If you’re considering teaching English abroad due to my recent blog posts on the subject, you probably have lots of questions. With that in mind, I’ve tried to answer the most common questions that potential teachers might have about this exciting career.
1. Is this going to be a lucrative side-gig or is it more like a real job?
The short answer is that it depends on where you’re working and what your contract entails. Teaching in an ordinary school setting is likely going to require some lesson prep, a set schedule, and a dress code. People that are dealing with kids may also have to worry about other factors such as their students’ limited attention spans and keeping order in their classrooms. However, working as an online English teacher is also a good way to make money on your travels and it allows employees more overall flexibility with their schedules, work hours, and methods of dress.
2. What if I don’t like kids or early mornings?
Teaching English online can be a great way to avoid both. However, there are some countries where adult learners regularly take English classes in the evenings to improve their marketability. In such places both opportunities may be available, but you’ll have to look harder for them than you might for schoolteacher positions.
3. Do you need TEFL certification to find a position?
The short answer is that TEFL will help. Many people who don’t have any experience working with kids or a good idea of what a teaching job entails will benefit from obtaining a TEFL certificate before accepting a position. There are also more opportunities available for certified teachers than individuals who merely have a college or high school degree.
4. What are some places that I could potentially find a job?
Opportunities abound in South American and Asian countries as well as parts of the Middle East. However, prospective teachers are advised to be careful when considering jobs in the Middle East because the culture is vastly different from what many Westerners are used to and it may not be to your personal tastes.
5. Is it possible to save money if I go abroad to teach English?
There are lots of people who have managed to successfully do just that. They’ve used the money they’ve made as a teacher to pay off student loans, start savings accounts, and take even more trips while the schools they work for were on holiday break. Just keep in mind that the best way to do this is to work in a place with a low cost of living and work for a company or school district that pays well. Of course, results can vary due to personal spending habits and the varying cost of living in certain countries. It’s definitely up to you to do your research on the country in question before you make plans to leave.