Published 12th February 2020
At The TEFL Academy we get a lot of questions about finding a TEFL job from our new TEFL graduates. To be honest, it’s a pretty straightforward process (we’ll get to that in a minute) but it can be time-consuming and frustrating, just like any job search. If you add to that the extra complication of finding a job for two teachers in the same school, then it becomes a little more difficult. Not impossible, mind you, just a bit more challenging.
This is often a question we get from couples of how to get a TEFL job in the same school as a couple who have done the TEFL course together and would like to live in the same city and work in the same school. It’s totally understandable. After all, living together makes financial sense, and it can be comforting to start a new job with someone you know by your side.
Let’s look at the steps you need to take to find a TEFL job, paying particular attention to if there are two of you.
Step 1: Decide on your destination
There are literally thousands of TEFL jobs available all over the world. Sifting through the job ads on the internet can be exhausting unless you narrow down your search from the start. Find out which countries you’re qualified to work in. This applies to both of you; it’s not helpful for only one of you to have a Bachelor’s degree and you decide to teach in China. Then you can decide which country you would like to work in.
Step 2: Do your research
Now that you know where you want to go, you can start browsing websites and job ads. Have a look on international websites (tefl.com is a popular one) and also country-specific websites like ajarn.com for teaching in Thailand.
Step 3: Find appropriate jobs
Again, you need to be discerning in your choice of job, or you will only waste your own time. Find the jobs which appeal to you but which you suit as well. Don’t bother applying for a job teaching Cambridge exams if you are a new teacher who doesn’t know what a Cambridge exam is. Don’t apply for a job teaching kindergarten if you don’t like kids.
If you are a couple, don’t apply for jobs that are only looking for one teacher – they cannot magically make a position available just for your partner. However, there are many schools that like to hire couples because they understand that having a partner to support you can go a long way to making the transition process much easier, and a happier teacher is likely to stay for longer than a lonely teacher.
Step 4: Apply
Once you’ve find a few appropriate positions, spruce up your CV and send away. While it is totally fine to have a general CV that you can send to any employer, make sure your cover letter is personalized to each particular position. If you are a couple, send your applications together or, if that’s not possible, be sure to mention the name of your partner in your application and that you would like to work together.
Step 5: Slay the interview
Whatever you do, make sure you are prepared for the interview. Practise interview questions with your partner or with a friend. Think up classroom scenarios they might ask you about and come up with solutions to common classroom problems – like discipline, lesson plan issues, bored students. Be confident and make a good impression.
Step 6: Pack your bags
That’s it! Once you’ve been offered positions, read through the paperwork carefully, make sure your visas, passports and criminal checks are all in order, resign from your job and buy some fresh undies for your new adventure!