When preparing to travel overseas to teach, many teachers have no problem with their TEFL certificate, and also have no trouble choosing where they want to go. Unfortunately, this is where many new teachers hit a wall. How do you find a job? Do you pay a recruiter, and if not, where do you start?
At Teflen, we advise against hiring recruiters. TEFL recruiters typically get paid by the schools hiring them to find teachers. When teachers pay recruiters, that recruiter is getting paid twice for something the teacher can do by themselves. With a bit of initiative, patience and perseverance, a new teacher can find the perfect job without having to pay someone else.
The first thing you need to do is pinpoint the country you would like to work in, and figure out how much time you want to work there. In general, schools offer teachers 1 year contracts. This allows students plenty of time to get to know the teacher, the teacher to get used to the new school and fulfills the requirements of a working visa.
The next thing a teacher should do is begin searching TEFL job boards to find suitable schools. We highly recommend the
EFL Schools are used to hiring teachers from foreign countries, and so they are used to answering all sorts of questions from teachers. Calling them up directly and speaking to them about any jobs they currently have vacancies for, or will have in the future is the best way to gauge exactly what they are looking for.
The first thing you should find out when you call is exactly what the school requires to offer you a contract. They may wish for you to send them a copy of your resume and cover letter, and they may need to see some references. Typically, the phone interview is the first and most important part of finding a job, and so don’t forget to ask all the questions you have during this interview. You should ask about things like accommodation, pay (including bonuses), flight ticket money, insurance, and the types of classes you will be teaching. You should also ask about the steps required to be prepared to go, such as visa requirements.
Don’t forget to highlight all of your relevant experience. Any work with children, even volunteering and babysitting can be counted, as can any tutoring work. Don’t forget to be friendly and positive, as a good attitude is the biggest advantage you can have.
Don’t forget that teachers come and go, so it pays to contact the schools back later, even if they aren’t advertising a job at that time. Also check out TEFL forums and Facebook groups for the place you would like to teach, and contact other teachers. Teachers ‘on the ground’ usually have the best information as to which schools are the best to work for, which ones are hiring and how you can expect schools to look after you.
Once you secure a contract, the next thing to do is contact the embassy of the country you are going to work for and find out what you need to do to prepare your visa for travel, book your flight and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.
Do you have any more tips for securing a job over the phone? Let us know your experiences.