There are four pre-packing considerations and four packing logistics to consider when getting ready for your move to your rural or remote teaching placement.
After you are granted a contract in a remote community school you should do the following things to help you decide what to pack to take with you:
- Ask the Administration team what the classroom and resources are like
- Ask what the accommodation is like and what comes provided
- Confirm what moving support you are entitled to- this might include pets, cars, household items, ‘damage’ allowance for items, accommodation when you arrive until you get to community… or it might not.
- If there is very little classroom resources and a limited budget you may consider buying them at your local Op Shop or range of city stores- or seeking donations from family and friends that you can pack in your ‘uplift’ to ensure that you have the resources you need. This might include requesting donations of old craft materials, old stickers, old cameras, old ipads, stationary, dice, magazines, board games etc. Unwanted (but sealed) sanitary items such as shampoo, make ups, deodorant etc are often big wins for ‘prizes’ or ‘birthday gifts’ for students as well. Your old school/prac schools may also be willing to donate old resources- ideal resources would include old phonics readers/hi-lo books/student magazines, MAB blocks, old robots like Sphero if they have upgraded, card sets etc.
You will need to sort your belongings into four groups:
- Uplift- this is the removal of your household items on a truck that may take a while to arrive by road. You would also pack the majority of your clothes and personal items that won’t fit in your 2 suitcase flight allowance (if you are really remote and travelling on a mail plane or a barge you may be further restricted to just one suitcase so very worth asking your Administration team or fellow teachers what luggage to take). This is where you would also pack things that you might like to buy in bulk (dried specialist foods, extras of your favourite sunscreen/hand sanitiser etc. You could also pack additional long term teaching supplies in here after speaking with your administration about what resources are available in your class/school/community. Sometimes other community teachers from ‘nearby’ your hometown may ask to have a new something put on your uplift to take remote as well.
- Luggage- these are the items that you need daily and should cover you for a possible delay in ‘uplift’ arrival. This could include a sheet set, some dried foods if they would be unavailable in the community (like TPV for vegans or gluten free flour etc). This might also include extra scripts for medicine that might be harder to source remote. It should be several changes of clothes including at least two professional sets for when you start school (shirt that covers to neck and has sleeves, skirt or shorts down to knees but not denim, enclosed shoes), culturally appropriate swimwear, a couple of casual outfits that you could wear comfortably around community with different cultural expectations- think something you would wear to your grandmother’s house, thongs, slipons and runners. You will likely also pack your personal items in your luggage such as toiletries (in a plastic bag as well in case they get bumped and burst in your bag), hair care etc.
- Hand luggage- these are the comforts that will help you on the long flight/s and drives to your remote community probably including a neck pillow, earphones, wallet, chargers, light blanket etc. This could also include your very precious items that you do not want to lose if there was an issue with your luggage including passport, ID, precious jewellery etc.
- Storage- these are the items that you will need when you move back to your hometown but will not need in your remote community such as your grandmother’s China, the antique dresser, your white expensive linen, and possibly things like fridge/washer/dining table/lounge/outdoor setting that may be provided for you in a ‘partially furnished’ teacher house. Some Departments of Education may* cover this expense if you have a good reason why the items can not be transported in your uplift- others will not and it will be a personal expense if you choose professional storage rather than a friend/family member garage.
We hope this has helped you feel more prepared for your remote teaching placement! For more support you might consider:
- Signing up for The Remote Teacher Membership (which includes monthly live chats, access to our exclusive Learning Hub with a wealth of resources and ideas and discounts on our courses and resources)
- Following us on Facebook at The Remote Teacher Australia or Instagram @the.remoteteacher
- Joining the free Teachers in Remote Communities (past, present, future) Facebook group
- Checking out our resource section or our TPT store
- Doing one of our courses to support you in further developing as a remote teacher
Have we missed anything? Leave your packing tip for future remote teachers below!