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.
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.
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.