Is just speaking English enough to teach English? No.
After completing my Teachaway.com profile, I started scanning jobs. Most of them called for a TESOL/TEFL license. Although I’ve worked with ESL students for over 12 years, I don’t have an ESL teaching license. I teach middle school English Language Arts. So I switched my search to TESOL programs. I was about to drop $6,800 USD (that we don’t have) on a course through Columbia University, when I got an email to set up a pre-screen phone interview. It was for a Licensed English teacher position in Abu Dhabi. That was quick!
“Hi Nancy, is this a good time to talk?” the recruiter sounded doubtful, with good reason, considering all the background noise.
“Yes of course!” I replied as I scooted my way past nearly 300 of my colleagues at Woodhaven Manor. Actually, I was in the middle of a Union Dinner!
I rushed out to the lobby and realized I was still going to be surrounded by dozens of teachers. I began to describe in detail why I would be a great candidate for teaching abroad. It went extremely well…and I did get the feeling that it was more a formality than a real assessment of my abilities. But I was onto round two! I was beaming as I returned to dinner and imagined a tax-free salary, accommodations provided and a bonus at the end of the contract.
When I got home, I immediately searched for videos and blogs related to teaching in the UAE . Most were great tales of travel during breaks, living it up in hotels, and rants about lunatic drivers. It all sounded thrilling! Souley and I searched for videos featuring teacher apartments. We focused on the ones with spacious balconies, deep bathtubs and large closets. We tried to ignore the ones mentioning creepy, crawly creatures and roommates.
But only a few touched on actually teaching…which helped doubt settle in. Was it that tough out there? Would it be worth the perks? I love teaching. I actually love my students. Most of them are new to this country and have a strong desire to learn and succeed. And Admin? It’s a love/hate relationship. I love their support. I love that we’ve worked together for so long. I love when they leave me alone. I’d hate for it to be any worse?
So, I started looking at more jobs posted on Teachaway and I submitted an application to teach in Qatar. The benefits seem to really outweigh the obscurity. Within a week, I had passed another phone interview.
So now it’s two weeks later and I’m waiting…checking email…checking teachaway.com…double checking my references and resume and adding as many documents as I can…waiting to be invited to interview for Abu Dhabi or Qatar…hoping…waiting….