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What is life like as a TEFL teacher?

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  • WannabeGulliver
    Participant
    18 October, 2017 at 11:03
    • Total posts: 2

    I recently graduated with a 1st in English Studies and Creative Writing and I’m now working in a warehouse in the north of England.

    Suffice to say, things could be going better for me.

    Since there are virtually no opportunities for me to utilize the three years of scholarship and training I undertook at university, I thought I’d look to Google to answer my problems, and so began falling down the rabbit hole of mashing existential questions into my search engine, with the hopes that an unfeeling, emotionless algorithm might proffer some answers… and maybe a quantum of comfort.

    Enter this ‘TEFL’ thing and you lovely people. Now I’m considering teaching English abroad (ideally Japan) and I’d love to canvas any tips, suggestions or pearls of wisdom that might help me get a better understanding of what life is like as an educator in a new country.

    As my screen name implies, I’m rather nomadic and don’t mind moving, but with limited funds, no experience of living abroad and no idea what life is life as a TEFL teacher, I’d love to know the depth of the pool before I dive in with concrete armbands!

    Learning Education Shanghai
    Participant
    6 December, 2017 at 1:42
    • Total posts: 3

    First, do you like teaching?

    The first thing to do is determine, do you like teaching? What do you like teaching (English language isn’t the only option)? Who do you like teaching (age)?

    Have you been a football coach? Tutored classmates? Summer camp consular? Did you feel good afterwards or vowed to never do it again? If you haven’t, look for volunteering opportunities.

    Then look at positions, see which ones you like and then look at what they require, teaching experience, which teaching requirements the need.

    Then look at the teaching certification, cost, location, which fulfil the jobs you want. Do you get some version of TEFL (teaching English language), PGCE or English/Writing teaching certification (I am not sure of all the options in the UK, in the USA they can get teaching licenses).

    Then think about long term, is it better to get the better certificate now or save the money and see if you want teaching to be your career.

    dan
    Moderator
    3 January, 2018 at 13:30
    • Total posts: 762

    TEFL is a good option if you're nomadic

    If you’re nomadic, then TEFL is probably a good option for you. Liking teaching helps, of course, but most people who get into TEFL don’t know if they like teaching or not when they start out! You won’t make a huge amount of money in TEFL, so don’t go into it for that. Go for a country that you like the sound/look of (you mentioned Japan – if that appeals, then go for it) at first. Then, if you find that teaching is for you, try somewhere that you may not have thought about before. That’s the appeal and attraction – there are so many opportunities in TEFL, and you never know where it may lead you.

    AaronNelson
    Participant
    17 April, 2018 at 6:33
    • Total posts: 8

    Get some teaching experience before you go, and learn the language

    Hi there,
    I’d strongly echo Learning Education Shanghi:

    The first thing to do is determine, do you like teaching? What do you like teaching (English language isn’t the only option)? Who do you like teaching (age)?

    Have you taught before? It’s totally ok if you haven’t, but if you want to be an English teacher, you should get some practice under your belt at home before you buy a plane ticket and jet away into the wild blue yonder.

    I suggest you grab your local paper, or Craig’s list, or university newspaper etc, and see if you can find places where folks are looking for English lessons. Or…where you can offer yours in an advert. (You can post for that for free in many publications if you ask.) You could also offer your services at schools/universities. Maybe consider offering a few free of charge classes so you get a feel for it, and then….if you like what you’re doing…start charging once you’ve gotten a few classes under your belt.

    In short…you can likely start now..where you are. Then you’ll know if you like helping folks learn English. THEN you’ll know if flying to another land is something you’ll be happy to do!

    Also…and this is the last thing, promise – wherever you intend to go – please do start working on learning the language! It’s a horrible – HORRIBLE thing to arrive in a place and be totally unable to communicate. Happened to me. Sucked. Took me a good 6 months of feeling like a loner most of the time before was able to start connecting with people as my Spanish skills grew.

    Hope that helps!


    Starting out as a freelance ESL teacher? How to build income you can count on – free e-book for you! https://app.convertkit.com/landing_pages/373936?ref=eslbase

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