Hello again (:
My question is: WHat is the difference between teaching with a certificate and teaching with a bachelors degree? I am in the process of getting my degree in English Education. Honestly I thought I would get the certificate after my degree and that was my ticket in. From there I thought I would teach at a little school making very very low. But I have recently been told that my degree will allow me better opportunities.
You don't need a TEFL certificate to get a job at all.
Why Major in English Education?
The English education program prepares prospective teachers for the challenges of teaching students from a broad range of cultural backgrounds in such diverse educational settings as traditional high and middle schools, vocational-technical centers, alternative and magnet schools and tech-prep programs.
Current English education studies predict growing opportunities for English teachers at all levels, both to replace retiring teachers and to provide lower student-teacher ratios in classrooms.
High school graduates, whether they plan to attend college or not, need language and writing instruction that qualifies them to meet the demands of their future careers. The English Education degree program at Ferris State University prepares prospective English teachers with the knowledge and skills essential to provide effective English instruction for students in Michigan and throughout the nation. "
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Get the TEFL. Speaking from 8 years experience in the classroom in a public school in PA. AUA director also said most schools he is aware of prefer a TEFL, especially for those recent graduates who don't have direct classroom experience teaching English to non-natives.
A good TEFL course in Thailand will prepare you to best use all that knowledge you've gained obtaining your degree, especially in a Thai classroom. Your TEFL course should put you in a real Thai classroom for 5 or 6 full lessons, which you will have to prepare yourself. You'll be thankful for this experience right from the start.
"While Jim is milking the Russian Boar, I'm in the shade of a Baobab tree being served a cool drink by a beautiful young indigenous girl. "
Aloha - Aloha HARD
With all due respect: The down side of having a TEFL certificate is when you want to believe is means something. Sure it may be a requirement and it may help a new teacher who never went to class and never caught on to what good teachers do.
A high school diploma shows 100X the effort and accomplishment than does a 6-week TEFL cram course (or an 8-week, or 32-week). In other words, if you wear that diploma like a crown or a badge or an avatar you diminish your dignity. If you are the survivor of 16-18 years of formal education, but too shy to stand in front of a class and insecure about doing what teachers do ... you're not choosing the profession for the right reasons; you're bored at home or in love with a foreigner and you have to do something about it and teaching is your perceived salvation.
Whatever your experience has been in your 80(90?) or so years, it's not the same for everyone. I learned things in my TEFL that helped me be a better teacher from day 1 in the classroom. Would I have learned these things on the job? Absolutely, as I gained experience I would have learned how to deal with everything I was taught in my TEFL. That being said, I like to be prepared before I jump.
How much you learn in your TEFL course is in relation to how much you knew when you started. Every word spoken, every lesson presented in that class is on the Internet. I know it's not the same for everybody. But if I had an applicant who drummed on about his/her TEFL diploma (as he chewed his nails and twitched his knee) and his classroom experience was teaching Bridge to geriatrics I'd find myself at the mercy of the laws of probability and bin his app.
My friend has a very similar degree to what you are currently studying and he is in a comfortable EP job earning around 50k teaching English after 2 years of experience with a TEFL. You absolutely will not have a problem finding work, though more and more people are coming over to Thailand to teach for a year or so, with a degree and a certificate, so it may be worth considering as employers do tend to like seeing the piece of paper, even if we don't value it very highly ourselves.
It's true you don't need a TEFL to get a job, and you may not learn that much from it, common sense mostly, but if you do one that actually has some practical elements in the country you are planning on teaching, it's quite useful for getting into the swing of things. I did mine here in Thailand and taught for 2 weeks in a non-air con classroom, with a horrendous blackboard and very large, long classes (crafty earning by the agency!) but it did prepare me for the worst case scenario and I have found most things a breeze in comparison as it is generally a lot better than that.
I would also suggest that TOAC's estimations of walking into a 60k+ job are maybe a tad generous. Those jobs do exist, but they are competitive, and they are not on ajarn, so you will need to go looking. Anything over 50k as a first time salary is unlikely if you just have a degree alone, even if it is in English Education - purely because it's only really international schools (who prefer an M.Ed or PGCE to go with it) or higher end private schools with EP/universities (who prefer several years experience) that will pay much more. The other thing to consider is that these positions will most likely be found in Bangkok - if mountains or beaches and idyllic Thailand is what you are after things get a little more competitive and the salary decreases slightly (though it is cheaper outside of the city and arguably a better quality of life!)
Of course - a lot of job searching in Thailand is about who you know - so if you meet the right people you could probably end up with more- though I would err on the side of caution and not expect too much. Of course there will always be the person with the story where they stepped off the boat and got offered a 100k, 8 hours a week job on a paradise island, but that is definitely the exception and I reckon it's always better to follow the rule and be pleasantly surprised rather than disappointed. If you're good at what you do you can also supplement your income very easily with private classes - going rates with agencies are 300-500 but if you put the legwork in yourself and are popular you can charge as much as 1000 an hour - more for multiple students.
Worst case scenario - you take the average EP job for 40k a month, spend a semester learning the ropes, networking to find those ideal jobs, working out where you want to be and then move onwards and upwards!
Just realised I wrote PGCE which is the UK teacher qualification - I assume that you will be awarded a B.A (not a B.Ed??) and that the US teacher's license comes after additional study once you have completed your first degree? I don't know much about the system over there..
..but if I assumed wrongly and you will be a fully qualified teacher on completion of your degree then yes, you will be able to look for those higher salaries - and it is better to do so from home as the salary packages are much more competitive when applying from your home country!
Last edited by GreggsH; 3rd October 2012 at 15:34.
You'll be fine no matter what, because you come across as a white, attractive female, full of the joys of spring.
Now research the same questions asked a billion times over (!) and you'll receive search results more useful to you, (ie. enabling you to stand on your own two feet) making some effort instead of relying on tiresome men who treat you differently because of how you appear on a forum. Jing jing, and all that.
Don't think of a TEFL as something you need to get a job, as a hoop to jump through in order to gain employment.
You don't need one.
Think of it as professional development, if the course is good and the instructors are good then you will learn a lot. I had plenty of teaching experience teaching when I did mine and still learnt a lot. I wish I had done it sooner, would have made me a better teacher and enabled me to get some good part time work.
If you have the time, money and inclination to do one then go for it!
If not then... You don't need one
My suggestion to any unsure people is to volunteer first. There are free volunteer places in Thailand such as Isara.org. You can get practical experience without shelling out cash first and you can see if teaching really is for you.