Back from holiday, I find the news is all rather gloomy. Unemployment figures in the UK have reached a new peak and the swine flu has everybody feeling a bit edgy. I canβt make any suggestions about flu but I think TEFL might help some groups worried about unemployment.
With the effects of recession...
... hitting job prospects, this yearβs university graduates are likely to face stiff competition as they hunt for work. This is a good time to consider TEFL as a stepping-stone therefore. The advantages of spending two or three years in ELT are clear. First, the new graduate can avoid having to take a mundane job just to earn some cash. TEFL will introduce you to new skills, and an exciting range of opportunities to travel, widen your horizons and meet fascinating people.
The sort of experience you gain in teaching means that your personal development is enhanced in many ways: new interpersonal skills, greater independence, learning to take the initiative, planning skills, presentation skills and many more. These aspects of the experience can really help your prospects in the future.
So what should the new graduate do to get started? First make sure that you find reputable TEFL/TESOL course. This should be at least four weeks and should lead to a qualification validated by a leading TEFL/TESOL institution. In fact if you take a course provided by one of the international groups, you could well find a job placement at the end of it. So spend some time researching what is available to you and make a choice that ensures the course is a stepping-stone to the next stage of the plan.
When you are ready to launch your teaching experience, think carefully about where you wish to go. Donβt jump at the first offer unless you are satisfied that it is from a bona fide school or college, that the terms and conditions are fair, that you will get proper support as a new teacher and that it is in a country you really wish to visit.
Next research the culture you will be entering. Be open minded and ready to learn rather than to judge. Many aspects of life will be different and you need to be ready to accept that what is different is not necessarily bad.
Think about your social and emotional life. If you feel a little bit afraid of stepping into the unknown alone, try to pair up with another teacher to go either to the same school or at least the same town so that you can offer each other mutual support in the first few weeks.
You may not wish to make ELT your long-term career but it is an excellent way to beat unemployment blues and gain valuable experience.
TrackBack URL for this entry: