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ESL Schools in Vancouver

 
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newbie86



Joined: 18 Dec 2010
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:28 pm    Post subject: ESL Schools in Vancouver Reply with quote

I'm an ESL teacher who has two years of experience working in Mexico. I got back from my adventure there around September, and am living here in Vancouver. I had actually come back with the hopes of finding a job upon my arrival unfortunately I haven't found the job that I was hoping for. I do work here as an English tutor for a tutoring centre, but the hours there are very scant (like basically three hours a week). So, I have basically learned the hard way that autumn and winter are not the seasons during which ESL teachers are hired in this city.

So, I have been working as a sub for various ESL schools in the area. But I have only gotten very limited work doing that (by that I mean that I've taught like for three days). I really want to get a part-time job working at one of those schools to get more work experience as teaching is my career goal. Will the industry pick up in the next few months? Will new teachers get hired in May when all the Korean students come back during their summer vacation without having been a sub prior to that? I have a tough dilemma, because I really want to get experience working at an ESL school, but I know that they give preference to people who go in as subs without saying no, when called upon. For that reason, I don't have a steady 'daytime' job because I don't want anything to interfere with me saying yes to going in and working as a sub, so I'm not really doing that many productive things in the morning, which sucks. It is rather frustrating. Anyways, if I'm really serious about my career should I keep doing what I'm doing, or is the market going to continue to stay rather stagnant even during the summer? During which months are more teachers hired here even if only temporarily?

Oh yeah, I have two years of experience, my TESOL Certificate (which I did get in Canada) and of course my BA. Thanks so much to anyone who can help me with my dilemma.[/b]
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santi84



Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 858
Location: under da sea

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I left Vancouver 2 years ago.

Did you teach ESL (as a career) in Vancouver prior to Mexico?

It really doesn't improve beyond basic sub work or a part-time job if you are lucky. Have you considered a BEd with TESL specialization? That is one of the few ways to get steady work in Vancouver. Even teachers with MA TESOL and experience can't find enough work to pay their bills.
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newbie86



Joined: 18 Dec 2010
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know exactly what TESL specialization is within the BEd program? I am currently waiting to see if I will be accepted into the BEd program of UBC. If I am accepted, it will start in September. For that reason there is no point for me to look for work overseas certainly for the next little while.

How is the job market in Montreal? Do you know if it's better in Toronto than here in Vancouver? To be honest, I am quite surprised. I thought with Vancouver's rich diversity that there would be more of an impetus for international students to come here to study English.

And to answer your question, no I did not work in this town prior to going to Mexico. I basically got my TESOL and took off. It was easy to find a job. It took me three weeks and I had nothing lined up before I departed from Canada. However, I had great ideas for my prospects here because a few of my friends got jobs in this town with little difficulty. One of them got one right away without any experience after he passed the TESOL program with me. Anyways, thanks for your input. It is very much appreciated.
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newbie86



Joined: 18 Dec 2010
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And also: as I said previously, if all goes according to plan, I will be starting the BEd program at UBC in September. In the meantime, I would like to get some experience teaching ESL in Vancouver. I don't care if I get laid off in September. I will quit if I am not laid off. I just want some experience and enough money to pay the bills, as they say. My main query here is: though the market in Vancouver for ESL is not good during the winter and early spring, will it have improved by May? Do I have a good prospect of getting at least steady work by that time? Thanks again, santi.
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smedini



Joined: 24 Feb 2006
Posts: 178

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not going to help with formal experience but if you're willing to tutor privately you can definitely keep the wolf at the door at bay. I returned from Korea in the late 1990s barely having paid a dime on my student loan (which is what I went to Korea for in the first place), and had a mountain of debt in collections. I, too, had a job at a tutoring centre with few hours and not-so-great pay before getting a writing job at a publishing company. I had a more consistent pay there but it still wasn't enough to live on and make any significant impact on my debts. So I started tutoring privately. I walked into a Korean shop, asked if he knew anyone who needed a tutor or if I could put up a sign in his shop, he took my number and a week later I started tutoring three students at a time at $15/hour each, two hours a day, three days a week. Then I got two more. I started my regular job at seven, finished at three, tutored from 3:30 to 5:30 every day (we had no kids back then). I made enough to pay off more than $25K in debts in a year and a half thanks almost solely to the tutoring.

Something to think about...

~smedini
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santi84



Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 858
Location: under da sea

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

newbie86 wrote:
I don't know exactly what TESL specialization is within the BEd program? I am currently waiting to see if I will be accepted into the BEd program of UBC. If I am accepted, it will start in September. For that reason there is no point for me to look for work overseas certainly for the next little while.

How is the job market in Montreal? Do you know if it's better in Toronto than here in Vancouver? To be honest, I am quite surprised. I thought with Vancouver's rich diversity that there would be more of an impetus for international students to come here to study English.

And to answer your question, no I did not work in this town prior to going to Mexico. I basically got my TESOL and took off. It was easy to find a job. It took me three weeks and I had nothing lined up before I departed from Canada. However, I had great ideas for my prospects here because a few of my friends got jobs in this town with little difficulty. One of them got one right away without any experience after he passed the TESOL program with me. Anyways, thanks for your input. It is very much appreciated.


TESL specialization in a BEd program allows you to teach TESL at public high schools (whereas the elementary BEd limits you to regular classrooms and maybe ESL if you can fifnd it).

UBC, SFU, and also UFV (University of the Fraser Valley) all have great BEd programs. Cost of living around UFV is cheaper (it's about 1 hour from UBC).

Montreal's market is decent if you are bilingual. There are a lot of ESL students in Vancouver but there is also very stiff competition and high cost of living. $10-12 is not an unusual wage and that is part-time hours.

My personal recommendation is to count on a non-TESL full-time job to support yourself and either pick up some part-time work if you can, or volunteer with programs like ELSA or the school district for work experience.


Last edited by santi84 on Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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santi84



Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 858
Location: under da sea

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Private tutoring is also a good idea if you can do flexible hours. Cut out the middleman. A lot of ESL schools in Vancouver will rip you off (pay barely minimum wage and charge students lots), if you go private, you may be able to pick up enough.
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newbie86



Joined: 18 Dec 2010
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you smedini and santi.

As a matter of fact, I have been tutoring a little bit. Inasmuch as it has helped me to pay the bills, I honestly don't like it because a lot of students are unreliable (they cancel last minute, or desire to move their sessions to a time inconvenient for me) and I don't like traveling to their homes. However, I do understand that a lot of people in Vancouver like to tutor, and though I know I am a good teacher, I am starting to think I'm really terrible at the business end of the tutoring game (I travel to areas far away from my home, for example, when I probably should not take the person as a client). But I may take smedini's advice and post my information at various places in ethnic communities. So, thanks for that advice.

Santi, do you know if summer camps are a viable option for a person with my qualifications during the summer, in the event that nothing opens up in any ESL schools by May? When would be the best time for me to apply for that? Do you know any good websites that post that information? Again, I want to thank both of you for your advice.

Ciao.
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santi84



Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 858
Location: under da sea

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't taught summer camps but I was under the impression that Feb/March is the hiring period (maybe April too).
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