Your first TEFL job – a how to guide
Looking for your first TEFL Job overseas can be a daunting task. The most important step to take is to ask yourself a lot of questions before you take the gigantic leap in to this extremely gratifying world of not only teaching but learning as well.
You really must ask yourself – Why do I want to teach TEFL? Do I want a TEFL job at home/overseas? Can I handle the cultural differences and language barriers? Am I ready to face the challenges that lie ahead and around every corner? Am I qualified enough for a TEFL job? Am I ready to commit to a school or company that will expect the most from me? Can I work independently or in a team? Can I solve my own problems and show accountability?
If you can do these things then you’re well on your way to finding your first TEFL job. The most important thing that you should do next is research the country in which you want to teach. It is extremely important that you be happy and comfortable with your choice – look at what your life would be like outside of your TEFL job. Research the possibilities of what you might learn or want to do in that country outside of teaching TEFL and make sure there is enough to keep you interested and excited for the length of your contract. Many people go to other countries expecting it to be the same as their own but this may not be the case – a person must be able to work through difficulties and try at most times to be positive. You don’t want to have second thoughts and later leave your TEFL job half way through a term or contract – this can be expensive for both parties involved.
After you have chosen which country you would like to find your first TEFL job in, the next most important thing to do is apply for jobs! Your first TEFL job can be found in different ways. Many people successfully find jobs through TEFL recruitment pages and this is the easiest way to find a large volume of opportunities. Word of mouth is also an important tool when you are finding a TEFL job. The centre where you train for your TEFL certification and the people you meet on your course will likely have many contacts all across the world and may be able to help you find your first TEFL job.
The next important thing you will want to do is research schools that send you offers. You should make sure you ask a range of questions to see if you are the right fit. It is very important you find a school that has a professional attitude and agenda for teaching EFL – ask what course books they use and find out which examinations they have students working towards. Research the school itself and check that the facilities they mention actually exist – check their address and make sure they are where they say they are. There are plenty of blogs and EFL websites to look over and make sure schools are not misrepresenting themselves.
When looking for your first TEFL job it is essential to find an environment you can thrive in – ask what support they provide for their teachers and find out how many other ex-pat teachers are already working there. Finally, it is important that you never send money to a prospective employer. No professional or legit school would ask you to send money and will almost certainly pay any visa costs for you. There should be no reason for you to send payment prior to entering the country or beginning work.
Finding your first TEFL job is one of the most exciting periods in your TEFL career, so most importantly you should enjoy the adventure!