I hear only
flakey things about
teaching English abroad!
Do people respect TEFL as an occupation?
business full of misfits?
this business is not full of misfits.
But it is an
unconventional occupation and some people "back
home" will have trouble seeing it as a real way of
making a living. Though you will often be able to save
MUCH more per month than they can, though you'll usually
be working fewer hours and have more paid vacation time!
my very first teaching job in Korea, I was able to save
more than double what I could at my best paying position
(business manager for a medium-sized non-profit
corporation) before I went overseas.
What's up with this TEFL business?
will probably find a higher percentage of "misfits" in
the EFL occupation. People who went overseas as they
just didn't feel that they were able to fit into
anything conventional back home. There are also those
who are running away from their problems - only to find
their problems came with them - themselves! But there
are also lots of very normal people looking for a more
exciting and interesting life than they had in their
home country. People like you and me.
What about respect for the occupation?
most countries, you will find that the local population
and culture respects teachers much more than "back
home". Many cultures, and in particular Asian and Latin
cultures, place teachers near the top of the list of
high status professionals. Enjoy it! And make
sure you earn it.
People "Back Home" Don't Understand
Most people are afraid to leave their safe nest of work
and debt, and a standard and familiar life. Don't
expect them to truly understand your desire to head
overseas and see and experience a broader world.
who live overseas - are not "normal"
Normal people work nine-to-five, have 2.4 children,
drive an SUV, drown in debt, struggle to pay the bills.
Normal people don't head overseas to experience the
am no radical - believe me - in fact, I am a bit square
and very conservative financially. But, still, I had
the desire, interest, and gumption to head overseas and
make a very unusual and interesting life for myself.
can too - if you really want to!