“ I’d love to teach in Japan but I don’t have any teaching experience, I can't speak a lick of Japanese either... I Don't know how to find a place to live, or even if I can make a living or save any money teaching TEFL in Japan...guess I'll look for something else."
So they stop looking right there and they go back into a field that they’re “more qualified” in without giving it a second thought.The whole course of their life just shifted in the blink of a young girl's eye and they didn't even catch it.
Still there are others who go beyond this step, begin to research teaching abroad and then run into the equally daunting roadblocks of choosing a path to getting qualified . Along the way, they come across a host of horror stories from unlucky teachers - horror stories of all shapes and colors abound on the web. More info. on spotting job scams here.
TEOSL Jobs, Horror Stories and Getting Your First Job
In fact with just a few minutes of search you can find stories of teachers who fly across the world to find that the job they were promised simply doesn’t exist. (This happens when language institutes, who do the hiring, over-hire. They anticipate a certain drop-out rate that doesn’t pan-out. The ESL teacher gets stuck in a new country with no job.)
Other common horror stories include employers “misinforming” the teacher on actual contact hours, vacation days or flat out not paying their teachers for months. This kind of stuff happens all over Asia - including Japan. (Note the most recent example of this was Nova corporation and its financial implosion. Geos suffering from the feeling of being left out joined Geos in the implosion game.)
Skip the Job Search With Placement Programs
Some teachers use a work around of a TEFL placement program. How this works is the TEFL provider who knows and has a solid working relation with thousands of employers helps you with the placement. They also have job boards set up that you are allowed access to. (The Teaching certificate provider offers this perk when you enroll in their program.) This saves the ESL teacher from getting caught in the nightmarish stuff previously mentioned because the provider works with the most reputable companies they can find.
Or put another way, they don’t do business with companies that mistreat their teaching staff. Maintaining contacts with good companies and overseeing them i.e. quality control, is how they survive. Make no mistake these guys do this stuff for a living. That’s how they ‘re able to throw in perks like finding teachers jobs, picking them up at the airport, and offering orientation and support throughout their contract. In general, these services are included in the majority of TESOL certification agencies.
The Limits of Placement Programs
One important note about placement programs is that they can’t guarantee you a job. What they can do is get you connected with potential employers. From that point on it’s pretty much up to you to do your best in the interview and clinch the job.
But because they have access to literally thousands of TEOSL jobs, mostly ALT jobs, this can give you a big edge in your job search. The reason is that only graduates of their program get all the goodies that come with their certificates.
Still with the teaching qualifications you get through their programs combined with the fact that these jobs aren’t advertised on sites or in the paper, gives you a distinct advantage over those who compared to you are under-qualified because they don't have TEFL certification and simply don’t know about the job opening as they don't have access to their data base of jobs. So basically, by using a placement program to do the grunt work for you, you’ll be leveraging their contacts and experience to bust into the ESL field and get hired.
Placement Companies Shine When Time is Short
Using ESL placement agencies is especially useful when finding a job quickly is a concern. Because their client lists are long, they can get you through their course and into a job in about the same time it takes to find a job on your own. This comes in handy in spring when competition for placement heats up.
For the first time teacher who believes he or she might need a little hand holding on their first foray into teaching in Japan or want more of a sure thing, a combined TEFL certificate along with their placement programs can help wring the risk out of making the big jump.
After all teaching overseas is supposed to be a fun adventure and not an object of regret. One company that does a good job at this is Mytefl Courses.
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