Returning or Moving On — Your Must-Do List

If you’re returning to your current school after summer break, a score of tasks are on the horizon. As if final exams and report cards were not enough, there’s a zillion things that need to be done prior to departure. Between completing tedious classroom inventories, equipment/materials return and preparing your room for potential maintenance crews, the last days of the school year can be pandemonium, a struggle even for the most organized of us all!

To complicate matters, your school may not offer housing allowances for the summer months, prompting you to give up your home to save money. This, of course, leaves the additional task of securely storing home and personal items until your return. If you have pets who are not joining you on vacation, the task can be even more daunting.

Are you moving on to a new school? Then you have an especially difficult task ahead. In addition to the business of leaving your “old” school, you must arrange for shipping of personal belongings, closeout cell phone/internet/utility accounts, collect deposits, sell the car and furniture, and, perhaps hardest of all, say good-bye to dear friends. The little details of leaving can be overwhelming and extremely time-consuming.

There’s far more involved in leaving a school for the summer break, or forever, than merely locking the door. Join us on the ISR Returning or Moving On Blog to share your Must Do list, compare experiences, ask questions and offer advice. Go to Blog

16 thoughts on “Returning or Moving On — Your Must-Do List

  1. Yes, I found that even ordering the Kindle books from China is not possible, even with the American credit cards. Options are very limited as to what ‘American’ things you can buy here. Even though everything is ‘made is China,’ no one wants the software to get into the wrong hands. The piracy issue is what repels the American companies.


  2. Don’t buy a Nook!! Don’t get me wrong, it is awesome IN THE USA! One of my friends here in Germany has a Nook, and it is not possible to buy books from an IP address not in the States, even while using an american credit card. The Kindle does work worldwide though.


  3. I am in the process of selling all my junk, storing the important things with my parents, and buying a NOOK. I was completely against purchasing the electronic reader until I found out the cost for shipping my books. You can store 1000 different books on very little memory capacity. I think the Kindle and other electronic readers work the same. Although it will never replace the feel and smell of a favorite book, I can take my favorites with me. Just a mention to those concerned with hauling their important tools of teaching!!!


  4. I love, love, love my books and agree with the last few posts that sending books back home may now be the way to go. I’m willing to accept this one-time expense because from now on moving will be so much easier and lighter for my family. Thank goodness for modern technology–aren’t e-Readers the way to go?!

    Pots and pans, clothes and toys for the kids can ALL be easily replaced, but my books — argh! Now, all I ask for from family and friends who want to gift me are certificates for books online. Kindle it is. Read on!


  5. Well this time i am restricting myself to what I can carry on a plane – everything else has to go – a new way of living!


  6. confuseled about shipping – the same clothes and household items from Central Asia cost about $400 and a now company wants 3000EUR to ship the stuff a much shorter distance. It would be hard to just walk away from it all, but that seems to be what might have to be done. Frustrated. Already leaves me thinking “Next time, I will seek a school with good shipping allowances.” and I don’t want to move again or years and years…


    1. We have had a similar problem with shipping to South America – an absolute nightmare – the cost of shipping was reasonable but the customs taxes (more than the cost of shipping) have forced us to have a major downsize. Most of our weight is books and clothes so we have had to take the hard decision of scanning most of our books. The remainder we will ship back to our home country and when we leave 3 weeks later for our next post we are all taking it on the plane (yes it sounds crazy but it is cheaper!).It helps to only fly with an airline which lets you take a lot on the plane!


  7. I have taught at various schools in five different countries. My experience is different from the author’s. Your school comments are my experience in American schools. Schools in the United States have paper work and routines that were written by a two year old. Thus, it is always hectic. However, it was simple in foreign schools where I taught because the administrators were not from the West or they were smart enough not to bring any of the dumb procedures with them. Also, my experience about apartments and storage. If you are returning to the same school, you may be able to store some items at the school. I was fortunate, my schools had a campus the size of a small university. If you are returning to the same apartment complex, you may be able to store items with the complex for the summer. Finally, friends who are staying for the summer or nationals that you taught with at your school could help you.


  8. We are leaving for China come August. Having been back home for 2 years it is like starting all over again. We aren’t sure if we should spend time and money trying to make the house reasonable enough to rent out or leave our house for our return next summer. Does anyone have experience of leaving their house without tenants? we’d love some advice.


    1. We are heading out for our first time from Ontario, Canada and were given tax advice that we could not have our home to come back to for the summer. We are having a couple we know live in our home and pay only the expenses. It is a deal for them and gives us peace of mind and allows us to leave some things stored there. I have heard rental stories though about people renting out that made me want to very sure of who we are having stay in our home. You should also check with your insurance company about leaving your home unoccupied and what they may require of you for security.


    2. Having had 5 summers effectively homeless due to tenants, if you can afford it leave your house empty so it is there when you are bakc home. You do need a family member or friend to look after it though. Alternatively rent it for 6 months through the winter and get tenants to vacate afterwards, this adds to costs but at least you know where you are spending the summer.


    3. We rented our house to different teachers over the years. We lowered the rent from the going rate as the tenant had to move out for the summer. Worked for us…and the other teachers (it was an easier arrangement than you would think). Also, we used a rental agent.


  9. Even when I am not moving on, I use the end of the school year as an opportunity to do some spring cleaning. I bag up old clothes or items I simply don’t use anymore and give them to my housekeeper or someone in need. I also come up with a summer “to do” list for my housekeeper, and give his number to the school so that they can contact him when they need to do the painting and repairs over the summer.


  10. My “old” school really helped out us departing teachers by allowing us to hold a “garage” sale–we made a party out of it and included the incoming staff by sending them photos of the bigger items (transfer of item for cash via the school), and one colleague sold their car to an incoming teacher. The parents also bought an amazing amount of our stuff plus brought music, treats, lunch and drinks galore for the all-day event. We got the word out to the neighborhood and the sale was a huge success!

    Our flight, fortunately, is not until a bit more than a week after school ends and I’m glad we thought of that to give us time to unwind and finish up details of exiting the country and school/jobs. Our girls will have some play dates to fully say goodbye to their friends, too. I’ll be at home packing (while having a beer or two or…).

    Another thing which is really helping is that I’ve hired trusted locals to come and help me clean our apartment, pack, sort, and dispose of unwanted items. This way they get a chance to make some extra money, while taking away some items themselves which can be sold or used in their own homes. They are also helping with languages difficulties when getting our deposits back from landlords, for example. These are people who have worked alongside us at school as aides and maintenance staff, so we’re also able to enjoy some more time with these helpers, our friends.

    And finally, we were able to sell our car to a worker at our school, a good deal for him and an easy transaction for us. And, we get a ride to the airport with hugs and pleasant goodbyes!


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