We often talk about the benefits of an expedition, and the ways in which learning through challenge can empower young people to take responsibility for their own adventure, building confidence, developing resilience, and affirming a strong sense of character along the way. While for many teachers we know these benefits are reason enough to launch an expedition at their school, we also know that without consideration, a vital member of the team could easily be overlooked – you. Afterall, it’s a commitment and a responsibility you didn’t sign up for when you set out in your career, so how do you know this opportunity is right for you?
To deliver the best possible experience to students, Leader Teams are an important component of any Outlook Expedition team. They comprise of an experienced, qualified expedition leader, and brilliant teachers/school staff to provide support in the pastoral care of students. Every link teacher we’ve worked with over the last 20 years, has been in your shoes – preparing to take the leap with their first expedition. So, we’re drawing on that experience and conversations we’ve had over the last two decades, to share with you the top reasons for becoming an Outlook Link Teacher.
1. IT’S AN UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCE
Whether you’re trekking in the foothills of the Himalayas, meandering down the Okavango Delta, or diving in the coral reefs of Borneo, there’s no denying an expedition is an experience like no other. While the leader team has an important role to play in the overall safety and care of the students, when overseas, you are all one team – all experiencing the same incredible things your destination has to offer. What’s more, as the link teacher, you’ll decide where the team will travel. Maybe the Taj Mahal has always been on your bucket list? Or you’ve always wanted to visit a Moroccan souk? Whatever your reason, the decision is yours!
2. IT’LL HELP YOU ACHIEVE YOUR CAREER GOALS
Since Ofsted announced its Character Education Framework in 2019, many schools and teachers have been tasked with incorporating opportunities for student growth and development into lessons and activities. Through immersive learning experiences outside the classroom, an Outlook Expedition is the perfect solution to accelerate the development of core skills in young people – thus meeting this increasingly important requirement. What's more, while your Outlook Programme Manager will make sure your expedition-related workload is kept to a minimum, as our direct point of contact it does of course add another layer of responsibility to your role, something which many teachers have felt has helped them to grow and develop within their position, and therefore has had a positive impact on their day-to-day work.
3. YOU’LL DEVELOP KEY SKILLS
The skills gained from an expedition, aren’t exclusive to the students. Over the years, many of our teachers have remarked on the changes they saw in themselves throughout the expedition, and the delight in seeing not only their students develop, but in seeing themselves grow as well.
As part of the Outlook Programme, all travelling teachers are invited to complete the world-renowned leadership programme, Leader in Me. Based on Covey’s ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’. The interactive modules embed the core habits into daily routines to improve effectiveness in both your work and home life, bolstering your own skills development before you even step foot on the plane. What’s more, teachers are also invited to complete a first aid or mental health training programme before departure, again to upskill and ensure benefits are felt not only by students, but the link teachers too.
4. YOU’RE HELPING YOUNG PEOPLE GET READY FOR LIFE
Before the pandemic hit, we were in the midst of a mental health crisis amongst young people. Now, following many months of denied social interactions, physical activity, and access to opportunities to improve wellbeing, personal growth has undoubtedly taken a backseat for many young people. If we’re to avoid sinking deeper into this crisis, the development of ‘life-readiness’ in students must be prioritised and supported by schools. In becoming an expedition link teacher and launching an Outlook Expedition at your school, you’re leading the way in supporting young people to develop the skills needed to tackle life’s future challenges.
5. IT’LL ENRICH YOUR PERSONAL LIFE
We know that many students go on to travel and see the world after their expedition, equipped with the knowledge and experience gained through their time with us. But some of our favourite post-expedition stories come from our teachers; those who hadn’t travelled much before, but following their expedition well and truly caught the adventure-bug! Even inspiring new kinds of family holidays and experiences, by swapping sunbathing and all-inclusive resorts, for horse-back riding and mountain treks - seeking the adventure and opportunities they never knew they needed before their expedition.
If you’re ready for a new challenge and would like to explore launching an Outlook Expedition at your school, we’d love to talk to you!