What practical actions can you take to improve your teaching career, direct your future and travel the world?
In the last year, I’ve been looking at the impact leading a school trip abroad can have on teachers careers. By talking to teachers in and outside of Travelbound, I’ve learned a few things that I believe it would be helpful to share outside of the four walls of our Brighton-based office!
If you’re an ambitious teacher or starting to think about entering the world of teaching, here are 4 pieces of advice for you that should help you focus your efforts and professional development on what will help you grow as a trusted, reliable and authoritative educational leader.
1. Demonstrate leadership qualities
Taking the initial steps into leading your first school trip is a fantastic way to demonstrate you have the dedication and ability to take on responsibility. By taking a student group outside the four walls of the school, you are placed in an environment where you can show strong leadership qualities.
This is not only something your SLT will recognise but peers, parents and future school employers will acknowledge and respect. Plus, practice makes perfect and the experience will set you apart.
2. Commit to your own professional development
Leading an educational trip in Europe or further afield is certainly a step-up from heading to the local museum!
You will widen your experience and improve your organisational skills. You’ll also need to consider how your students’ learning will be placed in context of your itinerary and destination. A great way to demonstrate to potential school employers how you apply curriculum learning outside of the classroom, identify opportunities for student development in new cultures and practical, yet necessary, skills like completing mandatory health and safety protocols.
Through this, you as a teacher are doing the same as your students – demonstrating an effort to better yourself through an activity that doesn’t reflect on development until the task is done.
3. Value your impact on students
Taking on this task immediately demonstrates a commitment to enhancing your students’ learning and life experience.
You’re not going through the motions of carrying themes over into schemes of work. Instead, you’re thinking about how you can fine-tune your medium term planning to incorporate an impactful and measurable ‘wow factor’ that not only presents a new way of learning to your students, but can provide the spark of inspiration to connect students with the subject.
You as a teacher have an overriding impact on your student. Make it count! Soon enough explaining your teaching philosophy will develop to the point that the value you contribute to your students and school is obvious for all to see when seeking new teaching career opportunities.
4. Teaching and fun can go hand in hand
Lead the school trip that reminds students that education needn’t be a chore. Cultures, languages, science, history and more can jump off a page or out of an iPad screen and into their own lives as an experience that affects them.
Walking in Las Ramblas, Times Square or The Great Wall of China, eating something new, witnessing the graves of fallen WWI soldiers – these are all experiences you can share with your students and explain how it affected you and other students on past trips.
A huge amount of respect and admiration comes from students when they recognise their teacher is dedicated to providing tangible and exciting learning experiences. Be known as the ‘teacher that travels’ in your school.
Education doesn’t have to be a tick box
When you reflect on your teaching career thus far, what are your notable achievements and what has been the impact of these? It is likely to revolve around students breaking ground and demonstrating a skill or ability that ticks your monitoring and assessment box.
However, take a moment and reflect, not only on the inherent positives a school trip can have on your students, but on you and your career development and the knock-on effect that has on enjoying your teaching job.
How has leading a school trip impacted your teaching career? Get in touch and share your story with us!