The 8 Best Reasons to Become a TEFL Teacher:
What better excuse to travel around the world than to Teach English as a Foreign Language (aka TEFL)? During weekends and holidays, many teachers take the opportunity to travel to surrounding areas to find new adventures. After the semester has been completed, a teacher may explore further afield or often moves to other countries to teach English in a new place.
Settling down in a new country to teach English gives teachers plenty of time to immerse themselves into a new culture, eat new food, see new places, try new activities, and learn new languages. All of these things are hard to do if you just blow through town for a few days on vacation.
Make a Difference
Teaching kids and adults how to communicate in English helps prepare them to be successful in many fields including business, technology, sciences, and health. English is quickly becoming the world language and parents everywhere are paying the big bucks to give their children a step up. Teachers also open their students’ eyes to new cultures and thought processes.
This reason is one of the less likely to happen for some teachers as pay is quite varied and some teachers are better at saving than others. However, TEFL is a travel hack that many take advantage of to get paid to live in another country, and if they play their cards right, they can save to keep traveling.
Acquire a New Skill(s)
Teaching a bunch of people how to speak a foreign language is daunting, especially if you don’t speak their language. TEFL teachers leave with the ability to command a classroom, to explain complex ideas, to create lesson plans, they have an amazing amounts of patience, and they become really good at miming, charades, and Pictionary. Adding this to any resume can boost experience on many levels.
Make New Friends
Nothing brings people together like difficult or intense situations such as moving to the other side of the planet and teaching a foreign language. Your fellow teachers and new friends will help support you, lend an ear, lend a shoulder, and share some beers as you commiserate over a long day. The bonds built during TEFL are some of the strongest out there!
Surpassing Comfort Zones
One thing TEFL teachers say over and over is “If I survive this, I can do anything”. TEFL will be one of the hardest things to do, but also one of the most rewarding. After the first day of teaching (probably the worst), teachers walk away knowing they are strong and can conquer their fears. Everything is a piece of cake compared to leading a class of 40 rowdy 8-year-olds.
TEFL teachers can have a variety of backgrounds, previous careers, and experiences. After teaching a semester of English, some teachers stay on at their current school, others move to a different town or country and teach English there. Some fall in love with TEFL and never go back home. Others return to their homeland and use their new skills to continue in Education or to supplement another field.
There are a million reasons to do TEFL. Ask any TEFL teacher and they will say “GO FOR IT”!! The rewards and benefits far outweigh the fear of the unknown and you will walk away with fantastic stories, beautiful pictures, new friends, a new sense of courage, and a big smile!
If I’ve forgotten a reason or you have comments or stories, please leave them in the comments below.
To see where I got my inspiration to teach abroad, check out Nomadic Matt’s gigantic collection of information on TEFL and living abroad HERE!
Safe travels and happy teaching!