Little Things Help you Land the Big TEFL Job

How to land the best job you can teaching English overseas.

Five easy Do’s and Don’ts that will increase your odds of getting that job.

DO have an attractive passport type photo made of yourself
This should be a photo with you in professional dress, groomed immaculately and with a nice smile.  If you are old and look a bit too old, just a touch of Photoshop is okay, but don’t overdo it to the point where the school won’t recognize you when you arrive.

Many cultures put great stock in appearances and in how you present yourself.  Take it seriously, it does make a difference – a big difference – and that is why it is FIRST on this list.

Do have all your documents scanned and ready even before you apply
You never really know for sure for what documents a potential employer might ask.  Have copies and scans of everything they might possibly ask for.  Have it ready so that you can provide it immediately and the hiring authority does not have to wait for it.  During that wait someone else may slip right in and fill that job.

Don’t argue/niggle with an employer or recruiter about what they are requesting
Don’t send a transcript when a degree was asked for.   If you lost your degree, get a replacement before you start applying for jobs.   Don’t send a photo of you out hiking when a passport type photo was asked for.  Not following through makes a potential employer wonder if you will do the things required on the job or if there will always be a problem or excuse at hand.

Do make yourself available for an interview
Set time aside to be available for an interview.  Don’t make an employer wait.  Interview as soon as you can to lock in that job.  Don’t tell a potential employer that you are too busy on a certain day or time.  It makes it sound like the interview is not important to you. If you really can’t interview at a certain time or day, give a solid reason.

Do be polite and professional in all your communications
Write and speak using formal English.  Writing to an employer using email shorthand or Twitter type shorthand just turns people off.  If you are applying for a position teaching English, demonstrate your ability to use it correctly.

TED’s Tips™ #1: You might be surprised how many people do NOT follow these simple guidelines.  And how many good qualified people don’t get the jobs they think they should get, because they didn’t follow them.   As Nike says, “Just do it”.

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

The EASY Path to Success in TEFL

I hate to use such hoaky headlines, but I do really believe there is an easy way to TEFL success and to be successful no matter where you work around the world.

Hold on to your hat . . . it is not a trick teaching methodology or anything like that – it is simply two things that come out of one thing.  Here it is:


If you want to head overseas and if you want to do it right and live the rest of your life successfully, put on the RIGHT hat before you go.

Put on the right attitude.   Two things I would like you to put in your head and to focus on are:

1. Things are going to work out great for me, and

2. I want to do whatever is best for my students.

If you focus on those two ideas, I promise they will make your time abroad at least 500% better than any other approach you might take.

What is amazingly simple is that those two ideas in how you deal with teachers, parents, students, recruiters and anyone else will be clearly obvious to them.   So obvious that it will be soothingly peaceful for them to deal with you.  And that will make you a success.  People will trust you, will want to help you help your students, will want to help you make things successful.

Here’s how it works . . .

As a bit of a part-time hobby, I recruit and place people in colleges and universities in China and I deal with a lot of people.  Many are literally looking for a scam.  They often believe anything/everything to do with life abroad/the Internet/Anything is scam and that people are trying to cheat them.  Really – if that is your focus on life, you really will find those things.  If you focus instead on how well it is going to work out, you will find that instead.

As a simple example, I have sometimes worked with people who are sure that a comma out of place in a contract is a blatant sign of dishonesty on the part of their potential employer.  If you are an employer and the first contacts with a potential new employee are his/her accusations of dishonesty, is that someone you want to hire and spend the next year working with?  Probably not.  What could have been a wonderful contact is spoiled right from the beginning.

If your attitude is as suggested and something seems out of place, a simple question can solve the same problem, but likely with a much more positive result.  If people sense that you are tuned in to a good happy life and to doing a good job teaching – and they WILL sense that – they will help you achieve those things.

TED’s Tips™ #1: I am not a naive New Ager . . . I am a 59 year old, sometimes cynical/skeptical guy who has seen a lot of BS in my time, but I have also noticed that a simple positive attitude in MY life – has made all the difference in the world.  Try it – I think it will work for you too.

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

Teaching English to Young Learners

Teaching English to Children
Teaching English to Kids can be Great Fun

Almost every new teacher of English is going to teach young kids at one time or another. They are both delightful and terrifying to newbie teachers.

Young kids learn super fast, so it is a good way to improve your teaching skills as you can quickly see the results when you are doing things effectively and you will notice the kids losing interest and misbehaving when you are not teaching effectively.

There are lots of little tricks and ideas that you learn as you teach these little language sponges, but why take years learning them? A new eBook is out over at TEFL eBooks that is focused specifically on young learners.

TEFL Boot Camp offers a TEFL certification for young learners that is based on this eBook. You can learn all the tricks, the favorite songs, games that kids respond to, how to deal with behavior problems, how to keep kids interested, how to deal with problem parents – and much much more.

Even when I was first teaching at university, I ended up tutoring young kids to supplement my income and I wish I had known at first all the things this ebook helps with. The author is now teaching university in Korea – but has an MA in TEFL and loads of experience under her belt. She also has the female touch that a lot of us “guy” teachers need when it comes to kids.

TED’s Tips™ #1: Kids are a joy to teach when you have a few tricks up your sleeve to keep them engaged and happy.  They can be h*ll to teach when you don’t!

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

A Realistic View of TEFL and Life Abroad

Another reader writes in with:

I read a lot of stories about how great teaching English is…

And my response is:

Teaching English is – first and foremost – a job.  Just like any job there are good and bad things – good and bad employers – good and bad days.  Mostly it is, like most of life, all about attitude.

Besides your website, can you recommend any sites that give a real view of teaching abroad.

TEFL Daddy is a good one, one of the best – but that is mine too. I wrote most of my websites because I found there was very little middle ground.  Either people fantasize about life abroad or overstate things (often they are selling something) OR they have had a bad experience and blame it on the country, school, nationality and never really stepped back to take a good look at themselves.

I personally love the lifestyle – but I don’t try to sell the life/lifestyle to anyone as it is not for everyone.  Not everyone can handle life abroad and living/working in a different culture with things done differently and different cultural expectations at work.

I wrote most of my materials as I found it difficult to find real middle ground on the internet.  Middle ground that really reflected how my 20+ years abroad worked and how things worked for the people I know who have spent long periods of time abroad successfully.

There are certainly hundreds of websites with lesson plans, jobs listing etc – but very few with REAL interpretation of life abroad and how to live it successfully.  If you want some help with cultural adaptation, the job search and just basic how to be successful abroad – go over to TEFL Boot Camp and pick up the free eBooks on offer to help you succeed overseas.

TED’s Tips™ #1: Be sure to seek a balanced view of life abroad.  While it can be pretty fantastic, many people oversell the lifestyle or try to blast it out of the water as they could not succeed.

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