Round Trip Ticket Mashup

Learning takes us to new places when we immerse ourselves in experiences that challenge us to see through a different lens.

Photo of Donna Teuber
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Final Pitch!

Here is our pitch to teachers (version 1)

See our Doc for the latest updates. This is a mashup of three Teacher’s Guild Ideas:

Round Trip Ticket - Donna Teuber,  Design on the Fly: A Suitcase Party to Launch a Team PD Journey - Paul Kim. and $ and Time - Ann Hamel

Join our team as we develop this program to provide teachers with professional development experiences out in the world! Add your name, ideas and prototypes to our Collaborative Document to help make this better!

Possible Titles: Immersion Excursions, Excursions to Wonderland, Professional Learning Journeys, Professional Learning Access Yonder (PLAY), Mindset Excursions, Growth Immersion Impact

  • Immersion: deep mental involvement
  • Excursion: a short journey or trip
  • Growth: positive transformation in ability or capacity
  • Inspiration: the process of being mentally stimulated toward creativity
  • Impact: to have an effect

"If you want to tackle problems out in the world, you have to be out in the world." George Kembel

The idea of Round Trip Ticket developed after listening to George Kembel, Global Director and Co-Founder of the Stanford, describe his #unreasonableatsea experience. His team traveled for over 100 days and explored how to engage students around the world in experiential learning. They sent teams of students out into their surroundings to observe, interview and self-navigate in designing solutions to their personal challenges.

In no particular order, the students viewed short video clips to activate their learning experiences. A video of George interviewing someone on the street would invite the students to do the same. Students used shared protocols to keep moving forward with their learning.  Along the way, students would have conversations with each other about their experiences which helped to develop trust and emotional safety between team members.

Big Idea/Value Prop

Learning takes us to new places when we immerse ourselves in experiences that challenge us to see through a different lens. Teams of teachers go on a learning journey to immerse themselves in experiences that will help them to see through a different lens and design new learning experiences and adventures for their students.

Through an application process and creative funding, teachers are allowed to choose their own adventure and go on expeditions where they can be inspired, brainstorm ideas to improve learning in their classrooms and prototype their ideas for feedback and implementation back in their schools. Teachers will document their learning journey and share it with the world through social media, posts on our website, and teacher-led workshops. Successful teams will also host visits to showcase their projects.


Imagine what would happen if we sent teams of teachers out of their comfort zones and into their innovation zones? Using a city or a region or the country as a “Zone of Proximal Development” for creative growth, teachers will travel to other schools, businesses, or organizations for a 2-4 day experience in their local area or beyond depending on available funding. During their excursions into discomfort, teams of teachers would immerse themselves in observations about and experiences of learning to better inform their teaching practices.  Along the way, teams would record their observations with reflections and insights recorded via video, audio, visuals, and writing. Some of this content would be shared on social media but the core purpose of collecting this information would be for teachers to share it within their school communities as well as on the website.

Our travel website will include a way for schools and businesses to register as sites for visits. Creative funding ideas will be provided to schools and districts who register on our website. We will also seek out sponsors and partners to assist with funding teams. Teachers will access the site to apply for travel, select a travel theme and access resources to assist with planning. In order to be selected to travel, teams will need to agree to use the design thinking process back in their schools to prototype solutions.

Schools can easily select an expedition from the interactive website map and connect with host sites to arrange a visit. Expeditions can be close to home or far away depending on needs and funding. A DIY "Choose Your Own Adventure" kit will be available for schools that want to design learning expeditions close to home. Teachers who have a day off can also download the DIY kit and head off to a host site for a day of exploring and learning.

Teams will self-organize around common generative topics. A bit like geocaching which is a location based scavenger hunt, they will watch a video clip, read a book chapter or article, use IDEO method cards and then self-navigate to locations where they can question, experience, explore and reflect. Through the cards, video clips and other resources, teachers will experience the design process, gain insights and diverge and converge in a natural progression to the best insights and ideas for innovation in teaching.

When teachers return to their home schools, they will share their stories. Teachers may choose to prototype their ideas and implement a new practice in their classroom and reflect on their learning through social media, posts on our website, and lead workshops. The program will be sustained as teachers develop new programs, engage in additional excursions, and create new opportunities that can be shared and added to the network of excursion resources and opportunities.


  • The Travel Kit - All excursions begin with teams receiving a virtual and physical backpack that is full of post-it notes, sharpies, blank journals, IDEO method cards, and readings from Austin Kleon's Steal Like an Artist, David and Tom Kelley's Creative Confidence, Tim Brown's Change By Design, Bernard Roth’s The Achievement Habit: Stop Wishing, Start Doing, Take Command of Your Life Hardcover and Lisa Kay Solomon’s Moments of Impact.
  • Video commercial draft script and video (let’s have some fun here -
  • Clue Cards - Ideo method cards
  • Videos for use in the field (short provocations aligned with method cards)
  • Teacher Application for Funding
  • Posters
  • Travel Brochures
    • To the Moon and Back (visit some of the most innovative companies in the world) You can do this in Silicon Valley or Greenville, SC!
    • Route 66 (choose from a variety of model school programs) along a well-traveled route
    • Learning Express (explore a university)
    • Into the Wild (visit startup companies)
    • Intersection of Ideas(visit innovative spaces)
    • In the Zone DIY (create your own travel experience in your local area)
    • PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) -- mini road trip from the redwoods (biology)  to Stanford’s 
      • (design thinking) through Silicon Valley (entrepreneurship and innovation) via the Golden Gate Bridge (humaningenuity), North Beach (Beat Generation), and Chinatown (history). A variety of schools to visit -- New Tech High School, Design Tech High School, Realm Charter, Design School X, East Bay School forBoys, Nueva School, AltSchool.  And if you want to drive all the way down the coast, High Tech High in San Diego.
      • Innovation@ Altitude -- travel through Denver to an event like TEDxMileHigh or a concert at Red Rock and en route experience innovation and creativity via: culinary wizardry (restaurants like Linger or Acorn or Ophelia’s), shared incubator workspaces (Galvanize), visit with educators at DesignEDU and the Imaginarium, visit innovative schools like the Denver School of Science and Technology, Colorado Academy, Stanley British Primary School, Alexander Dawson School.Businesses and schools that want to be host sites can register and be displayed on an searchable interactive map.Teachers can access suggested travel itineraries (Route 66, Learning Express, Into the Wild, etc)  Organizations or individuals who want to sponsor a teacher can donate fundsTeachers who want to travel with teachers from other schools and districts can connect through our matching serviceTeachers can access the funding toolkit and/or make a travel request through the application systemFunding toolkit with raffle ticket information
    • DIY Kit Choose Your Own Adventure (create your own local excursions)
  • Community website 
    • Businesses and schools that want to be host sites can register and be displayed on an searchable interactive map.
    • Teachers can access suggested travel itineraries (Route 66, Learning Express, Into the Wild, etc)  
    • Organizations or individuals who want to sponsor a teacher can donate funds
    • Teachers who want to travel with teachers from other schools and districts can connect through our matching service
    • Teachers can access the funding toolkit and/or make a travel request through the application system
  • Funding toolkit with raffle ticket information
  • Get excited video
  • Rewire your brain video: Backwards Brain Bicycle

Key Partners
Schools, organizations and businesses to host excursion teams
Partners to support funding the initiative

Key Activities

  • Create community website to register organizations that will host excursions and provide a matching service so that teachers can connect with other educators for an excursion
  • Develop travel guide with travel topics, available excursions, and design thinking resources
  • Develop creative ways to fund travel
  • Create videos and clue cards to be used as design thinking provocations during the excursion
  • Find sponsors and partners to assist with funding, sponsor a teacher or a team

Cost and Sustainability

Our website will take donations from sponsors and partners who want to assist with funding a teacher or a team of teachers. Teachers can apply on our website to receive funding for their trip. In addition to funds available through the program, a toolkit of funding ideas will be available on our community website to assist teams with raising funds for travel. These ideas include but are not limited to:

Design on the Fly

Raffle airplane travel for a focused design thinking professional development journey for a team of 3-5 teachers over 4 days. Teachers enter the raffle for $1 tickets and 3-5 teachers (depending on budget) win an airplane ticket that is largely funded by donated frequent flyer miles, parent and community partner donations, and creative fundraisers run by PTAs.

For a more random start to the PD excursion, at the end of the first day of professional development at the beginning of the school year, have a suitcase party where teachers arrive at the party with a packed bag prepared to get on an airplane if they “win” a spot on the team.

The winning teachers form a design team that will travel together to a location selected from the travel options with the goal of using design thinking to brainstorm and prototype ideas for better instruction across the school. Prior to taking the trip together, teams attend a team building session to begin developing relationships. (

From school funding, the raffle ticket sales, and donated frequent flyer miles, the team gets their trip paid for but they have to figure out the logistics of their trip based on what they have packed in their suitcases and the total budget they have.  Their purpose is to generate as many ideas as possible, be inspired, have fun, and present a report when they return on the afternoon of the last day of the professional development week!

$ and Time (A Hamel)

Make it happen by removing the obstacles of time and money to allow teachers to remain learners and adventurers.

I have been the beneficiary of an all-expense paid PD opportunity. It was taught by professors from 5 different colleges who were working with a NSF grant to teach computer programming. They provided lodging (hotel) and food as well as travel money. This eliminated a HUGE obstacle to trying new things when school is not in session. That brings me to the second part, which is when we have time for professional development. Summer is usually the only time, but we can be creative about finding ways to keep our fires burning back in the classroom to step out and get our own creativity ignited by someone else. I'd love to see more opportunities like this. I wish more colleges and companies (Adobe, AutoDesk, etc.) were able to offer more learning ops. I, for one, could really get into an Adobe Creative Suite extravaganza, but I will never be able to afford Adobe MAX on a teacher's salary.

Create a PD Project that is Crowdfunded -- gofundme, indiegogo, donorschoose, kickstarter

Tickets to Student Art Shows & Performances fund PD -- creativity funds creativity


Quantity: Number of teachers helped, number of students impacted by teacher projects.  Perhaps the website would include a basic likert scale survey for teachers that tries to measure creative confidence and metacognition before and after the excursion. Similarly, a simple likert scale survey for students that tries to measure their engagement with a specific teacher and content at different times of the year.

Quality: Teams selected to receive funding will agree to tell their story

Application process will state the requirements for each team to share their learning when they return. Applications will be accepted on a revolving basis and previous teams will serve on the application.

After the team uploads an account of their excursion and learning, the website will automatically prompt team members to reflect on their experiences at different times of the year as they engage in new practices.  Teachers will have the option to make their reflections, actions and learning available through a variety of mediums -- writing, video, audio, visuals.  They could include student feedback. These reflections can be kept private within the team or made public for others to view more widely.


Fund for Teachers
Roadtrip Nation methods
Design Thinking for Educators Toolkit

View more

Team (11)

Donna's profile
Sara's profile
Sara Shifrin

Role added on team:

"Your idea of intentional play and learning fits perfectly with my idea! Would love to have you join the team!"

Jennie's profile
Jennie Snyder

Role added on team:

"I would love to have you join the team! Inspired by "step out of the familiar."

Ashley's profile
Ashley Auspelmyer

Role added on team:

"I would love to have you join our team! How might we create immersive experiences for teachers to develop deeper learning experiences for students?"

Ann's profile
Ann Hamel

Role added on team:

"We need to get into the world to be inspired and develop new learning experiences for our students. I would love to have your input on developing immersive experiences for teachers!"

LEE's profile

Role added on team:

"We need to get into the world to be inspired and develop new learning experiences for our students. I would love to have your input on developing immersive experiences for teachers!"

Paul's profile
Rachel's profile
Rachel Mongin

Role added on team:

"Please join my Round Trip Ticket team and add your ideas and thoughts to the collaborative doc! Let's get to the Favorites!"

Janine's profile
Janine Sears

Role added on team:

"Please join my Round Trip Ticket team and add your ideas to the collaborative doc!"

Margaret's profile
Margaret Powers

Role added on team:

"We would love to have your help!"

Michael's profile
Michael Schurr

Role added on team:

"Excited to have you join our team! Feel free to edit the doc!"


Join the conversation:

Photo of Sarah Grant

This sounds like an awesome idea and really similar to what we are trying to do too. Our social enterprise brings teachers from around the world on 3-4 week fellowships, to connect, share ideas and support other teachers. Have a look at our website: and also would love to hear from you and see if there are ways we can share ideas. Drop me an email here:

Photo of Pam McWilliams

We have a roadtrip theme going on at our school.  I loved this idea so I threw it out to admin and they ate it up.  Sounds like we are doing to do some self designed "adventures" outside of school for teachers and a sharing of passports as part of a staff celebration of learning.  Thanks for all the awesome ideas.

Photo of Cynthia Blair Tognotti

Donna thank you for your help today!! I love this idea and it's given me an idea of what sections to add. You're a great Coach!

Photo of Donna Teuber

Thank you! Loved hearing your ideas!

Photo of Donna Teuber

Excited that we made it to the evolve phase! Please jump into our doc and add your contributions and feedback.  It's time to start building some prototypes and testing in the real world!

Photo of Donna Teuber

8 days left! Please jump in on our doc ( and add your ideas, info, etc. We would love to have several prototypes completed before the end of ideation.

Photo of Sara Shifrin

I'd add this book to the suitcase: The Achievement Habit: Stop Wishing, Start Doing, and Take Command of Your Life Hardcover – July 7, 2015
by Bernard Roth

I gravitate to the adventure of this and think about the skills needed right out of the box: an innovator's mindset is vital and might be developed incrementally in the participating school. How might warm up activities foster the spirit of the adventure? Wold that be part of the DIY kit? 

Photo of Donna Teuber

Great addition to our suitcase! I read The Achievement Habit recently and loved it! The DIY kit could definitely contain some warm up activities.  I would love to have you add more detail to the collaborative doc: Thank you!

Photo of Emma Scripps

Dyno idea Donna Teuber  Thinking a couple of things here: 
1) Could you reach out to folks? (see Ariel Raz )and maybe ask for some resources for how you could adapt this for teachers? 
2) How would you justify a round-the-world trip financially? Whats a smaller scale?  

Photo of Donna Teuber

Hi Emma, Thanks for the contact. I'll definitely reach out to get some ideas. Smaller scale would be shorter excursions that are closer to home for people. Looking forward to developing this idea further.

Photo of Ariel Raz

Thanks for the connection Emma Scripps !

Donna Teuber I'm happy to offer ideas or feedback.

Photo of Donna Teuber

Hi Ariel, So glad for the connection through Emma Scripps ! I would love feedback and ideas for Round Trip Ticket .  Paul Kim and I are putting our ideas together here: Thank you!

Photo of Christina Jenkins

Hi Donna! Are you familiar with Fund for Teachers? This is the closest thing I know of to a real "round trip ticket": they offer grants up to $10K for individual + teams of teachers to pursue self-designed learning experiences during the summer. It's the best PD I've ever done. (

Also see Roadtrip Nation ( – while meant for young people, there are some parallels to your ideas as well.

Photo of Donna Teuber

Hi Christina, Thanks so much for sharing the resources on Fund of Teachers and Roadtrip Nation. These ideas will be great to incorporate!

Photo of Ellen Deutscher

Donna, Hey there!  Love it!  I was also inspired by George Kembel's talk and how to apply his work to  k12.  How GREAT to create a teacher experience with it!  What if some of these learning adventures were for teachers and students together too.  Hmmm, something to think about.  Did you see Paul Kim's idea around Design on the Fly... could be a good conversation with these ideas..

Photo of Donna Teuber

Hi Ellen, Thanks so much for the feedback. Adding students as partners with teachers would be great. I'm glad pointed out Paul Kim's idea. I'll touch base with him and maybe we can do a mash-up!