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In this blog series we will talk about the ins and outs of an excellent new teacher orientation programme at an international school. A new teacher orientation programme can really play a very important part to the start at your new school, in your new host country. What are all the must-haves then? Check out our blog series here to read about the ones that we have discussed so far.
Must-have #8: A starter supply of groceries for your new home.
There is nothing worse than arriving to your new home with an empty fridge. Even though you will probably be going out to eat a lot for the new few days, it is nice to have at least a few things in your kitchen on which you can eat/snack.
Luckily, many international schools out there are getting this one right. Someone in the “new teacher orientation” committee is going out to a grocery store before you arrive and getting you the basic necessities for you. What are the basic necessities? Typically you get some a carton of milk, a loaf of bread, a box of crackers, a roll of cookies, etc. You will also get a package of toilet paper and some paper towels maybe. In countries where you cannot drink the water, you will most certainly get some fresh water supplies as well. Some international schools even provide you with a couple cans of beer!
It is possible that you will not even end up using some of these items, but it is definitely the thought that counts. You will probably end up using the unused food supplies at your house warming party that you should hopefully be having during the first month of so.
Some might think that the new teacher can just go out and get their own groceries after they arrive, what is the big deal? Well many times new teachers arrive at odd hours (read: your flight might be delayed!) and the nearby grocery store just might not be open. Also, just leaving your new home for the first time in the first few days can be a daunting experience. You might be a bit nervous about where everything is in the neighborhood and not be ready to “explore around” just yet. You also might maybe be preoccupied with not locking yourself out of your new place to even think about getting up and out to the nearest super market!
Many people though who live abroad do though enjoy exploring around foreign grocery stores. And there will for sure be time for you to explore all the grocery stores around the city, especially all the ones with expat products in them! Who knows what they might have that will be your new favorite thing to buy?!
So why wouldn’t an international school provide a new teacher to their school with an emergency bag of groceries/supplies? Are there any out there that don’t do this? It does take some man power and time to get the emergency supplies all prepared and ready. Imagine if you had to get these same supplies for 10 or 20 new teachers; not an easy task (read: many international school teachers, even veteran ones, don’t have a car). But if the international school budgets for this, then they will most likely budget paying for a veteran staff member to find a way to organize getting these groceries and supplies. Kind of fun I bet to be one of the first people that the new teacher sees. After a long journey, it will most definitely put a smile on the new teacher’s face when they realize that his/her new school has thought about them. And that is what new teacher orientation must-haves are all about…making sure the new teachers are happy and comfortable.
So, does your international school supply you with a starter supply of groceries for your new home? Please share your experiences!