The great part about being an English teacher is that you can do it just about anywhere. When I told people that I was moving to Scotland to teach English, I got confused looks. Didn’t they already speak English?
Well, of course the Scottish people do, but cities like Edinburgh, where I was going to teach, are popular destinations for international students from other parts of the world who want to learn English.
My plan was simple: to be based out of Edinburgh, where the pay was good, and to travel around to neighboring countries. I easily landed a teaching job at an English language school where I taught adult international students from all over the world. In fact, I had several job offers and was able to pick and choose the best one.
The best part of all was that I was a hop, skip, and a jump away from Europe and Northern Africa. If I couldn’t do a trip on a weekend or holiday, I could request time off for as long as I wanted. All I had to do was find my own substitute teacher, which was a breeze.
In less than a year, my time teaching in Edinburgh allowed me to spend St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland…go for a long weekend to Venice…sip mint tea in Marrakesh…stroll through sunflower fields in Spain…swim in Portugal…visit art galleries in London…café hop in Denmark…and celebrate Christmas in Paris.
I worked two-and-a-half teaching hours a day, supervised a study group for an hour, and spent about an hour a day on lesson planning. It was a dream job.
The students came from all walks of life: businessmen from Russia, a pilot from Austria, Mexican university students, and an Arabian prince! Being able to teach and learn from these people every day was fascinating.
Finishing work by 2.30 p.m. gave me plenty of time to explore Edinburgh. I found it to be an exciting city full of culture, history, and celebrations. In fact, with large scale events such as the Fringe Festival, the Beltane Fire Festival, and Hogmanay at New Year’s Eve, it is no wonder that Scotland’s beautiful capital is known as “The Festival City.”
The best perk of this profession for me has been how well I can make it work around my life. Instead of being tied to a job and melding my life around it, teaching has allowed me great flexibility and independence.
Teaching English has its ups and downs like any career, but if you know the best way to approach it and the places to go, then it gives you freedom, variety, and unique experiences, and the benefits always outweigh any inconveniences.
In fact, being an English teacher has been my golden ticket in many ways. It has allowed me to explore Mexico, enjoying shrimp quesadillas and Piña Coladas on the beach at sunset…dance up a storm at Seville’s April Fair in Spain…and experience the awesome celebrations for Buddha’s birthday in South Korea.
It has led to countless wonderful experiences and friendships and has funded my travels for more than a decade.
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