looking for a job

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after completing celta what to do to find a job



Looking for a job
Use your mouse. Job sites like www.tefl.com and www.eslemployment.com list vacancies from schools all over the world. It‟s also worth joining TEFL communities like TEFL Chalkboard (www.onlinetefl.com/tefl-chalkboard) and Dave‟s ESL Cafe (www.eslcafe.com) to network with other teachers. Try looking for a job when you get there. Pavement-pounding and using the local English-language newspaper are both good places to start, but you will need guts, and a bit of a financial buffer in case your job hunt isn‟t initially successful! Check your school out thoroughly before you apply. There are lots of sharks out there who seem unable to pay on time and love to over-work their teachers!

Automatically accept (or apply for) the first job that comes your way. Research the school thoroughly first. There are loads of jobs out there, so make sure you choose the right one for you. Think finding a job will be instant. While there is massive demand for TEFL teachers in some countries, finding work in the more popular destinations can take time. Sign your contract without checking it or feel pressured into signing your contract. Things like working hours, standard of accommodation, holidays and the amount of preparation you‟ll need to do can make or break your experience abroad

Invest in a cheap netbook or take your laptop with you –you‟ll find it invaluable for planning lessons and keeping in touch with friends and family back home. Take some smart clothes for teaching; we‟re not talking suits and ties, but certainly smart casual and not too revealing. Teachers are very well-respected in most TEFL destinations, so it‟s important to look presentable. Take out original certificates, including your TEFL certificate and degree certificate if you have one. Arrange the correct visas and work permits. Your school should help you with this, but be wary if they‟re asking you to work on a tourist visa – doing so is often illegal and you could risk falling foul of the authorities. Take some teaching resources with you. Don‟t worry about stuffing your suitcase with heavy books though –there‟s lots of good stuff on the net, too. Check out: Learn as much of the local language as you can before stepping off the plane – it‟s just simple courtesy to say „hello‟ and „how are you?‟ to your new boss in their language (even if you don‟t understand the reply!)

Step off the plane dressed in ripped jeans and a grubby t-shirt if you‟re being picked up from the airport by your new employer. Expect everything to run like it does back home – sometimes you just have to be patient and go with the flow!

A Few Interview Questions You Might Be Asked
1. Which levels do you prefer to teach? Schools generally want to hire flexible teachers who can cover a range of language levels – this makes it much easier for them to timetable and cover classes. You need to ensure the school knows that you are aware of the fact that all language levels have their own unique and interesting challenges and, ideally, you are happy to cover all. 2. Do you prefer teaching adults or children? In most cases schools are looking for teachers who can cover all age groups. However, some specific roles are for a particular age group so you do need to bear this in mind. In general, teaching both adults and children is very enjoyable and both have different needs. Younger learners tend to need more variety and a faster paced lesson whereas adults can remain focused for longer periods. However, it is important to remember that all learners do benefit from a variety of activities during a lesson to maintain interest and to cater for all learning styles. 3. Do you prefer to use text books or your own materials? Which text books have you used before? Schools around the world vary on their approach to text books. Some like teachers to follow a set course through a text book, others prefer you to teach specific language points and use a variety of materials. There are some key text books in common use around the world. The Headway series is probably the most popular of these. Effective teaching will almost always mean combining your own materials and plans with those provided by text books. An interviewer will be looking for someone who‟s able to do this. 4. Have you ever taught, and do you know anything about examination classes? There are a variety of core exams that students around the world study for. With young learners, the Starters, Movers and Flyers exams are becoming increasingly popular; with older learners FCE, CAE, KET and PET, TOEFL, TOEIC and IELTS are all major internationally recognized tests. Your course will cover different examinations and we would suggest that you do a little research on the different exams being used by the school that you are applying to. You should make it clear that even if you haven‟t taught a particular exam course before that you would welcome the challenge and opportunity to add this to your range of skills. 5. How would you interest a group of teenagers in the classroom? You need to combine different interests with a clear task focus, otherwise discipline and attention can become a problem. Topic based lessons about subjects that interest teenagers often work well as the content can be directly related to their own lives. However, if you are thinking of using music as an activity try to make sure it is music that appeals to the group rather than just to yourself! 6. How would you settle a group of lively (rowdy!) students at the beginning of the class? All teachers face a rowdy class from time to time and it‟s usually little to do with you personally. However, be firm and continue with the lesson - shouting is not a good idea and tends to just make things worse. You should remember that most language schools are businesses and they depend on student fees for their existence. In many cases, excluding a student may not be an option. Keeping the pace of activities high and having some optional „warmer‟ activities always prepared means that you can quickly do something different to break up the rowdiness and then return to what you were teaching. Always ask the school what discipline procedures are in place and abov above all, when faced with a rowdy class, KEEP YOUR COOL.

7. Is this your first visit to____? How will you adjust to life in another country? Many recruiters will be concerned that you may suffer from culture shock/home-sickness and end up leaving the school/ country. Be as honest as possible and don‟t just say, “Oh I‟m sure it won‟t be a problem”. If you have prepared properly for your interview, the fact that you have researched the country and can even identify some aspects of life there that people commonly feel challenging will help to re-assure the school, even if this is your first time working overseas. Wherever possible cite examples from other travel experiences and how you have coped in the past.

Questions You May Want to Ask
Ask about levels, books used, ages, discipline structure etc. How structured is the course/curriculum? How flexible is it? Is there much autonomy for the teacher in the classroom? Ask about the length of the contract. This could be from five months to a full year. How many contact hours does the contract ask for? There are a range of contact hours (face-to-face teaching time) expected, from around 15-20 in some establishments to over 35 in others (this is a LOT!!). If they ask you to teach more than 25 hours a week, I‟d beware - remember that you will have to plan for lessons as well as teach the classes. Ask about what sort of on-going training (INSET) and teacher development is provided. Good schools will often host weekly or fortnightly training and development sessions which is a great way to develop your skills and learn from others. This isn‟t common, but if the school has it, it‟s a VERY good sign! Even if they assign you a mentor (a more experienced teacher to help you in the first few weeks/ months) I‟d see that as a good sign. Ask about dress code, working hours, climate, the local life and what activities you could be involved in after-school hours. Ask how large the school is, how many teachers there are and if there are any other English teachers. Have any English teachers been there longer than one year? You should ask about payment in the interview (especially in a phone interview), including how much and how often you will get paid. Ask to see the contract before you fully commit. This should be in English. You could always take it to the local consulate of that country if you need to. You should also ask about the benefits, including time off, holidays and any bonuses to cover the cost of your flights. Accommodation is very important; ask whether it is included in the deal, if not ask how best to find it (get contacts, web addresses etc) and how much it might cost. If it is included check that it is furnished and ensure that details are spelt out in your contract.

A few articles that give you an idea of some of the experiences people have had: http://careers.guardian.co.uk/careers-blog/tefl-students-teachers http://careers.guardian.co.uk/careers-blog/teaching-english-in-south-america?intcmp=239 http://careers.guardian.co.uk/teaching-tefl-in-china http://careers.guardian.co.uk/real-stories-from-tefl-teachers-part-1?intcmp=239

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