How to become an EFL teacher.
For a successful career as an EFL teacher you will need:
To become a successful EFL teacher, the aspiring digital nomad will firstly need a love of teaching and all that it entails. Your job will be to help people wanting to learn or improve their existing skills and knowledge of the English language. If you are an established teacher and you fancy a change of scene, or are considering a career in teaching but want to see the world first, this could be an ideal career path for you.
As an EFL teacher you will potentially have the opportunity to work in classrooms or as a freelancer online. Both of these options have their plus points, and the decision of which to take is dependent on what type of digital nomad you wish to be! Working in a classroom will mean that you are committed to one place for a longer period of time – this can be a great experience as it will give you a steadier job and the chance to learn a lot more about the country and culture you are in, than you would if you were staying for just a few days. A freelance EFL teacher has the advantage of working from wherever they want meaning complete freedom, they may, however, not enjoy the job security of a classroom based EFL.
The key skills and qualities required by a successful EFL teacher include an excellent knowledge of the English language (obviously), and an open, confidant, understanding personality as you will be dealing with people of all ages from all backgrounds and cultures. Strong written and communication skills as well as the ability to listen will help ensure that you can effectively get your points across, and understand those of others. Patience is also key, as is a determination to get the best not only out of your pupils but also yourself. As teaching English as a foreign language will involve activities and interaction with pupils, a keen sense of fun may be a benefit!
Ultimately, a career as a digital nomad EFL teacher can be one of the most rewarding around – you will be teaching others whilst learning about the world and its cultures yourself. A great site for potential EFL’s is www.huntesl.com – this site offers a comprehensive round up of all aspects of the life of an EFL teacher.
Some EFL teaching opportunities will require education to a degree level, however, there are several ways to obtain relevant, recognised training if you don’t have a degree. A must for any potential EFL teacher looking to work in a reputable school is a certificate in TEFL/TESOL. It is possible to find work without one – but you are placing yourself in a weaker position regarding salary and the ability to find work.
There are many EFL training opportunities to be found, and the key is finding one right for you. There is a course finder located at www.tefl.net which allows you to enter your location to find classes near you.
This depends on whether you wish to be based in a classroom, or if you would rather teach as a freelancer online. Should you choose the latter then it is essential that you have a quality laptop, high speed internet connection, microphone and webcam.
And a passport.
Where to find work online?
There are several websites dedicated to finding the digital nomad EFL teacher work, these sites have various positions in private schools, universities and other education centres. The sites listed below offer worldwide searches and are not comprehensive, so should you have a particular country in mind I would recommend focusing a search on keywords such as “EFL teaching in China” etc.
Should you wish to work as a freelance EFL teacher, then it is possible to find work on sites such as odesk.com and www.freelancer.com, along with specialist online tutoring sites. You may also be able to find freelance teaching jobs relevant to your travel plans on local notice boards or craigslist/gumtree equivalents.
Whichever way you wish to look for work, always be aware of potential scam employment opportunities. The link below is a great shortlist of what to be on the lookout for.
How much to charge?
The earnings of a digital nomad EFL teacher will obviously vary depending on the jobs and the countries they are in. Whilst the pay may not seem phenomenal, many companies will offer you incentives and benefits such as accommodation, health insurance and even flights! It is important to weigh up the cost of living before judging the salary, for example ,if you are living in a country where a pint is 30 cents, probably don’t expect 2000 Euros a month!
Freelance EFL teachers will have a bit more scope on how much to charge, however the jobs do appear to be slightly fewer in number and you may, to start with, have to take what you can get.
How well does it suit the Digital Nomad lifestyle?
Depending on what you want from the digital nomad experience it can be ideal! Many EFL teaching contracts run for 3-6 months, allowing you ample time to explore the culture where you are, and hopefully not get itchy feet!