Published 31st July 2017

Becoming a TEFL teacher

If you have a comfortable job and you live a satisfactory life, the idea of becoming a TEFL teacher may never cross your mind. Becoming TEFL certified is not something which many people set out to do for their career so there is every chance that you have never thought about it seriously. Which is a shame. There are so many reasons to become a TEFL teacher.

Become a TEFL Teacher

Teaching English as a foreign language is a life-changing experience, which is why more and more people are deciding to leave the humdrum of their 9-to-5 and embark on their own TEFL adventure. Understandably, the decision to uproot your life and move to the other side of the world is not one to be taken lightly so here are our 5 favourite reasons to become a TEFL teacher to help you with your decision:

Travel the world as a TEFL teacher

There are few other careers that offer travel as such an integral part of the job as TEFL. Becoming a TEFL teacher gives you the opportunity to discover the world, either through your own travels to teach abroad or by getting to know other countries through your foreign students who study in an English-speaking country.

The number of countries in the world where english teaching is in demand is vast. These are some of the most interesting places imaginable. Think China, Vietnam, Cambodia, the list goes on. Some people get qualified to TEFL and treat teaching like a working holiday, weekend trips or even traveling from place to place. (This will take lots of planning but it is doable). The good news is that you won’t be the only one with that idea. You are guaranteed to meet lots of really interesting people along the way. It is a really unique gift that you have as an english speaking person. 

Challenge yourself – Become a TEFL teacher

The job of a TEFL teacher is very varied and you could find yourself teaching in a range of different situations: teaching English to children, teaching on a summer camp, or volunteer teaching, just to name a few. What this means is that you are not likely to get into a rut in your job because every week, or even every day, is different. What this also means is that as soon as you feel comfortable in what you are doing, chances are you will need to do something else – teach exam classes, teach Business English – so you’ll be constantly challenged.

The people who become TEFL teachers generally fall into one of two camps. The camp that is seeking to teach for a certain period of time, like on a gap year for example. When returning to their home place, the experience of being a TEFL teacher is always looked on favourably. Employers like to hear that you got out there and saw some of the world irregardless of what future employment path you follow.

The other camp is  generally made up of people that are looking for something new in life. People for whom the possibility of TEFL becoming their new full time career for the rest of their days is a reality. This is a real possibility! Regardless of what camp you fall into, the challenges you will face in the TEFL classroom will shape you as a person.

Make a difference as a TEFL teacher

In the TEFL world, there are a lot of opportunities to give back to communities. It is not difficult to find TEFL volunteering opportunities abroad and if you are able to take a break from a paycheque for a while, volunteer teaching can be an amazing way to broaden your skillset and contribute to the local community as well.

There is an old proverb in the english language that you may have heard before. “Give a person a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a person to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” This is totally relevant to teaching english. In many parts of the world, giving the gift of the english language helps people towards a better life.

We are all searching for meaning in life. Modern jobs can leave many people feeling that they have an absence of purpose in their week. Teaching english to people that may be in a disadvantaged situation is up there with some of the most purposeful work one can do. For that reason becoming a TEFL teacher could be your ticket to this life of meaning and purpose.

become a tefl teacher
Becoming a TEFL Teacher

Make money as a TEFL teacher

Probably one of the biggest reasons people decide to become a TEFL teacher is to make money. It’s a job, after all. Of course, there are places where you may not make the most money, but if you choose wisely there are many different countries where you can earn big bucks while having the time of your life teaching English as a foreign language.

We have written about how much money you can make teaching english online. When you compare the different companies for teaching English online, you will find salaries can vary. But so do the jobs. 

There are certain things that should make up something of a checklist for you when you are examining online teaching jobs and salaries.

  • How much is the base rate?
  • What length are the lessons?
  • What are the bonuses/incentives?
  • Teaching Hours?
  • Do I need to provide my own materials?

Have an adventure as a TEFL teacher

Last, but most certainly not least, a reason to consider becoming a TEFL teacher is purely for the adventure. Being away from the safety of your home town and your family and friends will force you to learn to fend for yourself – living abroad means even going to the grocery story is an adventure, and being able to immerse yourself in different cultures and communities is a guaranteed way to grow as a person and develop your independence and individuality.

As we mentioned above, maybe a TEFL qualification is your route to a more affordable or meaningful year. Alternatively it could be the first day of the rest of your life. A life of adventure and flexibility. Whatever path you chose to follow, your life will be seriously enriched by the whole experience. We are excited for you!

So, there you have it: 5 reasons to become a TEFL teacher: travel, challenge, philanthropy, money, adventure – what more could you want?