What To Bring From Home

What you may need or want will depend on a lot of factors, including your location, your school, and your own teaching personality. Some of the things I wish I’d brought the first time:

More pictures of my home, town, family, friends, and everyday life things. These can be used to communicate with lower levels or for guessing games with higher levels.

Interesting pictures with people from magazines for different class activities like roleplays and guessing games. If you are in Western Europe you may find these locally, but in less affluent places the quality will vary. Local magazine pictures may have local language words on them. Stock up on calendars for $1 each after January 1 and cut them up for lots of interesting pictures. Travel calendars are nice for this.

Books on tape. Make your own interesting listening exercises. Available on amazon.com? Sure. Affordable at full price plus shipping on your local teacher’s salary? Not so much. The bargain section of many bookstores have these for $5-10 at home.

Real menus, maps and ads. Make sure to choose menus with food items that have English names (i.e. not a menu from a Chinese restaurant)! A few weeks worth of Jewel-Osco ads are good for the lesson on food, numbers and shopping and it’s interesting for students to see what things cost in your country.

Word games that may be hard to find locally. I love Taboo and so do very advanced students.

Again though, much will depend on your specific situation. Take your own stuff, find out what you’d like to have while there, and stock up at home at Christmas. Or, set aside some things you think you might want, and call home and pick and choose and have your family send you what you need.