Teaching Traveling: Welcome to world-traveling teacher, Sara Krakauer!
Sara, tell us about your background.
Sara: First and foremost, I’m a teacher. In the United States, that word alone doesn’t sound so glamorous, so I’m tempted to add something to spice it up and call myself a “global teacher.” In Nepal, the word for teacher is “lama” which sounds much more important. In fact, Nepalis have great respect for their teachers, and it’s considered a very prestigious job. Despite the lack of prestige in the States, I am committed to staying in the classroom.
My first job out of college brought me to Nepal, and then to Thailand, South Africa, Pakistan, and India. I was a private teacher for an American family that was traveling around the world. I traveled with them and taught their first and fourth grade students. THIS was a job that sounded very impressive. In fact, when I told people that I was getting paid to travel, they treated me like a celebrity and asked me a million questions. The most common one was how in the world I got this job. Since I just answered an ad in the Boston Globe, it seemed somewhat equivalent to winning the lottery.
In fact, the job was extremely challenging. I was a first year teacher isolated from all resources and mentors. Eventually, I left the job in India when my boss kept changing our itinerary, hours before flights, and expecting me to do anything on his whim.
I stayed a few months and created my own version of the study abroad program that I never did in college. I studied Buddhism by attending the Dalai Lama’s public teachings and then volunteered at a Buddhist School in the lower Himalayas.
I went from staying in fancy hotels to cramped rooms with no running water. I didn’t mind the difficult conditions because I was surrounded by warmth and caring. This experience really made me the teacher I am today.
TT: So, what do you do now?