Yes, you read the title correctly, this pandemic has created a situation which is perfect for something positive – in this case it’s achieving your TEFL cert. The C19 virus outbreak has changed so much about our lives that it’s almost impossible to remember what ‘normal’ used to be, and especially about travel. With self-isolation rules in full flow if you’re returning to the UK from a designated country, and travel forbidden to others, globe-trotting is definitely out of the equation for now. Sadly, all dreams have fallen by the wayside – so what can be good about this situation?
Well, look at it as if it were an advantage to you. Have you been planning to become TEFL qualified for a while but it’s never been the right time? Or maybe you’ve been putting off the leap into the unknown because it’s just been too scary. If so, now is absolutely the right time to re-consider your position. The teaching English industry has been quick to use the current climate to its advantage. The rules around education, work and travel have changed, but the industry has been moving fast to make the most of any opportunities afforded to it. A quick run through of the benefits of getting a TEFL certificate include being able to teach students worldwide, you can work from home without compromising your official role, you’ll have a job that neatly sidesteps any recession and you can set your own timetable. What’s not to love about that?
But why is NOW the right time?
- Simply put – education is always going to be something that people invest in. The need for education across the board is never going to go away, it’s a firmly established industry that has plenty of scope for growth in all directions. Qualified teachers are always in high demand and the wheel of education is not one that’s going to stop turning. No matter what the state of the worldwide economy is, education will (quite rightly) be prioritised as an investment in the future. And not just in a local sense, this is a feeling that stretches across the globe. Owning material things has ceased to become so popular now that people are seeing how superficial it all is, and instead creating opportunities out of whatever is available has become the forerunner in the popularity stakes.
- Once you’ve qualified you can add your TEFL cert. to your CV and make extra money with the skills you’ve learned. These skills are transferrable ones and can be practised teaching adults and children alike.
- It can make your professional life flexible. Yes, we know that this is a point which is always raised as a bonus to studying for your TEFL certificate, but there’s a reason for that – because it’s SO true! Online teaching is probably the most versatile career that you could have and your time is your own to sculpt into a pattern that suits you. So that means if you’re keen on visiting (or moving to!) a rather remote location you’ll be able to keep up and keep earning through online teaching. This is going to be an especially valuable skill if you’re going somewhere where there aren’t many professional roles available.
- You can say goodbye to cabin fever! The hamster wheel of employment can feel like a long, hard slog to get through. Doing the same thing day in, day out, possibly with a horrible commute and long hours at a job you don’t especially like. If that sounds like you then you’re probably desperate to try something else, but you’re not in a position to plunge into financial uncertainty. If planning to explore the globe has always been on your bucket list, or if it’s a desire that has surfaced recently, then qualifying as EFL teacher is the perfect industry to get into and work at as you travel. You can meet new people and experience other cultures, secure in the knowledge that online language teachers will always be in demand.
- Comparatively speaking you can start earning money really quickly. Not as quickly as you would in a more menial, lower paid job that anybody can do, but quickly in terms of beginning a new career. You could be embarking on it in as little as six weeks once you’ve earned your TEFL certificate. Teaching online allows you to meet people across the world without leaving your house. Some might say it’s a gateway into opportunities you never knew existed.
When you’re considering your TEFL aspirations it’s important to choose your course with the future in mind and what you want to have. Do you want to complete a course that supports graduates in their job search? Some course providers offer lifetime support to their graduates. Do you want a course with extra online teaching instruction so you can hit the ground running and be more confident about your newly-learned skills? Some courses provided by overseas programs come with visa assistance which is useful if you’re thinking of working and living there in the future.
There’s a heavy load of bonuses about going down this path and it’s possible to really make it work for you within your life, almost no matter what your commitments. There aren’t many careers that are this flexible so if it’s something you’ve always thought about then seize the opportunity during this pandemic when there’s not much going on, and you might have been furloughed, to complete a TEFL course which promises so much for your future.