Home / TEFL Q&A / Teaching in Africa & the Middle East
Is there any Middle Eastern country with frequent job postings that should be avoided? Which would you consider best in terms of trustworthy places to teach?
Do you need a FBI criminal background check in each nation? In some?
I have nothing to worry about with that, but I was hoping to get over there sooner than the wait for the check will take.
What about recruiters? Is it easy to run into a shady one or are most professional?
What should a newbie look out for?
I’ve taught in Korea for about 8 years – first in the late 1990s and then again the last 3 years.
The late 1990s was not a place for newbies unfamiliar with the industry. The financial crisis meant too many schools were in trouble and ESLers were frequently cheated. Recruiters were also notorious.
Things got better in the early 2000s and then much better once public school jobs became available.
I don’t wilt easily. I made it through the "IMF period" in Korea, but not without a couple of bumps and bruises.
I am hoping to land better in the MIddle East, but I’m totally unfamiliar with the industry in the different nations.
My background: 41 year old American. MA in teaching English (secondary schools), BA in English with TESOL coursework. 9 years teaching experience.
Certified in my home state in the US to teach ESL (all grades) and English (6-12).
Almost all of my teaching experience is in ESL and most of that in Korea. I have taught ESL in an American high school and taught College Freshman Composition as a grad student.
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