Should I teach Adults or Kids?
Freelance or One Employer?
How should I
sort out my options?
a "newbie" it is probably a good idea to think about
your personal preferences as well as options that may be
offered to you.
Kids, Adults, Freelance, Companies, Schools, a Primary
Employer . . .
What to do?
Kids or Adults?
Kids: I think are more difficult to teach and take a lot
of energy (I am an older person). But many new EFL
teachers prefer teaching kids as they don't have to
worry as much about being judged, nor do they have to be
concerned about having a depth of knowledge about the
language that more highly skilled adults might require.
Some people just enjoy kids more too.
Adults: My preference but not for everyone.
Younger teachers may have difficulty getting the respect
of older students. Many parts of the world attach
great respect to age and a 25-year-old teaching
fifty-year-old business executives is not a good match.
That same young teacher might do much better teaching high
Adult students often have much better language skills
and can ask difficult grammar questions - you'd better
be ready for them!
Companies or Schools?
Company jobs: Teaching adults, might be better for older
teachers. New, younger teachers might find these types
of classes more daunting. I've often found this type of
work more interesting - with students who have
interesting careers that they enjoy talking about. And,
having some business background myself, I am able to
understand, empathize with and encourage their
discussion. Newbie teachers with business backgrounds
may find these types of classes more interesting.
Schools: Provide such a wide variety of options that you
might end up teaching a company class for a language
school. Generally though, a school setting will have
you teaching younger students - generally a better
option for newbie and young teachers.
Freelance or a Primary Employer?
will often, online, read stories of people claiming
incredible wages working only for themselves. Take such
claims with a grain of salt. Or many grains of salt. I
don't doubt that there are a few people doing very well
for themselves freelancing.
But, know that it is a
difficult path to take with frequent cancellations,
unreliable income, and usually lots of travel time from
place to place for classes. And, the big negative - it
is usually illegal work.
Work permits are usually tied to one employer and to one
location. If you are solely freelance - you will
typically be on a tourist visa - and therefore working
illegally and subject to arrest, detention, large fines,
and deportation. Period. Immigration police typically
don't argue or negotiate and you will have minimal (if any)
But, people do teach a lot of freelance classes
(sometimes called "private classes") - and I have done
many of these myself. A very nice, if risky way, to
supplement your income from your primary job. It
depends a lot on the country in which you are working
AND your employer's general attitude towards "working on
yourself a favor. If you do teach private classes, keep
it quiet and you will tend to have fewer problems with
your employer and/or immigration.