HOW TO RESEARCH A TEFL EMPLOYER

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This can be difficult if you are looking for a job in a foreign country and are not familiar with the employers in the field. However, it is still important. If you have spent some time doing your research online, and you have found a prospective job that you would like to apply for, or if you’ve already gone through the application process and are now considering an offer of employment, it makes sense to do a background check on the employer. Finding a job in another country can be daunting because it can be a complete unknown and accepting a contract of employment for a year or two based on nothing but an online advert can be very risky.

The first step to researching your employer is the obvious: Google. Google them and find out if they have their own website or if they have been mentioned on any other sites. Looking at a school’s website can provide you with photos of the school and perhaps other staff members, so even if you can’t understand the language you can still find valuable information. On the other hand, if the school doesn’t have a website, this may give you a glimpse of the kind of school it is as well.

Googling your future employer can also bring up any comments regarding the school on forums or blogs. There are a number of forums and websites for teachers to post about employers that have been disappointing or downright dishonest, as a way of preventing other teachers from finding themselves in the same bad situations. It can be very useful to spend some time looking for such comments in order to find out what the general opinion is on the employer.

Finally, it can also be possible to track down current or former employers. If you can get in touch with someone who has worked there before, drop them a message and they will most likely get back to you with a response. The TEFL community is a very connected community and teachers are more than happy to share experiences or advice to other teachers.

Unfortunately it must be said that there are some dodgy employers and agents in the TEFL industry. They can be very convincing and persuasive and it’s remarkably easy to be fooled. The problem is, it is usually not something as straightforward as people advertising non-existent jobs, but what can happen is that agents can advertise jobs and not be altogether honest about the conditions. If you are persuaded to sign a contract, you will be bound to that contract even if the situation is not what you were expecting, and you will only realise the truth when you have already arrived.

It’s really important to do some research when considering a TEFL job. Considering how many teachers there are all over the world, if there is anything remotely dodgy about an employer, chances are you will find out about it on the internet. It really is a case of being safe rather than sorry.

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