If you have the temperament for it, teaching can be a very rewarding career. But did you know that one of the rewards can be free travel?
It’s great to be a teacher. What an amazing career, with so many benefits.
I’m not saying it’s for everybody, not that there aren’t challenges. I could never do it.
- I would never have the patience.
- I could never hold the students’ attention.
- I would probably end up tearing both my hairs out.
But being a teacher has its perks. The most obvious one is that you get the summer off. Yeah, now that’s what I call vacation. All summer, two weeks at Christmas. Plus March break. The timing is not flexible, but with that much time off, who’s complaining?
And the pay is good. Teachers don’t usually live on the hill in the mansions, but they don’t live in the ghetto, either. In fact, I can’t recall ever knowing of a teacher who did not own his or her own home.
Best of all, you know that you are making a difference in people’s lives. I still remember many of my teachers and what I learned from them, even as the decades slowly intervene. If you are going to dedicate your life to something, best make sure that it’s something you will enjoy and be proud of.
And then there are the little extra bonuses for the frugal teacher. The vacations. Yes, teachers travel free.
Now, before you get too excited, I don’t mean that you’ll get a free cruise every year just for being a teacher. But there are opportunities to play tourist on the cheap just for being a teacher.
For instance, Kim Young has put together a list of traveling or oversees teaching programs. These include a number of grant programs to teach and volunteer abroad. The programs range from those that seek to help bring education to the poor, to those that seek to better promote a country’s culture in foreign schools. For instance, Kim reports about the Korea Society Fellowships and how it “greatly improved the presence of Korea in my World History curriculum.”
Free admission for teachers
Closer to home, many museums and other attractions let teacher in for free, so that they can scope it out for possible field trips. It’s not that teachers are nice, so let’s give them something for free. This is smart marketing, offering something free in the hope that the teacher will buy a whole class of admission tickets.
It seems to be particularly interesting to be a teacher in Florida, where teachers get free admission to Legoland, Sea Life Aquarium, Sea World, the Kennedy Space Center and the Florida Aquarium. In fact, free admission for teachers is common all over the continent. For example:
- Free admission for teachers to the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto
- Free admission for teachers to the Exploratorium in San Francisco
- Free admission for teachers to Science North in Sudbury
- Free admission for teachers to the Philadelphia zoo
- Free admission for teachers to pretty much all the great museums of Chicago
Free overseas workshops for teachers
Teachers can also get free summer travel through “teacher workshops“. These are not ho-hum vacations like lying around bored to death on sand all day or swatting blackflies at a cottage. Some great examples include:
- two-week study tours in Japan from Keizai Koho
- short term Peace Corps assignments
- National Endowment for the Humanities workshops in the USA and abroad
- the NOAA Teacher at Sea program…yes, out at sea!
There is a catch, of course. Nothing is truly free. Teachers are expected to give something back, perhaps while abroad. With the Peace Corps, for instance, you’ll be teaching in interesting countries. Or you’ll be asked to give back upon your return, such as teaching what you have learned.
Imagine that, getting a free vacation to learn about another place, another culture. If I had the temperament for it, I’d jump in and become a teacher.