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experienced teacher new at TEFL
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joeysu



Joined: 28 Nov 2012
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:34 am    Post subject: experienced teacher new at TEFL Reply with quote

I have my BA and multiple subject teaching credential w a masters in educationaly technology. i have been teaching elementary school in USA for 14 years and love my job. i really want to experience living in another country and teach abroad. my question is what is the best way to go about making this happen? i have been reading and researching online and not sure which is the best way for me. i am set to take a leave from my current job up to two years. i would love to teach in europe (turkey or prague in the top of my list) but seems very difficult to get a work visa. my other top choice would be Thailand. i am thinking of two options: 1st is to get a job set up before i leave with a teaching placement company such as teachaway but i heard from a person who is currently teaching in thailand say that according to his coworkers, they do not really like teaching placement companies because they seem to place teachers in schools that no one wants. Is there anyone who has gone through a teaching placement agency who can provide me with their opinions? my 2nd option would be to go take a TEFL course in another country so that i can be there already and find a job when i complete my TEFL certificate. the scary thing about that choice is that i will be leaving my well paid job to go across the world by myself without any safety assurances such a job and housing set up beforehand. i would aprreciate any advice on what would be the best route that i should take. or if there is another way that i have not thought of that is even better than my two listed options. i thank you ahead for any advice you can offer!
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Javelin of Radiance



Joined: 01 Jul 2009
Posts: 1187
Location: The West

PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:31 am    Post subject: Re: experienced teacher new at TEFL Reply with quote

joeysu wrote:
the scary thing about that choice is that i will be leaving my well paid job to go across the world by myself without any safety assurances such a job and housing set up beforehand. i would aprreciate any advice on what would be the best route that i should take. or if there is another way that i have not thought of that is even better than my two listed options.

Your worry is unfounded. You'll find a job fairly easily with your resume, the only questions are where and what kind of job? I guess the most important thing for you is to figure out where you want to go first then find out what jobs are available and when is the main hiring season. For example in China, the best time to search for a university teaching job is in March and April when schools start looking for people to start work the following September. There's a less busy hiring season for those jobs right now, to start work at the end of February. Probably a good idea for you to lurk around some of the different forums on this site to get a better idea. A few other pieces of advice: 1. nothing in ESL is 100% guaranteed. 2. try not to have too many ties where you are now that might cause you to worry while you're abroad, and 3. ensure you have some finances available to keep you afloat once you quit your current job and before you start a new one. Some people ignore this advice and pay for it later. Well, good luck.
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joeysu



Joined: 28 Nov 2012
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i definitely want to get a job teaching elementary school age children. i would love to teach in thailand. i am currently teaching right now so i wont be able to leave until mid june at the earliest. i know that the semester doesnt start again until october in thailand. i'm trying to save money this school year so that when i do leave in july 2013 i dont have to worry about bills here and i hope to be able to find a teaching job in thailand that pays enough for my living expenses there with enough money to travel during my off time. i will be able to bring enough money with me to last about two months to give myself that time to find a school and sign a contract. i really want to teach abroad in hopes that i will experience another culture and do what i love here in another country. i believe that my experience here as a teacher will help me teach kids from another country and those kids will also teach me to be a better teacher for when i come back. i am definitely reading as much as i can to see what others are saying but havent seen many post from others who are in similar situations as me. thank you so much for your reply!! everything helps!!
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9500
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are very few openings in the Czech Republic in the K-12 sector. English language is taught by locals in regular schools (and is poorly paid). International schools hire native English speaking teachers but openings there are extremely rare; there is very little turnover in this sector. The majority of the market here is teaching business/general English for adults. Your background would not put you in a particularly strong position for this. Most likely best to go where teaching kiddies is more prevalent and your current skills will be more applicable.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12305
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

International School. K-12. Salary and conditions usually better. Do a searc h on this forum.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4326
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since you're American, there may be a DoDEA opportunity abroad that interests you.
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joeysu



Joined: 28 Nov 2012
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thank you for everyone's reply. international schools are definitely high on my list. looks like europe is pretty much out for me, but thailand seems like a likely place to find employement. however i've been reading a lot of negative comments regarding teaching in thailand. it's giving me some reservations now. i hope to find some positive experiences from teachers teaching or have taught in thailand. lifestyle and experience/travel is on the top of my list before salary. i really want to take a break from my current situation even though i love my job teaching kids here. i am making a really comfortable salary in the US so it's more than likely i'll come back. my school will keep my job for me if i return in two years time. that is why for my teaching abroad, i'm not focused on salary too much. it's important for me to be happy and have a great experience. so if there are any other countries that someone can give with high recommendations that i should consider i would love to hear them. i've never heard of DoDEA but i did a quick google search and will read up on it more. so thank you for that advice.
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Javelin of Radiance



Joined: 01 Jul 2009
Posts: 1187
Location: The West

PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

joeysu wrote:
however i've been reading a lot of negative comments regarding teaching in thailand. it's giving me some reservations now. i hope to find some positive experiences from teachers teaching or have taught in thailand.

Don't believe everything you read. You always hear about the people where things went horribly wrong. What you don't hear about (usually) is that a lot of these people did things, working illegally is a common one, that led to these bad situations. Some complaints are legit, many are not, and it's not always easy to tell one from the other if you're new to this line of work. People who have good experiences, for some reason, don't usually write and post them online, but there are many people out there who are doing well and enjoying it.
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joeysu



Joined: 28 Nov 2012
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

you are right Javelin of Radiance. i have been thinking of teaching abroad nonstop for over a month and have been reading as much as i can on it and i'm just trying to take everything into consideration and get as much advice as possible before i take the leap in half a years time. the only thing stopping me at this point is my own personal fears. i someone who always play it safe. being female and moving across the world alone to a country where i know not one soul is very scary for me and i know you are right in saying that i cannot believe in all the negativity. thank you!
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4326
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

joeysu wrote:
i have been thinking of teaching abroad nonstop for over a month and have been reading as much as i can on it and i'm just trying to take everything into consideration and get as much advice as possible before i take the leap in half a years time. the only thing stopping me at this point is my own personal fears. i someone who always play it safe. being female and moving across the world alone to a country where i know not one soul is very scary for me and i know you are right in saying that i cannot believe in all the negativity. thank you!

It seems this would be your very first time outside the US. As a first-timer, consider working overseas in a large, Westernized city where there's a sizable expat community. And as I always say, keep your mind open and your expectations low and never stop asking questions. By the way, I'm a product of the DoDEA.
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joeysu



Joined: 28 Nov 2012
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great advice nomad soul! i will definitely take keep all that in mind. having a place where there is a large expat group is very important to me. i'm really hoping that my school will have foreign teachers whom i can connect with and figure things out with. of course i would like to get to know the native teachers also since learning a new culture is a big reason on why i am going. very cool that you are a product of DoDEA, very nice to know! i'll probably have more questions for you as i read more about it! so for a person like me would you suggest getting set up with a job first or going to Thailand to take a TEFL course and then applying for a job in person?
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tttompatz



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

PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Real teacher looking for 2 years in Thailand (or another SE Asian country) then get off of the EFL/ESL boards and look at proper, internationally accredited schools.

http://www.searchassociates.com/
http://www.tes.co.uk/jobs
http://www.ibo.org (look for specific schools - don't apply to IBO).

In Thailand, as an EFL teacher you are looking at paying your own way in, covering your housing aand other expenses and earning $1200 / month.

As a foreign recruited English speaking teacher for a proper, internationally accredited school you will earn $3000+/month, get full benefits (including air, housing, medical, etc).

.
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joeysu



Joined: 28 Nov 2012
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tttompatz thank you for your reply! i never thought about that route because i didnt know that was a choice for me. i will definitely read up on those sites that you recommended and hopefully be able to find something. will i be able to send them my CV and contact them directly then? thanks for opening up a totally different avenue for me. since i dont know anything about that i will definitely have to look through all of those sites carefully to see how to go about it since i am still very lost. thank you so much!
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Ixchel



Joined: 11 Mar 2003
Posts: 155
Location: The 7th level of hell

PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dept. of Defense schools are your best bet. But you have to apply a year in advance. At international and American schools the competition is unbelievably fierce and the teachers are all qualified (and good.) Extremely difficult to get a good placement.
You could work in the Virgin Islands easily. You can also teach in England. If you pm me I'll look up the agency that I went through before I changed my mind. They contacted me for years after. There are regular classroom jobs and supply (subbing) in the Home Counties and London. Lots of Canadian teachers in England.

You not only can work in New Zealand but they'll give you permanent residence. Check the government website-they'll tell you which jobs are needed and therefore will be eligible for visas. Elementary education is a permanent shortage area. You have to send your credentials and transcripts to be evaluated, it's very expensive-several hundred dollars then contact the schools themselves but there are lots of positions. They're happy to get teachers from the US, Canada and Britain. They have lots of teachers from India and the Philipines. NZ was the first country to start Whole Language and Big Books and they've done amazing things with early literacy.
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Chancellor



Joined: 31 Oct 2005
Posts: 1335
Location: Zibo, China - if you're willing to send me cigars, I accept donations :)

PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:00 pm    Post subject: Re: experienced teacher new at TEFL Reply with quote

joeysu wrote:
I have my BA and multiple subject teaching credential w a masters in educationaly technology. i have been teaching elementary school in USA for 14 years and love my job. i really want to experience living in another country and teach abroad. my question is what is the best way to go about making this happen? i have been reading and researching online and not sure which is the best way for me. i am set to take a leave from my current job up to two years. i would love to teach in europe (turkey or prague in the top of my list) but seems very difficult to get a work visa. my other top choice would be Thailand. i am thinking of two options: 1st is to get a job set up before i leave with a teaching placement company such as teachaway but i heard from a person who is currently teaching in thailand say that according to his coworkers, they do not really like teaching placement companies because they seem to place teachers in schools that no one wants. Is there anyone who has gone through a teaching placement agency who can provide me with their opinions? my 2nd option would be to go take a TEFL course in another country so that i can be there already and find a job when i complete my TEFL certificate. the scary thing about that choice is that i will be leaving my well paid job to go across the world by myself without any safety assurances such a job and housing set up beforehand. i would aprreciate any advice on what would be the best route that i should take. or if there is another way that i have not thought of that is even better than my two listed options. i thank you ahead for any advice you can offer!
As someone else suggested, try IBO or other international schools. If you're interested in language instruction (in particular, ESL), then you could add an ESL credential to what you already have (if you follow your state's requirements for doing so; for example, I have early childhood through 8th grade and ESL).

Last edited by Chancellor on Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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