When you start looking for your first TEFL job, the Internet is going to be one of the places you rely on for information. It's a great resource and it's most likely this is where you'll find your first job. The problem with the Internet though is that it's largely unregulated.
A lot of the "facts" you might read online about the TEFL application process are incorrect. This is often because people base their facts on their own sole experience, and many people will have different experiences.
Whatever the reason, there are a large number of myths and non-truths that need to be explored. At TEFLOne we want to make sure your TEFL job hunt is perfect, and that means you need to arm yourself with the right information. This article will help you do just that.
Five TEFL Job Myths
Number One - It's Better To Arrive In A Country Before Starting Your Job Hunt
A lot of people feel that if they want to find a job, it's easier to do so when in the country of their choice. In most cases this is simply not true. You might know of somebody who had success this way, but for every person who does manage to find a job, there are fifty who don't. You need to be pretty lucky to do so, and if you can find one, you also need to complete the VISA and work permit application process before your tourist visa expires and you're forced to leave.
It's ALWAYS going to be better (and a lot easier) to find a job before you go. Not only will you then have the peace of mind that you need before embarking on a new adventure like this, but you'll also not be wasting your time.
It also means that you can shop around a little and make sure you've found the best job for you. We can help you with this.
Number Two - Agencies and Recruiters Aren't To Be Trusted
Many people, particularly forum trolls, like to say that Recruitment Agencies don't have the best interests of the teachers at heart. Again, this is far from the truth. While there are probably a few rogue traders out there, the vast majority of agencies insist on placing the best teachers in the best schools.
The way they work, and the way their commissions are paid (by the schools, not the teachers), means that they won't earn anything if the teacher leaves their position early. In other words, if you aren't happy with your placement, the agent doesn't get paid. Clearly then, recruitment agencies are the best people to use to find the right placement for you. In the case of TEFLOne, we are run BY teachers, so we know exactly what your needs are. Learn more.
Recruiters are here to work with teachers and schools, it's that simple.
Number Three - The Best Jobs Are The Ones That Pay The Most
This might seem logical on the surface, everyone wants the most pay, but if you dig a little deeper and try to look at the bigger picture, you'll find that the best jobs are not always the highest paying ones. This is for several reasons:
- High pay is often offered to compensate for something else, like a lack of course syllabus or materials.
- Other advantages, like having Western school management is worth more than a few dollars an hour pay.
- Several schools offer bonuses or flight reimbursement as perks.
- Working in a trusted, reputable school will trump all.
- Many schools will give you a pay rise at a later date.
- Schools such as the ones we work with offer career advancement opportunities.
- The school size, work load, teaching hours, and location are equally important considerations.
There are a number of things you should consider when looking at the job descriptions and choosing the best one. Don't just be attracted by the highest pay.
Proof of this is that many teachers head to the Middle East as their first destination, chasing the highest pay, but many of them soon apply for jobs in Asia instead, preferring the better lifestyle and working environments.
Number Four - You Don't Really Need A TEFL
You could probably find a school somewhere willing to take you without qualifications, but you have to wonder why. In truth, the higher qualified you are (such as CELTA qualified), the better opportunities you can find. In fact, some countries and schools require a CELTA or TrinityCert TESOL as a bare minimum.
If you're not yet TEFL qualified, you can view this page to find out where to get qualified. It's a no-brainer if you're serious about teaching English abroad.
Five - TEFL Jobs Are Easy
Going abroad to teach for a year or more is a great adventure and you'll probably remember it forever. It's such a good experience that many people never leave! That said, you shouldn't approach your job application in a relaxed or "holiday" manner. Teaching is a serious profession and you'll need to be professional every step of the way.
You don't need to be overly formal or write a thesis on your application, but you DO need to show that you're committed, serious, and will be a professional.
If you're serious about teaching abroad and you want to head to Asia, learn more here about how we can help you get started.