It really annoys me and aggravates me when people think I am away on holiday or that I have it easy with my job. EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teachers do not have it easy, we are still teachers. Sure there are centers/academies where it’s basically just a dos about but the friends I’ve made show me just how truly hard working we are as we strive to make a difference with our TEFL, CELTA or DELTA.
We are not on a gap year if we’ve paid big money for our certificate (e.g. CELTA, which is the prerequisite for the DELTA).
We are not wasting our time, travelling and having fun and not actually working.
It aggravates me when people ask when I will settle down. You actually can settle down within this world and get married etc. Stop being so daft.
We don’t make a lot of money. We really don’t. Teachers don’t make a lot of money in general, as an EFL teacher we are probably making half of that in Europe and S America (Asia is different). We sometimes struggle but are generally around good cultures that are friendly whereby you’re invited for dinner or just have a tab at your local restaurant.
If we’ve been doing this for over 2 years, we can’t still be running away from life (if you are, pull your socks up and go face the shit you’re running from). Usually we just know this is what we want to do for a while so we may move around a bit doing it.
EFL is rewarding. It’s fun for us. Well when I look back at each opportunity I tend to find the fun side of it more than the days kids made me wish I could restart my day or fast forward to the end of my contract.
It can be satisfying as we see our students have breakthroughs or light bulb moments that slots the last 6 lessons into place for them.
It lets us help the next generation of future leaders, teachers, scientists, lawyers, brain surgeons, pilots, etc.
We get to see and experience the world differently. Holidays doesn’t usually stay as a holiday anymore, it becomes a cultural immersion experience wherever we go.
We live differently to our native culture because we’ve become adaptable. It’s so cool being able to bring new habits from places into our everyday lives because it makes sense to us and we wouldn’t have known about it had we not had moved to that country in the first place.
Most of all we make great friends and try new things. We’re constantly problem solving, money managing in tricky economies where corruption is actually a blatant issue. And we get to do all that with great friends we’ve made in that country or whom are just a phone call away!
I like EFL, it’s my thing for the next year as I’ve been around it for 3 years now. Please stop pushing your limited social constructions on us as adults. We’re no longer just Brits or Americans we’re people of the world who have new ideas of how to live and enjoy life!