ESL Teachers in Greece
Sharon is Irish. She came to Greece for the first time on a summer vacation to see the country. She ended up in Corfu, a small island on Ionian Sea. Then, she found a teaching post at a school in the town.
How did you find your first teaching post?
Sharon: I was told by a friend that a school in Corfu town was looking for English teachers. I visited them and gave them my CV.
Was it easy to get this ESL job in Greece?
Yes, they only asked me if I intended to stay on the island all the academic year-they worried about this as many teachers change their mind and leave midterm. I know this is not right, but some people do it.
How was it?
The school was okay, the pupils liked me and I had no problem in class. The owner paid for my accommodation; it was a studio in a block at the outskirts. But one day I had a cycling accident-I used to cycle all over the island-and that created a few problems. I had to stay in hospital for about a month and the school owner had financial problems. After that incident I had to search for a new post, after the end of the academic year of course. The atmosphere at this school was not enjoyable any more.
Did you find a new school?
Yes, it was easy enough. I found a nice school in the same district. But when they read the contract I had been given by my first employer they realized that I had signed a very restrictive document. Teaching in another school in town for the next two years was banned for me. I had to move out of town, which was impossible since at that time there was no employment in the villages. You see, I had not read the contract in detail. This is very important.
What did you do?
Eventually I got the job as the owner liked me, and after signing a clear-cut contract I started working with them. Well, actually, my second employer did have some trouble with my previous employer, but they managed to sort things out between them, so I did not have any trouble. I stayed with them for two academic years and I would stay more at that school but I got tired. I left only because I needed a change, so I moved to UK where I got a job in a kindergarten. My last employer was kind enough to send a nice reference letter to my prospective employers.
Have you visited Greece again?
Yes, I did. A couple of years later I revisited Corfu with my partner and baby. I met my last employer and I was really happy to see her again. I have never lost contact with her.
What do you advise newcomers to Greece?
Greece is a beautiful country and it’s worth visiting and working there. It’s not difficult to find a teaching post in Greece, but teachers should be careful about the contract they sign and the accommodation they are offered. The people are friendly and helpful. Those who love nature will just love this country, the food and the beaches. Teachers can actually have a long term vacation and make new friends.
Thank you Sharon!