6 difficulties in adapting to a foreign country as an English teacher

At first, it may seem like a huge adventure. Later on the shock of reality may get to you and you may feel like packing your bags. Adapting to a new country as a teacher is no walk in the park.

Here are six difficulties that you will need to overcome:

1. Language barrier

This is especially applicable to those teachers who are teaching in China, Taiwan, etc.

The public in these countries are not able to speak English.

You have difficulties in explaining yourself and even in buying small things.

Later you will learn how to speak with gestures and maybe a few words in the new language.

2. Food differences

You are not going to find your favourite foods, beverages and snacks in the new country.

This may be very difficult for you.

The new food may not work for you at first! Give yourself time to adjust.

3. Irritation with the habits and ways of the people

People in foreign countries have different ways of behaving and living. This may irritate and frustrate you as you compare them to your home country.

Try to be as tolerant and patient as possible.

4. Homesickness

It is natural that you will miss your country, family and friends. Loneliness is often intense in the first few months.

Keep contact with all of your loved ones and send them interesting information and pictures of the country you now reside.

5. Having your own routines messed up

You may find that your own routines of sleeping and working are not the same as it was previously.

Do your best to get into the new routines and do not resist the unfamiliar too much.

6. Learning the school system

The new system where you need to work may confuse and frustrate you at first.

Give yourself some time to get used to new demands and ways of doing your work.

Most teachers in foreign countries go through a difficult time adapting to their new situation. Knowing that it will be a challenge at first prepare you for it and you will cope better.

7 important tips for preventing burn out and finding your joy in teaching again

The teaching profession is one of the professions that experiences burn out the most. Burn out means that you do not have the physical, emotional and mental resources to cope with your work anymore.

Here are seven tips to keep it from happening to you:

1. Learn to relax


Teaching is a high stress job. You need to know how to relax or you will be in trouble soon.

Learn to switch off and really relax body, mind and soul.

Learn how to meditate.

Other relaxation techniques may be more appealing to you. Do your research and start doing it.

2. Become aware of your emotions


Negative emotions like frustration and irritation may be the first indicators that you are burning out.

Be aware of how you feel may help you to take action.

3. Be aware of your health


Stress is very bad for your health. You may start to experience colds and flu or illnesses that are even more serious.

Go for regular check-ups and give attention to your health by eating good foods and sleeping well.

4. Learn to be self-assertive


It is important to know when and how to set boundaries.

If you just cannot take on more work or activities, you have to be assertive about it.

5. Take short breaks


Frequent and short breaks may feel like a holiday. Even if you have just two minutes between classes, you can breathe deeply.

Do a short meditation or go for a brisk walk.

6. Exercise


This is very important. Exercise is the best way to cope with stress and depression.

It does not need to be in a gym. You can do some yoga or go for a walk.

7. Try something new


We often burn out when we are in a rut. Change the way you are teaching or try to give a different class for a while.

A person with burn out may leave his/her job, failing like a failure. Giving attention to the tips mentioned will help you to regain your passion for your job.