This week our guest blog post is written by Adam, who has spent time teaching in Shanghai Adults School EF China.
Possibly like you, I had the ambition to travel and see the world, but the main problem was how to achieve this dream without the necessary finance! Well the good news for me, and maybe you, is that I found the vehicle to not only travel but get paid at the same time and it’s working perfectly. You’re probably waiting with baited breath for the answer, which is a very simple one; I decided to teach English as a foreign language and listed my name for TEFL jobs!
A paid sightseeing tour
Do you have the travel bug like me, and either want to expand your present teaching experience, or even determine if you actually want to be a teacher? If so, you can achieve your ambition and at the same time, provide a valuable language service to many students in a foreign country. The great part is that while you are gaining a worthwhile TEFL teacher experience, you are also being paid for it and living a sightseeing dream!
The demand for foreign teachers
Many countries today have rapidly expanded and eager to learn populations. This has motivated the need and demand for people like me, and possibly you, who want to travel and be paid to teach English as a foreign language, to kids or adults in other countries. I have discovered an environment as a TEFL teacher which not only provides me with a financially supported career and self-development prospects but also gives me a lot of fun and the ability to see and learn about other cultures and customs.
Getting paid to lead a good life
Yes, it’s true; I lead a very good life and importantly, I have a lifestyle that suits my particular ambitions and needs; which are, travel, and sightseeing, all paid for by teaching English as a foreign language! If you’re wondering about the self-time factor to do your own thing, then here is an example. It’s usual for a TEFL teacher to start work after 1 pm, which means I can get up later than normal and avoid rush hour traffic on public transport.
I earn a sufficient income to rent my own apartment, although I could share if I wanted to save money. Eating is always a new and exciting experience for me; I can try the different Chinese dishes such as a Baozi, YouTioa, or noodles for breakfast, or international foods like cereals. This is a huge positive about being a TEFL teacher; I can afford to make choices!
About working as a TEFL teacher
On average, I work about 5 hours per day, with some extra time allowed for planning lessons and various student activities. There are generally intervals between different classes, although, like any other teaching environments, I sometimes have back-to-back lessons. However, as a TEFL teacher, I have my free time to look forward to later in the evening and the advantage of when going home; I again miss the rush hour traffic. To relax, I often meet other teachers for a meal or drinks, or just sit back and enjoy the sensation of being in another and fascinating part of the world.
Working with experiences
Working in different parts of the world as a TEFL teacher opens doors to new and exciting experiences and to meeting and making new friends. For example; in China, I have made friends who introduced me to the various forms of entertainment like the KTVs a Chinese karaoke, or we ride our bikes and at the same time, they help me study Chinese. During the holidays, I pack my bags and alone or with friends, visit and explore different parts of the country. This is what memories are made of; having a great time and making my travel dreams a reality!
Teaching is fun
Teaching English as a foreign language is more to me than a job; it’s an occupation filled with new experiences, almost every day. As an ESL teacher, you will never be bored with your lifestyle or the people around you. They are friendly, with an inherent curiosity, which makes for great teaching experiences. I was given the opportunity of teaching kindergarten students and every day was a fun day! From playing games to introducing new words with colour flashcards, or singing songs; the kids and I all had a great time.
Being prepared is an important part of being an English teacher. I make sure that my lesson plan is structured well in advance and approved by the principal. There is no shortage of teaching aids and materials, which not only makes my life easier but also those of the students. Overall, this is an ideal life, financially stable and giving me the opportunity to not only experience new environments, but also more about myself!