Logistics advice for a complete newbie

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Logistics advice for a complete newbie

Unread postby ponsaelius » 16 Aug 2011, 22:25

Hello Lucy,

I am a 27-year-old prospective TEFL teacher based currently in Newcastle upon Tyne, struggling with the logistics of becoming a teacher in EFL.
At the moment, I am contracted to a job finishing in November, which is fine as I intend to take the four-week intensive CELTA course at International House in Newcastle between 14 November and 9 December.
My worry relates to finding employment soon after the course as I would prefer to work in Europe but I am aware the academic term in most countries runs September to June. I know that there may some limited intakes in January 2012 but this is further compromised by a rather personal situation: I am best man to a long-time friend whose wedding is on 17 March 2012 with a stag-do organised for February 2012. Both the wedding and the stag-do would probably require me to be available over the whole course of a long weekend (i.e. Fri-Sun) and I presume that any prospective employer would require holidays to be taken at the end of a semester.
Is it likely that I may complete a course in December but struggle to obtain work until March due to my circumstances, and then struggle after March until the following September because the end of the academic year is so near ?
If so, would you suggest that it would be better if I delayed my intention to go on a CELTA course and teach until there is less interference from my personal life?
Sorry for the garrulous nature of this post and apologies also that my query rather puts you in the role of a careers advisor than a TEFL advisor. I hope you are still able to help, though, and I thank you in advance.

Regards, Peter.

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Re: Logistics advice for a complete newbie

Unread postby Lucy » 18 Aug 2011, 20:47

Hi Peter,

First of all, I’d like to say that you come across as someone who is committed, serious and who takes the time to plan ahead. These are all good qualities for a teacher to have.

So, down to the nitty gritty! You say you want to work in Europe but that is an enormous area; so I can’t really give you country-specific advice. As you quite rightly say, many countries start the academic year in September and chances for jobs are higher in September and January. You should also look at countries such as Poland and Czech Republic where the academic year is split into two sections: one starting in September and the other in February. Depending on the country you apply to, you have the option to get a job in January or February. In any case, in private language schools, almost anything is possible. They are far more flexible than state schools. What’s more if you let a new employer know about your plans with plenty of notice, they should be able to find a solution that allows you to have a long weekend. You could swap lessons with a colleague, change a timetable slightly to allow you to have a long weekend, a colleague could cover for you and you repay the favour at a later date.......

You could go ahead with your plans to study in November/ December. Apply for teaching jobs for January and February. If you find a job, that’s great. If not, look for alternative employment and try again in September or apply to summer schools in the UK which start around June/July.

You say your job ends in November; I don’t know whether that means you have the option to continue in that job after November or not; you can give all the above some serious thought before you decide whether to leave your job in November. I hope I have given you some food for thought and there is no reason why your project shouldn’t work and you can still go home for the wedding.

All the best,

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