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Things to Consider Before Accepting a Job

By Sharon K Couzens de Hinojosa from the TEFL Tips website

Before accepting a teaching position, there are many things that you need to know. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, the more you know, the more informed your decision will be. Find out as much about the school as you can. Good places to start are yahoo groups, ESL forums, such as and country specific forums. Ask to be put in touch with current or past teachers. If a school refuses to put you in contact with their teachers, that’s not a good sign. Move on to the next school.
Below are some questions you should ask before accepting a position.


● Who are the clients, students, who owns the school, manages it, runs it?
● Is there a particular methodology or pedagogical philosophy to be followed?
● How is management structured?

● How many a week maximum?
● How many a day maximum?
● How many in a row without a break?
● Are extra hours/relief compulsory? If so how much notice is given?
● Morning or afternoon shift? Split shift? Weekend work?
● How many different classes and or levels in a week?
● Are the hours guaranteed?
● Are there breaks?
● What about overtime?
● Is there sick leave? How much? Is there compensation if sick days aren’t used?

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● What’s the typical student like?
● How many per class?
● How expensive/cheap is the school for students?
● What sort of students are the client base?

● Who makes the quizzes? How often are they?
● What other responsibilities are there?

● How often is the pay?
● How is it decided? How will the salary differ with a certificate/degree and work experience?
● How much is the tax?
● Are there bonuses? How often are they given?
● Is there help with opening a bank account?
● How much is needed to live?

● Holidays – paid or unpaid? When you want them?
● Is there reimbursement for flight?
● Is there airport pickup?
● Is accommodation provided? What is included? Is there help to find a flat?
● Is transport provided?
● What is done about organizing visas and who pays?
● Is medical insurance private? Or local state system?
● Is there relocation allowance?

● What books are used?
● Is there a syllabus to follow?
● Is there a library? Computers? Internet/email?
● Is there a Language lab? Video camera? Tape and video recorders?
● Is there a mentor or buddy system?

Once you do accept a position, you’ll need to start getting accustomed to the school and area. Here’s some suggestions to help make the transition easier.

Before You Start Work
● Book a flight and inform your school when you will be arriving.
● Ask if you can observe some classes
● Ask if you can come in to familiarize yourself with materials
● Start getting materials together
● Talk with current teachers and ask them for tips.
● Bring in all the paperwork necessary in order for you to get a work visa if they haven’t already gotten you one.
● Familiarise yourself with the town.

About the author

Sharon K Couzens de Hinojosa is the creator and writer for TEFL Tips, The LA Job List, and The Ultimate Peru List. She enjoys answering people’s questions about TEFLing and Peru.

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