Do you remember the sense of adventure you felt the first time you went on a big trip to somewhere far away?
The excitement of planning and imagining a vacation abroad.
The butterflies in your stomach, counting down the days.
The rush of grabbing your bags and heading toward a brand new experience.
It’s easy to grow up and become a “cynical traveler,” but the truth is, traveling remains one of the most exhilarating things you can experience, and its benefits seem boundless. But before listing a few, let’s first ask: What are the QUALITIES of a great teacher?
- Educated? Surely. You can’t teach something you do not know.
- Kind and congenial? Absolutely. It is very hard to demonstrate kindness to a disruptive student, but it is impossible for an uncaring teacher to make a difference.
- Communicates well? Yes, a teacher with great communication skills will more effectively convey their lessons with greater ease, triggering their student’s curiosity and enthusiasm.
- A good listener? It is what transforms a decent teacher into a great one. As the old proverb says: “If speaking is silver, then listening is GOLD.”
So with these few traits in mind, we return to our theme and ask: How can travel strengthen you as a teacher?
- Improves your communication & creativity
Traveling to countries where you don’t speak the language can help you learn how to communicate creatively. This is a shockingly-powerful skill, especially when trying to explain something to a student struggling to understand.
- Broadens your perspective
Talking to people from different origins has a uniquely beneficial side-effect: It often reveals and expels all our little prejudices and assumptions. It can give you different lenses through which to view and resolve all manner of classroom challenges.
- Increases your sense of well-being
No matter how much you love your life, traveling forces you into a break from routine. This can be refreshing, and inspire new thoughts. At the very least, it’ll help you appreciate what you have back home in a new way! In either case, you return to the job with recharged passion and renewed patience.
- Strengthens your confidence
Beyond books and past academic understanding, traveling requires you to step outside of your world, to engage in a different way with different people, a different culture and geography; This can be a profound catalyst to personal growth, and thus to your confidence and power as an educator.