It was my first time leaving North America. I was 18 and so excited for the experiences waiting on the other side of that journey. Dallas to Brussels, Brussels to Paris. It all sounded so glamorous! I was a world traveler! As soon as the wheels lifted off the ground on that last flight, I felt my stomach drop (and not from turbulence).
The pictures below are from the home of an overseas-based teacher. Where do you think they live?
Take a guess, give yourself a drumroll, and then scroll down to find the answer.
You walk through the door of your classroom and get everything ready for your lesson. Students begin to come in and find their seats. It’s a familiar routine, but today you notice the differences between each student’s experience of the class. Some are early, neatly arranging notebooks ready to fill with thorough shorthand recording every word you say for the next hour. Others come in right at the last moment and eagerly scribble down the particularly inspiring parts. Still others slip in five minutes late, sit in the back with no notebook at all, and slip out again at the end of the allotted time. You wonder what it is that brings each of them through your classroom door—and that is where you have struck gold as a teacher.
Language is at the center of nearly every part of life. Whether the words roll off the tongue or flow from fingertips tapping at a keyboard, they are essential to the way we express, relate, and collaborate to get things done.
It’s never easy to step into a new opportunity, but as you venture out of your comfort zone, you’ll gain much more than you’d ever imagine. Living and teaching overseas is like a real-life master’s class in personal and professional development. A teacher from Laos shares her top 10 reasons that she’s forever changed by teaching overseas:
April is a special month for Lao people as it holds the biggest holiday of the year. This holiday is called Lao New Year and honestly it’s beyond description. Just imagine what it would be like for every person, both child and adult alike, to be armed to the teeth with anything that could get you wet and you would have a small idea of what it’s like. It doesn’t matter who you are, no one is safe from being drenched. Carrying a wedding cake down the street? Wet. Wearing a 3-piece suit (who does that in Laos anyway)? Wet. Delivering an ancient manuscript holding the secrets of the universe? Wet. You’re also going to be baby soft for a couple of days from all the baby powder being thrown at you.