There are many myths and preconceptions about what having a TEFL certification really means. Many people are locked into a singular use or stuck in misconceptions about this amazing tool that you can use in multiple ways for the rest of your life. Not realising the full potential of this certificate, unfortunately, keeps people from seeing the whole picture and may result in turning down this fantastic opportunity to explore the world before truly understanding what it's all about. Here are some things that often surprise people when they learn about the TEFL certificate and teaching English.
1) No expiry date.
Often people are amazed that they can take our 4-week and start using it to teach immediately. A lot of our grads take the course and then return home to continue their university studies or wait until a time opens up in their lives where it is convenient to go on their big adventure. Some have a steady job they are not ready to take a break from or leave. Some are still in school. Some have kids that aren't ready to leave the nest yet.
There are many reasons you are not ready to take a year off to travel, but that does not mean you have to wait to get certified. Our 4-week course is only 4 weeks! Many come down to Koh Samui on a "vacation" and go back TEFL-certified and ready to teach abroad whenever the time is convenient. If you get certified, then you have that magic ticket to travel and work abroad for the rest of your life!!!
2) Online teaching is a growing industry.
Online teaching is a huge industry that allows ESL teachers more opportunities and flexibility than has ever been available. Some people are put off by the 6-month or 1-year contracts that schools require. They can't or don't want to commit to such a long period. Online teaching allows you to teach, but not be locked down to living abroad or in one place for long periods of time. You can teach online and continue teaching back in your home country (see below) or you can travel around to as many places as you want without needing to find new jobs every time. You could go on a world trip, exploring multiple countries or cities, staying as little or as long as you want in each place. No fixed schedule, no time commitments. As long as you have internet, you can keep your job no matter where your journey leads.
3) Use the certification back in your home country.
One reason Uber is so successful is because people want or need a part-time side job. Your TEFL certificate allows you this side job opportunity without having to leave your house and drive strangers around in your car. Work part-time from the comfort of your home online, with the hours that suit you. Make good money doing something fun and helping people improve their lives rather than getting drunks home from the bar. There are also English schools you can work at back home to teach immigrants English so they can feel more comfortable in your country. Helping good people is just one of the perks of teaching English.
4) It's not just kids' classes.
Is the thought of being in front of 25 kids less than appealing? Join the club. A huge myth about teaching English is that it is mainly teaching kids. In fact man ESL jobs are for teaching university-aged or working adult students. Kids' classes are available for those that feel this calling. However, for the rest of us, teaching adults is a fun, rewarding experience that is a lot less intimidating, and usually is downright fun. You will be teaching people your age, with your interests. Adults that are motivated to learn, that are paying for these classes, want to participate and appreciate your effort.
5) It's hard to find work as an ESL teacher.
We are used to the idea of fifty people applying for one job back in our home country. This is NOT the case in the ESL world. The demand for teachers is insane! Our TEFL course is popular in South East Asia, and we don't even make a dent in the amount of jobs available. We could have 5 times the amount of grads per month and still not come close to filling all the positions that are out there. Directors are constantly asking, pleading, begging for us to send them our grads. It is very competitive for them to find teachers, and I understand their frustration of having classes ready to go with no teacher to take over the class. However that is the reality. Back home there is one job and fifty applicants. In the ESL world, it is the polar opposite. In fact, most job interviews will be 10 minutes finding out about the teacher and then the next fifty minutes trying to convince the teacher to take the job. It's a great position to be in for teachers!