What are creative ways teachers can travel the world while still working? Teaching exchanges!
Listen and learn as Canadian teacher Sarah Boggett explains how teaching exchanges can expand your horizons.
Teaching Traveling: Tell us about your background, Sarah.
Sarah: I am a 34 year old travelling teacher. I grew up in a travelling family in Ontario, Canada. Every couple of years we would head back to England and Scotland to visit all of our relatives. When I was nine, my parents decided to take leaves from their jobs.
The family (my parents, sister, and I) lived on a boat for a year, sailing from Thunder Bay, Ontario to the Bahamas and back. We were home schooled and it was one of the best learning experiences of my life.
TT: Wow! Tell us how teaching exchanges enabled you to travel as an adult.
S: When I became a teacher I was lucky to find a way to combine my love of teaching with my love of travelling: I signed up for a teaching exchange.
My placement in South Hampton, England was a challenging but rewarding one. I met a tonne of dedicated teachers who helped me grow as an educator.
I was also able to use my holidays and weekends to travel to amazing places. I went to most of Western Europe and Scandinavia, and even got to spend Christmas in Egypt. It made me love travel even more. I was well and truly bitten by the travel bug!
TT: Awesome! What are other ways you have found to travel economically as a teacher?
S: After returning back to my job in Canada (where I am lucky to work with an amazing staff and even greater students) I was introduced to a wonderful company called Global Journeys.
Based out of Toronto, this company takes students to different places in the world while they earn a high school credit. Their dedication to education while helping instil a love of travel into the students was right up my alley.
I have travelled with different groups of students and teachers to Peru, Ecuador, Australia, New Zealand, England, Paris, Malta, and Italy.
For some of the students this is their first trip away from home. It is great to share in their excitement while they experienced a new place and culture. I mean how many kids get to say they took biology while travelling in the Galapagos or studied between snorkelling trips on the Great Barrier Reef?
TT: What a great way to see the world and help students, too! I also had a great time leading student groups abroad, specifically to China!
What are your current travel plans?
S: My latest adventure has taken me on another exchange. I am currently living and teaching in Sydney, Australia in another teacher exchange. It is awesome Skyping into meetings back home in Canada to share new practices and experiences.
I have been lucky to be placed at another school with teachers who are willing to share their expertise and have welcomed me with open arms. Coming from a co-ed public school back home into an all boys Catholic school has been quite the experience! My exchange partner, her family, and her friends have all made sure I’ve had a true Aussie experience while here.
I am sad to be leaving Australia in 5 weeks but it will be to start the biggest adventure of my life. I will be on leave and travelling the world for 7 months before returning to my school back in Canada.
My journey will take me through South East Asia, Eastern Europe, and Southern Africa. I can’t wait to experience all of the new cultures, friends, and experiences. My students in Canada will be following along with my pictures and blog.
TT: What an adventure you have ahead of you! So what advice would you have for teachers who dream of travel or travelers who want to teach?
S: I have been extremely fortunate to be able to combine my love of teaching with my love of travel. My advice to people out there thinking about it is to just do it. The perfect time is right now! I hope to continue teaching and travelling for many, many more years to come!
TT: Thanks so much, Sarah! Readers, what questions or comments do you have?
The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English from Boston who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched TeachingTraveling.com in 2010 to share expert global education resources, and over 1.6 million readers have visited over the past decade. Lillie also runs AroundTheWorld L.com Travel and Life Blog, and DrawingsOf.com for educational cartoons. Do stay in touch via subscribing to her monthly newsletter, and following @WorldLillie on social media!