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Is TEFL a viable career anymore?
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 1202
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:43 pm    Post subject: Re: yep Reply with quote

dragonpiwo wrote:
Cheers.

I live in Poland , so how I can be 'wrong' , you tell me? I just don't eat and drink in places where everyone is 23.
So you live in Poland or the ME? Which is it? Last time I checked, it wasn't possible to 'live' in two places at the same time. You certainly aren't currently working in Poland.

500zl for a meal for 2 people in Poznan and 1000zl for a kid's winter jacket are some of the prices dragonpiwo has quoted. I've never paid, nor heard of anyone paying, those prices in my life. I lived in Poland for 5 years.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1641
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 2:42 pm    Post subject: erm Reply with quote

I have a house in Poland, was there a month ago and work in the sunshine state of the Middle East. I'll be in Poland again in a week. It's really not that difficult to understand.

I worked in Poland last year part-time in between contracts. Had lots of interviews, know what I was offered. Had some privates at 75 an hour. Schools offered between 45 and 55. Nativespeaker.pl will show you how much your competition charges. Some go as low as 30 an hour.

Re prices? It was my winter jacket. Imported goose down. Still got it 6 years later. Re restaurant prices? Well, I'm not talking Ali Baba. I'm talking Papaya in warsaw, Thai Thai in Sopot-those kind of places. Meal for 2 with a bottle of wine and 2 coffees kinda sruff. Nothing out of this world.
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chuckMC



Joined: 15 Apr 2015
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys for the lively discussion. I asked this question not just for me but for other young Native English speakers as well. By the way I am 25 years old (not 40 like someone said).:p

But personally, I am thinking of teaching ESL back home and then alternatively teaching in other countries which boast higher salaries. But anyways, keep the conversation going guys.
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delphian-domine



Joined: 11 Mar 2011
Posts: 674

PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

simon_porter00 wrote:
Career progression in a uni notoriously difficult if even possible.


It's doable, but you need to follow the rules. Basically - if you want a career in a uni, you need to -

- get in the door (a BA is enough, often not even in English)
- do an MA there
- do a PhD there (part time is acceptable if you're already working there, you've got 8 years from starting the PhD to successfully defending it)
- do the dr. hab qualifications within 8 years of finishing the PhD.

With this path, you only teach around 6 hours a week and the rest of the time is spent supervising PhD students and writing/publishing/researching. I'm still contemplating going down that road...

The problem is that most native speakers simply can't be arsed, as they get paid hourly - but better. So for instance, someone teaching speaking at the uni will have less duties and will earn more than a PhD, but they have far less job security and no chance of an academic career.

Quote:
Public sector probably not DD would know best. Where does that leave you?


Public sector (or private sector with full public rights, like where I work) is quite doable, actually. You need to be qualified as a teacher, but the kicker is that the law changed this year and that you now need a valid post-diploma course in educational management if you want to be a school director. However, you can rise all the way to deputy director without qualifications. It's not impossible, but networking is everything.

Quote:
If I were you and I had to stay in small town, the only profitable market that's left (not niche English) is kid's English. There's HUGE money in kid's English and it's a massively under exploited market in Poland.


There are also plenty of utterly useless teachers and schools involved with teaching kids. I wish I could write more without libelling people, but Wink

It's the start of the school year and I've already had three phone calls begging me to teach their kids. I don't advertise and don't even teach private classes, yet people are still begging constantly.

dragonpiwo wrote:
Well, I'm not talking Ali Baba. I'm talking Papaya in warsaw, Thai Thai in Sopot-those kind of places. Meal for 2 with a bottle of wine and 2 coffees kinda sruff. Nothing out of this world.


http://www.thaithai.pl/images/menu-sopot-new.pdf

This place? Doesn't look expensive to me...
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11453
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

chuckMC wrote:
But personally, I am thinking of teaching ESL back home and then alternatively teaching in other countries which boast higher salaries.

Given that there aren't a lot of ESL jobs in the US, you may end up teaching mostly outside the States anyway. And those higher salary overseas jobs will require you to get some solid qualifications and relevant classroom experience.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1641
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 4:43 pm    Post subject: yep Reply with quote

Yep that's the place DD. Starter, main and mango rice for me and the missus about 300 plus a bottle of wine, 2 coffees and a bottle of sparkling water and tip. Bingo 500 PLN. Eaten there 5 or 6 times. It's always 500. Really nice Thai food. What it's doing in Sopot god only knows. Actually my fave place there is Toscana. Bit cheaper but still leaves a dent. Thai Thai was better in 2013 than 2014. The wine list is steepish.

I haven't had a decent meal in Poznan for a very, very long time. Checked out the Srodka hipster places last time and it's all gunk.
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1562
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want money go to China or the ME. Don't do more than two years in Saudi.

Teach in the US. Get certified in something besides ESL first.

Later I can get an ESL endorsement and drama too.
I got certified in English and now I am looking at reciprocity in other states.
Compare salaries within the 50 states.

Arizona needs teachers since they pay less, plus they have the right to work law.
Alaska pays better, but people may get sick of living there.
States on the west coast pay well.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1641
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 7:18 am    Post subject: Mitsui Reply with quote

Sound advice indeed.
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PC Parrot



Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 459
Location: Moral Police Station

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 7:58 am    Post subject: Re: Cheers PC Reply with quote

dragonpiwo wrote:
The guy PMed me about working in the ME. Maybe he was shocked when I told him he'd need a lot of experience as well as certs.

More and more TEFL teachers about, state schools teaching kids how to speak English at younger ages, non-native teachers getting better and better, austerity, low oil prices, wages stagnating, places getting more expensive.

What would your intelligent guess be regarding TEFL prospects? I think it's a totally dumb thing to get into now. I'm too old to change. Les jeux sont faits.

I reckon even in the Middle East, we've got a decade tops.


Yep. In the UAE, in two or three years' time, the work will mostly be in schools & KGs ... And even then, it will only be for people with both QTS & TEFL qualifications.

The packages will be a lot worse than today and the management ... well let's just say that the management at high school level today already makes the Pharaohs look like bleeding-heart-liberals. The future will be ugly, very ugly. So god knows where TEFLers seeking to avoid shipwreck will go then.

Is TEFL a viable career? As far as I'm concerned TEFL is good for youngsters and for that strange type of person that really loves teaching regardless of the conditions.

That's me out on both counts ...
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15341

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When TEFL dies, where should all those misfits go for employment ?
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11453
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PC Parrot wrote:
In the UAE, in two or three years' time, the work will mostly be in schools & KGs ... And even then, it will only be for people with both QTS & TEFL qualifications.

The packages will be a lot worse than today and the management ... well let's just say that the management at high school level today already makes the Pharaohs look like bleeding-heart-liberals. The future will be ugly, very ugly. So god knows where TEFLers seeking to avoid shipwreck will go then.

Not quite. Due to Emiratisation, more nationals are moving into public school positions previously held by foreigners. However, there will always be a demand in the UAE for well-qualified Britons, Americans, Canadians, etc., to educate the children of their compatriots as well as their own dependents in the private school sector. There's no reason to believe management are or will be crappy at those schools.

You're correct about the reduced number of teaching positions at the tertiary level. The government universities will start to phase out their English foundation year programs in 2018. But that isn't the case with the umpteen UAE and foreign-owned/managed private unis.

By the way, while Arabic is the official language, English is spoken more throughout the Emirates, which obviously affects the demand for EFL teachers. Those with experience in learning technologies will be in a better position to snag the more stable, desirable opportunities.

Regardless of where one teaches, being proactive in your development (i.e., education/credentials and experience) helps you stay in the game.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15341

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Golly, we have an optimist in our midst !
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11453
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nah. Just giving the 4-1-1. Wink
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PC Parrot



Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 459
Location: Moral Police Station

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
PC Parrot wrote:
In the UAE, in two or three years' time, the work will mostly be in schools & KGs ... And even then, it will only be for people with both QTS & TEFL qualifications.

The packages will be a lot worse than today and the management ... well let's just say that the management at high school level today already makes the Pharaohs look like bleeding-heart-liberals. The future will be ugly, very ugly. So god knows where TEFLers seeking to avoid shipwreck will go then.



Not quite. Due to Emiratisation, more nationals are moving into public school positions previously held by foreigners. However, there will always be a demand in the UAE for well-qualified Britons, Americans, Canadians, etc., to educate the children of their compatriots as well as their own dependents in the private school sector. There's no reason to believe management are or will be crappy at those schools.


Not sure who you're referring to when you say 'their compatriots'. If it's referring to Brits, Canadians etc, then there's no need for TEFLers. If it's to Emiratis, then you need to speak to more people about management practices at the non-elite private schools - the type where most of the jobs are.

nomad soul wrote:
You're correct about the reduced number of teaching positions at the tertiary level. The government universities will start to phase out their English foundation year programs in 2018. But that isn't the case with the umpteen UAE and foreign-owned/managed private unis.


Small potatoes compared to the numbers that go through the state system right now ... numbers could go up when the state prep programs close down but they might not. The ministry of education has changed year 12 to include an extra focus on IELTS, and they are talking of adding an additional year to help those who fall short of uni requirements.

nomad soul wrote:
By the way, while Arabic is the official language, English is spoken more throughout the Emirates, which obviously affects the demand for EFL teachers. Those with experience in learning technologies will be in a better position to snag the more stable, desirable opportunities.

Regardless of where one teaches, being proactive in your development (i.e., education/credentials and experience) helps you stay in the game.


Alternatively, one could be proactive in wealth management, earn as much again as one earns from TEFLing, and retire early. We should be hanging up our boots in 18 months time at the ages of 48 and 44.

Hope the IT Masters you keep plugging goes well Wink
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11453
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PC Parrot wrote:
Not sure who you're referring to when you say 'their compatriots'. If it's referring to Brits, Canadians etc, then there's no need for TEFLers. If it's to Emiratis, then you need to speak to more people about management practices at the non-elite private schools - the type where most of the jobs are.

Alternatively, one could be proactive in wealth management, earn as much again as one earns from TEFLing, and retire early. We should be hanging up our boots in 18 months time at the ages of 48 and 44.

Hope the IT Masters you keep plugging goes well Wink

I was referring to qualified expat teachers in general (regardless of the subject they teach) in the private school sector in the UAE. And sure, wealth management is important, but so is keeping competitive in one's field, especially for those early in the game (like the OP) and thinking about TEFL as a long-term endeavor. My point is that they need to be realistic about the TEFL market as well as trends no matter where in the world they work.

And for the record, I've never encouraged anyone to get an MA in Information Technology. I'm not sure where you got that info. Confused
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