Life is full of challenges; from learning how to walk to learning a new job, throughout your years, you will come across things you can do easily to things you find extremely difficult to master. The question is, do you continue trying or do you simply give up?
In my previous blog I spoke about it never being too late
to do the things you've always wanted to do but never got around to doing. If teaching is one of those things you've thought about, it's likely you've also thought about some of the obstacles you may come across during your pursuit.
In order to increase your chances of procuring a TEFL job, it would be wise to obtain a TEFL certificate, since a lot of schools and academies won't employ you if you don't have one and this will cost you. If you're going abroad, you will also have to pay for your flights. *TEFL courses range in cost, depending on the type of course you do and where you choose to do it.
The challenges of becoming a TEFL teacher start with choosing the right TEFL course. Where you choose to take your TEFL course doesn't necessarily need to be the same place you wish to teach and, of course, once you have your certificate it opens up possibilities to teach pretty much anywhere in the world.
Knowing the local customs of the country you're in is one thing, but knowing the rules and expectations of your school is often another. Make sure you know and understand the rules of any school you teach in, you may not always agree with the laws of your new land but by being aware of them you can make them work for you.
This shouldn't be too much of an obstacle as most schools prefer that you don't translate in the classroom. Of course, if you speak the language (or at least try to learn it) of the country where you'll be teaching, it's not a bad thing as, at least you'll be able to converse with the locals.
Any country that you're not native to will require you to have the necessary Visas and/work permits. In Spain, the NIE is your official ID and as well as being needed in order to be able to work, it is also used to get a bank account, obtain a rental contract, join the gym, get a mobile under contract and many more things.
If you are a citizen of a country in the European Union, you are allowed to legally work in Spain. Once you’ve been offered a teaching job you’ll have to begin the process of getting your NIE. You will need to book an appointment to which you have to take: your passport and a photocopy of it, a letter from your employer as proof of your job offer and completed forms EX-15 and/or EX-18 (with one copy of each). You can make your appointment here
and print the forms you need here
Some schools will have policies whereby they will only hire native speakers due to client requirements and teaching contracts will vary. Most schools are likely to offer you a contract from September/October until June, whereas other schools might pay you per class in cash with no questions asked. Some will offer a low hourly rate but will pay you for travel and holidays and throw in teacher training and language classes. Just be sure you know exactly what you're getting yourself into before you sign on the dotted line.
*Oxbridge Tefl offer a range of subsidised courses starting from €299. Click here for a free no obligation interview and complete the first obstacle of becoming a TEFL teacher.