TEFL Scams – or not?

This post is a bit of a pet peeve.  A recent poster over at Lonely Planet said this . . .

I feel like that could get kinda messy with scams n’ such

And I read so many posts on forums/discussion boards, FaceBook groups and more that are always talking about how many “scams” are out there and how this is a scam and that is a scam – yada yada yada.

Based on my 20+ years of living abroad – I would like to guarantee you one thing.  And that is if you go abroad looking for scams, focused on them and always worrying about them – yes, you will find them. They are there, but then they are everywhere – maybe.

During my time overseas I have run into very FEW “scams”.    Often as not someone will call an employer a scam because after they failed to show up for work for two weeks – and they were fired.   Not all scams are like that, but name calling on the Internet seems to come free of charge with no consequences, so you can – in fact – say whatever you want about whomever you want.

Sometimes the “scam caller” is real and the problem is real, but sometimes they are a disgruntled former employee and sometimes they are a competitor hoping to hurt the reputation of a school or business or fellow teacher.

I am a “local expert” on a Trip Advisor forum and we are quite familiar with hotels posting really bad made-up reviews about their competitors.  Same with travel agents, resorts, spas, you name it.   Lots of people faking scams (I guess that is a “scam” too!) to try to hurt the business of a rival.

All I am trying to say is don’t believe everything you read.  We already know that for good things, but we rarely consider it for bad things.   People tend to believe all these “scam” ideas.

The problem with all this is that eventually – if you want to believe it all – you will be afraid to go outside – at all.  Not just after dark – but ever.

I read about scams so often on the Internet and people worried about TEFL scams this and TEFL scams that . . . Sorry – I’ve only been in the business for 20 years – I just haven’t seen it.  Yeah, there are few flaky operators here and there, but how is that different from any other industry?

Come on – get real – you already know that most people are good people.  And if you don’t believe that – then you shouldn’t go outside.

I’ve written on the topic of ATTITUDE before and this post is all about attitude.  Get out there and kick the world’s butt – but do it without being afraid of your shadow.  Yes, being positive might set you up for a “scam” sometime.   Operate with you eyes wide open – pay attention.  Things that are too good to be true probably are.  But things that are too bad to be true – probably are too.

TED’s Tips™ #1: Living your life with a positive attitude really is worth it.  If you spend you whole life afraid of things, what a lousy life that is.  I am not suggesting being an idiot and sending your life savings to the guy who promises you a million dollars in a Nigerian bank.  But I am saying that you can set the circumstances of your life.  So do it.

Teaching Internships in China