For the majority of people Teaching English is for young students and backpackers who want to see the world. There are also the occasional news articles that slag of ‘Teaching English’ saying it’s not a real job, or a slave industry. But when you hear about the hours people are working in the UK without lunch breaks, or a decent wage. Then teaching English can become a good money earner without the stress. I have taught in Beijing with a not-so-bad salary of £1700.00 per month, and when you factor in a good modern apartment that cost me nothing, and living costs that were next to nothing. You are left with a reasonable salary equivalent to £35k per year.
There are a few more older people, (like me, 47 and counting) who are starting to eye up a tefl career as an exciting change in their lives after their forties. Some of these tefl teachers will be well-qualified and others will have minimal ones or just no degree. I am not snobby and believe if someone has the best intentions, then as long as they do a good course before they leave, then they should be entitled to a chance like everyone else. Not every country is as stringent as everyone else when it comes to precise teaching qualifications, but I am clear that you should have a good TEFL course and hands on experience to start with.
Where and who to Teach English
There are so many countries and so many schools to choose from that its tough to suggest what you would like. Depending on your experience you will have to decide whether you want to sing to a class full of primary kids from ages 3 – 6, or teach to a class of teenagers aged 14 – 18, or teach one-to-one to adults. So far I have taught to surly teenagers in Beijing and have had fun, and also one-to-one adults and have had engaging conversations. Where you teach is another choice dependent on what excites you. If it’s round the clock sunshine then it could be South America or the hotter parts of ASIA. Or you could enjoy a nice cold crispy climate in Eastern Europe or even South Korea during December. It would depend on whether you are into your culture, or a relaxed life style.
Age is just a number and attitude is more important when making your decision. What kind of a person are you? What kind of a life do you want to live? I have great friends and family members that have mortgages to pay and spend most of their days in England. They travel once a year to the same country. I myself have enjoyed living and working in a diverse set of countries and I find it difficult to stop. I feel like Willy Wonka in the Chocolate Factory. I have won one of the golden tickets to Planet Earth. There are hundreds of different countries with so many different cultures and customs, and I just want to visit them all before I die. I always say that whatever choices you make as long as prior to death you can look back and say, ‘WOW!’ then you should be fine.