Teaching and Living Remote
4 May 2020 - 5 min Read

This blog has been been written for us by the amazing Lauren from @laurens_lil_learners and is all about her experience teaching and living remote. We absolutely love her Instagram page and the wonderful learning experiences she creates for her students. She also doesn't let living remote stop her from wearing the most gorgeous colourful dresses! If you have ever thought about taking the plunge to teach remote - this is the blog for you!

 

 

How I ended up remote?

I was fresh out of Uni and eager to start my first teaching job. The word on the street was that there were hardly any jobs in the city and to have a better chance at getting a job you needed to go country. ('Back in my day' you were placed into a job by central office and only had a say in where you were going by listing preferences by area) I remember filling out the preference list and listing 100 schools all regional, in the hope of having more chance of being placed. The last school I listed was in Broome, WA. And I remember thinking, oh is that too far!? It was quite a daunting thought at 21 leaving all your friends and family and living 2500kms away! 

 

Anyway, 3 days before school was due to start , I received the call. The lady said to me, now I see that you had Broome on your list, well, we have a job 200kms South of there and she said "Do you like fishing?" My first thoughts were - its too far, I have never been fishing and I have never heard of this place! I had never even heard about teaching remote at Uni, country - yes, not remote! So after lots of thinking and talking to my loved ones, I thought why not! And I packed up my things in the next couple of days and flew into Broome. 

 

Was it worth the move?

I can honestly say now, that it has been the best thing that I ever did! I have had the most wonderful and rewarding experiences whilst teaching remote. Exploring this amazing country, the vast coastline and rugged landscapes, learning about Aboriginal culture and language, networking with other remote teachers, meeting my now husband and many amazing life long friends along the way.

 

My favourite thing about teaching in a remote Aboriginal community is the kids! They have a certain 'spunk' about them and I can't get enough. They have the best sense of humour , there is never a dull day! A lot of our students face many challenges that make it hard to access school on a regular basis or at all and yet they come along with these great big smiles and are just so happy to see you ,well most of the time! 

I also love working with an Aboriginal educator. I have learnt so much about Aboriginal culture and it would not be possible to teach in a community with out them. They bring so much knowledge about the community and kids. I love teaching two-way together. We both sit/ stand at the front of the class as equals and read stories and deliver lessons together. I read and talk in English and they read in Kriol and local Aboriginal languages.   

 

The WA Department of Education offers teachers great incentives to teach remote , some packages include housing, flights back home, air-conditioning subsidies and a generous remote living allowance. Many teachers are employed from all around Australia too! 

 

But is it challenging?

It too, like so many things comes with its challenges; isolation - from friends, family, fresh food, shops and other amenities, harsh weather conditions (flooding, cyclones, extreme heat and humidity), language barriers,  and it is much harder to access professional learning and development.

 

There can be different challenges at a school level like low attendance, transiency, health issues - otitis media/ hearing and head lice. Just like any school they come with their challenges.

 

What are you waiting for?

Fast forward 13 years and I am still teaching and living in the Kimberley and I love fishing! As so many say, the red dirt gets under your skin and it is hard to leave. I would highly recommend teaching remote! Why not give it a go!?

 

I am always happy to answer any questions about teaching remote so reach out on Instagram and I will answer any questions you have!

 

Find Lauren on Instagram @laurens_lil_learners

 

More of [ Classroom Chat, ]

Kindness in the Classroom
17 May 2020 - 5 min Read
This blog has be written by one of the most kindhearted people we have connected with over on Instagram, Cath from.....
Classroom Chat with Jane @environmentasthe3rdteacher
19 April 2020 - 5 min Read
As her Instagram name suggests, Jane really does believe that the classroom environment is the third teacher. Scroll.....