Michelle Sale


Manhattan, New York
English and Global History Teacher
Professional Performing Arts School


Trips as a Global Glimpse Leader:

2015: Nicaragua
2018: Ecuador
2023: Costa Rica


What drove you to become an educator?

As a child I always loved school, loved learning, school supply shopping, asking and answering questions…and school for me was a place where I was able to build confidence and learn things I couldn’t learn anywhere else (didn’t grow up with the internet!). From there, I was a history and journalism major in college and started out working in magazines. Even though I was helping people read, it wasn’t fulfilling. So I quit my job, applied to grad school, and traveled to Ecuador and Peru for the summer. I started grad school and worked in alternative education in the New York City Board of Education, so I really got a chance to work with students who learned better by experiencing and doing, and that matched really well with my travel experiences, my experiences with how I learn and I felt like I wasn’t “working” but doing paid volunteer work.


What has been the most profound part of your Global Glimpse experience as a GGL?

It’s been the opportunity to learn about how to keep using the skills I want to develop and the things I know I’m good at to keep learning and growing. Without a real-world situation, as much as I can use the internet – it’s not the same. I need to learn more about the world too, so the fact that I’m getting to meet people from different backgrounds and different reasons for loving travel, it keeps me fresh. It’s an exciting way for me to feel like I’m not going to be “lost in the shuffle”.

One of the most memorable conversations that we had this year was asking my students going on the Global Glimpse trips, “Are you the kind of person that needs to check out the menu before going to a restaurant, or do you like to be surprised and have it be part of the experience?”. We used this as a really rich discussion to talk about the expectations, how and where to be surprised, and what challenges will come up. That’s the kind of work that keeps me with Global Glimpse – it allows the platform for true educational learning, for being a good human, for talking about things with an adult that might not be their parents, and that’s what’s been really amazing.


What have you learned during your GG trip that you can take back to the classroom?

To really slow down, take time, and ask questions. That it’s not about seeing the most important site in a new city or country, but it’s really about understanding the people and how they live. A big lesson for students to understand when they think they “have nothing”, is that you can be happier with less. And that people are generally happier living simpler lives. Our culture here in America is so much about accumulation and not about reflection. Being able to use that in the classroom when we look at why people do what they do, learn about world religions, history etc, they need to have an understanding of where the voice comes from and why.