News & Stories/2020

5 Questions to ask before you start your TEFL Job

Is accommodation provided?

As a TEFL advisor one of the most common questions I get asked is, will the school I get a job at provide accommodation? The truth is there is no general answer to this as every school is different, some provide accommodation and some don’t. If you are provided with accommodation there are a few questions you should ask. Make sure you find out how far away it is from your school, as you don’t want to be spending hours on a bus travelling to and from school every day. It is also a good idea to try and ask for some photos of your accommodation so you know what you are expecting. Find out how furnished your apartment will be so you can factor in whether you will need to save money to buy household items. If your school doesn’t provide you with accommodation, you will need to ask how much it’s likely to cost before you accept the job. You won’t be able to have much fun if all your money is spent on rent.

Do you follow a structured Curriculum?

If the language school doesn’t have a structured curriculum for you to follow in class, with appropriate textbooks to use for varying levels of students, then you will find yourself spending hours and hours creating English lessons from thin air, with no help or guidance. This can be pretty stressful, particularly if you are new to EFL teaching. With a structured curriculum you will still have the opportunity to create your own lesson plans and activities but you will know what you will need to teach each lesson, making your teaching experience a lot more stress free!

How much will I get paid?

Often when you start a new job it can be a month or so before you get paid. Make sure you know in advance when your first packet will be paid and how much you will be earning, so you can budget accordingly and make sure you have enough saved to live off in the first few weeks. If you have to pay for your own accommodation you will need to know how much you are getting paid so you can work out how much you can afford to pay for accommodation each month. Find out whether your salary will cover holiday days. One of the best parts of moving abroad is being able to explore your new country in your time off so finding out whether you will get paid for time off and how much holiday you can take is always good to know!

Can I talk to a current teacher ?

Nothing beats talking to someone who has experienced what you are about to do. Ask the school if they can put you in touch with a current or former teacher. Once you are in contact with a teacher ask them how they find working at the school, what kind of support teachers get, were they expected to teach extra hours that weren’t stated in their contract and so on. Some contracts will only outline how many hours you will spend in a classroom, not taking into account any other responsibilities you may have, such as activities outside of the classroom, school trips or school events. Find out whether you will be expected to do work outside of classroom hours.

Are there professional development opportunities?

Most reputable schools and language centres offer chances for teachers to share ideas and learn. This may include workshops on teaching skills like classroom management, using technology or teaching grammar. Ask what training will be available to you and what some of their recent training has focused on in order to get an idea of the kind of training that is covered.

Before teaching abroad the most important thing is that you are TEFL qualified! With our two and three day classroom courses it’s a quick and simple process. Take a look at our courses here. Once qualified you will able to apply for TEFL jobs all around the world, which you will find on our website.