasure of viewing my slideshow (don't you wish you were that lucky). One nice thing about teaching third grade is I know they will be the most captive audience I've ever had for my vacation pictures. They will also be interested in random knowledge I have on Rome. Because I took three years of Latin in highschool and went to a religious school, I have acquired quite a lot of random knowledge on Ancient Rome.
All this to say that travel has made me a much better teacher of Social Studies. It would be even better if I could bring my students with me, but my instruction is much more authentic having been there myself. Don't you think they should pay for all teachers to travel Europe?