The Ins and Outs of Teaching
Thinking about teaching English abroad? Have you thought about
what that really means? What kind of life and lifestyle changes that
means to you, personally? This informative, thought-provoking article
will cause you to take close look at your self and whether teaching
English overseas is for you.
If you're considering teaching English abroad, you need to have a realistic
picture of what you're signing up for.
Here's what you can expect -- and what will be expected of you:
You've got to commit -- for awhile, anyway
When you agree to teach English overseas, you need to be willing to
spend at least six months away from home. In fact, some teaching
contracts will last for a year, or more. So, before you go through the
process of getting certified, make sure you're willing and able to spend some
time away from your family, friends, and responsibilities. Really take a close,
hard look at what this means in your life. If you have a “significant other”
and there’s a problem while you’re out of the U.S., you can’t go over to that
person’s home and talk the problem through…you’re in another country,
possibly on the other side of the world.
You can turn this into a career
The great thing about teaching English abroad is that it's flexible. If you
want to go "one-and-done" (meaning that you make it through your first
contract, then go home and live off of the experience for the rest of your life,
and never do it again), that's fine. Or, you may be able to, and choose to
renew your contract when it's up and stay in your current job for a much
longer period. It’s your choice.
If that's not an option -- and you want to keep teaching -- you can move
from teaching job to teaching job, even country to country. It’s your choice.
Since there are so many people around the world who want to learn English,
it's not terribly difficult to find new jobs!
You'll have help finding work
Even though this line of work is virtually economy-proof (unlike most other
industries and professions!), you'll still need some help finding job
opportunities. Luckily, as long as you get certified from a good school,
they'll be ready, willing, and able to help you with whatever you need -- for
as long as you need it. In fact, the really good schools have an entire team
of career counselors on hand.
Plus, good schools will also have a strong alumni network. That way, you
can literally have networking connections all over the world!
You may not wind up in a giant city
If you think that teaching English abroad means automatically living in
the hustle and bustle of one of the world's most glamorous cities…think
again. Sure, you may get to live in Tokyo, Paris, Buenos Aires, or the like.
However, you may also wind up living in the suburbs of those cities (after
all, people in the suburbs want to learn English, too!).
Either way, the experience will be one that you'll never forget. And, there
can be some great benefits to living outside of the hustle and bustle -- like
friendlier people, safer neighborhoods, and a more small-town feel that gets
your more up close and personal with the local customs.