Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Hot Topic: Socialising With Teachers Outside of Work

From viajejet.com
When teaching in a foreign country many times the first foreigners you meet will be those you work with. It seems natural to hang out together. After all, you're all foreigners in a  country where you might not know the local language, culture, or customs.

Mixing business with pleasure has its pros and cons. I'm not talking about dating co-workers, that's a whole different topic, I'm simply talking about hanging out, shopping, going to pubs, etc. Not dating.

Now that I got that out of the way, you have to realise that TEFL is a small world. What you say outside of work can easily come and bite you in the butt. TEFL teachers often ask what some people would be considered not politically correct questions, such as how much rent you're paying or what you charge for private classes. That's all fine and good, and most people don't have a problem with these questions.

However, you can run into problems if you're complaining about a work situation, such as a boss, student, other teachers, or admin. You also might want to be careful if you're teaching somewhere else or teaching private classes, since that might be illegal.

Hands down, I've met some great people at work and have kept in touch with them over the years. At the beginning you always have to be wary though and be careful about what you say. You may think there's no harm complaining a bit, but if you find out the person you're complaining to is best friends with the person you're complaining about, you could easily land yourself in hot water. Likewise you don't want to end up drunk and acting like a fool in front of co-workers. Or worse, hitting on them.

Have fun, but just keep in mind that word gets around fast in the TEFL community.

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