Teacher Travels

World class traveler and history teacher


Photo by Phoebe Lawson

Ms. Barresi turns her traveling experience into engaging lessons for World History.

Almost everybody dreams to be able to travel the world; for some other people they have dreams of teaching and having an impact on children. Elan Barresi, Patchogue Medford High School World History teacher, has, and continues to do, both.

Prior to teaching, Ms. Barresi only traveled to Canada and Mexico but since then she has been all around the world to places such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia but there are many more.

She said that she began traveling for the excitement but “…it quickly turned into a passion and appreciation for cultures.”

Barresi, as she is affectionately known as, was assigned to teach World History during her first year teaching at the high school. She has continued to teach World History as the years continued. In her classes, she does her best to include her travels into lessons.

“I always incorporate what I learn abroad to help explain point of view, nuance, and causation. Studying abroad helps you feel more comfortable teaching these areas as well. All cultures have similar wants and needs. If you travel places and stay long enough a lot comes together in understanding the area’s uniqueness as well.” Ms. Barresi said when asked about the incorporation of her experience into class.

Russia, South Africa, Morocco, and India are just a few other places that Ms. Barresi has visited.

Being a World History teacher isn’t always about knowing the facts. The direct knowledge of real-life experience of the other country’s cultures is almost more important. When a teacher can include stories about their time in a place that is the focus of the lesson, students are engaged.