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Greetings! + Teaching opportunities?
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ColomboBritanico



Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 12
Location: Bogota

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:03 pm    Post subject: Greetings! + Teaching opportunities? Reply with quote

My name is Alex and I have been living and teaching English In Bogota since Feb 2010. I am bilingual and hold dual British-Colombian nationality and hence have the full legal right to work in Colombia. I was born to a Colombian mother and English father and raised in south west London. I completed a BA in Sociology at Kingston university. I do not hold a teaching certificate.

I work for a language institute in the north of Bogota and currently work the morning shift Mon-Fri. There are many positives about my job but I feel the time is right to move on and develop myself as an English teacher. Earlier on in the year I wanted to quit my job and interviewed at a few agencies but they couldn't guarantee me enough hours for me to justify quitting my job.

At this point I am open to taking on some extra lessons (the money would be handy). I read that study agency (http://studyagency.com) is a good place to work for and pays well - the website doesn't seem to be working for me, I can't access the 'contact us' section. Does anyone have a contact e-mail address for them?

I would appreciate any feedback from those currently teaching in Bogota and any info on work opportunities.

Regards.
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The Internationalist



Joined: 26 May 2012
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What are your goals for Colombia? ie How long do you want to stay and what do you want to accomplish?

If you want to make ESL a career than id suggest getting a quick MA TESOL. This will open up a lot of doors for you. Esp in Universities.

Although if you are wanting to be a teacher and want to live abroad for a significant amount of time id suggest getting a real teaching license. Doesnt take long if you already have a degree and can be done online.

Plus the pay and benefits will be top notch.
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ColomboBritanico



Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 12
Location: Bogota

PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Internationalist wrote:
What are your goals for Colombia? ie How long do you want to stay and what do you want to accomplish?

If you want to make ESL a career than id suggest getting a quick MA TESOL. This will open up a lot of doors for you. Esp in Universities.

Although if you are wanting to be a teacher and want to live abroad for a significant amount of time id suggest getting a real teaching license. Doesnt take long if you already have a degree and can be done online.

Plus the pay and benefits will be top notch.


Thanks for your reply!

I will be in Colombia for at least another year, I'm looking to develop my experience through work as opposed to obtaining a certificate - I appreciate that a lot can be learned from taking a course i.e. CELTA but I'm not totally set on doing it so would only consider it if/when I am fully focused on the idea.

I teach because it's pretty much the only job I can do that gives me a half-decent salary - let me just emphasise that I do enjoy my job. If money wasn't an issue I would pursue a job related to my degree. It would have to be an entry level job where salaries average around the 800,000 pesos mark which isn't enough.

Basically I want a better paying job with the scope to learn/develop new teaching skills (I have exhausted all development opportunities in my current job). To put things into perspective, if I work all my scheduled hours I take home between 1.8 - 2 million per month (128 hours per month, 8 of which are teacher meetings) depending on the number of students I have. I was offered a job by Verve English in the north of Bogota a good few months back with a salary of around 2.5 million per month teaching something like 110 hours per month but the schedule wasn't to my liking (three classes per day, one early morning, at midday and in the evening).
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spanglish



Joined: 21 May 2009
Posts: 583
Location: working on that

PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ColomboBritanico wrote:
The Internationalist wrote:
What are your goals for Colombia? ie How long do you want to stay and what do you want to accomplish?

If you want to make ESL a career than id suggest getting a quick MA TESOL. This will open up a lot of doors for you. Esp in Universities.

Although if you are wanting to be a teacher and want to live abroad for a significant amount of time id suggest getting a real teaching license. Doesnt take long if you already have a degree and can be done online.

Plus the pay and benefits will be top notch.


Thanks for your reply!

I will be in Colombia for at least another year, I'm looking to develop my experience through work as opposed to obtaining a certificate - I appreciate that a lot can be learned from taking a course i.e. CELTA but I'm not totally set on doing it so would only consider it if/when I am fully focused on the idea.

I teach because it's pretty much the only job I can do that gives me a half-decent salary - let me just emphasise that I do enjoy my job. If money wasn't an issue I would pursue a job related to my degree. It would have to be an entry level job where salaries average around the 800,000 pesos mark which isn't enough.

Basically I want a better paying job with the scope to learn/develop new teaching skills (I have exhausted all development opportunities in my current job). To put things into perspective, if I work all my scheduled hours I take home between 1.8 - 2 million per month (128 hours per month, 8 of which are teacher meetings) depending on the number of students I have. I was offered a job by Verve English in the north of Bogota a good few months back with a salary of around 2.5 million per month teaching something like 110 hours per month but the schedule wasn't to my liking (three classes per day, one early morning, at midday and in the evening).


You don't want to be a teacher and you don't want to invest the time/money to become a better teacher to be able to get better jobs. You didn't accept a better job than your current one because you didn't like the schedule and you see no prospects for moving up where you are. You see 0 chance of getting a decently paid position outside of teaching.

Why are you spinning your wheels in Colombia? It sounds like you'd be better off going back to the UK.
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ColomboBritanico



Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 12
Location: Bogota

PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spanglish wrote:
ColomboBritanico wrote:
The Internationalist wrote:
What are your goals for Colombia? ie How long do you want to stay and what do you want to accomplish?

If you want to make ESL a career than id suggest getting a quick MA TESOL. This will open up a lot of doors for you. Esp in Universities.

Although if you are wanting to be a teacher and want to live abroad for a significant amount of time id suggest getting a real teaching license. Doesnt take long if you already have a degree and can be done online.

Plus the pay and benefits will be top notch.


Thanks for your reply!

I will be in Colombia for at least another year, I'm looking to develop my experience through work as opposed to obtaining a certificate - I appreciate that a lot can be learned from taking a course i.e. CELTA but I'm not totally set on doing it so would only consider it if/when I am fully focused on the idea.

I teach because it's pretty much the only job I can do that gives me a half-decent salary - let me just emphasise that I do enjoy my job. If money wasn't an issue I would pursue a job related to my degree. It would have to be an entry level job where salaries average around the 800,000 pesos mark which isn't enough.

Basically I want a better paying job with the scope to learn/develop new teaching skills (I have exhausted all development opportunities in my current job). To put things into perspective, if I work all my scheduled hours I take home between 1.8 - 2 million per month (128 hours per month, 8 of which are teacher meetings) depending on the number of students I have. I was offered a job by Verve English in the north of Bogota a good few months back with a salary of around 2.5 million per month teaching something like 110 hours per month but the schedule wasn't to my liking (three classes per day, one early morning, at midday and in the evening).


You don't want to be a teacher and you don't want to invest the time/money to become a better teacher to be able to get better jobs. You didn't accept a better job than your current one because you didn't like the schedule and you see no prospects for moving up where you are. You see 0 chance of getting a decently paid position outside of teaching.

Why are you spinning your wheels in Colombia? It sounds like you'd be better off going back to the UK.


I'm quite happy here in Colombia thank you very much. Perhaps I came across somewhat pessimistic but that wasn't my intention - based on my experience I haven't found anything that I would consider a step up (but I AM SURE there are plenty of opportunities around). There is no room for progression in my current role - fact, that isn't to say that there aren't other opportunities elsewhere.

You are free to make judgments but you have certainly got the wrong end of the stick.
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The Internationalist



Joined: 26 May 2012
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

double post

Last edited by The Internationalist on Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:44 am; edited 1 time in total
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The Internationalist



Joined: 26 May 2012
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So it sounds like you want to be a teacher and like Colombia.

Well, like I previously mentioned, you if want the best salaries and benefits than you need to become a real teacher.

I am not up to speed on UK based alternative certification / licensing programs but I am sure you can find one you could complete in 1 years time prob all online from any where in the world.

I am doing a US based one right now, and will be returning to Colombia upon completion.
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ColomboBritanico



Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 12
Location: Bogota

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Internationalist wrote:
So it sounds like you want to be a teacher and like Colombia.

Well, like I previously mentioned, you if want the best salaries and benefits than you need to become a real teacher.

I am not up to speed on UK based alternative certification / licensing programs but I am sure you can find one you could complete in 1 years time prob all online from any where in the world.

I am doing a US based one right now, and will be returning to Colombia upon completion.


I see that the British council are running a ´blended celta´ in January that lasts 10 weeks and the fact that I could maintain my job whilst studying is a big plus. At 4 million pesos it´s a serious amount of money for me at the moment but ultimately it seems that It would be a step in the right direction.

Thanks again for your feedback.
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spanglish



Joined: 21 May 2009
Posts: 583
Location: working on that

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ColomboBritanico wrote:
spanglish wrote:
ColomboBritanico wrote:
The Internationalist wrote:
What are your goals for Colombia? ie How long do you want to stay and what do you want to accomplish?

If you want to make ESL a career than id suggest getting a quick MA TESOL. This will open up a lot of doors for you. Esp in Universities.

Although if you are wanting to be a teacher and want to live abroad for a significant amount of time id suggest getting a real teaching license. Doesnt take long if you already have a degree and can be done online.

Plus the pay and benefits will be top notch.


Thanks for your reply!

I will be in Colombia for at least another year, I'm looking to develop my experience through work as opposed to obtaining a certificate - I appreciate that a lot can be learned from taking a course i.e. CELTA but I'm not totally set on doing it so would only consider it if/when I am fully focused on the idea.

I teach because it's pretty much the only job I can do that gives me a half-decent salary - let me just emphasise that I do enjoy my job. If money wasn't an issue I would pursue a job related to my degree. It would have to be an entry level job where salaries average around the 800,000 pesos mark which isn't enough.

Basically I want a better paying job with the scope to learn/develop new teaching skills (I have exhausted all development opportunities in my current job). To put things into perspective, if I work all my scheduled hours I take home between 1.8 - 2 million per month (128 hours per month, 8 of which are teacher meetings) depending on the number of students I have. I was offered a job by Verve English in the north of Bogota a good few months back with a salary of around 2.5 million per month teaching something like 110 hours per month but the schedule wasn't to my liking (three classes per day, one early morning, at midday and in the evening).


You don't want to be a teacher and you don't want to invest the time/money to become a better teacher to be able to get better jobs. You didn't accept a better job than your current one because you didn't like the schedule and you see no prospects for moving up where you are. You see 0 chance of getting a decently paid position outside of teaching.

Why are you spinning your wheels in Colombia? It sounds like you'd be better off going back to the UK.


I'm quite happy here in Colombia thank you very much. Perhaps I came across somewhat pessimistic but that wasn't my intention - based on my experience I haven't found anything that I would consider a step up (but I AM SURE there are plenty of opportunities around). There is no room for progression in my current role - fact, that isn't to say that there aren't other opportunities elsewhere.

You are free to make judgments but you have certainly got the wrong end of the stick.


Okay, perhaps you can find another institute with better pay/hours. There always seem to be new institutes popping up. Unfortunately I haven't heard much good about any of them. My personal experience with them is limited to International House, but I know people who arrived in Colombia after me and none have had much good to report on that front.

Those with a CELTA and experience are competing for uni jobs, most of which are mediocre. If you have the money and expect to teach for at least another 2 years, I would suggest getting a CELTA and targeting the unis.

The part time CELTA sounds like a good option, but it will be tough to complete if you're doing in-company classes and moving around the city on public transport all the time. Even a 10 week course could take 25 hours/week or more of your time.
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ColomboBritanico



Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 12
Location: Bogota

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spanglish wrote:
ColomboBritanico wrote:
spanglish wrote:
ColomboBritanico wrote:
The Internationalist wrote:
What are your goals for Colombia? ie How long do you want to stay and what do you want to accomplish?

If you want to make ESL a career than id suggest getting a quick MA TESOL. This will open up a lot of doors for you. Esp in Universities.

Although if you are wanting to be a teacher and want to live abroad for a significant amount of time id suggest getting a real teaching license. Doesnt take long if you already have a degree and can be done online.

Plus the pay and benefits will be top notch.


Thanks for your reply!

I will be in Colombia for at least another year, I'm looking to develop my experience through work as opposed to obtaining a certificate - I appreciate that a lot can be learned from taking a course i.e. CELTA but I'm not totally set on doing it so would only consider it if/when I am fully focused on the idea.

I teach because it's pretty much the only job I can do that gives me a half-decent salary - let me just emphasise that I do enjoy my job. If money wasn't an issue I would pursue a job related to my degree. It would have to be an entry level job where salaries average around the 800,000 pesos mark which isn't enough.

Basically I want a better paying job with the scope to learn/develop new teaching skills (I have exhausted all development opportunities in my current job). To put things into perspective, if I work all my scheduled hours I take home between 1.8 - 2 million per month (128 hours per month, 8 of which are teacher meetings) depending on the number of students I have. I was offered a job by Verve English in the north of Bogota a good few months back with a salary of around 2.5 million per month teaching something like 110 hours per month but the schedule wasn't to my liking (three classes per day, one early morning, at midday and in the evening).


You don't want to be a teacher and you don't want to invest the time/money to become a better teacher to be able to get better jobs. You didn't accept a better job than your current one because you didn't like the schedule and you see no prospects for moving up where you are. You see 0 chance of getting a decently paid position outside of teaching.

Why are you spinning your wheels in Colombia? It sounds like you'd be better off going back to the UK.


I'm quite happy here in Colombia thank you very much. Perhaps I came across somewhat pessimistic but that wasn't my intention - based on my experience I haven't found anything that I would consider a step up (but I AM SURE there are plenty of opportunities around). There is no room for progression in my current role - fact, that isn't to say that there aren't other opportunities elsewhere.

You are free to make judgments but you have certainly got the wrong end of the stick.


Okay, perhaps you can find another institute with better pay/hours. There always seem to be new institutes popping up. Unfortunately I haven't heard much good about any of them. My personal experience with them is limited to International House, but I know people who arrived in Colombia after me and none have had much good to report on that front.

Those with a CELTA and experience are competing for uni jobs, most of which are mediocre. If you have the money and expect to teach for at least another 2 years, I would suggest getting a CELTA and targeting the unis.

The part time CELTA sounds like a good option, but it will be tough to complete if you're doing in-company classes and moving around the city on public transport all the time. Even a 10 week course could take 25 hours/week or more of your time.


Seeing as I am free in the afternoons and evenings I don't see why I wouldn't be able to dedicate sufficient time to doing the course. What it really comes down to is the money. I'm going to have a think about it with a view to applying at the end of this month/beginning of december.

You mentioned that a CELTA would provide more chance of getting a uni job but that they tend to be mediocre - in what sense?
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spanglish



Joined: 21 May 2009
Posts: 583
Location: working on that

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Second tier unis will involve lots of hours, mediocre pay and unqualified management. They'd still be better than institute work, though. Pay and benefits at first tier unis, while significantly better, are either holding steady or dropping.
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Noelito



Joined: 19 Sep 2012
Posts: 4
Location: Bogotá

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:26 pm    Post subject: Study Agency Reply with quote

Alex, I've worked for Cormac at Study Agency for 5 years now, he's a pretty straight up guy (not something to take lightly given that the English teaching business is rife with cowboys). You can contact Cormac at 6101280, email cormac@studyagency.com...Tell him Noel sent you
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ColomboBritanico



Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 12
Location: Bogota

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Study Agency Reply with quote

Noelito wrote:
Alex, I've worked for Cormac at Study Agency for 5 years now, he's a pretty straight up guy (not something to take lightly given that the English teaching business is rife with cowboys). You can contact Cormac at 6101280, email cormac@studyagency.com...Tell him Noel sent you


Many thanks Noel, I shall be in touch with him soon. Can you perhaps share your experience working for the company?
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ColomboBritanico



Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 12
Location: Bogota

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spanglish wrote:
Second tier unis will involve lots of hours, mediocre pay and unqualified management. They'd still be better than institute work, though. Pay and benefits at first tier unis, while significantly better, are either holding steady or dropping.


Thanks for the info.
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The Internationalist



Joined: 26 May 2012
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ESL is a dead end job scene.

As one poster pointed out even if you spend all that money on a CELTA ur only looking to hopefully get a 2nd tier Uni job that is in no way stable or worth the price of the CELTA imo.

If you really want to do ESL (not sure why anyone would) than id suggest getting a MA TESOL.

If you plan on spending / working any significant time abroad teaching (is that what you want?) Than you need to become a real teacher.

However, if you just want to hangout in X country for 1-2 years just for an experience before you return to your home country to start your life / career than the ESL scene is fine. Go ahead and get a CELTA.

However, if you want to live abroad and teach for 4+ years than id advise getting the proper credentials that can be had fairly cheap & quick.
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