By Alyce Collins
THIS WANDERLUST teacher is determined to showcase how much global travelling full-time teachers can achieve as she travels the world on an annual salary of £35K, after the death of her younger brother drove her to see the world on his behalf.
Primary school teacher Fatemh Reslan (25) from Michigan, United States had always dreamed of becoming a teacher, and she is now pairing that with her favourite hobby of travelling the world, as she says that broadening her mind through travel makes her a better mentor for the 22 children she teaches.
Fatemh has loved to travel since she was a young age and she doesn’t let working as a full-time teacher put a stop to that as she jets out on weekends and school holidays to make the most of the outside world.
Fatemh recently lost her younger brother to a cancer battle and seeing him go through that at such a young age made Fatemh more determined to explore as many opportunities possible as life can be so short. Losing her brother so young has encouraged Fatemh to try and see as much of the world as possible in the hopes that her brother can see it through her eyes.
“I have always wanted to be a teacher since I was in primary school because my teachers were so influential to me,” Fatemh said.
“I teach all subjects across years five and six, and I’ve taught some reception classes too.
“I love the connections I make not only with my students but their families too. I feel like I’m not just helping them grow academically, but socially and emotionally as well. To me, that’s the most important job there is.
“With the district I work in, we have the summer off, so I technically have two entire months off school, so I can do my big trips during that time. We also have breaks during the school year where I plan ahead and fly out somewhere I want to go.
“I even plan trips on weekends and manage to make it back in time for work. I love to travel and explore, so I do it at every chance I get.
“I had a younger brother who I lost to cancer, so I try my best to live my life to the fullest and hope that he can experience the world through me since he passed so young and didn’t have a chance to do so.
“I’ve been to so many places, including England, France, Lebanon, Turkey, Greece, Bahamas and Mexico to name a few. They don’t include my domestic travels within America. I’ve been to New York, California, Arizona, Florida, Washington and Ohio.
“I have quite an active life when I travel, and I like to try new activities such as scuba diving, snorkelling, zip lining and horseback riding.
“I also love trying new foods from around the world in the countries that I visit.
“It’s almost impossible to choose a favourite destination because every place has something special to offer and has a great memory tied to it.
“I will say that one of my favourite destinations is Turkey. It’s a country that radiates with so much culture and beauty. You can learn so much history and really connect with the locals when visiting.”
Fatemh explained how her expansive travels have helped with her teaching through the years because of how much she has seen and experienced for herself.
Fatemh does the majority of her travelling during the summer break and she also has time off for Thanksgiving, Christmas and the school half terms when she gets a chance to fly out and visit somewhere new.
As well as travelling, Fatemh is also studying for a doctorate degree, and she volunteers in community groups helping underprivileged families.
“When you travel you are exposed to so many things, including culture and people. Teaching is about making connections and helping students grow,” said Fatemh.
“Ideally, when you’re genuinely able to respect and understand a culture, it is more likely you can do so with your students.
“When I show my school pupils photos of my travels they are so excited to hear my stories and in a way to travel through my pictures and my experiences.
“I am also a full-time doctoral student and studying to attain my administrative certification in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.
“After being so inspired by my teachers at school, when I got to university I was then so inspired by my professors and ultimately my goals went from classroom teacher to a professor very quickly.
“The world is so big and small at the same time. There’s so much to see and explore, but once you do you will learn that people on the other side of the world are not so much different than you.
“You shouldn’t wait for the right moment, you should make the right moment.”
You can follow Fatemh on her journey by visiting her Instagram page @fatemhreslan.