Short-term TEFL Jobs

This is another post inspired by a comment on the website.  A reader wrote:

I thought about doing short term contracts over the space of about 1 year i.e. 4 months in say 3 countries. Would I be best to apply in country?

Devil’s advocate here . . . my response follows below and it will likely be unpopular with a certain segments of the TEFL crowd, but I will try to give you a good understanding of the issues at hand.

Here we go . . .

I am not a big fan of short-term contracts as they usually meet the needs of the teacher and do very little for the schools/students involved.

My personal opinion is that it takes even a skilled and experienced teacher a couple months to really get to know a school/culture/country/group of students and to become really effective. So . . . about the time you will become useful to a school, your thoughts will have already moved on to your next assignment and you will soon be gone.

I realize that is a rather harsh view of short-term teaching, but it is what I have observed during my 20+ years abroad.

Students, particularly younger students, need some consistency in their lives and classrooms and in their teachers.

Just as an analogy, have you ever worked a job where you got a new boss every three or four months?  I have and I well remember a different focus with each one.  Each one thought different things were more important.  What was stressed by one, was ignored by another or we were even told that the old way was the wrong way.   Where does something like take a student?

Also, in the past, when you knew you were going to leave a job in the next month or two, did you always give 100%?  Or was your mind wandering on to the next job?

I’m not totally against short-term teaching jobs – really.  Summer and winter camps where everyone – including the student – knows this is going to be a short-term intensive program, that’s a different story.

But  do, please, put the student foremost in your mind if you wish to be a teacher.  They need to come first.  If that is an unpopular view then so be it.

TED’s Tips™ #1: It is only fair that we think about how our behavior affects our students.  Teachers coming and going can have a pretty negative effect on students.  I am sure there are teachers who can handle this to the betterment of their students, but I have not met many of them.


The BEST EFL Teaching Jobs in China: Government Colleges, Universities and Secondary Schools offer the most reliable and worry-free jobs in China. Click on the Link if you would like to Teach English in China

TEFL Newbie’s Important Disclaimer . . .

As you probably already know – websites these days are all wrapped up in legal gunk – disclaimers, privacy policies and so on.

I think nobody ever reads them, but I want you to see my disclaimer – because I think it tells you a lot about life abroad – especially towards the end.

You might like it or  . . . not!  But there is a clear message here and it does need to be said.

Here we go . . .

The author of this website has lived and worked successfully in five foreign countries since 1989. But, he is not a doctor: get your medical advice from your physician before making any decisions about your personal health needs.

The author is not a financial “expert”.  Make your personal financial decisions using your own best judgment and for anything more complicated than paying your water bill, consult a professional.

The author is not a professional personal relationships counselor.  Be sure to talk to your family, spouse, children, significant other, “partner” or anyone else involved in your decision making.  Seek a professional counselor for anything that seems even mildly discomforting for you.

Know that living overseas is not a good idea for people with mental health and/or relationship issues.  Life overseas, in fact, offers a more challenging (and rewarding!) environment than you are used to in your home country.

TEFL Newbie.com can offer you reliable advice that you can obtain only by sitting down and talking one-to-one with experienced teachers and expatriates for days – or even weeks.  All that said, things change, things work for some people that may not work for others, the road of life can be bumpy sometimes.  Things don’t always go perfectly.  If you are seeking a perfect life that is free of any challenges, you won’t find it here.

Bottom line:

One of the best things about living overseas is leaving behind that attitude of everyone blaming someone else for how their life has turned out.

Overseas it will be much more clear to you as to who is responsible for your life.  You are.

But you already know that and that is why you a here, looking for alternatives to improve your life.

LEGAL:

By accessing this website – by reading the material on this website – you are acknowledging that you are responsible for your OWN decisions.  You alone are responsible for making your life work.

TED’s Tips™ #1: Make yourself responsible for your life.  If you do, things will turn out much much better.  I promise!


The BEST EFL Teaching Jobs in China: Government Colleges, Universities and Secondary Schools offer the most reliable and worry-free jobs in China. Click on the Link if you would like to Teach English in China

Entry Level Skills for Teaching English

Someone recently asked me – referring to a TEFL Training program – the following:

Do I really need to get this advanced training?

Well, I wouldn’t call TEFL Training, either online or in a classroom “advanced” training.  Really it should be considered entry-level training.

What other new career that would allow you to see the world requires so little training?  Four weeks at the most?

While many people do start teaching without any formal training at all, please give some consideration to your new life abroad and to doing things “right” from the outset.

Teaching English should not be about doing the bare minimum to get the job and paycheck.  This is a whole new life and lifestyle that you are heading to and give some serious thought to starting your new life out properly.  Make your new life an opportunity to create positive change in yourself and the world at large.

I am not suggesting that you should be a naive person who is trying to “save the world”.  But rather that you take note of your contribution to the lives of your students and show up for them well prepared to give them what they have paid for.

Some people think that just because they can speak English they can teach it.  And – no – they can’t.  There are a lot of really horrible teachers out there and you will see that when you ask some of your students where they learned something that they did incorrectly.  Just as often as not, it was native speaker who didn’t adequately explain or teach a concept.

TED’s Tips™ #1: Do it right, get some training before you stand in front of a classroom.  Your students are really hoping that you can help them.


The BEST EFL Teaching Jobs in China: Government Colleges, Universities and Secondary Schools offer the most reliable and worry-free jobs in China. Click on the Link if you would like to Teach English in China