Top 10 TEFL Fears – Addressed!
1. I’ll set off without a job arranged and I won’t find a job. You probably will; do research before you go to see how your qualifications stack up and what the market is like in the place you intend to go. Don’t automatically assume you need an agency or course provider to guarantee you a job.
2. I won’t get paid. This happens much less frequently than people worry about it. You may get paid late; you may get paid less than you expected; but it is rarely to a school’s benefit not to pay teachers at all.
3. I’ll get arrested. Use common sense, stay out of trouble and you probably won’t. Keep in mind what your embassy can and can’t do to help you.
4. I’ll wake up in a bathtub handcuffed to the faucett with a kidney missing and my wallet gone. You never know about recruiters these days, but I think this is more about visiting the wrong prostitute, and that’s another logue completely.
5. I’ll get lost. This is actually a realistic fear, especially if you are like me and have no sense of direction. You will learn to deal with it and come to appreciate the opportunity it gives you to interact with locals.
6. I won’t be able to adapt and/or I’ll hate the food. I think the biggest thing to adapt to might just be the social side of being without your usual circle of friends. Food can often get repetitive, but fortunately there is the TEFL Logue Kitchen to the rescue.
7. I’ll hate teaching or I’ll be bad at it. This depends on your personality: can you put up with doing a job you don’t love.
8. I’ll be bad at teaching. I think plenty of conscientious teachers do feel they aren’t doing well their first year, and that concern does not always mirror reality..can you cope with this and realize it will improve with time?
9. I’ll have to work all the time / my school will take advantage of me. Unfortunately, this is a real possibility, and conscientious teachers are the ones most at risk. Make sure you ask a bunch of questions during the interview to flesh out the details.
10. People will treat me differently or badly because I’m a foreigner. They probably will treat you differently, but probably not badly. It depends on the place and the people you meet of course, but for better or worse it’s much rarer for native English speakers to encounter discrimination than for people from a variety of other countries. You might pay more sometimes though.