Prepare for the job interview and be relaxed, but not too laid-back. There is one thing you cannot change, but might change your chances: and this is whether you are a native speaker or not.

Familiarize with the company website:

There is another way to understand if a teacher is only shooting CV all around cyber space or really want to teach at a school: the former one applies everywhere in the same way, the latter one reads the requirements in the job offer or visits the school website. So if somebody asks you to apply for a job by filling out a module, emails with attachments will be cancelled automatically. Otherwise, if you are asked to send your CV to the school, you don’t need to attach all your certificates and a picture.

Ergo: Read the instructions given by the recruiter how they want to receive applications. Since they might get thousand of applications, the first filter they use is to eliminate those who are not following the requirements. You might run the risk to be filed despite being an excellent teacher.

Be professional in the way you communicate:

There is a new fashion to be very laid-back and easy-going as a teacher, which helps a lot in high-pressure moments. However, as a first impact it might not work. There is no hierarchy between school and teacher, nobody is doing a favour to the other one, they cooperate. Still, respect is due. If you are not interested in a place or position, consider the time you and your interviewer invest into a Skype chat and the correspondence. Ask for details in advance if you need any other information, and do not hesitate to retreat your application if you don’t find the post interesting any more. Disappearing in silence is not of professionals. Thank them for the opportunity and explain that the post doesn’t appeal to you any more.

Even if you turn down an offer, write an email to your recruiter colleague thanking them for their time and interest. You might want to teach there the year after and not all D.O.S. forget easily.

Ergo: The way you communicate even in unpleasant situations with your colleagues, reveals your real potential as an educator. Answer emails, say thank you for every opportunity and be honest and fair. Only then you can expect the others to do the same to you.

Not all native English speakers are teachers:

In the last five years, economical crisis and also a desire to revolutionize life even at a certain age, pushed lots of native speakers to (want to) leave their jobs and countries and apply for vacancies anywhere as teachers. Nevertheless, being a teacher isn’t equal to being a native speaker. Conducting a lesson is not only chatting with them and correcting some mistakes. You must be aware of your own mother tongue (know how many tenses there are in English and what the difference is between the zero and the first conditional) and also be able to transmit all this knowledge. You need to manage even bigger classes, teens with behaviour problems, adults who make comments about you in their language, which you might not understand. You have to know course materials and international exams. You are expected to be computer-literate, be flexible, hard-working and always professional. Being a teacher is a challenging job.

There is also a huge difference between private teachers and teachers at private or public schools. The first gives you the safe intimacy with your students, schools keep you up-to-date about what is going on in language teaching. Private schools expect you to teach a significant amount of lessons per week, while public schools put your nerves and classroom management skills to the test.

Ergo: Do a teacher training course, before you apply for a job. Be aware of what is expected from a teacher. Your language skills won’t be sufficient.


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