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Looking for advice job hunting after a CELTA.
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sam_1004



Joined: 26 Feb 2017
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:17 pm    Post subject: Looking for advice job hunting after a CELTA. Reply with quote

Hi I'm 25yo and currently half way through my CELTA which I'm completing in the UK. I have a BA in Fine Art but no prior teaching experience other than what I've received on the CELTA.

I have been searching for jobs in East Asia but have been hearing mixed things about finding work in Taiwan, South Korea, China and Japan. In particular, people have said there aren't quite as many jobs in Japan and Taiwan as there used to be. Is this true? Also are these good countries to look at for my first teaching experience, I'm open to suggestions?

Can anyone recommend any reputable sites where I can start looking for jobs? I would like to set something up before I go over, as I worry about finding work on the ground, although some people have suggested this is a better option, which is a better plan of action? People have mentioned going through recruiters. Is this a wise choice? If anyone has had any experience can they recommend any reputable ones. What can I expect in terms of an interview will it be a skype call etc?

How much is reasonable to expect from an entry level job in terms of salary\accommodation? I understand this varies country to country and not to expect too much in terms of salary, I'm used to living quite frugally, however, it would be nice if I could save some money whilst teaching. Is this possible on a starting salary? If so, where might be the best country to work to do this?

Finally, I'm thinking of teaching English as a long term career path, so if anyone is a veteran to the industry where did you start? And what route did you take?

Sorry for all the questions I'm just on the hunt for information atm.
Thanks for your time,
Sam
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 10831
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Definitely take time to read through this newbie forum; some of your questions have been addressed in similar threads.

You'll have to be flexible for your first teaching location. The TEFL market is likely becoming saturated with teachers in some countries, while others, like China, seem to always have openings. Additionally, work visa/permit regs aren't as lax as they were a few years ago. You might take a look at the thread Future of TEFL? for a snapshot of the industry.

In terms of pay, benefits, requirements, job hunting strategies, start-up costs, etc., I suggest you head to the forums of the specific regions or countries you're interested in and ask there. The Korea forum is separate and can be found at http://forums.eslcafe.com/korea/.
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suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 797

PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Looking for advice job hunting after a CELTA. Reply with quote

sam_1004 wrote:
Can anyone recommend any reputable sites where I can start looking for jobs? I would like to set something up before I go over, as I worry about finding work on the ground, although some people have suggested this is a better option, which is a better plan of action? People have mentioned going through recruiters. Is this a wise choice? If anyone has had any experience can they recommend any reputable ones. What can I expect in terms of an interview will it be a skype call etc?


Finding work before you go is largely a matter of the country you aim for.

For China / Korea then use of a recruiter and having everything lined up before you leave home is the common route. Korea will usually pre-pay the airfare but for China you will need to fly in and get your flight allowance at the end of your contract.

For Taiwan and SE Asia it is more common to fly in and look on the ground. Most jobs will ignore you if you are not "in-country". Then you would do a quick visa run to a nearby country and obtain a work visa.

sam_1004 wrote:
How much is reasonable to expect from an entry level job in terms of salary\accommodation? I understand this varies country to country and not to expect too much in terms of salary, I'm used to living quite frugally, however, it would be nice if I could save some money whilst teaching. Is this possible on a starting salary? If so, where might be the best country to work to do this?


Again, salary for a newbie will depend on the local market.
Korea (2 million won), China 10k RMB, Thailand 35k THB, Taiwan (55kTWD), etc.

Some markets supply accommodation (China, Korea as an example) but the majority do NOT. Finding a place to stay falls on you along with the requirement for deposits, furniture, utility hookups, etc.

In most places, unless you live like a foreign executive expat, you should be able to save about 25-50% of your salary.

sam_1004 wrote:
Finally, I'm thinking of teaching English as a long term career path, so if anyone is a veteran to the industry where did you start? And what route did you take?


You have the BA and a CELTA.

Now get a few years of experience under your belt and make sure that teaching is what you want to do. At that point you should then think of serious professional development.

A post grad certificate in education, MA/M.Ed are the common routes depending on whether you want to stay as a teacher in basic education or move into the tertiary sector.
If your plan ends up with you staying in the private sector then a DELTA may be in the offing rather than an MA/M.Ed.

.
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sam_1004



Joined: 26 Feb 2017
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey thank you for the advice I'll definitely take the time to browse around the different forums.

Have you had an experience with recruiters suphanburi I've been reading numerous horror stories about ridiculous long hours and mistreatment from employers. I keep running into lots of contradictory reviews for various recruiters one in particular was "Reach to Teach." Could you recommend any reputable ones?

This is steering me more towards looking on the ground in Vietnam, though I would be a bit nervous going over somewhere for the first time without everything set up.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 10831
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sam_1004 wrote:
I keep running into lots of contradictory reviews for various recruiters one in particular was "Reach to Teach." Could you recommend any reputable ones?

This is where you head to the specific forums and ask teachers working in those locations about job hunting for that particular country.
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suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 797

PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sam_1004 wrote:
Hey thank you for the advice I'll definitely take the time to browse around the different forums.

Have you had an experience with recruiters suphanburi I've been reading numerous horror stories about ridiculous long hours and mistreatment from employers. I keep running into lots of contradictory reviews for various recruiters one in particular was "Reach to Teach." Could you recommend any reputable ones?

This is steering me more towards looking on the ground in Vietnam, though I would be a bit nervous going over somewhere for the first time without everything set up.


The problem is that people do not understand what the recruiter is, does and is for.

Think of them as the "used car salesman".
    You come on the lot (browse the website).
    You see a car you like (pick a position to apply for).
    The salesman comes over, assists with the paperwork to purchase the car (makes sure your documentation is ready and walks you through the visa process).
    It is YOUR responsibility to check out the car (vet the employer and position) before you buy.
    It all looks good so you buy the car (you sign the contract, get your visa and fly over).


The recruiter is not your friend.
The recruiter is NOT your employer. They are hired by the employer to find a warm body to fill a position.
They have no authority beyond that.
Once you have been placed with an employer the recruiter is out of the picture (regardless of what they may lead you to believe).

It is YOUR responsibility to vet the job and the potential employer.
It is your responsibility to make sure what you are signing up for when you sign your contract.
It is YOUR responsibility to seeks labor redress according to the terms of the contract if there is an issue with the employer.

Know them for what they are and use any and all of them to help you find YOUR best job with conditions that are suitable to you.

Know that teaching EFL/ESL is a 40-hour per week job. When the ad says teach 30 hours or teach 22 hours that is only 1/2 of the job. The rest is all the other things a teacher is responsible for outside of the classroom (planning, prep, marking, assessment, report cards, etc.).

What teaching EFL is NOT is mornings in the classroom, afternoons on the beach and evenings in the disco with your weekends spent doing elephant trekking and other tourist type stuff.

.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 10831
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

suphanburi wrote:
What teaching EFL is NOT is mornings in the classroom, afternoons on the beach and evenings in the disco with your weekends spent doing elephant trekking and other tourist type stuff.

(Sigh.) If only it were so. Sad
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sam_1004



Joined: 26 Feb 2017
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well that's lucky I can't say I'm a huge fan of night clubs in fact, I don't really drink, as for elephant trekking I can't say I've particularly considered it. To be perfectly honest a lot of "tourist type stuff" is exactly what turns me off from going to a country like Vietnam.

I understand to some extent the implications that come with teaching hours, however I feel I would much rather be teaching doing something that I've currently discovered enjoyment in, rather than watching my brain die a slow death working in a supermarket which is what I currently do in the UK.
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Hod



Joined: 28 Apr 2003
Posts: 1613
Location: Home

PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Suphanburi's offered the only advice so far.

You want a school which is supportive in terms of training. This means training sessions (done by correctly-qualified people), observations and the chance to observe others. You want decent resources and a mix of qualified colleagues around to bounce ideas off.

You don't want huge classes, mixed levels, more than 25 hours a week or too many boring one to one lessons.

I'm not a big fan of Intermational House, but that's the sort of school a newly-qualified teacher should try.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 10831
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Looking for advice job hunting after a CELTA. Reply with quote

sam_1004 wrote:
I have a BA in Fine Art but no prior teaching experience other than what I've received on the CELTA.

If your BA in Fine Art focused on music, drama, or visual art, indicate that on your CV. Prospective employers may be interested in your creative skills in addition to TEFL.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1519
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 6:54 am    Post subject: erm Reply with quote

Sam, I'm a veteran. My path took me into teaching in the oil and gas industry, so I've done OK.

Don't make this your career. Do it for a year to finance pre-career travel and get it out of your system.

The market is saturated, the bolt-hole $ jobs are fast disappearing and most of the employers treat you like a zero-hour potato picker. Don't do it. One day you'll want a family and normal life.

You can always teach ESOL in your evenings/holidays if you really are interested in English teaching.

In my experience, TEFL is not a place where you'll even meet good people. Most teachers are selfish, bubble living sociopaths.
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bograt



Joined: 12 Nov 2014
Posts: 297

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to give an alternative position, I've been in TEFL for 25 years and still enjoying it. Made enough to retire already but I'll keep going for another 10 years. I've worked in 10 different countries, some better than others and met a huge variety of people. Never worked in the Middle East but, no disrespect to those working there, no one is there for anything else apart from the money, so dragonwipo's definition may have something to do with that. It's still very easy to get a job in most places but if you want to save a reasonable amount, get as qualified as possible, as early as possible and specialise.

Last edited by bograt on Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:09 pm; edited 2 times in total
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1519
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:51 pm    Post subject: well..... Reply with quote

Spent my early career in Central Europe having fun. Now 2 decades into North Africa and the Middle East. I'm not in Saudi. I'm in the best place to teach in the Middle East on $100k/pa. My job is as rare as rocking horse shyte.

No disrespect to the previous poster but the market now and when we kicked off is totally different. More people speak English, local teachers have come a long way, training budgets are getting squeezed and there are way more native speakers around. Pay and conditions are getting worse (and they were already mostly dire).

If I had to start over now, knowing what I know, I wouldn't touch this life with a barge pole. I was lucky enough to catch the end of the golden days.
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bograt



Joined: 12 Nov 2014
Posts: 297

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:21 pm    Post subject: Re: well..... Reply with quote

dragonpiwo wrote:
Spent my early career in Central Europe having fun. Now 2 decades into North Africa and the Middle East. I'm not in Saudi. I'm in the best place to teach in the Middle East on $100k/pa. My job is as rare as rocking horse shyte.

No disrespect to the previous poster but the market now and when we kicked off is totally different. More people speak English, local teachers have come a long way, training budgets are getting squeezed and there are way more native speakers around. Pay and conditions are getting worse (and they were already mostly dire).

If I had to start over now, knowing what I know, I wouldn't touch this life with a barge pole. I was lucky enough to catch the end of the golden days.


Yeah, the fact that you quote your salary (which isn't that great by the way) in nearly every single post you make seems to confirm your own judgement about the kind of guys you get in the ME
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Hod



Joined: 28 Apr 2003
Posts: 1613
Location: Home

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never set foot in the ME, except the lounges at Dubai airport, but I see nothing wrong with people heading there for the money. Whoever says money isn't important is either very rich or will grow old in unimaginable poverty.

I note the OP dislikes their current employment outlook in the UK. I have to ask what they planned to do with a Fine Arts degree. I feel sorry for undergraduates nowadays who have to pay £9000 a year to study. There should be better guidance in schools as to which further education subjects to study and the opportunities (or lack of) they may offer.

I'd agree with dragonpiwo that TEFL is great for a few years, but it's hard to escape after that time without qualifications to move into another career. The OP should think very carefully about their future because teaching is just another job which gets boring.
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