This teacher has gone above and beyond!
Sonja White is a first-grade teacher at Trinity Leadership at Cedar Hill Elementary School in Cedar Hill, Texas, WFAA reports. While speaking with her young scholars, she inquired about things they wanted to do that they hadn’t done before, with the goal of exposing them to different cultures and customs. What resulted was a mock international trip to Mexico in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month that White said the students were more than excited about.
“We were doing circle time, which is where all the kids sit in a circle around me. The question was what is something you hadn’t done that you wish you had done. A lot of them said take a flight or go on an airplane…I have one student that is Hispanic and when I said we were going to Mexico, she just lit up. She was very excited. She said she was going to show us around,” White recalled.
The moment was special for both White and the children, especially for those students who felt honored and seen during Hispanic Heritage Month. White found a way to incorporate all of her arithmetic lessons into the mock trip and when the kids showed up, her classroom was converted to an airport.
The students started by getting their pictures taken. And after showing up on the day of with their bags packed, they lined up for security with their faux passports in hand. After getting scanned, they received their airline tickets and headed into the aircraft, also known as the classroom, with sombreros in tow. Using a flight simulation video, she prepared them for takeoff, which they thoroughly enjoyed.
But that was only the beginning of the experience. Once in the air, White converted into a stewardess as she passed out snacks and drinks. After the 15-minute flight, they finally landed. And once they arrived in Mexico, they went through customs, got their play passports stamped, and received their paycheck since it was payday. The trip was complete with a gift shop in the airport where the students had to purchase and calculate exact change, and wrapped up with lunch at a Mexican restaurant, thanks to a parent who cooked all the food.
@sonjawhite_teach Come along to Mexico with us for Hispanic Heritage Month!! 🇲🇽🇲🇽 @Southwest Airlines @Doritos #firstgrade #firsties #teachertok #teacherlife ♬ original sound – Sonja White💙🖤
White documented the day and decided to share it via TikTok, with the video immediately going viral. More than the encouragement from the public was the feedback White received from her own students, who said it was a once in a lifetime trip.
“I had so much fun. My favorite part was all of it and my teacher with me,” said Nyah Vazquez, one of White’s scholars.
@sonjawhite_teach Come along with me while I turn my classroom into a @Starbucks Cafe for Payday Friday! #teacherlife #firstgrade #starbucks #elementaryschool ♬ Sittin' On Top Of The World – Burna Boy
This isn’t the first time White has transformed her classroom, previously turning the room into a Starbucks coffee shop. For her, the creativity helps the lessons stick more with the students. Already her class is planning their next trip, hopefully this time to Paris or New York. Wherever they go, they just want to do it with Ms. White, who is clearly shaping up to be one of their favorite teachers.
“It’s important to me that I give them everything I have,” White told reporters.
Photo by @MrsSonjaWhite/X