Sunday 19 April 2009

How to Accept or Reject a TEFL Job Offer

Updated 4 February 2012

On the Fence about a TEFL Job?
Don't simply reject a job teaching English abroad because of the salary or benefits. Contracts are usually negotiable and there are many things to consider before you accept or reject a teaching job. They have made an offer so now it's your turn to make a counter-offer. Remember that while you can usually make a couple of changes to the contract in order to get a better deal or to clarify items you can't change it completely.

Rejecting a TEFL Job Offer
If you reject a position please email the person and let them know. It's not polite to simply ignore their job offer. When letting a TEFL school know that you will not accept their position you can just write a quick, polite email. There's no need to say "I heard that your school treats its teachers badly" or "the salary is way too low". Instead say something like "I'm afraid I already accepted another position" or "Thank you for the offer but I'm afraid I have to decline."

Accepting a TEFL Job Offer
If you accept a position teaching English abroad then you might be able to negotiate. Negotiating your TEFL contract has a lot of good tips. Keep in mind that some employers may decide not to offer you the position if you ask too many questions and want to change too many things in the contract.

Email the TEFL school and thank them for the job offer. Try saying, "Thank you for offering me a position at X school. I'm very excited about the prospect of teaching at your school. I have received the contract and have a couple of questions I would like to ask/clarify about it." Then list your questions.

For example, if your contract says that an English teacher will teach 25 hours, you could ask how long an hour is. Sometimes 40 or 50 minutes is considered an hour in some teaching contracts. Another example, is that you are an experienced teacher with five years experience. Their advert says that they pay $1000 to $2000 but they have only offered you $1100. You could say something like "I have a question regarding the salary. In the contract it says that I will receive 1100 USD, however, I feel that my five years experience would make me eligible for a higher salary."

Some employers have a chart to determine salary. For example, TEFL teachers with a BA are paid X and TEFL teachers who have a BA + TEFL cert get paid Y. Other employers don't use this method. The best thing to do is know how much teachers are paid in that country.

After Signing the TEFL Contract
After you sign the contract and start the visa process you should do the following.
  • Book a flight and inform your school when you will be arriving. Ask about airport pickup.
  • Email current teachers and ask them for tips about the school and city.
  • If you're going to bring teaching materials with you, start looking around for suitable books and materials.
  • Observe some classes before you start teaching.
  • Familiarize yourself with the materials.
  • Start thinking about lesson plans.
  • Familiarise yourself with the town.


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