It’s no secret that teaching has been good to me. I spent 21 years in classrooms in various countries and have had many experiences throughout my teaching career. Here, Lillie Marshall from TeachingTraveling.com explains some of the reasons becoming a teacher might be a wise career move for you if you enjoy travel.
Are you seeking a job that will fulfill your soul, excite you, and allow you to see the world? After extensive research, I declare that teaching is the best career for these goals!
My name is Lillie Marshall and I have been a teacher in the Boston Public Schools for eight years. I also love life and adore travel, and my teaching career is a perfect match for these passions. Here is why a teaching job could be a match for you, too:
1. Abundant vacation days. Make no mistake about it: We teachers work our tails off, but in return, we have more vacation days than any other career. Sure, I teach 150 kids a day (five classes of thirty 7th graders) and spend most of my evenings and weekends grading, but how many other working folks in 2011-12 spent: a week in December in Spain, a week in February in China, a week in April in Greece, and two summer months abroad? I did!
2. Free money to travel. You know those trips to Spain, China, and Greece that I mentioned? They were all free for me because of teacher travel opportunities. China was free because I was chaperoning a student trip of 42 Boston teens, Greece was a teacher tour that I got funded with a grant, and Spain was a teacher training that came with the China trip. There are more grants out there to help teachers travel free than there are for any other profession.
3. Salary and stability. Even when I don’t use grants or programs for free teacher travel, I still have no problem seeing the world because of my job salary and stability. Obviously, teachers don’t get paid huge heaps of dough, but we do make a relatively solid wage which can be stretched well with a little planning and economizing. I spent five summers in Latin America volunteering and taking Spanish classes using the money I saved simply from not having a car.
4. Happiness and Fulfillment. After five years teaching, I took a one year leave of absence to travel and write full-time. During that year, I pondered whether I might leave teaching for good and dive into another career. I experimented with several different job options, but quickly realized: few careers give such a sense of fulfillment, excitement, and contribution to society as teaching. Sure, the vacations are great and the pay is stable, but what really draws me to teaching is how wonderful it is to be able to help young people learn and grow!
5. Exploration and active, constant learning. If you’re a person who loves to travel and adores life, you probably like things that are fun, creative, and on-your-feet. Teaching gives you all that! I love designing new lessons, engaging students in heated discussions about a text, and spending my days bouncing around instead of sitting in a cubicle.
6. Experiencing the world without leaving home. Even if you don’t decide to travel on teacher vacations, teaching can give you experience with hundreds of different cultures from the comfort of a single classroom. In each of my classes, I have students from at least five different continents and fifteen different countries. The details I’ve learned from them about their cultures and ancestral homes are fascinating. When I finally do get to visit their countries (Vietnam, Ghana, Brazil, and more), students are so excited, and I bring with me the knowledge they’ve imparted.
7. A purpose for your travel. When I go on a trip, I love to share it with people (don’t you?), and as a teacher, I have a built-in audience! Every trip becomes professional development which enhances my curriculum. During our memoir unit last year, I shared with students the true life stories I had created with students during my three months volunteering in Ghana, and my Boston kids were inspired to read experiences of kids their own age, living across the ocean in West Africa.
8. Universal need. Finally, it’s delightful to know that everywhere on Earth needs teachers. You are guaranteed to find a paid or volunteer position someone, eventually. This provides wonderful life flexibility, both in finding summer positions and in moving locations.
So what do you think… Could teaching be a good career for YOU?