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



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 1218
Location: Ecuador

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Over the last few years I've persuaded several British teachers to at least pay their voluntary NI stamp. I wouldn't want the UK state pension to be my main plan for retirement, but it's better than nothing and will at least leave them no worse off than all the other Brits who haven't made any other arrangements. However, even overseas, there are options. British Council has a contributory pension scheme that is as good as most in the UK.
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Argofoto



Joined: 28 Aug 2012
Posts: 61
Location: Philadelphia

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unheard Utterance wrote:
Who honestly here thinks they will have financial security from EFL?

Let's face it, a lot of people entered EFL to escape their boring lives and jobs back home and then have realized EFL can be just as boring and repetitive as the job they left behind but minus a decent salary and pension money.

There's going to be a lot of TEFELers patiently waiting for their parents to die in order to get their greasy hands on their inheritance.


^ Me. Except I've been 8 years in the rat race and am at the crossroads of using my down-payment for a house or going TEFL. So far I use all my vacation for travelling and have been to nearly 50 countries but hate only staying 1 or 2 weeks.

It scares the crap out of me to think I'll make maybe just 10 to 20% of the salary I have now, not to mention benefits, pension, healthcare, but the alternative of being on my deathbed and wondering what-if is worse imo. It's also not just traveling that I want, but working face-to-face and seeing some positive effect (even if its just 1 student).

I've been lurking on here for years and years and will call it quits at the end of the year with a plan in mind. Being an off-hours teacher the past 6 years (Volunteering as a tutor and hosting my own library english convo class) just isn't enough. Perhaps making money just isn't all there is to life.

If you're not making enough money, you can also consider online tutoring to supplement your income, or other jobs. How many people honestly make a living off of just one job outside the more lucrative business/IT/engineering/medical jobs?
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philyb



Joined: 06 Sep 2009
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm surprised by the amount of people who seem to view TEFL as a career, it is something you do to a certain age before getting a real job.

The people I've seen in TEFL in their mid-30s and 40s still working are inspiration enough to get out before than. I've been at it about 5 years now, it is fun and rewarding, but I'm just about done. Even ones with decent jobs, they had to go through a ton of training, qualifications AND generally either have to go back to a competitive marketplace in the UK and fight for a 25k job or abroad again where they're still not on that much money. It is a dead end job, there is nothing wrong with it for a few years or a career break, but that's about it.
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Yanklonigan



Joined: 23 Jan 2017
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please don't do it, Argofot! In the long run, you'll regret it. I agree with philyb 100%. TEFL is a short term gig for people in their twenties and early thirties. The chances of long term success and satisfaction in TEFL are maybe 10%. Traveling to foreign countries and working in foreign countries are two different creatures. The novelty of living overseas gets old very quickly for most people. Purchase a house, save for your old age, travel when can do so, and enjoy your native land because it is one of the better ones. Thinking things will be more interesting in Poland, South Korea, Bolivia or Kuwait is downright delusional. Once you get into EEFL it's difficult to get rid of the stench.
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Argofoto



Joined: 28 Aug 2012
Posts: 61
Location: Philadelphia

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the money sucks but if you can supplement it, i.e. online tutoring, wouldn't that make it more viable? Plus in some areas you have 20 hour work weeks, plenty of time (lesson planning shouldn't take up the rest of the week). If money were not an issue (i.e. fat savings and a decent 401k left-over from previous work), I fail to see how TEFL can be a dead-end. What I have so far more than covers costs for a Master's/CELTA/teacher certification courses. So I agree the chances of success are probably not far from 10% but I feel (from lurking here over many years) that this number is much higher with the right qualifications as well as less stress due to not having to deal with loans/money issues.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11451
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Argofoto wrote:
It scares the crap out of me to think I'll make maybe just 10 to 20% of the salary I have now, not to mention benefits, pension, healthcare, but the alternative of being on my deathbed and wondering what-if is worse imo. It's also not just traveling that I want, but working face-to-face and seeing some positive effect (even if its just 1 student).
....
If money were not an issue (i.e. fat savings and a decent 401k left-over from previous work), I fail to see how TEFL can be a dead-end.

So I agree the chances of success are probably not far from 10% but I feel (from lurking here over many years) that this number is much higher with the right qualifications as well as less stress due to not having to deal with loans/money issues.

What are your future/long-term expectations in regard to TESOL?
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RedLightning



Joined: 08 Aug 2015
Posts: 133
Location: United States

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why is it assumed here that no one teaching abroad plans for retirement?
If you’re comparing the average working stiff with a 401k plan here in the U.S. to a TEFLer blowing his entire paycheck every month then sure, the former will obviously be better off. With that said though, even with the ‘Golden days of ESL’ long past and unless you’re working in Thailand, you can save a good 10-20k/year in ESL- most jobs in the U.S. simply don’t offer that savings potential. It’s all individual of course, but to write off TESOL as simply a short stint between real jobs is a bit much
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nimadecaomei



Joined: 22 Sep 2016
Posts: 529

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know what these guys are on about. I make more than the US average for a public school teacher, so what would be my benefit of going back there?
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getbehindthemule



Joined: 15 Oct 2015
Posts: 711
Location: Shanghai

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RedLightning wrote:
Why is it assumed here that no one teaching abroad plans for retirement?
If you’re comparing the average working stiff with a 401k plan here in the U.S. to a TEFLer blowing his entire paycheck every month then sure, the former will obviously be better off. With that said though, even with the ‘Golden days of ESL’ long past and unless you’re working in Thailand, you can save a good 10-20k/year in ESL- most jobs in the U.S. simply don’t offer that savings potential. It’s all individual of course, but to write off TESOL as simply a short stint between real jobs is a bit much


+1
some very narrow minded viewpoints on this thread imo
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11525
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Purchase a house, save for your old age, travel when can do so, and enjoy your native land because it is one of the better ones


I agree that many of the posts here are overly gloomy. As for the excerpt here, I've been able to do all of the above in 'my' foreign country, which is certainly also one of the better countries around:-)
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 946
Location: Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiral78 wrote:
Quote:
Purchase a house, save for your old age, travel when can do so, and enjoy your native land because it is one of the better ones


I agree that many of the posts here are overly gloomy.


Yep. I've got very little to add to what I wrote on this thread before, but, I will state that this industry has been good to me, and continues to be so. My main regret is that I didn't get into it sooner. I will also restate that it can still work for you as long as you are prepared to invest in improving yourself professionally. If I've done it then others can as well.

To be honest, the thought of returning to my 'real job' back in Australia would fill me with horror and the lifestyle and quality of life that I enjoy now, compared to what I had then, quite simply, there's no comparison. In regards to finances, there is no reason why I can't put away/invest approximately half a million Aussie dollars in the next ten years. That's working 32 hours a week, in a pleasant job, living in the tropics and getting over 2.5 months a year in paid vacation time. If others want to say TEFL is a dead-end then OK, but, I, for one, won't be joining in.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1636
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:48 am    Post subject: re HLJ Reply with quote

You can only pay your UK stamp if you have 3 years of nI contributions paid continuously before moving overseas.
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Unheard Utterance



Joined: 02 Aug 2018
Posts: 55
Location: On the road

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1st Sgt Welsh wrote:
spiral78 wrote:
Quote:
Purchase a house, save for your old age, travel when can do so, and enjoy your native land because it is one of the better ones


I agree that many of the posts here are overly gloomy.


Yep. I've got very little to add to what I wrote on this thread before, but, I will state that this industry has been good to me, and continues to be so. My main regret is that I didn't get into it sooner. I will also restate that it can still work for you as long as you are prepared to invest in improving yourself professionally. If I've done it then others can as well.

To be honest, the thought of returning to my 'real job' back in Australia would fill me with horror and the lifestyle and quality of life that I enjoy now, compared to what I had then, quite simply, there's no comparison. In regards to finances, there is no reason why I can't put away/invest approximately half a million Aussie dollars in the next ten years. That's working 32 hours a week, in a pleasant job, living in the tropics and getting over 2.5 months a year in paid vacation time. If others want to say TEFL is a dead-end then OK, but, I, for one, won't be joining in.


Are you an ESL teacher or a licensed teacher in an international school? If it’s the latter and not the former your comments can be ignored. If you are teaching ESL and are putting away 50k Oz then good luck to your but I hardly think that is very common.
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 946
Location: Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unheard Utterance wrote:
1st Sgt Welsh wrote:
spiral78 wrote:
Quote:
Purchase a house, save for your old age, travel when can do so, and enjoy your native land because it is one of the better ones


I agree that many of the posts here are overly gloomy.


Yep. I've got very little to add to what I wrote on this thread before, but, I will state that this industry has been good to me, and continues to be so. My main regret is that I didn't get into it sooner. I will also restate that it can still work for you as long as you are prepared to invest in improving yourself professionally. If I've done it then others can as well.

To be honest, the thought of returning to my 'real job' back in Australia would fill me with horror and the lifestyle and quality of life that I enjoy now, compared to what I had then, quite simply, there's no comparison. In regards to finances, there is no reason why I can't put away/invest approximately half a million Aussie dollars in the next ten years. That's working 32 hours a week, in a pleasant job, living in the tropics and getting over 2.5 months a year in paid vacation time. If others want to say TEFL is a dead-end then OK, but, I, for one, won't be joining in.


Are you an ESL teacher or a licensed teacher in an international school? If it’s the latter and not the former your comments can be ignored. If you are teaching ESL and are putting away 50k Oz then good luck to your but I hardly think that is very common.


People can ignore my comments if they wish. IMHO, this thread started strong with many well-thought out and balanced posts and has now become, perhaps not surprisingly, overly negative. I wanted to add a different take.

As I said repeatedly on this thread, if you want this industry to work for you, then you should be prepared to invest in your qualifications. I'm one of those who have done so by getting a Graduate Diploma of Education and a Masters' degree via distance education on top of my BA (Hons) and CELTA. I mostly did this while working full-time as an EFL teacher. My studies took years to complete, was a bit of extra work for nine months a year, and, whilst the extra study might not be an option for everybody, if I can do it, then so can a lot of people. My circumstances might not be common, but, I didn't fall arse-backwards into it and, to be honest, I had been eyeing off my current job for years before I even applied.

I have never worked in an international school, nor a school in my home country. Nor do I have QTS/full teaching registration. I have, however, been a TEFLer for the last seven years [still consider myself one to be honest] and I'm currently teaching EFL in state schools in Brunei. The UAE and Hong Kong have similar initiatives. My previous teaching experience was, I believe, essential as to why I was able to get my current job.

If somebody believes the industry is a waste of time then I'm sorry about that, but, I, personally don't. If a person is prepared to make the sacrifices, I know that there are potential rewards and good jobs still out there, but, as I've said, you have to make yourself desirable to the employers that offer them. Anyway, that's just my two cents and people can take it for whatever they think it's worth, but, my personal experience tells me that it's not all doom and gloom. For those who want to believe otherwise, fine.
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getbehindthemule



Joined: 15 Oct 2015
Posts: 711
Location: Shanghai

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good on ya Sgt!
Those two previous posters are glass half empty kind of guys to put it mildly Laughing
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