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IF I had it to do over, I would not enter into ESL teaching.
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getbehindthemule



Joined: 15 Oct 2015
Posts: 664
Location: Shanghai

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

UU,
Read my post prior to yours and you will know my age.
In my previous career, I could never get the time off to enjoy travel...hence teaching allows travel for me and for many others I'm sure.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1606
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:31 am    Post subject: erm Reply with quote

TEFL was, is and always will be a cop out for those who are pretty smart but start off in it young-ish. For those who aren't so smart, it's a job pretty much anyone can do and find an employer who simply doesn't care if they're any good or not.

Some get into it later on in life and it's a breath of fresh air like it is for those who get into it young.

I am ending my career (still under 50) after years of TEFL in oil and gas. I might teach part-time when I'm home but that's it for me.

I wouldn't recommend it as a serious career option. Too many shitty employers, appalling remuneration, isolation etc etc. I've been lucky and I mean lucky. A fluky set of circumstances got me in the oil and gas game and then I developed from there. Never wasted my money on a Masters.


Last edited by dragonpiwo on Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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2buckets



Joined: 14 Dec 2010
Posts: 515
Location: Middle East

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:29 pm    Post subject: Re: erm Reply with quote

dragonpiwo wrote:
TEFL was, is and always will be a cop out for those who are pretty smart but start off in it young-ish. For those who aren't so smart, it's a job pretty much anyone can do and find an employer who simply doesn't care if they're any good or not.

Some get into it later on in life and it's a breath of fresh air like it is for those who get into it young.

I am ending my career (still under 50) after years of TEFL in oil and gas. I might teach part-time when, I'm home but that's it for me.

I wouldn't recommend it as a serious career option. Too many shitty employers, appalling remuneration, isolation etc etc. I've been lucky and I mean lucky. A fluky set of circumstances got me in the oil and gas game and then I developed from there. Never wasted my money on a Masters.


About says it for me, only I worked military contracts is Iran, KSA and UAE, with a year in Japan.
Never got a masters either. Fortunately I worked during the "Golden Age" of TEFL. Probably couldn't do it now.
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Unheard Utterance



Joined: 02 Aug 2018
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:44 am    Post subject: Re: erm Reply with quote

dragonpiwo wrote:
TEFL was, is and always will be a cop out for those who are pretty smart but start off in it young-ish. For those who aren't so smart, it's a job pretty much anyone can do and find an employer who simply doesn't care if they're any good or not.

Some get into it later on in life and it's a breath of fresh air like it is for those who get into it young.

I am ending my career (still under 50) after years of TEFL in oil and gas. I might teach part-time when, I'm home but that's it for me.

I wouldn't recommend it as a serious career option. Too many shitty employers, appalling remuneration, isolation etc etc. I've been lucky and I mean lucky. A fluky set of circumstances got me in the oil and gas game and then I developed from there. Never wasted my money on a Masters.


I shared a house with someone quite recently who constantly complained about student loans due to their Masters degree. A Masters for what exactly? To earn a low salary in a university? I did the maths. It hardly seems worth doing a Masters financially as how long is it going to take to pay off? I don't think my Delta has paid itself off yet. Who wants to be a DoS in a language mill, anyways?

It's better to get off the TEFL train early and get yourself a PGCE or equivalent.
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 941
Location: Temburong, Brunei

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:36 am    Post subject: Re: erm Reply with quote

Unheard Utterance wrote:
dragonpiwo wrote:
TEFL was, is and always will be a cop out for those who are pretty smart but start off in it young-ish. For those who aren't so smart, it's a job pretty much anyone can do and find an employer who simply doesn't care if they're any good or not.

Some get into it later on in life and it's a breath of fresh air like it is for those who get into it young.

I am ending my career (still under 50) after years of TEFL in oil and gas. I might teach part-time when, I'm home but that's it for me.

I wouldn't recommend it as a serious career option. Too many shitty employers, appalling remuneration, isolation etc etc. I've been lucky and I mean lucky. A fluky set of circumstances got me in the oil and gas game and then I developed from there. Never wasted my money on a Masters.


I shared a house with someone quite recently who constantly complained about student loans due to their Masters degree. A Masters for what exactly? To earn a low salary in a university? I did the maths. It hardly seems worth doing a Masters financially as how long is it going to take to pay off? I don't think my Delta has paid itself off yet. Who wants to be a DoS in a language mill, anyways?

It's better to get off the TEFL train early and get yourself a PGCE or equivalent.


I get your point/s, but, as I mentioned earlier, if you want to get ahead in the industry then, IMHO, you've got to be prepared to invest in your qualifications. Besides, personally, I see education as one of the very few things that a person can get that nobody can ever take away from them.

Yes, there are costs involved, but, like I said, I see it as an investment. I found a way to do it and, trust me, I come from a long line of working stiffs. True, if you're in your mid-to-late fifties, or something, then maybe it is not worth pursuing additional qualifications as you may not have long enough left in your working life to enjoy the benefits. I understand that. However, when it comes to managing a career, if you want a career, then, quite simply, you need to plan ahead.

Anyway, my view is either invest in yourself or don't. However, if you choose not to then you need to understand that, generally speaking. you won't be eligible for the best-paying and/or most-desirable opportunities. Personally, I would also add that if you are not prepared to do what it takes then arguably you don't deserve to take advantage of these opportunities when there are people out there who are prepared to make those sacrifices. Anyway, just my two bits and people can take it for whatever they think it is worth.
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nimadecaomei



Joined: 22 Sep 2016
Posts: 432

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are not willing to pay for the quals there are many places that will fund you while you work. I got my PGCE for free at my previous job, and my current job also reimburses employees who take the course.

I would not agree that TEFL is a bad career choice. I would say it depends on your goals. I have been at it for a little more than 10 years, close to mid 30s, and find it to be a good gig. I am married, have a child, and I am even able to send money to help out my mom back home. I think one issue people run into is when they switch jobs constantly. An employer is very unlikely to want to invest in development of staff that will simply disappear in a year. I held my previous position for nine years straight, got qualified, and was able to move into a very nice position. That would never happen if I had been jumping from job to job each year.
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Kalkstein



Joined: 25 Aug 2016
Posts: 62

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It really depends on why you got into teaching in the first place, if you got into it thinking that there was a lot of money to be made you're wrong. Purely talking about salaries, I think TEFL and the education industry in general offer some of the worst paid expat salaries and I'm pretty sure it's backed up by figures. I've never seen someone get wealthy in this game.

The salary offering for a vice principal at an international school here (which only hires people with teaching qualifications), is 10,000 yuan less per month than what my Chinese partner is making in her job right now. So if you want to make money get into STEM private sector jobs but you'll certainly work more... which leads me to why I'm in TEFL.

The job is easy, compared to my previous job (which paid a lot more). I get a ton of holiday (I'm extremely happy taking a 50% salary cut just for those 3 months extra vacation). I actually ENJOY the job. I'm pretty sure that teaching does not have good long term prospects which is why I'm going to enjoy it now and go back into my previous sector when I head back home.
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 941
Location: Temburong, Brunei

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kalkstein wrote:
Purely talking about salaries, I think TEFL and the education industry in general offer some of the worst paid expat salaries and I'm pretty sure it's backed up by figures. I've never seen someone get wealthy in this game.


I'd be inclined to agree with that. However, in my experience, people who have made their money have done it via investments, not salaries. Of course, it's easier to invest on a decent salary, but, even so, I can remember back when I was starting out, not being able to save a dime and thinking "if I just got paid $x more dollars" then I'd be able to save. Well, eventually, I did get paid $x more and still didn't save. You make money, you spend it. Just human nature I guess, or at least I think so. Personally, I think having multiple streams of income is the real way to get ahead and that's what you should plan for. I hope, in about five years, I'll be in that position. Wish I could have done it earlier, truth be told.

Kalkstein wrote:

The job is easy, compared to my previous job (which paid a lot more). I get a ton of holiday (I'm extremely happy taking a 50% salary cut just for those 3 months extra vacation). I actually ENJOY the job. I'm pretty sure that teaching does not have good long term prospects which is why I'm going to enjoy it now and go back into my previous sector when I head back home.


Cool
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Voyeur



Joined: 03 Jul 2012
Posts: 431

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a complex topic, if one wants to get real.
A year or two, at the right time, can provide a worthwhile experience that might--in the best of cases--help supercharge their later Western career.
But for us veterans, the stereotypes often ring true, at l;east to some degree. There was some fatal 'flaw' that never really made a normal, Western career possible. In such cases, what do we really have ESL to compare to in order to regret it? Were we really capable of something else? (Not just intellectually, but in terms of other factors.)
For those that were capable--in all aspects of that term--capable of of a long term Western career, and even eventually yearned for the the fruits of such a lifestyle, but got trapped by the temptations of the easy ESL life, then there is indeed much to regret.
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PC Parrot



Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 458
Location: Moral Police Station

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well for me it’s simple.

If I could have met my wife by travel through a more rewarding career like medicine, architecture, engineering, or art and design, it’s a no brainer.

However, I didn’t. I took the TEFL route. I improved my qualifications along the way, to masters level, and then developed my CALL skills to become a course developer and teacher trainer at one the biggest and most well known universities in the Gulf.

But boy was it dull. DULL, DULL, DULL. And before anyone jumps in saying that teaching is a rewarding careeer, please go and spend 16 years at ‘one of the best’ Gulf Uni gigs, and then come back and talk. Rewarding outside the Gulf? Quite probably in many but by no means all situations, but generally not financially rewarding enough to make for a comfortable retirement.

Now, after 16 years of gruel, not only have we secured an independent income for later life, we have secured one for life now. Aged 50 and 46, we have retired early to Europe and are living the most comfortable of lives that we would ask for.

But would I do it again? Yes, if and only if it was the ONLY way I was going to meet the woman I was going to spend the rest of my life with. Otherwise, absolutely not.
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Moma



Joined: 26 Jul 2017
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I moved on from TEFL a long while ago and will be unlikely to return except in a semi-retirement capacity. However, I will always be grateful I did TEFL when I was old enough to be sensible but young enough to not be that sensible. By the latter, I mean financial sense. I had a career prior to TEFL which I went back to in order to ensure a level of income I needed.

The cultural experiences gained within TEFL are unique. I know one person, for example, who's now quite wealthy and constantly visiting a different exotic location for weeks at a time. They love it, and I wish them well, but it all seems so empty and soulless when you don't know anyone there nor speak a word of the language.

Each to their own, and maybe I am overly positive, but it's easy to have a dig at TEFL's negatives. If this thread's title were "if I'd never done TEFL, would I be a better or worse person?", would people offer a different view?
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PC Parrot



Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 458
Location: Moral Police Station

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you’d find that most people would agree with you if they, like you, were not using TEFL as their main source of income.

Much in the same way that you’d have a very different perspective if you were using it as yours.
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Moma



Joined: 26 Jul 2017
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To be fair, TEFL was my only source of income whilst I was in that field. I had actually thought I may have burned any bridges back into my previous career. This was not the case as it turned out, for better or worse.

The fact ex-TEFL teachers like me are still on this forum shows we still can't quite let go of our TEFL pasts, which I think is great.

- Am I happy in my current “career”? Not particularly.

- So why do it? I like/need the money and the security and opportunities it affords for me and my family. I fully acknowledge, however, the mental anguish at times this “career” brings. I don’t get stressed nor work long hours, but the responsibility is higher than in my TEFL days. Meanwhile, the experiences and colleagues now are way less memorable.

- Would I go back to TEFL if the money were a lot better or I already had financial security? Absolutely.

- Am I happy I did TEFL? As stated above, very.

As said above, it's brilliant that ex-TEFL teachers still post on this forum, and whilst everyone’s opinion is valid, I find it odd when some are mostly negative. TEFL experiences are pretty much unique.
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