We all know that students love a school trip, for two main reasons; firstly, it means that they don’t have to go into school, and, secondly, they don’t have to wear school uniform. Teachers often look at trips as a way to support their students’ learning, but what benefits do school expeditions abroad have for a teacher?
An overseas school expedition is a chance to improve and add to your skillset, develop your creative abilities, and step outside your comfort zone, all of which will help to give you that edge in the classroom. An expedition to Africa also links in nicely with the curriculum, providing a range of versatile lesson content suitable for a wealth of different subjects. It will remind you what is great about teaching, through taking your students to a new continent, exploring a new culture alongside them, and interacting with teachers from different walks of life in the process. And finally, it will allow you to have fun!
Here, we give you a rundown of the top five reasons why you should embark on an expedition to Africa…
Evaluate your own pedagogy
Whether you have been teaching for five years or 35 years, a trip to Africa could be just as beneficial to you as to your students. Teaching in an unfamiliar environment, with limited resources, allows you to expand your skillset, develop your creative abilities, and step outside of your comfort zone. It is a unique opportunity to explore a different way of life, understand the motivations of teachers in developing areas, and gain a deeper appreciation for the role of education across the world. What’s more, forming a bond with a school in Africa could lead to a lasting partnership, meaning multiple trips and the chance to hone your teaching skills further by exchanging knowledge and ideas with teachers in Africa. These kinds of connections are hard to break and can give your career a renewed focus year on year.
Supporting your curriculum
Your trip may only last for one or two weeks, but the learning opportunities once you return home are endless. English, Geography, Citizenship, Religious Studies, Music, and Drama are just some of the subjects that a school expedition to Africa can link in with. Whether it is learning about sustainability, using creative writing to reflect on their experiences, or exploring different cultures through music and drama, a school expedition to Africa will enhance your students’ learning in a truly unique way. This can reinvigorate the classroom and inspire your students to explore the world, as well as creating a buzz around your lessons. Possible content for lessons is varied and adaptable, and even students who did not attend the expedition would benefit from the diverse learning opportunities that a school trip overseas brings.
A renewed sense of purpose
It isn’t just the students who will benefit from a school expedition to Africa. A change of scenery could be just what you need to reinvigorate you and remind you why you chose to teach. What’s more, escaping the daily routine of lesson planning, teaching, and marking will go a long way to improving your mental health and wellbeing, as well as increasing job satisfaction. This refreshed approach in the classroom will certainly rub off on your students, adding a renewed focus to their work. We are confident that learning about how teachers in developing countries plan and deliver their lessons will inspire and motivate you, helping you return home with a renewed sense of optimism.
Learning outside of the classroom
There are so many benefits to taking your students’ learning outside of the classroom. An overseas expedition will give them a different perspective on the world, develop their risk management abilities, build independence, and increase confidence; all of which are invaluable skills for life after education. Learning outside of the classroom has also been proven to raise aspirations by providing students with exciting experiences that inspire them to reach their full potential. You are likely to find that those students who don’t typically engage in a traditional classroom environment are motivated and interested to learn once taken outside of the classroom. Finally, there is a wealth of evidence that demonstrates that learning outside of the classroom raises attainment and improves discipline once students are back inside the classroom, leading to improved learning outcomes and behaviour.
Check out more information about learning outside of the classroom here: https://www.lotc.org.uk/
Enjoy the experience!
As a teacher on a school expedition, you are still working, and you are still responsible for your students. However, this shouldn’t take away from your own experience! A school trip overseas is an exciting time for students and teachers alike, and the memories created on this trip will stay with you long after you return home. This is a chance for teachers to see the best in their students, from the hard work they put into their fundraising, to how they represent their school abroad. Often, the most common underestimation by both students and teachers is how much they will take away from their experience, whether it’s something they have learned, the relationships they have forged, or a new outlook on the world.
Start the ball rolling with African Adventures’ award-winning school expeditions to Ghana, Kenya, and Zanzibar. Click here to begin your journey.