TEFL Trainer – Reflective diary
Author: Francesco T.
Looking for a job in TEFL
Searching for an English teaching job
When thinking about working as a TEFL teacher, one thing that one needs to do is prepare and clearly understand the options that are available to us, even before actually searching for positions.
This is an important step as it will give us a clear and selective view of what we want and can actually do based on many factors.
According to my research, your age, teaching experience and qualifications are the three main factors that will influence your suitability for specific positions, along with citizenship. Your nationality can also be part of the requirements of a specific teaching job.
Also, when thinking of our career, we need to have in mind a clear picture of what it is that we are keen on doing and what it is that we actually want to do further on in our career.
We need to be certain about what type of class we want to teach to its age group and its size. Asking yourself if you feel more comfortable with teaching small or large group is a fundamental part of the process. It might also be that we might prefer one-to-one tutoring, or even online teaching rather than in-person teaching.
The type of class/teaching is as important as the role itself. We might want to go for a teacher assistant position rather than having or own class, especially if it is going to be one your first experiences.
I found myself to be a bit disoriented even teaching a small group, so it took me a bit more of effort to stay afloat and start handling things at my best. Assisting another teacher might be the best option at first to have a smoother transition in the TEFL world.
Another factor we may want to keep in mind is whether the teaching role is in a public school, private one or a language school. This might influence the way we need to behave within our job, our way of teaching (there might be guidelines on allowed practices that employees are required to follow) or the way we interface ourselves with the students. I personally would like to put into practice methods I found to be effective, however, I am open to take on positions where different approaches to language teaching are employed in order to broaden my views.
One further point we may want to be careful about is understanding what our area of expertise we belong to. Do we excel at teaching academic English or at preparing students to take standardised English exams? We might aid with preparing student to have natural and fluent conversations or maybe we might want to work with pronunciation.
When we finally have a clear picture of ourselves and what we want from our TEFL teaching experience, we want to be careful to what our job has to offer apart from the working experiences.
I personally I have looked into EFL positions in South Korea, where many schools, other than offering challenging salaries, they also offer accommodation, free airfares and even free language classes. These factors can take the experience beyond the teaching experience only.