ESL Teaching Jobs
Who Gets Into ESL and Why?
Teaching ESL in the U.S.
To put it plainly, ESL teachers who decide to work in the U.S. might be generalized as being more serious about their teaching job than their counterparts who go abroad to teach on a whim or to pay for their travels.
(This is not to say that ESL teachers abroad cannot become passionate about teaching over time, but this tends to happen with teachers who stay on past a semester or two.) They are education majors in college, have possibly worked in schools teaching other subjects, and might have even volunteered for the local literacy organization. These individuals have a desire to give back to their community or stay close to family and friends. Maybe they have already had an adventurous year or three in ESL abroad and are ready to return home, drawing on their varied experiences to teach ESL in the U.S for the long-term and even pursue a master’s in TESOL or education.
ESL teachers based in the U.S. may themselves have immigrant parents and have a personal understanding of the immigrant experience and the transition process. These teachers want to help others, like their own parents or relatives, adjust smoothly into life in America.
Another reason some may want to work in the U.S. is for the stability of work and the higher pay. The income you earn from teaching abroad is no real way to save money, nor is it necessarily stable, and usually offers little to no benefits. For the person who wants these perks with their job, and has no interest in the complexities of paying taxes abroad or applying for work visas, and dealing with culture shock, an ESL job in the U.S. makes far more practical sense.
Click this link for a list of ESL terminology.
Teaching ESL Abroad
Some of you may actually hold an interest in a teaching career or even already have an education degree of some kind.
But for the most part, those who are doing TESL abroad simply fall into it. It might be considered as a “gap year” by some, a time to do some soul searching in a far away country, or an easy way to make decent money (basically pocket money) and get in some fantastic travel time before strapping down into a corporate career or returning to the call of duty in the more familiar world left behind. It might start out as an escape of some sort, but more often than not, it turns into a very satisfying and eye-opening job, a job unlike any you might ever encounter again – which is why there are those few who choose to continue in this line of work forever, to make a life of expat living or traveling to follow the best teaching jobs available to them. And as you can imagine, the more experience you accrue, the more opportunities will be open to you for you to take your pick from.
JobMonkey has, for many years, featured information for people interested in teaching English overseas. After reviewing this ESL Jobs section be sure to visit these pages too:
- Teaching English in Korea
- Teaching English in Taiwan
- Teaching English in China
- Teaching English in Thailand
- Teaching English in the Czech Republic
- Teaching English in Poland
- …Other countries covered too.
On average, ages of TESL teachers range from 18 (not as common, as some schools require college degrees, but even if not required, your students may not respect you if they are older than you!) to around 30. Older teachers are usually the ones who are experienced and planning to make a career out of TESL.
For the committed teachers, it’s not the money they are after, because the pay is not often high, even though some agencies may pay for airfare and accommodation and even offer a stipend. This is mostly the case in the Middle East and in Asia more than anywhere else, due to the higher demand for teachers in these areas and the low supply of teachers willing to be adventurous enough to depart from the familiarity of the Western or European lifestyle.
You will usually not be able to save much money by working in TESL unless you have an uncanny ability to invest. You will end up spending all of your wages on the basics of accommodation, food, drink, and most likely, travel. This will often be the case, although holding a master’s degree in TESOL, education or applied linguistics, for example, may increase your salary.