30-second commutes to teaching in Spain: The most inspiring teacher stories of 2018

Teachers stories

It’s that time of year: curl up, get a steamy mug of hot chocolate (marshmallows optional) and have a little bout of nostalgia. We’re taking a look back at some of the teachers that inspired us in 2018. Teachers are the hearts and minds running our schools and leading the next generation to greater things, so they're a great bunch of people to get nostalgic about.

If you’re curious about teaching abroad or online, we’ve got some stories that will give you plenty to think about as you sip that hot chocolate. Below is a list of our keepers (i.e. teachers we absolutely adore and want to put in our pockets...????) for 2018.

1. Sarah: Teaching English online with Wall Street English

my experience teaching online

First up is a lovely Q&A with Sarah Di Paola, who currently works as an online teacher. She filled us in on the nitty gritty of her everyday life as well as plenty of philosophical asides ????.

If you’re curious about online teaching, this is a must-read. She gives lots of depth in her answers, covering everything from navigating cultural differences teaching Chinese students online to the sort of people best suited to the job.

2. Shannon: Misconceptions people have about teaching English online

what is it like teaching english online

Online English teaching seriously came into its own this year, so it’s no surprise that our next story is from a teacher who works from the comfort of her own bedroom (check out that set-up, we’ve got a crush on her ukelele).

This is a useful blog - covering things like how to make a lesson your own and how to cater to different levels. There’s also full disclosure of all the props she currently uses!

3. Aine: What it’s like living and teaching English in Spain

teaching english abroad experiences

Warning! ⚠️This one is going to make you want to uproot your life and get your sangria on in Spain.

From the cost of living to the extensive holidays, Aine Geoghegan shares her experiences teaching English in Spain. It’s safe to say we’re a little jealous of all that sunshine! Spain is only one of this teacher’s many teach abroad adventures, and we’ve actually included a second blog where she chats about why you should teach abroad in general.

4. Ryne: Our decision to teach abroad

teaching abroad experiences

This one comes in a couple of parts (here and here), but it’s well worth the read. Find out how Ryne and Grace figured out how to relocate abroad while studying, coping with student loans, rearing kids and having a head full of questions like what do we do with our house while we’re gone?

If any of these are concerns you have, this is a pragmatic look at researching teach abroad positions while balancing your responsibilities. Sure, there’s a lot of fun and adventure, but there are often practical considerations and this is a great example of teachers who know how to ask the right questions????️.


Watch this: Ryne's Teach Away story

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5. Anchen: Living and teaching in Abu Dhabi

personal experience teaching abroad

Another teacher who shares lots of practical tips about how to go about getting a job teaching abroad. Everything from teaching portfolios to learning the language is covered.

This is also a blog for anyone who wants to teach overseas but thinks they need to be a peppy 21 year old ????‍♀️, Anchen quickly dispels this myth! And that’s not even to mention the tips offered about relocating with a family. This is a must-read for anyone interested in taking the plunge and teaching in Abu Dhabi.

6. Kathleen: What it’s like to teach online

what is it like teaching english online

Another ukulele player thrown into the mix here (can’t help wondering what percentage of teachers test positive for ukulele skills).

Kathleen is an online teacher with VIPKID and was kind enough to share some of her advice for online teachers worrying about how to get started. From her cute backdrop (you’ll have to read the blog to see) to her ADORABLE props (her finger puppets are next level cute????) to how much lesson prep her job entails, this is an insightful peek into the world of online teaching.


The world is full of inspiring teachers (both online and offline). In 2019, we plan to bring you more real-life stories straight from the classroom and share more teacher stories. If you’re interested in teaching abroad or online, make sure you browse our jobs boards. And if you’re a teacher who wants to share your story…why not get in touch!