May 022012
 
A gorgeous view for an afternoon lunch at Coral Beach, Paget, Bermuda.

A gorgeous view for an afternoon lunch at Coral Beach, Paget, Bermuda.

Teaching Traveling: Welcome, Lindsey Lehman! Tell us what led to your remarkable teaching position in Bermuda. 

Lindsey: I was born and raised in Southern New Jersey and had a very typical upbringing with my two sisters. My parents, who were amateur history buffs, raised me. Every summer we would pile in the car and drive all across the U.S. to visit every battlefield, national monument and famous person from history’s childhood home. There are countless pictures of my sisters and me standing in a field in some state where an important event/battle/signing of a document took place. As much as I’m sure I complained about the heat/bugs/dirt/siblings I was grateful that my parents took me on those trips. I spent important, significant time with my family and saw most of the U.S., which was more than I could say for a lot of my classmates.

I graduated with honors and a double degree from Holy Family University in Philadelphia, PA in 2007, and went straight into teaching. I taught for a year with younger children and then taught special education, which is my passion, for 3 years in a small non-profit school that specialized in educating children with multiple disabilities. I loved my students there; they made me laugh every day… but I knew I needed a change. I felt that I had outgrown that placement so I accepted a position as a Para-educator in Bermuda in the spring of 2011.

Lindsey and her mother at Fort Saint Catherine in St. George, Bermuda.

Lindsey and her mother at Fort Saint Catherine in St. George, Bermuda.

Instead of a classroom full of students as well as a full staff surrounding me, I am a private special education teacher for a family who resides on the island. It was an adjustment for me but one that I am grateful for. It sometimes is challenging to only have one student but I feel that I am making a big difference in her achievements, being able to focus just on her.

TT: How did you find this travel opportunity? 

L: It was the first morning of my Easter break from school and I was on Craigslist. I spent about 2 hours looking through every listing in the Philadelphia area except Education. I was just looking for something different. I knew I needed a change but I honestly didn’t know how to go about finding it. I eventually, I clicked on Education and there was an ad for a “Para-Educator – Bermuda”. Wanting to see if it was a joke I clicked on it and found it to be, surprisingly, not a joke. I contacted the ad and sent a resume. Sure enough, I received an email back from my now employer. I remember running into my sister’s room (we were roommates) and excitedly telling her I applied for a job in Bermuda! The idea still seemed crazy at the time.

The view from where Lindsey lives. She writes: "I never get tired of the colors here!"

The view from where Lindsey lives. She writes: "I never get tired of the colors here!"

TT: How did you find the money to fund this travel?

L: I was very fortunate that my employer covered my moving expenses. They paid for my plane ticket, my luggage, and when I leave the island they will cover those moving expenses as well. This is pretty common practice in Bermuda for companies to pay moving expenses. In terms of moving my apartment and settling loose ends back in the States, that part I paid myself. There was a lot to purchase leading up to moving, including a passport! I had left the country to travel to Canada several times in my childhood and since a government issued I.D. was all you needed, never a passport, I had to purchase that in preparation as well.

TT: Tell us one moment from your travels that was particularly powerful.

L: One Sunday morning, 5 weeks after I moved to Bermuda, I was feeling particularly homesick. With all of the technology we have available today I hadn’t been hit with homesickness at all, practically. I Skyped my parents, friends and my sister Torey who is literally my better half, so I hadn’t felt very far from them. But this one particular day it really hit me that I was living in a foreign place, 800 miles from home with not one single friend. I jokingly refer to this day as “Lindsey’s Dark Day”.

Bermuda is known for it’s beautiful gardens. The structure in picture is called a “moongate” which are all over Bermuda.

View from the top of Gibb's Hill Lighthouse, Southampton, Bermuda.

After video chatting with my sister, Torey, I confessed to this awful feeling and she basically told me to get out. Literally, get out of my apartment. She told me to go to the beach, put on my swimsuit and go. Even if I didn’t know anyone just go! So I did, I got on my scooter and went. And it turns out, that was the day I met my friend Kelsey, at the beach, who was in a very similar situation as myself. Moving away from every single person you know is extremely challenging and there are new challenges you never even think to prepare yourself for. Days like that happen when you move, but luckily for me I had my sister to motivate me.

TT: How have your travels impacted you as a teacher?

L: Traveling has impacted my teaching style in a very strange way. It had made me more resourceful. Living in Bermuda sometimes it is very difficult to obtain common teaching items that we take for granted having at our disposal or they are sold at an extremely high premium. I miss having places like Becker’s, Lakeshore and the dollar store. You could just run in and grab whatever you needed but living here has taught me to forage for items in an unconventional manner.

TT: How have your travels impacted you as a person?

Lindsey at the beach with sun hat on. She writes: "You can get sunburned very easily here so wearing sunscreen and a sunhat is very important here. Learned this the hard way!"

Lindsey at the beach with sun hat on. She writes: "You can get sunburned very easily here so wearing sunscreen and a sunhat is important. Learned this the hard way!"

L: Moving here was such a mental break in a way for me. Before I moved here I was over-scheduled and was overextending myself and it became too much. I also was contending with the fact that I wasn’t 100% content with where I was in my life and needed a change. When I moved here I became aware for the first time how much I needed a break. Because of this newfound feeling I also became more relaxed. It’s very true that Bermuda is another world.

TT: What advice do you have for other teachers who are dreaming of travel?

L: One of my favorite quotes (and favorite women) is Heller Keller who said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” Moving to Bermuda was a huge step for me both personally and professionally. I quit my job, packed my apartment and got on a plane with 3 suitcases. I moved 800 miles from the only life I had ever known to live on a 21 square mile island where I knew not one person outside of my employers. It was the biggest step I have ever taken, but 100% worth it. I was so grateful for the support of my family and friends. My mom likes to say she was “born with a suitcase packed” and raised my sisters and me the same way. So just say yes, pack your suitcase, and go.

TT: Thanks so much, Lindsey! Readers, what questions or comments do you have for this traveling teacher?

  71 Responses to “Lindsey: A Private Special Education Teacher in Beautiful Bermuda”

  1. Hi Lindsey,

    I enjoyed reading your story, and I’m jealous! I’m currently a fourth year teacher at an alternative school in NC working with children with behavioral/emotional/mental health challenges. I have a Special Education degree and licensure in LD and Adapted Curriculum. Can you give me any info on finding similar jobs in Bermuda? My wife and I would love to relocate to a beautiful island after many enjoyable trips to the Caribbean. Teaching/snorkeling are two of our favorite activities. Thanks so much!
    Jason G.

  2. Hello! Lindsey, I really enjoyed your post. I actually have a friend that went to Holy Family until 09 I believe, and she teaches here in Korea at an international school. I teach in an English Nursery school here and have been for 5 years. I’m about to go to school to get my teaching license finally and might go to Australia to study but was worried about making myself an expat twice over! But this motivated me! Also I’m American-Bermudian and grew up there until high school. My mother is still a teacher in the Bermuda school system. Hopefully I can go there and teach at the primary school I went to in Sandys. Anyway, totally random finding this but I enjoyed it! I hope you have many more adventures!

  3. brave and inspiring, should there be possible emails or links to try on finding jobs too in Bermuda..thank you so much

    • Hi Wenna,

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my article. I would love to send you more information! If you would like I can ask Lillie to e-mail introduce us, that way your e-mail address wouldn’t be public. If you don’t mind, just post it on here.

      Cheers,
      Lindsey

  4. Hi Lindsey,

    Today, I came across a job placement ad for teachers in St. George, Bermuda. I instantly fired up Google search and typed Bermuda. Surprisingly, I didn’t know that it is one of the most extravagant places that you can live in. BUT, gorgeous beaches!
    I live in one of the 7,107 tropical island of the Philippines.Currently, I work in the Learning Support department in one of the reputable international schools in Manila as an assistant teacher. I’m trying to look for teaching career outside my comfort zone. Care to shed a light on teaching in beautiful Bermuda?!

    my email is nesselreyes@gmail.com

    Thank you so much! xoxo

    • Hi Ness,

      Thank you for reading and commenting on my article! I just sent an e-mail over with lots of links for you to check out. While I will say there aren’t many assistant teacher jobs here, you never know what will come up. I would encourage you to keep checking back every so often to the websites.

      Cheers,

      Lindsey

  5. Hi Lindsey! Impressed and intrigued with your article…I have taught in NC (public school) Art teacher for 21 years. Have literally fell in LOVE with Bermuda! Teaching a unit on it currently. Most recently there in November 2013 and July 2013….Have already made reservations for November 2014. I know there are huge hurdles to getting a workers permit and or visa. Would love to hear your thoughts on whether or not it sounds like something I could actually do!

    Good for you going after your goals!

    Thanks so much! Angela

    • Hi Angela,

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment so nicely on my article. You really do sound like you love Bermuda, with your frequent trips there and your art units all about it! Yes, getting a work permit can be tricky but I would love to send you more information! If you would like I can ask Lillie to e-mail introduce us, that way your e-mail address wouldn’t be public. If you don’t mind, just post it on here.

      Thanks!
      Lindsey

  6. Hello!

    This article is so inspiring. Would it be possible for you to recommend a school or website that I could look at for future employment oppertunities!?

    Amanda

  7. Hi Lindsey–

    I would love to get more information on being a private special education teacher or how to go about getting a teaching job in Bermuda?:)

    • Hi Gwendy,

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my article. I would love to send you more information! If you would like I can ask Lillie to e-mail introduce us, that way your e-mail address wouldn’t be public. If you don’t mind, just post it on here.

      Thanks!
      Lindsey

  8. Hi
    I have been teaching internationally as well as the UK for several years now.Can someone please inform me on how to apply for a teaching post in Bermuda/
    Thanks.

    • Hi Kieron,

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my article. I would love to send you more information! If you would like I can ask Lillie to e-mail introduce us, that way your e-mail address wouldn’t be public. If you don’t mind, just post it on here.

      Thanks!
      Lindsey

  9. Great story Lindsay. You have motivated me as a teacher with a passion for education. I have always had the view that no nation can move forward without and educated people. I hope that I will get the opportunity to be apart of this change very soon where ever it may be. I have not been able to find a permanent teaching job in Jamaica. I have started looking outside of Jamaica.

    • Hi Cynthia,

      Thank you so much for your lovely comments. Keep trying to find teaching opportunities, I’m sure one will turn up. Sometimes, going outside our comfort zones is exactly what we need to do in order to make real change. If you would like I can send you more information about teaching in Bermuda. I can ask Lillie to e-mail introduce us, that way your e-mail address wouldn’t be public. If you don’t mind, just post it on here.

      Thanks again!
      Lindsey

      • Hi Lindsay!
        Hope that you are doing fine. I am so glad to have a response from you. I don’t mind an introduction. I would love to hear from you.
        Thanks in advance.

        • Hi Cynthia,

          I just sent you an e-mail. After looking through the information, please let me know if you have any questions.

          Cheers!
          Lindsey

  10. Hi Lindsey!

    Your story is so amazing! I have been teaching Special Ed. for a few years now and I would absolutely love an opportunity to teach in Bermuda, that is my favorite place. I’m not quite sure how to make that happen, any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much and take care!

    Sincerely,
    Jackie

    • Hi Jackie,

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my article. I would love to send you more information! If you would like I can ask Lillie to e-mail introduce us, that way your e-mail address wouldn’t be public. If you don’t mind, just post it on here.

      Thanks!
      Lindsey

  11. Wow! I didn’t know that there were teaching opportunities in Bermuda. I have taught overseas mainly in the Gulf and Asia. Is there any particular way to go about obtaining employment for primary level educators in Bermuda? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks and hope to hear from you soon.

    From a fellow globetrotter,

    Karen

    • Hello Karen!

      Thank you for your comment and for reading the article! There are teaching opportunities here and I can e-mail you some information that would help you. If you would like I can ask Lillie to e-mail introduce us, that way your e-mail address wouldn’t be public. If you don’t mind, just post it on here.

      Thanks from your fellow globetrotter :)

      Lindsey

      • Hi again!

        Thanks so much for responding. Yes please send me the information via email. I would love to hear about your experience there. I know it is a small place but who could resist low taxes, beaches and island life. You can email me at ksimon15@yahoo.ca. Hope to hear from you soon!

        Tata for now:)

        Karen

        • Hi Karen,

          I just e-mailed you some information. Let me know if you have any additional questions!

          Cheers!
          Lindsey

          • JUST WONDERING IF THERE IS A NEED FOR A SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS IN BERMUDA?…YOUR JOURNEY SOUNDS SO EXCITING AND I CURRENTLY WORK AS AN INCLUSION MIDDLE SCHOOL Teacher now…..i also have a daughter who is entering high school next year….how does that work?
            Thanks
            kathy.

          • Hi Kathy,

            There is a need for Special Education teachers here and I can e-mail you some information that would help you. If you would like, I can ask Lillie to e-mail introduce us, that way your e-mail address wouldn’t be public. If you don’t mind, just post it on here.

            There are many public and private high schools for your daughter to attend. I’ll send a list over as soon as I get your e-mail address.

            Cheers,
            Lindsey

  12. Hi- I just read your post and would love if you could send me more info. I would love to move to Bermuda and teach. I have a friend who has been living there for a couple years and loves it. My email address is erinqnn13@gmail.com

    Thanks so much!

    • Hi Erin, Just e-mailed you! Please let me know if you have any other questions.

      Thanks!
      Lindsey

  13. Hi Lindsay, I enjoyed reading your comments. I have applied to various teaching jobs in Bermuda but would love to have any information that you can give me. I would love to go to Bermuda to teach. Thanks for your help.

    • Hi Wendy,

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my article. I would love to send you more information! If you would like I can ask Lillie to e-mail introduce us, that way your e-mail address wouldn’t be public. If you don’t mind, just post it on here.

      Thanks!
      Lindsey

  14. Hi! So, I was never a traveler before September. However, I had the opportunity to take a free cruise to Bermuda and I ended up absolutely loving it. I had talked to a few locals about teaching there and he gave me a little information about it. I decided to look into it, but I haven’t done too much research. I just googled it and your website popped up. Ironically, I am too from South Jersey! I wanted to see if you had any information or steps that I could have a similar opportunity. What you have done is absolutely amazing and I hope you are enjoying it!! I anticipate the day that I can do something similar!

    • Hi Brittany,

      I’m glad you enjoyed your visit here. I can’t believe you got a free cruise! That’s amazing!

      If you would like, I can e-mail you some links to informational websites and who knows, maybe one day see you here!

      Thank you for your comments :) It’s seems surreal when I look back at what I did, but I never once regretted it..even years later.

  15. Hi Lindsey,

    I’m not sure if you’re still in Bermuda, some of the posts are from 2013, so I am hoping so!

    What you are doing sounds truly amazing, changing a young child’s life in such a beautiful place.

    I am a teacher in Ontario, Canada…..my husband has been offered a job in Bermuda, and so I would like to find work before I go as well. Could you please email me some details/links that can help me? I am having trouble finding anything online.

    Thanks so much!

    Agnes

    gondeks@hotmail.com

  16. Lindsey, would you send the info to me as well? Teacherstacy@gmail.com

    I had considered looking into international schools, but was told there aren’t many opportunities there in moderate/severe.

    • Hi Stacy,

      Of course I will email you too! The Special Education World outside the US and Canada is very very different but there are opportunities. They might have different titles such as “Learning Support Coordinator” instead of “Special Education Teacher” but it is the same. I’ll try and outline as much as I can in my email to you. Look for it soon!

  17. Lindsey this sounds amazing! Do you just work for the family or is it a company. I want to do this so badly when I graduate. Thats crazy you are from south jersey. Im from Mt Laurel.

    • Also you must know the name Mary Littlewood. My dad has worked with her for years, they are very good friends. She was telling my dad about her daughters friend, which has got to be you, about her job in Bermuda. I thought it sounded awesome so I did some research which led me to this article.

      • Hi Michael – I’m always in amazement at the small world we live in. Yes, I know her. She is the mother of my best friend and a wonderful woman!
        To answer your question I work for a private family, not a school but there are opportunities to work for schools here in Bermuda. If you want I can email you some links about working here just to give you a good sense of what you’re looking at. In addition to that, reading through the articles Lillie has written here about other teachers and their opportunities is also a good idea as well. It may seem daunting at first at the sheer amount of information but it seems as if you have gotten a good head start.
        Where do you go to university?

        • Hey thanks I would appreciate that. My email address is michaelrehn@hotmail.com. I am working as a para-professional in the mt laurel district right now. I have been doing that for two years and I am getting my masters through Grand Canyon University online.

        • Hey Lindsey, I was just wondering if you could email me the information about teaching there whenever you get a chance. I really appreciate your help! Thanks!

  18. So awesome, Lindsey! I have always believed moving abroad changed my life for the better, both professionally and personally. The questions I continue to toy with are “What next?” and “Where next?”

    • Thanks Whitney! I wholeheartedly agree with you. I’m curious to see what comes next. I’m met some pretty interesting people in my travels and you never know what sort of influence those people will have on you later on in life.

  19. Thanks Lillie! Heather, I’ll send those links right on over to you.

  20. Hi,
    What school do you work at? Could you recommend a school or website for me to contact about future employment opportunities? I am a certified elementary and special education teacher. Thanks!

  21. I’m from Burlington County too! Small world, huh? I grew up in Mount Holly. What part of Burlington County did you grow up in?

  22. Lindsey, where in South Jersey are you from? I’m from Burlington Country (Actually, I was profiled on this site a couple of months ago).

  23. Oh my goodness, that sounds like such an awesome job. After teaching special ed for 8 years, I keep thinking how much more I could teach my kids if I could work with them 1:1!

  24. Love this interview – and brava, Lindsey, for picking up and bravely moving to a new place – I KNOW it is rewarding!

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