Friday 2 October 2009

How to Get Good Teaching Jobs

Updated 16 May 2014

Some people don't think you can get a good job by teaching English but they're out there. Having the right qualifications, experience, connections and luck will help you. There's lots of information out there worth reading on how to get a great job.

Korea's a good example. University jobs in Korea can pay very well and the long vacations (up to 5 months paid vacation!) are fantastic. Here are tips for how to get a university job in Korea. The Middle East is also nice since the salaries are tax free and there are lots of benefits. Find out which other countries have high salaries and good benefits by reading the best countries to teach in.
  • Apply to jobs you're under qualified for. Not jobs that you are seriously under qualified for. However, if they want you to have five years experience and you only have four, you might want to apply. Or if they require a masters degree, but you're a semestre away from graduating. If you don't apply there's a 0% chance that you'll get a job. If you do apply at least you have a chance.
  • Apply to religious schools. This is a touchy one as there are some schools that are super religious and there are some that are religious just in name. Some require a statement of faith or even a baptismal certificate. These places often get fewer applicants since people can be wary about mixing religion and work. Find out if you are required to participate in any functions, such as chapel. 
  • Apply to schools outside big cities. It seems like everyone wants to live in a major city, meaning that if you apply to places outside bigger cities, you may have a better chance of getting the job. 
  • Ignore start dates. If you find a school that you like, but you're not available now, send them your CV and let them know when you will be available.
  • Have a stellar CV and cover letter. Cover letters are what an employer sees first so if your cover letter gets rejected the employer will never look at your CV. You'd also be surprised how many people can't write a good CV. Spend time on your CV and update it often.
  • Nix chain schools. They usually have a high turnover and you will work long hours for little pay. The exception to this would be the British Council and perhaps International House.
  • Get teaching qualifications and experience. If you plan on making TEFL a career the more experience and qualifications (BEd, PGCE, PGDE, master degree, or diplomas) you can get the better chance you'll have of getting a high paying teaching positions. If you don't have a TEFL cert, you should look into getting one.
  • Share your knowledge. Getting articles published and giving workshops will help. They're nice to put on your CV and you can network at the same time.
  • Ask for more. If you've got the experience and qualifications ask for a better salary and more benefits. You have to be willing to negotiate, but most places are willing to help you if you will give their institute a good name and bring in students.Salary's not the only thing: more vacation, better teaching hours, gym membership, or language lessons are just a few benefits you could ask for.
  • Connections are key. Teachers leave good jobs and many of them aren't advertised. Instead, they're passed on to people within their network.
  • Find a niche. EAP, ESP, teaching young children, exam prep, curriculum design, curriculum review, materials development, language test construction, academic writing, teaching exams prep, medical English, business English, legal English, and English for tourism, are all some examples. 


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