Before accepting a TEFL / TESOL Job

What you should know when looking for a TEFL / TESOL Job

Make sure you are prepared/informed before diving into accepting an English teaching position abroad. Knowing what to ask at the interview/negotiation stage will certainly help you to understand what you are getting into and whether the TEFL / TESOL job meets your requirements or expectations. Get adequately informed about the schools – ask on forums and groups. Also remember that it is perfectly acceptable to ask a school if they can put you in touch with one or more current teachers working for them. Take a peek below at some of the pertinent questions you may wish to ask before accepting a TEFL / TESOL position:

  • What students will you be teaching (young learners, teenagers, adults etc…)?
  • What coursework or methodology will you be expected to follow?
  • Who are the managers and owners and how is there a management flow diagram?
  • What are the monthly maximum hours you'
  • How many hours a week maximum?
  • How many maximum daily hours?
  • How many days will you work per week?
  • Are you expected to work extra hours per week? How many? Will you have to cover absent teachers?
  • What shifts will you be working – morning, afternoon, evening or split? Do you work on the weekends?
  • Number of different classes per week? Length of classes?
  • Does the school guarantee the number of hours per week?
  • Do you get breaks? Is there preparation time? Do you have to put in a certain number of admin hours per week?
  • Is there a possibility for overtime? If so, how much do you get paid?
  • Are you entitled to sick leave? If, so how much and do you get paid if these sick days aren’t used?
  • How would the school describe the typical/average student?
  • What is the average class size?
  • What sort of fees do the students pay – cheap or expensive??
  • What, if any, admin duties are you expected to complete each week? How many hours and what are they?
  • Are there any other responsibilities that you may be have?
  • When do you get paid?
  • Will your salary be affected by your qualifications and experience?
  • What is the tax rate you will be paying?
  • Do you receive a bonus and if so, when and how much?
  • Does the school assist you with opening a local bank account?
  • What are the average living expenses – food, clothing, rent etc…?
  • When do you get holidays and are these paid or unpaid?
  • Does the school pay/reimburse for flight tickets?
  • Does the school arrange for airport pickup?
  • Does the school provide accommodation or assist in finding you an apartment?
  • Is there easily available transport for getting to and from schooI?
  • Does the school arrange visas and who pays for this? (it is the responsibility of the employer to arrange and pay for this)
  • Do you receive medical insurance and is this private or state?
  • Does the school offer/provide a relocation allowance?
  • What books and resources are used?
  • Does the school follow a particular syllabus?
  • Does the school have its own library and is there a computer lab and Internet access?
  • Does the school have its own Language lab, video camera and recording equipment?
  • Does the school have its own mentor/buddy system?

When accepting a TEFL / TESOL teaching position, it is important to get to know the school and the area. Consider the following to help make your transition easier:

  • Make the necessary flight reservations and inform your school of your arrival details.
  • Try and observe a few classes.
  • Take a look at the available TEFL / TESOL teaching materials and resources.
  • Compile some materials/lessons of your own.
  • Have a chat with some of the teachers ask for some tips/advice.
  • Don’t forget to bring all necessary paperwork needed to apply for the visa if you haven’t received it already.
  • Get acquainted with your town or city.