Many fully certified teachers choose to teach abroad rather than stay in their home country. Some newly qualified teachers may find it difficult to find suitable employment, so they travel abroad to obtain useful classroom experience, while others may simply be looking for something different.
Whatever your motivation, teaching is one of the few professions that allows you to develop your skills and knowledge, gain experience, and increase your employability while traveling the world and seeking out new countries and cultures. If you believe this is the right path for you, the next step is to consider how you will differentiate your CV/resume when applying for the best opportunities in the most exciting locations.
Is a TEFL certificate required for qualified teachers?
A TEFL certificate is required in many cases, even for qualified teachers. When looking for jobs online you will almost certainly come across a TEFL or TESOL certificate as one of the main requirements for most international teaching jobs. You are probably wondering why, as a qualified teacher, you would need another qualification to apply for these positions. It is reasonable to assume that after several years of work and/or study, you should be able to teach abroad as it is undoubtedly similar to working at home.
The truth is that teaching in your home country differs greatly from teaching abroad and there are many reasons why qualified teachers can profit from completing a TEFL certification course.
What are the advantages of obtaining a TEFL certificate?
If you get a job teaching in an international school where all of the students are native or fluent English speakers, there will be few advantages to taking a TEFL course. This scenario, however, is uncommon in the international teaching environment. The majority of teaching positions will involve non-native English speakers of differing abilities, many of whom are still at the beginner level.
As a trained teacher you are already aware of how difficult the job can be at times; why complicate matters by lacking the particular skills required to teach successfully in an international setting? You should think about more than just yourself. If you haven't learned the skills that are unique to a non-native English environment, you are failing your students and making their studies much more difficult.
Will having a TEFL certificate propel my CV/resume to the top of the list?
You are a top candidate for many of the best schools around the world as a qualified teacher, but many of these will only consider teachers who also have completed a TEFL certification. When you add a TEFL qualification to your resume there is nothing stopping you from applying for the highest-paying jobs in all of your preferred destinations. Because you most likely already have some teaching experience, an online TEFL certification should be sufficient for most employers. Just make sure it has a minimum of 100 hours of instruction and is recognized internationally.
You will first notice the benefits of your TEFL training during the interview stage of the selection process. Employers will want to know about your personal style of teaching in an international setting, which you are unlikely to know before taking the course. In these cases, candidates with only a TEFL certificate can frequently outperform an experienced teacher who may struggle to answer questions about overseas teaching scenarios.
Whatever job you are applying for, as a qualified teacher, you are in a great position if you can demonstrate that you have done everything possible to prepare for the experience. By adding a TEFL qualification to your toolbox you can demonstrate your commitment to your profession and that you possess all of the necessary skills and knowledge to provide high-quality results for your students.