Teaching English as a Second Language is an exciting and rewarding experience. You would be able to find a teaching position in almost any country. If you read the contracts for the positions you are considering you will be able to ensure that your salary is sufficient, your living accommodation is adequate and the basic needs of everyday life are available. This article suggests some planning tips, and insights that you may want to consider.
What might you want to consider as you plan this adventure into the unknown?
First – decide what part of the world you would like to work in and choose a country. Next – think about the type of environment that you would enjoy, country life or city life or a medium sized town.
Perhaps our experiences in different environments would be helpful to you. While teaching in the Czech Republic in the medium sized town of Karlovy Vary, the students invited us to so many places that we had to ask our employer to tell them that we wanted to go, but we had lessons to prepare. So, we accepted just one or two invitations each week.
On the other hand, our friends who were teaching in Prague didn’t receive many invitations. We had their experience in Hong Kong. The pay was excellent but the community, although friendly, didn’t reach out to us. It seems that a large city is more impersonal, although it would possibly have more cultural events.
Where can you find the job listings?
Go to the Internet where you’ll find many sites that advertise ESL teaching positions. It’s a good idea to choose ten or more teaching positions that you think might suit your needs, study them carefully and short-list three or four. Ask for a contact address to a teacher who has worked for the organization. Getting first hand information from someone who has taught with an organization gives you valuable information. Ask if they had a choice in choosing the teaching materials or if the curriculum is set and can’t be supplemented. When you have written to the short-listed future employers, compare their answers. When you have studied the job offers and checked the small print on the contracts then you are ready to apply for a teaching position. Send your Resume (CV), be sure to include your picture and await the reply.
How do you manage that first day in an unknown place?
Although your employer may speak a little English, it’s unlikely that the majority of the population will understand more than a few words. Once you are settled into your living space, your employer will likely take you to your workplace and introduce you to the other teachers. This is where you can start to integrate into the community. It’s very exciting – and all an unknown. Some of the other teachers may be friendly or your employer may want to welcome you by introducing you to interesting people and showing you around the city.
Your students will love English and love you, too, if you make them laugh.
During the time when you were choosing your working environment, especially if you were able to contact a teacher who was previously on staff, you may have been able to learn a little about the social environment. In most countries you will find that the people are friendly and your students love you – especially if you give them a program that has many activities that get them talking and make them laugh.