Westlake High School teacher turns road trip to historical locations into learning experience for students

Set for School

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Most of us are used to reading about history or seeing pictures in a textbook, but one Austin teacher is using the first few weeks of virtual classes to take her students to the places she’s teaching them about.

Cathy Cluck is taking social distancing well past the recommended six feet of separation.

“I decided to leave the state,” Cluck said.

As students made their way back to the virtual classroom at Westlake High School she decided to hit the road, but not to get away from her students.

“We all have just been trying to figure out how do we build relationships with kids online,” Cluck said.

So she came up with an idea and asked her principal if he thought it would work.

“And I said what if I taught history from the places where history happened?” Cluck said.

After getting the green light she took off on a road trip up the Northeast coast. With stops in Williamsburg, Va., Washington D.C.,and Gettysburg, Penn.

Students have enjoyed the lessons.

“We have been going to the places with her as she has been going too,” said Erin Riley, one of Cluck’s students. “It has been a lot easier to get to know her as a teacher.”

In a time when keeping kids engaged can be difficult, Cluck is going above and beyond.

“Everyday when they log on, they are like where are you today?” Cluck said.

The journey hasn’t come without some speed bumps though, as she had a screw in her tire and had some minor computer issues, but she says this is a journey she will never forget.

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