How to find the best TEFL schools when hunting for a job
There are thousands upon thousands of TEFL schools out there. Big, small, successful, unknown, multinational, international, business, academic, college-related, state-run – you name it, they exist! That’s both good news and bad news for the newbie teacher. On the one hand, you’ve got oodles of potential employers – nice! On the other, you’ll need to have a good eye for sorting the wheat from the chaff; the cream from the milk. Cue this list of hot tips from veteran teachers than can help you focus in on the best TEFL schools only…
Check their requirements
You might think that finding a teaching job that has zero requirements is like hitting the jackpot. But it’s not. Sure, it will be easier to bag the position. You won’t need to write up any fancy CVs or cover letters to wax lyrical about all your past tutoring experience. You won’t have to produce those shiny 120-hour certificates. However, there’s a flip side to that. It all implies that the bar is low for the institution you’re looking at. If you’re having an easy ride at it, so is every other teacher. That’s bound to have a knock-on effect on lesson quality and overall service.
Check their online presence
When it comes to working in the private sector, the best TEFL schools will always be visible online. Without the constant support of state funding, private learning institutions need to compete for customers just like any other business. They do that with branding, marketing, and more. The upshot? Any one worth its salt should have a decent online presence. That means an active Facebook page, an Instagram account, or just a website that looks slick and communicates all the necessary info. Alarm bells should ring if you can’t find a trace of their name on the airwaves.
Ask about technology
So, you’re looking to drag that teaching in the 21st century? You want visual aids, film playback, interactive whiteboard games – the whole shebang. Sure you do. Every teacher does. Long gone are the days of dusty blackboards and chalk, right? That’s why it’s important to ask about what technologies are available in the school you’re looking to apply for. If they don’t have all the bells and whistles, it’s not a sure sign their awful. But it can be an indicator that they’re a little less than enthusiastic about investing in their teaching facilities and staff.
Check the reviews
In the age of the internet, the best TEFL schools out there have reviews and reputations to hold up just like everyone else. Leave a student feeling less than impressed and you can bet your bottom dollar that there’ll soon be unhappy write-ups to deal with online. Use that as a window onto the teaching team you’re looking to join. Ask: what are the students saying about the institution I’m about to travel halfway around the world to work for? It can offer a whole new and valuable perspective.
Ask about training opportunities
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: TEFL is a lifelong learning curve. After dusting off that 120-hour certificate, things are certainly not finished. There are new teaching methods, new ideas for communicating grammar, implementing classroom management skills, and identifying learning styles, all the time. It’s part of your job to stay up to date and ahead of things. The best TEFL schools will help with that. They’ll offer things like continuous training programs, potential funding packages for extra learning, designated time for pedagogical studies – you get the idea.
Are you a veteran teacher? Do you have tips on how to find the best TEFL schools out there? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. If you’re ready to start on a new career path, head over to our courses page and get going.