The most difficult decision of all.
Is TEFL for You?
You’d really like to travel the world. Experience different peoples, different cultures, different foods. Become a person of the world. You want to feel like you have indeed, Been there, done that, but in a very positive way. But really, is TEFL for you?
There are so many decisions to make when considering moving to the other side of the world to take a job, but whether the lifestyle and the work are a good fit for you is tough work discovering. Not many people are really going to help you think about it.
The marketing people at most TEFL programs, yell out: “Get paid to travel“, but we all know you are aren’t getting paid to travel, you’re getting paid to teach. They show young people traveling around the world taking selfies and laughing and drinking. And they are all beautiful! Wow! I want some of that!
The TEFL marketers also show classes of laughing people all smiling and adoring you, the center of all the attention. Wow! I want that too!
Wait, let’s get real. Understand please, that most of TEFL, let’s say 96% of TEFL life, is NOT about you. It is about your students, your classroom, your school and your responsibilities as a teacher.
Really, is TEFL for You?
Do you like people?
Do you like helping people?
If you do, that is a good first step. If you don’t enjoy interacting with people and you prefer to spend your time alone, TEFL may not be for you.
Are you willing to be responsible for a good education for the students sitting in your class, helping them learn the language everyone says they must learn, but that has turned out to be a pretty hard task so far? They hope so. I hope so too. Are you willing to get some good TEFL training to help you do that?
Get Paid to Travel !
If you really believe that, please don’t TEFL, because the great majority of schools will want you to take a one-year contract and to be at school consistently. To be there helping their students improve their skills.
TEFL certainly, probably better than any other occupation, facilitates your ability to see and experience the world, but it tends to keep you at or near your home base for most of the year.
Get to know the world – in depth.
If you prefer getting to know people in depth, getting to know their real character and making real friends for life. Then TEFL is for you. Staying in one place for a while and getting to really know a culture and learning how to live and work with the people of that culture is not always easy. In fact, it is hard work sometimes. You might want to take a look at our How to Survive and Thrive Overseas culture ebook. That kind of hard work builds real skills and real character. Stuff that stays with you all your life.
If you are up for that kind of work, then go for it. TEFL needs you.
For a fun Culture Quiz take try this one HERE. See how you do. These aren’t real measures but do suggest some tolerance for differences.
Is TEFL for you?