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Where should I go from here?

 
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rafaella



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 123

PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:25 pm    Post subject: Where should I go from here? Reply with quote

Hello,

This is my first post to ask for advice although I have been lurking on Dave's for far longer than I care to admit.

I've been teaching English (all ages, levels, general and business) in Europe for 10 years now. I'm very happy in my current job but I've realised that if I stay where I am, I will be exceedingly poor in my old age. (No debts but not much in the way of savings either). As things stand, the only two options I can envisage for my retirement are doddering into the classroom at 80+ and explaining the present perfect for the millionth time or setting up home on a park bench. Neither option holds much appeal!

As I don't want to stop teaching, the only way I can see of providing for my retirement would be to move to a job/country where I could actually start saving money and that is where I think I'm going to run into problems.

1) I have a recognised degree from a UK university but I completed it by distance learning. I'm sure I've read that some countries will not accept degrees completed in this way. Is that true? If so, which countries would I have to rule out?

2) I have a TEFL certificate but it is not CELTA/Trinity/SIT. I'm not suggesting that I couldn't benefit from taking the CELTA course but it is pretty expensive and the idea of having to spend that sort of money on an entry-level course (no disrespect intended) after teaching for 10 years is painful. Given my teaching experience, do I still need to do a CELTA course? Could I study for the DELTA without having a CELTA? Even assuming I could, would potential employers still want to see a CELTA on my CV? If I have to do a CELTA, so be it.

3) What other qualifications should I think about taking? I'm serious about teaching and I'm interested in professional development as well as the chance to improve my financial situation. I imagine a Master's would be on the list but would a Master's completed by distance learning be accepted?

I appreciate that the answers will vary from country to country but I've posted here as I'm willing to consider almost any location that would enable me to start getting some money together for the future.

Thanks for reading and apologies if I've missed the answers to any of the questions above.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9372
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can only speak to a couple of your questions, but for what it's worth, here goes.

Yes, I think that you can indeed do a DELTA without having done a CELTA.
Your generic cert shouldn't hold you back in most places - depends - but if you make it clear on your CV that it was an onsite course with supervised teaching practice (if it was) you should be ok.

There are some highly reputable distance and blended learning MAs offered by UK universities (Birmingham, Surrey, Leicester, Edinburgh and others I've no doubt forgot at the moment) which are accepted almost everywhere. My Bham MA does not state that it was a blended programme (partly on campus, mostly distance).

Some also give credit towards an MA for a DELTA.
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tttompatz



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 1951
Location: Talibon, Bohol, Philippines

PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IF you are willing to move out of Europe you can do well in Asia.

The money is good enough in many places that you CAN save for retirement (to the tune of 6-10 thousand quid per year) and still enjoy a very comfortable lifestyle (40 hour week, 20 classes, 10-16 weeks of paid annual vacation, medical, etc).

.
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artemisia



Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 867
Location: the world

PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Some also give credit towards an MA for a DELTA.

I think that's a really important point but I'm not sure if you'd have to go immediately on with an MA or be able to cross-credit at later date. You'd really have to check with individual course providers. I also think a DELTA sounds like a good option for you and you really would need to upskill to access the better paying jobs. A masters would open up the best choices especially with your experience (even though some ME regions only seem to credit experience post degree) but I'd hesitate doing another distance learning only degree, as that's how you did your BA (?). A distance only MA will also limit you a bit in terms of where you can go, though this might change further down the track. A blended MA degree would be acceptable in most places, as Spiral78 posted.
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Zero



Joined: 08 Sep 2004
Posts: 1402

PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would help to know your general timeframe, as in whether you want to retire in five years versus 35 years. That will help you to figure out how much investment to put into additional qualifications. I believe that because of the priorities you have stated, financial return on investment is the key factor.

For a short time frame, there is a country in East Asia where you could probably start working right away for good money. Additional qualifications may not be necessary at all. The country is not China, and it is not Japan. It is on a peninsula. Its northern neighbor is run by a kind of wacky dictator.

If you want to invest a bit more time and money, get a master's degree and head for the Middle East. The earnings will be higher. I do not know how they view online master's degrees. Others could tell you. The trend right now is for the degree itself to give no indication of whether it was earned online or on campus.

But there's another consideration when thinking of retirement. Probably more valuable than anything you could save up is the retirement benefit you may be entitled to from your country of origin. Nothing beats a monthly check for life. If you are American, you need to find out how many credits you have in the Social Security system. Find out if you'll qualify for Medicare, too. I think the British have it easier and better, but I don't know the details.

Maybe you've also built up retirement credit in the countries where you've taught these past 10 years?
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8954
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the Middle East seems like the best way to earn money. With an MA you could work there. Even without an MA you might be able to work there due to your experience.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1211

PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did a DELTA without previously having done a CELTA. You can also do them distance. There's an earlier post started by Naturegirl about whether a DELTA was worth it - with some input from a DELTA examiner, I think. Might be useful reading.

Long term, I wouldn't be so convinced about the ME. Instability, the oil running out, their economies being overtaken by other places... Maybe they're still good for another few years, but a lot of people on this forum have been saying how good the money is elsewhere - particularly Korea. The expanding economies right now seem to be Brazil and China, though I don't think this is matched by higher salaries. Maybe look at what you'd need for plum jobs there, and decide on which qual to get based on those criteria.
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rafaella



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 123

PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all so much for your replies. I'll do some more research based on the info you've provided. No doubt I'll be back with more questions!
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Perilla



Joined: 09 Jul 2010
Posts: 783
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you considered the British Council? Especially if you're a Brit, judging by your posts it sounds like it might work for you. See the BC thread below. You would have to do the CELTA to go down that route, but I think it might be in your interestes to do that in any case.
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rafaella



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 123

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all thanks again to all of you who took the time to reply to my original post.

Having taken your comments into account and done some more research, I believe it would be possible for me to apply for either the DELTA or Trinity Diploma, without doing a CELTA course first.

For a number of reasons, I'm looking at doing the Trinity Diploma rather than the DELTA. From everything I've read, the Trinity Diploma is seen as equal to the DELTA but before I finally take the plunge, does anyone think there is any reason to go for the DELTA instead?

Zero - I've still got about 20+ years to go before I retire so the situation isn't dire yet but I've realised time seems to be going faster lately which is a bad sign! I'll definitely look into how the contributions I've made in various countries so far stack up. Thanks for that tip. I've been mulling over the country you suggested for a while now but I still have some doubts.

tttompatz - Apart from the place we can't mention, which other parts of Asia offer the potential to save the sort of money you quoted?
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tttompatz



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 1951
Location: Talibon, Bohol, Philippines

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rafaella wrote:
tttompatz - Apart from the place we can't mention, which other parts of Asia offer the potential to save the sort of money you quoted?


For qualified applicants (degree, TESOL, experience) you can do well with decent savings many countries. You may have to start close to the bottom again in your first year but the chance to move up (financially) can be quite quick with a little wherewithal and some networking.

I am currently in Thailand, have a base salary of 60k baht per month (plus benefits) and earn an extra 10-15k per month doing "extra/admin work" within the school and during my regular 40 hour week. Savings are about 800 quid per month and we (family of 3) live very comfortably and lack for nothing.

The country we can't name is always an option with salaries in public schools topping out at about 20k quid per year + full benefits giving you savings of about 10k pounds per year.

There are similar options in China for those with similar qualifications and the time to look for something decent before they jump. Salaries in the 10-15k RMB per month + benefits (housing, airfare, holidays, medical) are certainly out there if you take the time to look.

In all 3 cases the potential savings are on the order of 500-800 quid per month (or more if you tend to be a frugal person).

You may have to start out at less than the top end but you should get fairly close to the higher end of the pay scales within 2-5 years. If you add to your academic qualifications you will certainly open additional doors (I assumed your degree was unrelated. If your degree is related (English, education, etc. then the path is even faster).

If you are a career ESL teacher Asia is the place to be for savings potential (and assuming you don't want the risks associated with the current political climate in the middle east).

.
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rafaella



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 123

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I'm beginning to realise that Asia is the place to go if you want to save money but I had no idea that it was possible to save so much through working in Thailand. I'd never seriously considered Thailand before so I'm going to head over to that forum to find out more about it. I'll probably show up there with some more questions!
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