Six Steps Guide to Find First TEFL Job
Information are from i-to-i and onlinetefl.com
Getting started with TEFL has never been any easier… especially with this free six step guide to finding work!From choosing the right course to perfecting your TEFL CV, this is your go-to guide to starting your own TEFL adventure… (and making everyone at home green with envy!). So you’ve heard all the great things about teaching English overseas – the incredible new experiences, challenges and friends that are out there waiting for you. But how do you go from reading this to stepping into your first classroom?
Step 1: Make the Decision
- Be sure that this is the right thing for you. Teaching isamazingly rewarding, but not for the faint-hearted!
- Make the decision to go and set a date to make it happen! This may seem obvious but half-hearted attempts are doomed to failure, so make the decision and go for it!
- Decide where you want to go – different countries offer different salaries and experiences. Check out the TEFL jobs section at www.onlinetefl.com/tefl-jobs-abroad or chat to other TEFLers on Chalkboard (www.onlinetefl.com/teflchalkboard) to get an idea of where would suit you.
- Don’t think that living and working abroad will be the same as living at home. It rarely is. Be prepared for some culture shock and some very different ways of doing things.
Step 2: Get Some Training
- Boost your earning potential by completing the industry standard of 120 hours of TEFL training or more.
- Take your TEFL course with an internationally-recognized and accredited provider.
- Make sure you do a course that suits your plans. Request a consultation with a TEFL expert to get advice on the right course for you: www.onlinetefl.com/consultation.
- Get the confidence to step into your first classroom as a teacher by doing a comprehensive TEFL Course
- Don’t make it up as you go along in the classroom. Your students deserve more than that.
- Don’t just take any old course! Sadly there are a lot of cowboy course providers out there, so check your certificate will be worth the paper it’s printed on before signing up.
Step 3: Find Your Dream Job
- Consider a paid teaching internship (www.onlinetefl.com/teaching-overseas). They’re a great option if it’s your first time teaching overseas, as you’ll get full training, a reputable fivemonth placement and 24/7 in-country support.
- Let your course provider do the leg-work for you. Many have free job-placement services or relationships with schools overseas. Make the most of these!
- Use your mouse. Job sites like www.tefl.com and www. eslemployment.com list vacancies from schools all over the world. It’s also worth joining TEFL communities like TEFL Chalkboard (www.onlinetefl.com/tefl-chalkboard) and Dave’s ESL Cafe (www.eslcafe.com) to network with other teachers.
- Take a look at our TEFL Jobs Board (www.onlinetefl.com/tefl-jobs-abroad/jobs-board). There are hundreds of jobs worldwide and we make sure that there are lots of opportunities for first time teachers like you. We check every listing and every school too, so you can rest assured that all jobs advertised are with reputable schools that won’t rip you off!
- Try looking for a job when you get there. Pavement-pounding and using the local English-language newspaper are both good places to start, but you will need guts, and a bit of a financial buffer in case your job hunt isn’t initially successful!
- Check your school out thoroughly before you apply. There are lots of sharks out there who seem unable to pay on time and love to over-work their teachers!
- Keep your expectations realistic when applying from your home country. Many schools experience lots of no-shows from teachers, so they may offer the same position to many applicants just to be sure that one turns up at the beginning of term.
- Don’t Automatically accept (or apply for) the first job that comes your way. Research the school thoroughly first. There are loads of jobs out there, so make sure you choose the right one for you.
- Don’t Think finding a job will be instant. While there is massive demand for TEFL teachers in some countries, finding work in the more popular destinations can take time.
- Don’t Sign your contract without checking it or feel pressured into signing your contract. Things like working hours, standard of accommodation, holidays and the amount of preparation you’ll need to do can make or break your experience abroad.
Step 4: Apply and Sell Yourself
- Make your application relevant. While you may not have teaching experience, you’ve probably got great interpersonal and communication skills. Make the most of these and mention specific examples.
- Make your CV/resume concise – employers aren’t interested in that spelling contest you won when you were six. Include a cheerful, professional photograph – one that gives the school confidence that you are not going to walk into school hungover every day.
- Include details of which TEFL course you’ve studied.
- Don’t use holiday snaps or old passport photographs. You only have one chance so make it look professional.
- Don’t use complicated language in your application. Remember that the person who’s reading it may not have English as their first language.
Step 5: Impress Your Interview
- Be cheerful and polite. First impressions are the most important and being cheerful is one of the most important attributes of a successful teacher.
- Speak sloooowly and clearly. Many interviews are done by phone or Skype now, so you risk not being understood if you mumble.
- Be honest with the interviewer – they know what they are talking about. If you don’t know, say so, but also say that you are eager and willing to learn.
- Make sure you are well-presented at the interview. This is vital in more traditional countries, so pack at least one set of smart clothes, which aren’t too revealing.
- Show an interest in and knowledge of their country. It’ll give the interviewer confidence that you’re not going to do a runner when you get homesick.
- Be prepared to give a short practice lesson – this is a part of many face-to-face interviews.
- Don’t Turn up to an interview looking like you just got in from a night out.
- Don’t Give monosyllabic responses – it shows a lack of enthusiasm.
- Don’t Accept the job there and then. You might want to consider other offers first. It’s also a good idea to speak to other teachers in the school or teachers who have taught there previously before accepting.
Step 6: Get Out There
- Invest in a cheap netbook or take your laptop with you – you’ll find it invaluable for planning lessons and keeping in touch with friends and family back home.
- Take some smart clothes for teaching; we’re not talking suits and ties, but certainly smart casual and not too revealing. Teachers are very well-respected in most TEFL destinations, so it’s important to look presentable.
- Take out original certificates, including your TEFL certificate and degree certificate if you have one.
- Arrange the correct visas and work permits. Your school should help you with this, but be wary if they’re asking you to work on a tourist visa – doing so is often illegal and you could risk falling foul of the authorities.
- Take some teaching resources with you. Don’t worry about stuffing your suitcase with heavy books though – i-to-I has loads of resources which can be added to your online learning account. Visit www.onlinetefl.com/complete-teflteacher-kit for all the details.
- Learn as much of the local language as you can before stepping off the plane – it’s just simple courtesy to say ‘hello’ and ‘how are you?’ to your new boss in their language (even if you don’t understand the reply!)
- Don’t Step off the plane dressed in ripped jeans and a grubby t-shirt if you’re being picked up from the airport by your new employer.
- Don’t Expect everything to run like it does back home – sometimes you just have to be patient and go with the flow!
Where Could You Go?
Fancy taking off for Thailand or catapulting your way to Costa Rica? There’s SO MUCH to learn about each country that we’ve decided to give you a helping hand! Drum roll please… FREE COUNTRY GUIDES! Yes, that’s right! We have country guides for 23 different TEFL destinations: you’ll find out salary information, teaching hotspots and opportunities and the boring-but-necessary stuff – visas & work permits! A couple of our favourites for countries that are recruiting RIGHT NOW: Ahhh Turkey, home to historic Istanbul and crystal clear waters…and it’s also something of a TEFL hotspot for 2013! With employers recruiting right now there’s no better time to become a teacher in Turkey! What’s your favourite? Galbi, bibimbap or donkasseu? Don’t know what on earth we’re talking about? These are all some of the most popular (and delicious) dishes in South Korea… and you’re going to love them!Grab your free guide to South Korea to discover where you should start teaching, how much you could be earning and how to get involved!