Teaching English isn’t the most stable profession and the industry is rife with ‘cowboy’ schools who deliver substandard service to the teachers they employ (not to mention the students). For those who are unqualified, teaching English may be an attractive prospect as all that is required is a bachelor’s degree, however it is not uncommon for teachers to become entangled in the fine print of their contract once its signed. I’ve even heard of stories where schools have refused to return teachers’ passports to them (for Visa purposes certain countries may be required to hold onto your passport for the duration of your contract, but I definitely wouldn’t hand it over). The above video is an example of the perils of teaching English, watch it now. I’ll wait.
Some of it initially seems comical but many of it is rooted in truth:
“I can tell by your skin colour that you will be a great teacher“- some countries may hold a bias against non-Caucasian teachers, even those whose native language is English. Some may see it as more of a “guarantee” and do not want to be taught by someone whose first language is not English. It may not even be the schools who are biased but parents may hold this preference that schools would have to accommodate.
“Do you have a bachelor’s degree?”
“Do you have two opposable thumbs that can be used to touch and grasp simple objects?”
“Do you have less than three felony convictions for molestation of a minor?”
These ‘requirements’ hint at the lax criteria used to hire prospective teachers, hence why it’s better to be qualified, so you can go for the better-quality schools. I’m not going to go through the rest of the video, but its always best to get reviews from teachers who have worked there and ask the right questions during interview. Of course they could always lie, like my interviewer did, but at least you can pull them up on it later on. Also make sure that you get your contract translated into English if it is in a different language! Here is just one account of things that can go wrong.