Berlin High School's social studies teacher Dave Bosso's goal when he started teaching was to travel to as many of the countries he was teaching about as possible.
Having returned from Ghana in May, he has now traveled to China, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Egypt and Israel.
To be able to take these trips he has applied for and won acceptance into very competitive programs. This past trip, he applied and was selected by the Department of State IREX Excellence in Teacher Achievement Program.
On many of the trips, Bosso taught teachers "best practices" to engage students.
This trip to Ghana was no different as he held workshops for teachers. In these workshops he would talk to the teachers about strategies and using visual graphics.
"This was an amazing trip," said Bosso, the Berlin Teacher of the Year. "It is a very underdeveloped country and you could see the poverty. They recently discovered oil so they are hoping that will spur the economy. There is hope for financial growth and the quality of life getting better."
Bosso said one of the biggest lessons he learned in Ghana was the level of poverty all over the world is relative.
"What we would consider terrible living conditions were actually middle-classed for the people of Ghana," he said. "There were a lot of mud brick homes and thatch roof huts."
Bosso said Ghana was a major port in the slave trade.
"There are slave castles on the coast," he said. "We toured them and it was not the easiest thing to see, for sure. From what I took from the tour guide, a lot of African Americans will start in Ghana to try to trace their family roots."
He also said that many children don't go to school.
"A lot of kids don't go to school for a number of reasons," he said. "Either they can't afford the tuition or the school uniforms. There are no property taxes and there are both public and private schools. It's really interesting because as you travel you see cell phone companies and tourist booths but you also see the poverty."
Bosso stayed by himself in a hotel and was able to Skype with his wife, fellow teacher Jennifer Bosso. In his down time, he blogged about his experiences. That was part of the requirements for him being able to take the trip.
"I was glad I had something to do," he said. "In past trips, I've stayed with hosts but when I went back to the room, I had nothing to do. I Skyped with my wife, which was great, but writing the blog really helped me reflect on what I had seen. I didn't think anyone would read it. I was convinced that half the hits were from my mother checking on me but it seemed like people were following me."
To read Bosso's blog, go to: http://suanowiase.wordpress.com/