You might have noticed that I didn’t post yesterday. I have a really neat tax post lined up but I’m just not feeling it enough to hit publish. Maybe it’ll get out by April.
Anyways. While sitting there, reading and re-reading the post, listening to my 45 newest iPod songs, I got a message from a friend about teaching abroad. My mind, as it is prone to do, began to wonder. While teaching abroad is something that was always a dream of mine when I was younger, I don’t feel that I would like teaching English. Math and social science are more my thing — two areas which are incompatible and almost impossible to join together.
However. There is one place where teachers of all disciplines are in demand: Africa.
Feeling as clever as can be, I started researching how to become a teacher in Africa. Well. Aside from “Volunteer Teacher” positions, there isn’t much out there. And here’s why “Volunteer Teaching” is never, ever, going to be my thing:
1. It’s expensive! We’re talking thousands of dollars to volunteer your time, plus airfare. A week-long Volunteer Tourism trip would likely cost double what I spent on my trip to Europe for half as long. Plus I’d have to work. Not, exactly what I’d like to do on my vacation. Even if it is to “help” the locals.
2. I’m generally against the whole “volunteer tourism” thing. Maybe it’s because I went to a school full of people who “want to help the Africans” but visiting for a week and taking a job from someone who’s there is not my idea of helping. This logic applies to the “building a house” area of Volunteer Tourism more so than the teaching area because there are actual handymen looking for work and some 20 year old who weighs 80lbs and spray-tans gets the “job” because she’s paying the house-building company!? *mind explosion*
3. If I’m going to go all the way to Africa to try and teach these kids who desperately want to learn, I will never want to come back to Canada. Have you been to a high school recently? Those kids don’t want to learn math or English or French. How can I be with people who respect and listen and then go to a Canadian school? Even if I decide that I don’t want to be a Canadian teacher, how can I leave those kids after a week? What can I possibly teach in a week? I doubt that I would even learn everyone’s name in that time.
So. Here’s a fun idea that I want to run by everyone: Once I have a large cushion to fall back on (which would make this a long-term goal/dream), can I just go to Africa and volunteer for free without an agency? Can I get a work visa and become a real teacher?
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