Teaching and traveling are not usually two words that you think would go together or even in the same sentence. Yet being a VIPKID teacher offers just that and below we’ll be giving you advice on how you can help balance the two.
City: some of our teachers opt to stay in cities and places for up to 6 months as that gives them ample time to set everything in motion. They can settle in, make friends and allow a routine to naturally take its course (hehe).
Spending extra time in a location can also help further your knowledge of not just the culture but of yourself. For example, we have had teachers take up Yoga in India which has helped to relax them and give them more energy through the day. This has translated into more patient teachers with bounds of energy that make learning, even more, fun (and noisier!)
Wi-fi: we’re not sure exactly when this became third on the list after food and water but the internet has become a staple in our social diet. There are few things more infuriating than bad signal and this is no different when it comes to teaching online. Imagine being in the middle of a lesson and POOF! The internet cuts out! Yikes! Teacher IT is a serious issue to consider before it becomes a problem.
When you move to a new place, be sure to test out the internet to make sure the above scenario never happens. Give yourself a few days after moving to a new location to ensure internet stability and find the best location for your classes. Test logging into the teacher portal at the time you will normally be teaching and especially peak times so that you can see beforehand if the Wi-Fi will be your friend for the remainder of the trip.
Wi-Fi isn’t just important for the classroom but also for keeping you safe. You’ll be traveling from city to city, country to country and most likely the common language will not be English. You will never know how handy Google Maps will be when you find yourself in the middle of nowhere with nothing but a crow in a tree and a grazing goat to ask for directions. (Editor’s note: please do not approach foreign, unattended goats for the owner will think you’re trying to steal it and will not be pleased. I mean, I’m just saying, not as if this has happened. Spoiler alert – it did!)
Passport: it’s brightly colored and the same size as your hand but these elusive things have a way of losing themselves or getting damaged. It’s heart palpitating stuff to turn up to the airport, ready for your flight, only to find that your passport is nowhere to be seen. VIPKID suggests keeping it in a small waterproof sleeve and to keep on your persons at all time.
I know some of you are already rolling your eyes because we most likely sound like your parents, but this tiny tip could make all the difference. Having your passport on you at all times means that you always know where it is and just in case there is ever a burglary where you’re staying. You know that at least you can travel out of the country because take it from us, not every country has an embassy of your home country.
Also, certain international police love to do spot checks of foreigners. So you walking in Mexico with your tourist sombrero, reeking of sun cream and taking a picture every 5 minutes makes you stand out like a (sunburnt) sore thumb. You don’t want to find yourself sitting next to Juan in a local jail while he recounts some horror story in Spanish that you’re not entirely sure what he’s saying. Yet your high school Spanish tells you it’s something about 4 people dying, ice cream and a spaceship.
Money: dinero. Geld. Novac. Raha. Whatever you may call it, it’s a good idea to have some of it in your bank account back home. That way you know that even if the worst may happen, you still have a life line left somewhere. Also, make sure you research paying taxes while working overseas. It’s also a great way to ensure you have savings left after your travels as it can become so easy to just spend, spend, spend as you learn, love and laugh through the new experiences. Memories are a beautiful thing to come away with but it’s also nice to go back home and not have to live on the street.