You’ve slogged over your TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course. You have landed your all-important first TEFL job. You are ready to get on that plane! Wahoo!
So, here are our top 10 tips for making sure you hit the ground running when you arrive. You’re welcome!
- Find out as much as you can about your school before you go. Spend time looking through the school’s website, draw up a short list of questions to ask the school in advance and search for blogs written by teachers who have worked there.
- Ask the agency (or school) who has organised your job to put you in touch with other teachers working locally. It will be good to have company when you arrive.
- Prepare a few lesson plans to get you through those scary first days of teaching. Having a couple of fail-safe warmer activities up your sleeve will make your students seem much more friendly.
- Research the local area. Look at travel sites and books, such as Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor, to find out the best places to visit and where to go for food and drink – not to mention any spots you should avoid…
- Make sure you know how to get to your first night’s accommodation. If you are being met at the airport, ensure you have a contact number and find out what to do if your flight is delayed.
- Write down five things you want to do within your first week or month. This could be anything from a top tourist attraction you want to see, to ordering a drink in the local language. It will give you something concrete to hold on to when the whirlwind of living and working in a new country threatens to take over (it happens to us all!).
- Confirm how and when you will be paid. If you will need a local bank account to cash your pay cheques, find out if the school requires this to be with a specific bank – as sometimes can be the case.
- Gather a small selection of everyday objects from your home country. Leaflets from your local tourist office, menus and rail tickets can all be great starting points for lessons.
- Check the weather forecast for when you arrive. It is better to know in advance if you are likely to be arriving in the middle of a downpour rather than getting drenched because you were expecting wall-to-wall sunshine!
- Learn the language. Even if you just know how to say “Hello”, “How are you?”, “Please” and “Thank you”, it is a great start!
Ready to start your own TEFL journey? All it takes is a TEFL Course!