News Archive
Teacher brings Turkey experience into classroom
The Nationalist, 20.10.2009

Many teachers spent their summer taking classes to improve their instruction. For RHS history teacher Mr. Tom Holmes, spending almost two weeks of his summer on a "study tour" in Turkey was the perfect fit for him.

"It was like a super college class," said Mr. Holmes. "Every time I travel I learn a great deal that helps me with my teaching…I have a world history background, yet I still managed to take over 150 pages of notes!"

The trip, sponsored by the Turkish Cultural Foundation in Washington, D.C., brought together Holmes and 30 teachers, six of whom are from South Dakota, for an intensive tour of Turkish culture, education, and tradition.

While in Turkey, he stayed in hotels, and met Behiye Kodal, an exchange student who attended RHS last year, and her family. Among his many excursions, he also visited two schools.

"One school was a country school, and when the village kids saw the bus, they ran over to greet us," Mr. Holmes said. "That was fun. They seemed surprised to hear me speak Turkish to them."

Holmes has already begun sharing his experiences from this trip with his students in AP World History class.

"There are many memories I will take with me from this trip. Perhaps the most meaningful will be the time we spent at Ephesus. That place has so much historical and biblical meaning…nearly 10,000 years of human history," said Mr. Holmes. "I am truly a better person from this experience."

Written by Jaimie Anderson