Travel and Teach English or Teach English and Travel?

Or . . . how those TEFL recruiters and some TEFL certification companies can mislead you.

I am always a bit dismayed about the advertising I see on different recruiting and TEFL certification training websites.

Particularly the ones that tell you that life teaching English abroad is one big party of traveling and seeing the world.  Some even include travel in their name, but nothing about teaching!

They hardly mention – Oh yeah – there is a job you need to go to every day and do a good job at it.

Now, I am happy to tell you that I headed overseas to see the world.   But in 1989 when I went, I fully realized that I was taking a job and it needed to be performed well.  Not that I was traveling and sometimes might need to work.

To have a successful life abroad you need to flip Travel and Teach English around to say: Teach English and Travel.

Your J-O-B needs to come first.

What Employers Would Like to Hear

Every now and then employers of English teachers would love to hear how much a teacher candidate enjoys TEACHING, how important it is to help their students improve their English skills and how rewarding you might find that to be.

All that said, I have done an amazing amount of traveling and seeing the world in my 21+ years abroad. Perhaps the best way to look at it might be with Zig Ziglar’s famous statement: If you help enough people get what they want, you will get what you want. And notice that the helping people get what they want – comes first.

TED’s Tips™ #1: To have a successful life abroad, you need to put your JOB first. Life overseas offers so many opportunities to experience cultures AND to travel that you can pretty well assume that those things will come with your job.

TED’s Tips™ #2: Head overseas with a strong commitment to your job and your students and everything else will fall into place. Head overseas with your travel plan number one and you might be surprised how quickly things fall apart and you are on your way back home.

Teaching Internships in China