Finding a teaching job: Dos and Don’ts

globe-flagsFor freshly-qualified teachers, the world of English Language Teaching is expansive, both literally and figuratively. Below are some tips for finding that perfect first teaching job.

Do some research into the country you want to go to. Look for things like:

  • Teaching opportunities
  • Cost of Living
  • Visa / Entry requirements
  • Cultural and social norms

(The last point helps you to avoid any culture shock / cultural faux pas you might experience when you get there.)

For some more information on many individual countries, you’ll find a very useful post here.

Do join, or at the very least look at, English Language Teaching forums. Here are some links to a few good ones:

Dave’s ESL Cafe jobs forum jobs discussion

ESL Employment jobs forum

Don’t apply for the position unless it has all the following information:

  • name of country and company/school
  • description of your duties (including the amount of working hours per week)
  • employee requirements ( TESOL, degree, experience etc)
  • renumeration
  • benefits ( flights, medical, tax free, housing, bonus, moving allowance etc)
  • description of the school/company
  • contract length
  • contact details
  • visa / entry requirements (where applicable)

and requires all the following from you:

  • proof of TESOL / CELTA qualification
  • an interview and, preferably, a demo lesson
  • proof that you can legally work in the country (where applicable)

Do try applying around the end of Winter. The vast majority of language schools start looking at filling vacancies at this time, because summer holidays = big intakes = big business = big need for teachers. You’ll probably be applying for short-term contract work. However, most permanent / long-term contracted teachers are considered from this pool for year-round work (based on performance and commitment during the busy months).

Do prepare for your interview, whether it be on Skype or face-to-face. Common questions you will be asked include. You can read more about interviews for TEFL teaching jobs here.

Do be suspicious of job advertisements if:

  • No job description is given in detail
  • You can’t find the location on Google Maps
  • No contact details are provided except for a Yahoo or Gmail email address
  • You are required to pay a subscription fee
  • It offers a very high salary for less than a 25 hr/week schedule
  • It contains badly written English
  • When googled, the school / company comes up on TEFL BLACKLIST or chat forums that question it’s credibility

Don’t give up. The possibilities are endless:

  • Teach privately if you can
  • Tutor first-language school pupils
  • Delve into corporate professional development programmes
  • Do extra courses on teaching English for business or academics or whatever takes your fancy

Following at least some of these points should help make sure that your first experience of teaching English


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