Mrs. Powall: The Places She’s Gone


Ilana Miller, Staff Writer

“My, that’s different! I wonder why they do it that way?”

Many students of Mrs. Powall, a sixth grade social studies teacher at Mayfield Middle School, remember this quote. It is one of the many things Mrs. Powall learned while travelling around the world.

Her first solo trip was to El Salvador in eleventh grade. It was a

Mrs. Powall in El Salvador

mission trip with her church, although she was also going to complete an award for Girl Scouts. For her trip, she made 300 bags of school supplies to give to children living in a village that had no electricity or running water.

In El Salvador, Mrs. Powall learned a lot from meeting people who, despite living in extremely poor conditions, were still joyful. When she went back to America, she brought with her the ability to feel more grateful for what she had.

In her third year of college, Mrs. Powall went to Europe with other students her age from different places in America. Over the course of four weeks, they visited Ireland, England, Amsterdam, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, and France.

In New Zealand, Mrs. Powall ate a lot of Crunchie bars. She liked them so much, the teacher she had worked with previously sent her some when she went back to America.

Also, Mrs. Powall lived in New Zealand for three months while student teaching. Its inhabitants had a different outlook on life that she really liked.

“I feel like they live more,” she expressed.

 About three years ago, Mrs. Powall went to France, Italy, and Greece as a leader for a group of students on a People to People trip. People to People International Travel Programs, which many Mayfield teachers have participated in, allows people to travel around the world and connect with others of different cultures.

For her honeymoon, she went to two cities in Spain–Ibiza and San Sebastian–which she calls her “all time favorite place in Europe ever.” She enjoyed being able to spend time talking to the people who lived in the area.

Mrs. Powall in Greece

New Zealand and Greece are two places Mrs. Powall hopes to revisit,

though she says she would rather go somewhere new like Germany, Croatia, Thailand, or Africa.

Of the places she has visited already, she has trouble picking a favorite, because she likes different aspects of each place. She loves the food in Italy, especially the pizza, but also loves the culture in New Zealand, and the natural beauty of Switzerland.

Getting to experience different cultures is Mrs. Powall’s favorite part of travelling.

Mrs. Powall in Venice, Italy

“I just love seeing how other people live, how they dress, how they eat, what their daily schedule is, even their outlook on life,” she explained, “We live in a bubble…We think the only thing that exists is here.”

Mrs. Powall added that it is important to understand that while others’ ways of living might not seem normal to others, they are normal to them. This is something she keeps in mind when teaching her sixth grade social studies class. She reminds students not to think of other cultures as “weird” just because they are different.

Mrs. Powall stated that travelling can help one “see that people live differently than you and people have a different mindset than you…Your way isn’t always the best way or the only way to live…It opens your horizons, it opens up your mind and the possibilities you see within your life.”

She thinks travelling has helped her be more interested and willing to learn from others.

To students who want to travel, Mrs. Powall recommends that they save money and take opportunities.

“Always take the chance to travel. If you have the opportunity, do it,” she says.