Travelling is a wonderful way to see the world and make priceless memories. Whether it is a chance to see a famous attraction, or even to better understand cultural differences, going to visit a place in person offers these opportunities for the willing tourist.
However, travel has become more and more costly recently, with inflation rates globally going through the roof. This has meant that it is now essential – for most – to be able to have a financial means of supporting a travel lifestyle, and for many that translates into having a job that provides economic support for globetrotting.
One wonderful career to think about in this respect is to become a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teacher. Below is a guide on how to travel and earn as a TEFL teacher, as well as some useful hints and tips on thriving in this vocation.
How does a TEFL teacher get started?
The first and possibly most vital step in this journey is to get a reliable and reputable TEFL certification. The TEFL Org conducted a thorough country by country analysis, and found that many nations actually require a TEFL qualification as part of a successful visa application.
Consequently, any new TEFL teacher should think seriously about taking part in a training program, not only to increase their odds of being successfully employed as a TEFL teacher, but also because these courses are a goldmine of valuable and helpful information, designed to set any TEFL teacher on the path to a flourishing career.
On top of that, the programs are led and taught by a team of friendly and experienced professionals, who have been there and done in the world of TEFL. As a result, they are able to impart the kinds of advice not typically found in textbooks, relating these stories from first-hand experience.
Furthermore, their knowledge on topics as diverse as classroom management, lesson planning, time management, and motivating learners will be invaluable during those early weeks and months in the classroom. Just knowing that there is a point of reference available to ask for guidance is one that ought to be reassuring for any new TEFL teacher.
What is the next step after getting TEFL certified?
With the TEFL course under one’s belt, a new teacher can really begin to start their thought process on where and how to teach the subject. The main strands under consideration for most new teachers are twofold, namely choosing the age group to teach, and the location at which they choose to teach.
When it comes to deciding what age learners would best benefit from studying with the specific teacher, there are a few aspects to bear in mind. One is the personality of the teacher themselves. This is because kindergarten and early years learners tend to thrive in environments of high energy, with lots of bright colours and loud noises alongside games to aid the learning process.
By contrast, slightly older children may well become interested in learning more deeply about a subject, from graphic design to science experiments. These of course can all be taught through the English language, which can be an interesting and exciting way to reach slightly older learners.
Alternatively, some TEFL teachers may even favour working with university students or adult learners. These classes tend to be focused on a specific objective, such as how to write a cover letter for a job application, or nailing the finer details of an academic essay. Again, this is a good thing for any teacher to contemplate before making the leap into the classroom.
Where can a new TEFL teacher teach?
As mentioned above, a TEFL certification does open a lot of doors for a new TEFL teacher, but each country still has its own other policies and procedures in place before entering. Some countries require proof of a health record to try and reduce the risk of some infectious diseases spreading.In any case, it is worthwhile to investigate more deeply into this, usually by going to the website of that country’s embassy, to find out more.
After ensuring that entry requirements are met correctly, the new TEFL teacher can then decide which place they would like to go to try and work. Among the many positives of being a TEFL teacher is that the English language is sought after in pretty much every nation across the globe, so there is a high demand in many places for this profession.
Having said that, pay rates and cost of living do differ by country, so this is an element worth investigating more before setting out. For example, many positions in India are voluntary. While this may look great on the future CV, it might not be economically viable for some TEFL teachers to support this approach in the long run.
On the other hand, certain countries such as South Korea pay their TEFL relatively well compared to the cost of living, and this can make living in a country such as this easier to manage when compared to some high tax nations. This of course can change over time, so it is worth keeping in mind that elements such as pay rates and taxation levels can change over time.
One other final decision to think about is whether teaching TEFL virtually is the right decision for the new TEFL teacher. Some new teachers like to gain further experience by supplementing physical classroom experience with a few extra hours of remote instruction. This can be especially useful for those teachers who enjoy having a little bit of extra spending money for those weekend trips out of town.
It also speeds up the acclimation period of becoming a TEFL teacher, as the more lessons one teaches, the quicker they are likely to feel comfortable teaching the subject itself.