Traveling Teacher

5 Ways To Be A Successful Traveling Teacher

Are you going to be a traveling teacher? Here are five ways that you can become a successful traveling teacher. 

traveling teacher

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Almost every student-teacher dreams of the day when they get to have their own classroom.  It’s fun to think about all the different ways one can decorate and organize a classroom to make it their own.

However, not every teacher gets to have their own classroom.  In this situation, teachers may be asked to travel from one classroom to another, making them traveling teachers.

If you’re in this situation don’t worry! Here are five things you need to know to become a successful traveling teacher while waiting for that wonderful day when you get to have a room all to yourself.

This post is all about how to become a successful traveling teacher. 

Successful Traveling Teacher

1. What is a traveling teacher?

First, we need to establish what a traveling teacher actually is.  Basically, a traveling teacher is one who does not have an assigned classroom.  This could be because there are no available classrooms at the school, or the teacher must travel from one school to another.

2. What do I need in order to travel

In order to be a successful traveling teacher, you will need to be organized.

I personally used a cart similar to the one above.  It was provided by my school district and I was able to adjust the height as needed.  I really liked having the three levels to push my stuff around on.

Storex Large File Crate, Classroom Teal, 3-Pack

My school district provides students with Chromebooks so any paperwork that I want to give students is given online.  However, when I was traveling I used filing crates to help keep me organized.  They didn’t have cool colors like this one, but the functionality was more important than style to me.

If your school is also on a one-to-one device set up, these crates can still come in handy.  I would probably use them to organize any write-up slips, hall passes, etc., or keep paper copies of any worksheets just in case students do not have their computers for whatever reason.

There are also half crates that can also be used if the full-sized ones are too big for you.

3. Visiting teacher etiquette

As a traveling teacher, you are a guest in other teachers’ rooms. When I traveled, I was in at least 5 different teachers’ rooms between two days (we have block scheduling). My homeroom and study hall classes were in the theatre, but the other hours were during other teachers’ conference hours.

As hard as it is to type this, this is their space.  However, there are a few things that you can do to make it more hospitable for you:

First, see if you can have a cabinet drawer or a place where you can leave a filing box for your own papers. Having a small space in each room can help you, but I would only suggest this if your different classrooms are close to each other. I had two of my classes in rooms that were quite a ways away from my other classes, so I chose to keep a box with me instead of having different boxes in different rooms.

Second, ask if you can have a space on the whiteboard/chalkboard. It might seem like an obvious courtesy, but not every teacher will think of it. Communication is important!

Third, make sure that you leave everything as you found it.  Again, this may seem obvious, but when you’re rushing to get to your next class, it might slip your mind to do a quick check and make sure your class didn’t leave a mess for the host teacher to clean up.

Finally, be sure to communicate with the different teachers whose rooms you’re going to be in. If you have any questions, requests, or guidance, communicating with the host teacher will make life much easier.

4. Dealing with a non-hospitable teacher

There may be times that you will be asked to teach in a room with a non-hospitable teacher.  A non-hospitable teacher is one who is inconsiderate of you and your needs.  Some examples of a non-hospitable teacher may include:

  • Refusing to leave the classroom when you are in there and is obnoxious about it
  • Makes comments while you are teaching
  • Makes unwelcomed comments about your teaching
  • Does not permit you to have any space in their room
  • Tries to discipline your students without your knowledge

I had the opportunity to share a couple of rooms with teachers who were willing to give up their space for the whole hour while I was in there.  I loved them for their willingness to help me. This allowed me to be the authority in the classroom, which caused less confusion for the students.

I had one teacher who asked my permission to stay in the classroom and I was okay with it because they would put earbuds in and work on their own stuff without interaction or interruption.

Unfortunately, I did have one teacher who would often stay without consideration of my feelings and also committed many of the other behaviors listed.

If you are in this situation, you may have a couple of options.  If you feel comfortable talking with the non-hospitable teacher, then I would start there.  Maybe they just are not aware of how their behaviors make you feel and need to be enlightened.

If you do not feel like talking with them will solve the issues, I would suggest talking to an administrator that you trust. I had an issue with one teacher and I broke down crying to the admin.  I’m not sure if the admin spoke with the teacher, but things did seem to get better for a while after that.

If possible, you might be able to request a new classroom that hour. I did not have to resort to that, but if I would have had to work in that classroom any longer, I probably would’ve sought out this option.

5. Enjoy the challenge

For most traveling teachers, this is a temporary issue.  Usually, when teachers leave the school for whatever reason, you are most likely going to move into that vacated room. I do say “usually” because this was not my personal story.  I accidentally went over my principal’s head to the district superintendent and then the next year I had my own room. And when I say accidentally, I truly mean it.

One of the benefits of being a traveling teacher for me included getting to see all the students.  My classroom now is at the end of the building and I do not get to see my former students after they pass my class.

Another benefit was that I got my steps in. Having three classes, a homeroom, study hall and a conference hour meant that I wasn’t in the same place very often. Being on the move helped me stay in shape!

Use this as an opportunity to save some money! You don’t have to spend a lot of money on decorations right now, so you can use this time to dream of your future classroom, get ideas, and save some moolah for the day you get to decorate your own space!

In conclusion, being a traveling teacher is not difficult, but it can be cumbersome.  Hopefully, knowing these five things will help you to be a successful traveling teacher.

This post was on how to become a successful traveling teacher.


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