Teach English in Morocco – the following comments are from English teachers who have taught, or currently teach English in Morocco.
I’ve read all the comments posted here, and they are quite interesting as they cover most of the aspects you need to know as an English teacher in Morocco. I was born in Morocco and I am a dual citizen now (Moroccan-American). I came back home with a TESOL certificate. Unfortunately, many private schools and institutes have no idea what a CELTA certificate is, and they might dictate their own WAY of teaching on you, especially if the boss himself happened to be an English teacher. Hence, I would suggest the following:
If they don’t know your certificate, they don’t know your worth as a certified teacher. You’d better stay away, because there are many language schools out there that are being created by regular individuals due to the business market demand related to the globalization trend. These small schools are simply aware of the need, but have no curriculum to offer nor do they possess a standard level of professionalism, and therefore their main goal is to make money, throwing thereby all weight on the hired English teacher. They won’t even appreciate the multitude of efforts you’re going to put in the process to make it work for their school. It’s up to you to set your own conditions and speak out assertively about the pay upfront, especially if you are going to be a full-time teacher and they are offering a fixed salary. I would say in this case: you either make money out of it and set your own rules or back up with pride and dignity before you get fired one day for saying ouch!
As it is, my second suggestion is to try to work for foreign entities in Morocco even as a part-time teacher or a contingent and enjoy the rest of the time as a tourist benefiting from the hospitality of the land, culture and people. By the way, Moroccans are generally modest and good at heart and would respect foreigners more than they would do for each other. But they are alert. You only have to approach them with kindness and an open heart. They are not really racist; rather, they would like to crack jokes around those who are different from them.
As for the administration, it is indeed hierarchical and contains an excess of filters. Many government officials and staff hence try to profit from the existing French bureaucratic system, but it doesn’t necessarily apply on foreigners. In worst cases, you can simply contact your consulate and they can make things easier for you. Yes, connections are very important in Morocco (that’s a hidden revenue). Thus, establish as many as you can, and English could be your major tool to it. Actually, the French language is still dominant in Morocco because of what is traditionally perceived as fashionable by the public. However, Morocco is witnessing a shift in culture as well as language. The local people are not yet aware of it, but soon English is going to substitute both French and Spanish in Morocco. I believe there is going to be more opportunities for English teachers in Morocco than ever before. It’s just a matter of time for the locals to adopt the shift too.
Last but not least, an English teacher can be the boss of himself and can also make a good income as a tutor. If you are sociable and outgoing and would love to learn from Moroccans as well, work as a tutor. Meanwhile, if you want both to make money and establish connections with professionals, teach business English. You can make from $200DHs/hour and up… Good Luck!
I have read many of the teachers’ comments and would like to advise anyone who wants to come to Morocco to teach to be sure to work only with a reputable school or language institute. To teach legally in Morocco and to have a bank account that allows you to transfer money out of the country, you must have a BA degree and a TEFL certification. These are government requirements.
If the school you apply to does not insist on these, they will not be able to get you a work/residence permit. You will have to leave the country whenever your tourist visa expires and you will not be able to send money out.
Reputable schools will also pay you on time. I’d suggest any of the ALCs or AMIDEAST as being the best employers for teachers.
Hello everyone. I just want to know how you get teaching jobs in Morocco. I was born there, and I have been teaching in Denver, CO for 8 years now. I would love to go back to Morocco and teach there as an American Teacher.
To avoid falling into any kind of a trap, deal with foreign entities (or the public sector if you can) such as the American Language Centers that dot the country, AMIDEAST, and the British Council. Of course, there is a level of honesty in certain locally-owned language schools, but do not expect a high level of professionalism. People do not open these schools because they really care about education; therefore, do not expect to be treated as a deserving educator. Morocco surely is a great country to visit, but not really a good place to teach in or do business in unlike you have very solid and reliable connections.
Hi all, It’s sad to read that some people are overgeneralizing judgments based on their negative experiences in the country. I have had bad experiences in some countries in Europe, just as a tourist, yet I never think that those incidents are representative for the entire country. I got my TESOL and a couple of Master’s in the US and taught there in a couple of language centers. When I decided to go back home to Morocco it was not possible for me to get a job as a teacher at the public university which requires a Phd. I applied to Al-Akhawayn, a university with an anglophone system of education, but to no avail. I found myself teaching in the private sector in my home city Meknes. I experienced some of what you guys mentioned earlier: lies, deceit, broken promises, etc. It was not until a new English language center opened in Meknes this month that things took another turn in my life. The guy who manages it seems to be very professional. He comes with a great experience of English language teaching and does things in a professional manner. I had the first interview with three people. I was then called to talk about the terms of the contract, which he gave me right away and asked me to take it home, read it, and sign it if I agree with all clauses. I thank God. I have been in this place for only one month now and I am very excited and satisfied. That’s why I felt like it is not fair to put everybody in the same basket. Good luck to you all.
Well, I have read some of the comments posted here and I want to say that teaching in general and teaching English in particular is not a job to earn money but rather a means whereby you can earn money. That is to say, we shouldn’t exaggerate the importance of talking about the financial side of this noble job and put its educational and moral values that we get from this job into oblivion. If you appreciate the flavour of teaching, you will for sure forget about the sour taste of problems in Morocco. For me, everything is conspicuous and the conditions or the salary mentioned in the contract is the first thing you have to sign to get access to this job, which means you agree to it. So you, me and everyone must think of another way to change and not to cry out after having the job. I don’t think we should work or sign a contract if it doesn’t guarantee the continuity of our teaching in the best possible conditions.
If you plan on teaching in Morocco be it English, French or any other subject for that matter. Be sure that you don’t need to send money out of the country to pay your bills. As Western Union will inform you when you arrive with cash in hand “All transactions are inbound only.” By the time you are granted permission to open a highly regulated bank account that permits money transfers out of Morocco you can find yourself very deep in the hole. I did and I’m still trying to dig my way out. It would be wise to ask about the internal currency issue before you embark. Bonne Chance/Good Luck!
I taught English in Morocco for about a year and a half and had a good time doing it. Yes it’s true the culture is different, yes their mentality is different but if you were not expecting that you should stay home. I found my students to be very bright and they learned very fast therefore making it tough for the teacher. Moroccan students for the most part will get bored easily and can cause trouble because they do learn so fast. If you want to teach in Morocco you can not be a lazy teacher, always have many options for your lessons because chances are you will finish activities faster than you may have expected. As for contracts and directors watch yourself, read them very carefully and try to find a reputable school. I had an American director who did not want to help with anything. He said he would get my visa and I had trouble with the authorities because he did not do it in time, it took about 4 and a half months. You never know when teaching abroad what you will get so try to be as savvy as you can when dealing with schools. The Moroccan people are friendly and usually willing to help you with things you are not sure about, even your students can give you advice about life in Morocco. I often tell people Morocco is a good place to go for travel and work but always be prepared because you never know what can happen.
Finding a teaching job in Morocco is not difficult. The difficult part is getting the more lucrative teaching positions. There are schools opening up every day that are in dire need of Native English Speakers. If you have white skin, and can make at least one grammatically correct sentence, you can count on making anywhere from 100 to 200 dh an hour. This is to say nothing of the money you can make teaching private students. Now if you have white skin, are female and somewhat attractive… the numbers just go up… Morocco, to my dismay is a very racist country. White skin color equals money… Very depressing because prior to coming to Morocco to live, I thought that there was no racism in Morocco. Once you live here for a while you come to realize that much of the misery that exists in Morocco is deserved because the people have racism deeply ingrained in their psyche… They mistrust and look down on Africans from their southern neighbors the same way that the Spanish and French look down upon Moroccans and Algerians…
The Ministries are run so inefficiently and so bogged down with bureaucracy that it is a miracle that anyone ever learns anything. The Ministry passes down an inefficient model of corruption and nepotism to the Academies who in turn pass on poor working habits to the Delegations who manage to set policy at the schools which make swarming bee’s look organized.
If a teacher in a public school does not show up to class… which is very often, no substitute is provided… students are not notified and either go back home if they are of decent moral character or end up hanging out and getting introduced to Hash and prostitution.
The same teachers that grade students also provide private tutorials that amount to bribery and sessions. Students who can afford to pay for these extra hours receive inflated grades… those who cannot can count on getting low grades.
Corruption permeates every aspect of society in Morocco, much the way racism does. The police are ineffective and the courts dole out injustice and misery the same way that the Police ignore crime and do whatever they can to steal their share…
Bring us your tired, your hungry and your weak and we shall excessively tax them, rob them and abuse them in any way we can.
I don’t think anyone would (or if they do, they shouldn’t) enter any type of TESOL or TEFL setting in any country for the money. Many people go to and from different countries to learn new languages themselves and teach English in the meantime. It’s true that teaching English will not earn the teacher serious money, but neither would any other form of humanitarian or non-profit work. Morocco is a fantastically amazing country, and it’s changing everyday. Those who visit from afar need to remember that and try to adjust, learn, and reflect on themselves… we all have a lot to learn from each other, right? :) My question to the forum is this: as a prospective teacher in (hopefully) Marrakesh, are there opportunities for an American to legally obtain a second job, if needed, not just through evening teaching (as has been mentioned earlier here) for additional income? If not legally, in all honesty, are the opportunities there? Thank you so much!
I am a teacher of English in Morocco. I find some of the comments here worth mentioning. I can say, on my part, that teaching can’t meet everybody’s economic and social needs. To teach equals to suffer and live, not to search for prosperity in a developing country.
It is obvious that teaching English is not a job that will earn you a lot in Morocco in view of the economic situation. However, this charming country may offer you some other values apart from money. Establishing a balance between your financial expectations and the economical status of Morocco is in your hands. At the end of the day, if you see that you have given the English they need and they have given the amount you need at a reasonable level, there should be a happiness for both parties. Any comments about Morocco are welcome. Good luck to those willing to try and experience Morocco, it should not be missed, at all.
I have been an English teacher in Morocco for 3 years and I am happy with my job. My advice for those coming to Morocco with expectations of a sunny beautiful country is: working here is different and difficult. The first step is to know the culture and to expect the least from students. If you come here, you have to help the development of the society. If you come for money, don’t come at all.
Morocco is an amazing country to visit but working in Morocco is another issue, so if you are willing to work there you need to bear in mind that nothing comes easy. So, plan carefully before leaving home. The opportunity to work as an English teacher is possible as long as you are qualified. If you are an adventurous person, you will find it quite easy to integrate with Moroccan people. Good luck!
I taught English in Morocco for 16 years. It’s true that some language schools are ‘a bit dodgy’, but no more than in the private sector of most countries. Morocco is a country of many contradictions, however for me, that is its charm – the ‘taharamiyat’ – the cunning way things are done – can be difficult at first. But the more you integrate into society, the more you’ll learn to deal with it and turn things to your own advantage. Everything about Moroccan culture is interesting for those with curious and open minds. The people are very flexible and tolerant with the ‘strange ways’ of foreigners. This is one country that will mesmerize you with its abundant natural beauty and mix of the ancient and modern. My advice to anyone involved in travelling anywhere abroad is sharpen your senses, get streetwise and always do research on your proposed destination before leaving home or moving on, then you won’t be so disappointed. Finally, unless you actually have a sure offer of a job, you’ll find it nigh impossible to obtain any kind of employment in Morocco.
I work in Morocco but in the public sector. I’m not shocked to hear about your experience, John, which I am sure concerns the private sector. Anyone who wants to work in this sector should make things clear via a contract.
I’ve been in ESL for 9 years now and have worked on 2 continents and am currently in Indonesia. I spent 2 years working in Morocco and found that travelling there was way different to working there. My first bit of advice would be to travel there first and second to be very careful if you decide to work there. I’d been toying with the idea of working there because of its fantastic reputation for travel and stupidly went with expectations. That was my fault wholly. There were always ‘money problems’ and that usually meant the owner of the school honey coated his voice to ask teachers to go without pay for a few weeks or travel expenses for at least 4 to 5 months.
Get an open ended ticket because you never know how a school’s going to be and especially with payment. Get things in writing and be adamant that you get it. My last year I kept asking for my contract and never received one because I just gave up. When my contract finished, I wasn’t paid fully what I was owed: taxi fares for 2 months, 2 doctor’s visits (specialist for dysentery and ulcer) – teachers were told that we had medical insurance but in all actuality, did not. I had to pay and was told I would be reimbursed. Wasn’t. I was told they were out of money. To travel is great in Morocco as I’ve said. If you’re a traveller, it definitely shouldn’t be missed but to be an employee, be ready to work 6 days a week for pence and work long hours and split shifts for long periods of time. Have no expectations that the school will be good because it’s a well known franchise as such. Just because it’s good in one country doesn’t mean it’s the same quality the world round.