The Journey Begins

March 10, 2019

For a solid week I worked and worried, preparing for my Moroccan adventure. My suitcase became inadequate, as I struggled to pack for every possible occasion. That’s when I realized what had alluded me for months. I had no idea what was going to happen in Morocco! Oh, sure, I had agendas. I had the Teachers for Global Classrooms 10-week course and symposium to give me guidance. But, really, I had no idea how the next 2 1/2 weeks would unfold.

Despite the mystery and the feeling that I was about to jump into the deepest of deep ends, there I was, at 3:30 AM, leaving my home, my dog, and my family to embark on a journey across the world that would take me more than a full day.

I’m 54-years old. I have a stable career and a wonderful home. What was I lacking that drove me to seek this adventure? More importantly, what was I to gain? And, because I want to be true to the reason I am on the journey in the first place, what do my students have to gain?

I had a lot of hours in airports and on airplanes to contemplate all of the unknowns. Despite the anxiety it naturally brought me, my anticipation was more like a brewing excitement.

I’m on my way to Africa! What? That’s right! Africa! (I’m more than a little excited about this.)

The View of Morocco from My Classroom in Mossyrock


Most of the time, I am simply "Mrs. Olmos," a busy classroom teacher in a rural district in Southwest Washington State. I teach English, WA State History and Drama to students that range from grades 7-12. I believe in allowing students to use their own creativity and individual voices to enrich learning experiences in my classroom. A typical day in my room includes student-led conversations, collaborative projects, and art supplies. Beyond the classroom, I dedicate myself to many areas of educational leadership. Currently, I am a Fulbright Teacher for Global Classrooms and a member of the leadership team for the Washington Teacher Advisory Council. I am proud to be a National Board Certified Teacher, and a facilitator for National Board Candidate cohorts. Over the years, I have served on committees, panels and cohorts at the district, state and national level. My areas of interest include English Language Arts standards, curriculum and assessment, teacher preparation and certification, equity in rural education, project-based learning, and arts-integrated instruction. In my spare time, I have dogs, horses and and a husband to share my life on a small farm surrounded by green hills and rivers. It's a beautiful life.

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