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 Teacher Feature:

Cedar Bluff teacher spends summer visiting Turkey, Greece after being selected to participate in the Fulbright-Hayes Seminar Abroad

Teacher Feature Home | What it means to students
Amy Melendy, Social Studies teacher at Cedar Bluff Middle School, traces part of her tour of Turkey. "Being given the opportunity to experience ancient Greece and the Byzantine  empire first hand was a gift of unbelievable proportion," said Melendy.
Amy Melendy, Cedar Bluff Middle School social studies teacher, was selected to participate in the Fulbright-Hayes Seminars Abroad program this past summer. This is her story.


Receiving the news that I had been selected for the Fulbright Hayes Seminar Abroad program to travel to Greece and Turkey is a moment in my life that I will cherish forever.  I have loved teaching about Ancient Greece and the Byzantine Empire for the past thirty years. Being given the opportunity to experience them first hand was a gift of unbelievable proportion.

The trip itself was an incredible experience beginning with seminars in New York at Columbia University and ending 38 days later in Istanbul Turkey. The directors of both programs made sure that we had a balance of educational seminars, meetings with local educators, museum visits, opportunities to gather information for our own projects, visiting Byzantine churches and mosques, along with exploring ancient ruins with the help of private tour guides in both countries. This was framed by wonderful food at every meal and opportunities to experience the local culture in the areas we were visiting. We stayed in 14 hotels in 38 days, which meant we were on the road quite a bit of the trip. It was a wonderful way to see the landscapes of the countries, the villages between the larger cities, and get to know my fifteen wonderful traveling companions and our tour guides and Fulbright Directors.

The Parthenon: I was a bit disappointed with the scaffolding and the crowd, but I had no control over either.
The memories of my trip are numerous, but it was certainly a thrill when I first spotted the Parthenon as we were walking down the street in Athens. Delphi, the site of the famous oracle, was also a highlight in Greece as our guide took us through the site using the ancient mythology of the era.

In Turkey, there were many wonders that were new to me. One of these was the Fairy Chimneys in Cappadocia. Taking a hot air balloon ride over the canyon to see these wonders was spectacular. Turkey was a delight because of its mix of ancient and modern worlds. The people of Greece and Turkey were open and welcoming even in the midst of crisis and hardship that both countries were experiencing during my visit. My fellow travelers and I enjoyed many conversations and experiences with the local people. They always tried to help us even if we weren’t speaking the same language.
Hot air balloon rides over the Fairy Chimneys in Cappadocia, Turkey.


Impact on Classroom
The impact on my classroom will be vast. The trip covered the majority of the curriculum that I teach, so I have an abundance of materials and knowledge to share with my students. I am also required to create a project to share on the Fulbright website. I know my students benefit from this project and hope that other teachers will be able to use the project to enhance their classroom lessons.
People still live in the cave dwellings in Turkey.

The project involves the history and culture of the Byzantine Empire. I have also connected with educators in both countries and will be setting up a collaboration between our classrooms My intention is for our students to share information toward a common goal using a wiki format. I am excited to share all that I have learned with my students and other educators. It is going to be a good year!
ATHENS: The Temple Haphaestus overlooking the city A blend of modern city and ancient ruins greeted the visitors.


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