Most ESL teachers set out as single and with the purpose of seeing the world. Teaching English can and often does turn into a career for those who truly enjoy it, which is great. However, if you found love on the road or have already been doing this journey with a partner, is it wise to start a family as an ESL teacher?
Here are all the concerns many people who consider this option have:
- “I’m too far away from home.”
- “I don’t make enough.”
- “I can’t speak the local language.”
- “No one else teaching I know has kids.”
- “I still want to travel.”
These are very real feelings and worries. But what would happen if you pushed them aside and tried to think of how you can make it happen instead of thinking about all the barriers?
On being away from home: This one may be the hardest to overcome. If flying home to give birth isn’t an option, you’ll have to either come to terms with that or find a place that you feel 100% comfortable in when the time comes.
On not making enough: Ask for a raise! Get a new job! Pick up some private classes! Cut back on spending! There are lots of ways to get around this one and start building a nest egg.
On not speaking the language: Doctor’s visits, baby items, hospitals- you may be worried that you can’t communicate effectively. If you live in a major city, there are places that cater to foreigners and expats. Otherwise, bring a friend or coworker to help you.
On no community: Just because no one else is doing it (that you see) doesn’t mean you can’t. You may be surprised to discover that actually there is an expat community of families- you’ve just never looked before.
On travelling: Starting a family by no means indicates that you need to stop travelling. In fact, it should give you a new purpose to continue. As long as you plan carefully and understand that things will be a lot different, you can still live your dream of travelling the world.
Nothing should hold you back from having a family of your own if that is something you want. Be flexible and think outside the box, just as you always have!
About the Author
Yvette Smith is a dedicated teacher and mother who has worked in China, Mexico, and Vietnam. She enjoys writing about her knowledge and experiences in the ESL field.