How do I check
the reputation of a TEFL school employer?
contract worth the paper it is written on?
It's important to check the reputation of your
employer. You can ask directly on
ELT World discussion board, but they can't know every
school in the world, so your best bet is to talk to the
other foreign teachers at the school where you intend to
Remember, everyone has a different experience and while
one person loves the job and employer, others may not.
Ask more than one person if you can. Ask specifically what they
like or don't like about the employer.
Some employers, in some countries, are well known for
not paying on time, or paying less than was originally
agreed to. Be sure to check this issue with the current
A friend of mine once worked for a school
with these problems, but stayed for three years -
knowing - from talking to others and over time seeing it
- that the employer always made good on amounts owing -
at the end of the contract. Problem? Yes, but she
loved the job - so tolerated it, knowing the money due
was coming. And she was paid in full at the end of her
some parts of the world, particularly Asia, contracts
are looked at as "flexible" instruments - quite a
different understanding from how we view them in the
West. Once again, ask the current employees if the
contract is followed - and if not, why and how it is
This should not always be the kiss of death for a
potential job. Some small issues are not so important
in the big picture if you really like a job, its
location and what you will be doing - and getting paid.
the other hand . . .
Know that probably 95-98% of schools pay on time, treat
their employees fairly and follow the contracts that
they have signed. You just don't hear about them.
Their happy employees are out enjoying their new world -
rather than grumping on the Internet.