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Getting the balance right!
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What kind of employee is more preferable to a school?
Someone with 2 years local experience
66%
 66%  [ 10 ]
Someone with extensive globetrotting experience
33%
 33%  [ 5 ]
Total Votes : 15

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it'snotmyfault



Joined: 14 May 2012
Posts: 527

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:26 am    Post subject: Getting the balance right! Reply with quote

I'm approaching two years post-CELTA experience now, all of it in China.

Ideally I'd like to experience a few more countries while developing as a teacher. But I can't help thinking that without having in-country experience I'd just end up going from one entry level job to another. That might be alright if I was 23, but I'm in my late 30s and it doesn't appeal to me.
I can see myself getting some further qualifications in the next couple of years, after I have a bit more experience.

Have other people managed to get this kind of balance where they travel and their career also progresses?


Last edited by it'snotmyfault on Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Shroob



Joined: 02 Aug 2010
Posts: 1339

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:37 am    Post subject: Re: Getting the balance right! Reply with quote

it'snotmyfault wrote:
I'm approaching two years post-CELTA experience now, all of it in China.

Ideally I'd like to experience a few more countries while developing as a teacher. But I can't help thinking that without having in-country experience I'd just end up going from one entry level job to another. That might be alright if I was 23, but I'm in my late 30s and it doesn't appeal to me.
I can see myself getting some further qualifications in the next couple of years, after I have a bit more experience.

Have other people managed to get this kind of balance where they travel and their career also progresses?


Perhaps consider working at the same institution but a different branch e.g. British Council or Bell. That way you may be able to work yourself up, but experience different countries. The trouble is getting your foot in the door.
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1837

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that most sensible employers consider your experience in their particular country to be a much less important factor than teaching experience per se. So even if you apply to a school in another country, you should be able to get a job requiring an experienced TEFL rather than a newbie position. (There will be one or two who try to knock you down with 'but you haven't worked in Blagland before'. So ignore them and work with somebody else.)
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9488
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to disagree (this time) with coledavis on a couple of points.

First, there's general agreement that student expectations, motivation, and expected classroom approaches and methods vary considerably across regions. The Asian educational tradition is a far cry from what an EFL teacher in Europe might encounter; if all of 'your' experience is in one or the other region, for example, this may well put 'you' at a disadvantage. Basically, if all of my experience with EFL is in, say, a German context, where students expect substantive, focused instruction and in which teachers are viewed as service providers who'd better know all the ins and outs of their subject, and I want to transfer to someplace in Asia where students expect some entertainment mixed into their lessons, my chances of immediate success are far less certain than those of a candidate from the same region who is accustomed to the regional expectations.


Second, a reputable employer who's got a candidate from a far-away region as versus a candidate with a solid local rep - it's an easy choice for so many reasons!
This may be less of a consideration if 'you' are applying for positions in areas where the job market is less competitive, but in the more desirable locations, people do generally have to pay some local dues to move up the food chain to the 'better' jobs.

Shroob's advice is probably more accurate; if you have an institutional reputation, and if you're working for a chain or franchise across which there are some significant similarities in focuses and approach/methods, this may transcend regional differences enough to give you a better chance. However, from what I've heard about some of these, the better locations are extremely competitive (everyone wants to go there) so might still not really give you the choices you want.
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it'snotmyfault



Joined: 14 May 2012
Posts: 527

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies.

I'll have to think what to do, if I don't do something I could end up staying in a Chinese university for the next ten years!
I'm really enjoying my job at the moment but I realise how a lot of employers view Chinese experience.
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Perilla



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

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm inclined to agree with coledavis' viewpoint on this. There is so much liquidity in the TEFL industry - teachers coming and going, varied contracts, and a huge range of job types - that IMO most employers will look at the individual and his/her quals and experience for many posts. I'm not saying local experience doesn't count, it's just that I think there's room for everybody, give or take.

My advive to the OP would be to start boosting your quals. You could (for example) do a distance masters over the next couple of years, and this would seriously up your recruitability outside China, and you'd get another couple of years experience under your belt at the same time.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9551
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nope. I think Spiral is closer to the truth on this. Experience teaching kiddies in country X is all well and good, but I need somebody whom I don't need to babysit if I give 'em a job teaching businessmen from country Y - where I wish to pursue the life of ease that I have become accustomed to as lazy DoS...
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Perilla



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

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sashadroogie wrote:
Nope. I think Spiral is closer to the truth on this. Experience teaching kiddies in country X is all well and good, but I need somebody whom I don't need to babysit if I give 'em a job teaching businessmen from country Y - where I wish to pursue the life of ease that I have become accustomed to as lazy DoS...


And a ding dong battle commences! Actually, to be more precise (or less precise but more accurate) I think both arguments are valid. While Sasha may take X for his or her local experience, that means X isn't competing with the OP for the position that's opened up X college, which has a more libertarian approach to recruitment. TEFL is a vast ocean of possibilities, and there are few hard and fast rules.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9551
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Och! Let's run a poll to find out Very Happy
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1837

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whoo, Perilla, you've got us up against Sashadroogie and Spiral. That's powerful magic!
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9488
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Consider poll motion seconded.
What's our poll gonna look like?

My suggestion:

Thread title: Input needed from posters who are/have been in charge of hiring teachers.

All other criteria being equal, which candidate would you choose for your open position:

1. Teacher A, with a decade of experience in some different geographical region
2. Teacher B, with two years of experience in 'your' country

Open question follows: Why?

My personal answer appears above. To re-iterate (and elaborate a bit), I'd choose the candidate with more direct experience working with they kinds of students my institution deals with. I'd also prefer a candidate who is already settled in 'my' country, thus avoiding my institution needing to deal with logistics or a teacher with possible culture shock issues, etc.

This may well be more applicable in the more desirable locations, where there are enough applicants for 'us' to be choosy.


Last edited by spiral78 on Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9551
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I second Spiral's suggestion!

All in favour say "Aye"! (Which is Soviet code for "I don't want to be shipped east...")
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1837

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry Spiral, but I don't think you're helping yourself with the question you've posed. By giving a decade around the world, surely you're weighting it too heavily in favour of the general teaching experience side.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9551
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coledavis wrote:
Whoo, Perilla, you've got us up against Sashadroogie and Spiral. That's powerful magic!


Not magic, Cole. Our scientists have dispelled magic as merely the delusions of primitive and bourgeois mankind. No, what we have is a scientifically correct worldview, backed up by historical inevitability. The future is ours! Ours,I say! We will bury you in poll results! We have poll results racing off our assembly belts like sausages! I recommend that you join us. Don't stand in the way of History! Or else you risk being consigned to its dustbin. Your choice, Cole...
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9551
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coledavis wrote:
Sorry Spiral, but I don't think you're helping yourself with the question you've posed. By giving a decade around the world, surely you're weighting it too heavily in favour of the general teaching experience side.


Not necessarily. I would still go for the two-year chappy in my country.
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