When selecting a school to work at, select a school that has upward mobility. A school that has what you want. Some of these schools don’t have upward mobility, whatsoever. Some of them are just very structured. They’re government jobs. And you work the same position year after year, doing the same things. Many don’t even allow innovation within the classroom, so you can’t even grow beyond the old models of teaching. How does that sound? Sounds like a slow and painful death to me.
So, when you’re looking for jobs as an English teacher, really focus on the type of job you want to get. If you want to get upward mobility and more skills, then consider which job offers you the best opportunity for that. It might be a private school, but recognize also that there will be disadvantages to that. Always do your research because there are plenty of differences between public and private schools in different countries. For example, one country’s public is another school’s private, and vice versa. I know, I wish there was a universal definition of public and private, but there isn’t. Not even close, so just prepare for the worst no matter what.
And some countries have public schools that rival the worst prisons in America. So really look out for that. No need to go someplace you might get shanked.
The reason I recommend applying for schools with upward mobility and the chance to grow in the organization is that you can parlay the skills you acquire into other avenues of growth, even entirely different industries. The best English schools want to grow their people because it’s further incentive beyond the paycheck for the teacher and it also helps the organization become that much more dynamic, agile, and ready to stem the tide of competition from other programs and fly-by-night English academies. English schools are so common in Asia, in particular, that they’re like McDonalds or Starbucks, or even Wal-Mart’s. Yes, they’re that common.
It’s almost a cliché.
But let’s say you don’t even want to be a career English teacher. Let’s say you’re just doing this as a stint, as a backpacker or as a gap year. I would still even more so recommend you find English schools that allow you to dip into other departments, whether it be marketing or promotions or even accounting. I don’t care what it is. The more opportunities, the better. Even if you’re not being paid for them. Why? Because again that work experience becomes leverage to you as you start to learn how businesses are run.
But maybe you’re not even doing English-teaching as a tourist. You may be doing it for college credit or you’re doing it for just a break. Or maybe you’re just trying to see what else is out there and you really just don’t know about the world. Well, then there’s an academy with your name on it, just waiting for you to apply! Now the academy won’t have your actual name on it, so don’t Google your name plus academy. You’ll just become depressed.
And let me tell you in Asia (China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, etc.) no opportunity goes to waste. So whatever your motivations for teaching English, if you find an academy with multiple departments and multiple ways of assisting, you’ll be in a great position to really enhance your tool kit of life skills which are in short supply at the university setting. Put your skills to use, even that one your parents said was a waste of time AND money.
Now there is a very real danger you could be overworked. But if you know this going into the situation, you’ll know what you’re in it for. Don’t lose sight of the target. Keep your eye on the ball as it were and go in knowing your goals and objectives. Then, when you feel like you can’t handle it anymore, just quit. Always have a back up plan as well. I’m not saying go into the situation with the expectation of quitting, but just know what you’re getting yourself into before you accept the position, always keeping in mind that you have to maintain your health while taking on positions that require lots of responsibilities.
There are many factors to look into when you’re looking for your school. But don’t complain about the school once you’re in there because you made the choice, that was your choice and that was your research. But if you’re really stuck between different options and you’re weighing of pros and cons hasn’t revealed anything insightful, you can do what MJ DeMarco recommends and visiting the website called helpmydecision.com where you can literally plug in the pros and cons of each school, like some kind of data scientist, and then generate statistics about which school is likely to be the best fit for you, through the algorithms that the website is programmed to execute when you add all of your decisions into the mix. You know you want to, nerd. Just kidding Nerds are rich!
I’ve done this a few times, and I feel it not only refreshing but helpful for me when a decision goes sour and I can just blame the algorithms on this website. So try it out! Plus its fun to blame your life choices on others, just ask your unhappy parents. And it’s fun, but in light of the foregoing, you’re advised to take it with a grain of salt. You have to learn to decide for yourself sometime but for now let computers think for you.
So, just check that out and see if that can help you with your decision making. Just remember, keep your eye on the ball and the long term goals for yourself. When you come to Asia or anywhere else in the world, it’s very easy to get derailed, wander adrift and lose sight of what you had intended to achieve while traveling and teaching. Don’t let that happen, really consider what you want to have in your life and make your decisions accordingly. And remember, there is no destination. Like college, you have to keep moving and keep being active and productive. It never stops. Never! Well, until you die, but that’s a whole other post. One I’m not ready to journey down, yet.
So keep moving and never lose sight of your definite chief aim.
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