Adjusting to life in a remote outback community can be a challenging but also a rewarding experience for new teachers.
Remote outback teachers may experience homesickness, culture shock, isolation, loneliness and other challenges settling into their new home and role.
Here are a few tips for making the transition easier:
- Get to know the community- Make an effort to get to know the people in your new community. Attend local events, volunteer, or join something like the football team. This will help you to feel more connected and make new friends beyond your colleagues.
- Learn about the culture- Take the time to learn about the customs, beliefs, and traditions of the local First Nations people. This will help you to understand and respect the community you’re living in and reduce the feelings of culture shock.
- Be open-minded. Be open-minded and flexible when it comes to adjusting to life in a remote community. Things may be different than what you’re used to, but try to see the positives in the new experience.
- Make the most of your free time- Explore the area (being mindful of out of bounds areas and sacred spaces). Take day trips, go hiking, or try a new outdoor activity. This will help you to appreciate the unique beauty of the remote outback.
- Seek out a support system- Seek out a support system of other teachers, or other professionals in the area. This can be a great way to share ideas, get advice, and make new friends.
- Communicate with your family and friends- Keep in touch with your family and friends back home. This will help you to feel less lonely and isolated and help you keep your sense of self and connection.
- Take care of your physical and mental health- Take care of your physical and mental health by eating well, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly.
- Be prepared- Be prepared for the unique challenges of living in a remote community, such as extreme weather conditions, limited access to resources, and isolation. Having an awareness of what you might* feel and being prepared with what to do when it happens will help you overcome the unique challenges that remote outback teachers face.
- Connect with other remote outback teachers on the Facebook group ‘Teachers in Remote Communities (Past, Present, Future)’.
Loved this post? You might also like to read: Mental Health as Remote Teachers, Building a Support System: How to Connect with other remote teachers and educators, Managing home sickness as a remote teacher
Did you know we cover wellbeing and mental health in our New Remote Teacher course? Check it out.
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