Do you love a challenge? Have a flair for teaching? Are you looking for a way to get out, see the world, and experience a new culture? Then it is official. Teaching English abroad is one of the best options out there for you, and positions are widely available all over the world.
The problem is that you are not the only with this idea and competition for the high paying jobs in exciting countries is heating up. That is exactly why you may want to look into getting your hands on a Teaching English as a Foreign Language certificate ( TEFL certificate). Now, this isn’t to say that you need one, and there are a plethora of opportunities for you to land a job teaching English without one, but this certificate can really open up the door to the world.
Requirements for Teaching English
It was not long ago that very little was required of English teachers in order to be hired for a teaching position. In fact, in some places all that was required was proof that you were a native English speaker and a degree of some kind. These days that is all starting to change as governments and school administrators are realizing that in order to teach English to students a lot more is required than a simple grasp of the language. In order to be successful, an English teacher abroad must possess planning skills, organization, creativity and have an understanding of the teaching discipline on the whole.
It really isn’t as easy as some people think to walk into a foreign country, with foreign students, and try to teach the intricacies of the English language. Believe me, I know first hand. When I journeyed abroad to start teaching I was under the assumption that it would be like summer camp all over again. (I worked as a summer camp counselor for the better part of 7 years) I really had no idea what I was in for and I could have been much more prepared had I invested in a TEFL course.
Is a TEFL Certificate for Everyone?
Does this mean that I think all people should get their TEFL certificate in order to teach abroad? Does this mean there is no way to land a job without one? Absolutely not. The truth is that I took the hard road, and a large number of institutions are starting to realize that. Even if a TEFL certificate is not required, schools and institutions are going to bump the resumes of certified teachers right up to the top of the list. Not only does that mean that you have a better chance of getting a job teaching English in general, but it also means that you may get first crack at the top rated jobs, the highest paying jobs, and the jobs in the best destinations.
The best part may even be that such a certificate opens up borders at home, as well as around the world. Many teachers who choose to obtain the certification actually opt to stay home and teach ESL rather than move abroad. The point is that the TEFL certificate really is an opportunity to improve your knowledge and provide you with education that can be used for the rest of your life, no matter which career path you ultimately choose.
I have nothing to gain from promoting the certificate and I do not have one of my own. The fact is that the benefits of the course far outweigh any of the drawbacks. When I return home I may never choose to teach English again, but I will be taking a serious look at the TEFL certification program in order to lay down the groundwork and keep borders open for the rest of my life.
Even if you choose to never use your certificate and never move abroad, having it in the back of your pocket can ease your worry and give you the peace of mind that you do have something to fall back on.
That is just my two cents, take it for what it is worth.