TEFL. Degree or no degree?

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CliffBastin
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Re: TEFL. Degree or no degree?

Post by CliffBastin »

Marty wrote: Fri Feb 21, 2020 9:06 am
John Bingham wrote: Fri Feb 21, 2020 8:15 am
Marty wrote: Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:03 am He successfully taught without a degree and said TEFL is just a joke and a scam (no joke). Happy teaching to you!
He taught for a few weeks in a 5th tier school and was fired for gross incompetence. How is that successful?
OK I'll adjust my statement about NJH. He successfully got a job. Being a goofball made him lose that job. There is no way that the OP could possibly be as goofy. NJH was sui generis. The OP will be just fine, he sounds conscientious and is asking the right questions.

Didn't the bloke die ? He seemed like a caricature of an American from the south.
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Re: TEFL. Degree or no degree?

Post by CliffBastin »

Doc67 wrote: Fri Feb 21, 2020 10:30 am Why do you want to compete a geography degree? I had a quick look at the lists of top earning degrees and geography doesn't even show up on one and is singled out on another as one of the worst. If you are really interested in the subject then fair enough but make sure you don't rack up £50k of debts in the process.

If I were you, I would book a 4 week holiday here and go on a school tour, hand out your CV, go a take some interviews and have a very good look at what you might be getting yourself into. Experience 35 degrees heat and rain that is biblical when your first see it, traffic that terrifies you, language that baffles you, sights that haunt you, smells that nauseate you, garbage piles that disgust you, cheap beer that lures you and girls that make it all better again.

This place is not for everybody. Try before you buy.

https://www.bbc.com/news/education-41693230
https://www.lovemoney.com/news/3981/the ... ty-degrees

The truth is I don't want to complete a geography degree. I do if it enables me to get a far superior teaching job, although when j finish my degree I can transfer my credits to a more applicable subject.

Yeah I'm aware it might be a bit of a culture shock at first, but I believe I am man enough to take this in my stride. I believe.
CliffBastin
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Re: TEFL. Degree or no degree?

Post by CliffBastin »

Khmu Nation wrote: Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:54 pm As a general comment about asking questions on forums, especially asking questions on expat forums, you will find numerous negative/you got no chance mate answers to any query which often aren't necessarily true.

I am not sure why this is.

Is it because some people just don't want to see other people getting on? Is it because people who have established a new life as an expat feel weirdly proud and protective about their new living environment and defend it like a jealous lover as they don't want newbies coming in and spoiling whatever the illusion is that they think they have? (A weird kind of 'I was here first' kind of thing) Is it because they have failed to achieve whatever the question subject is and therefore don't want others to succeed? Is it because they want to put off the competition? Is it something else?

I have no idea.

In terms of this question - degree or no degree? - this is the bottom line.

If you are educated to A level or equivalent, are reasonably intelligent, half eloquent, comfortable speaking to groups, native speaker, healthy, pleasant looking, clean, dressed in a clean shirt and a tie, enthusiastic, positive, friendly, willing to get boots on the ground and visit the schools, have a CELTA or online tefl, come at the right time of the year (July to Sept being peak season + Jan/Feb), have enough cash to exist without an income for a while it is pretty much a 100% certainty that you will find yourself in a job that will pay at least enough to sleep, shit and wash in private and eat and drink in public within 1 week to 6 months.

My advice: fuck the degree and go for it.

Good luck. :thumb:

Yeah I have noticed a lot of negative responses from people asking similar questions. Maybe they are fed up of backpacking wankers, but I prefer to carry a suitcase.

I am appreciative of the time you've taken to respond to me and give me your honest advice. Thank you !
CliffBastin
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Re: TEFL. Degree or no degree?

Post by CliffBastin »

John Bingham wrote: Fri Feb 21, 2020 3:53 pm
Khmu Nation wrote: Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:54 pm As a general comment about asking questions on forums, especially asking questions on expat forums, you will find numerous negative/you got no chance mate answers to any query which often aren't necessarily true.
I didn't notice any negative comments, can you point them out? I wrote that the better schools in Cambodia do require certification, which is absolutely true no matter what your opinion may be. I don't know anything about the requirements in Laos.
Not in this thread, everyone has been very cordial.
CliffBastin
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Re: TEFL. Degree or no degree?

Post by CliffBastin »

I want to thank everyone who has commented. I admit, I expected to be hounded and warned I would be a meth addict and eating shit from the sewers while hanging out the back of prostitute within months of being in PP.

I believe I will fly over in September, look for a job and start working. If I like what I see and what I do, I will contact the open university and complete my degree from there. If I hate it, can't get a decent job, and work with crack heads Inl can easily return and finish it in a more comfortable setting.

There are a few people o may PM to ask further questions.

Ps I'm sorry I did not group my replies in one message, it appears even a 27 year old can be a luddite.
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angsta
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Re: TEFL. Degree or no degree?

Post by angsta »

CliffBastin wrote: Fri Feb 21, 2020 8:08 pm
Marty wrote: Fri Feb 21, 2020 9:06 am
John Bingham wrote: Fri Feb 21, 2020 8:15 am
Marty wrote: Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:03 am He successfully taught without a degree and said TEFL is just a joke and a scam (no joke). Happy teaching to you!
He taught for a few weeks in a 5th tier school and was fired for gross incompetence. How is that successful?
OK I'll adjust my statement about NJH. He successfully got a job. Being a goofball made him lose that job. There is no way that the OP could possibly be as goofy. NJH was sui generis. The OP will be just fine, he sounds conscientious and is asking the right questions.

Didn't the bloke die ? He seemed like a caricature of an American from the south.
Yes, he died in Mexico. He had a few issues. Kinda sad. He was in his early 30's I think.
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xandreu
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Re: TEFL. Degree or no degree?

Post by xandreu »

As someone who came to Cambodia several years ago and thought that teaching would be a good way to sustain an income while I'm here, I'll just share some of my thoughts.

Firstly, my biggest mistake was not thinking beyond the 'it'll be a good way to earn a living' stage. It's not as simple as rocking up, handing out a CV, getting a job and walking into a classroom to teach. OK, maybe the the first three of those were easy, but teaching itself is nowhere near as easy as you might imagine.

If you see it as simply a way to make a living, you're already at a disadvantage and probably won't last long. I was told repeatedly by my mangers that they don't have any problem finding foreign teachers in Cambodia, what they have a problem with is finding good ones. Too many people rock up here and see it solely as a means to an end. When the reality of lesson plans, setting and marking homework, writing progress reports, creating original materials, making quizzes and marking exams comes into play, all of which has to be done outside of teaching time, it suddenly doesn't seem like such a good proposition for most. On top of that, you are a teacher, teaching fellow human beings. The thing which differentiates you from bad teachers is that you take an active interest in your students progress and to a certain extent, their lives. You will be expected to take part in extra-curricular activities such as competitions and days out, all of which happen at weekends, outside of classroom time and in addition to the work you already do outside of the classroom.

You then have one of the biggest challenges that being a teacher entails which many people don't talk about, especially if you teach younger students - that's the balance between discipline and making your classes enjoyable. It's an issue that causes most teachers the most stress and can be a deal breaker between enjoying your job and living in constant stress. And it's something that only a select few can manage. Classroom management, especially with young students, can be a nightmare. If you can't manage up to 30 rowdy and uncontrollable kids without the support of external structures (the school often doesn't want to know - in Cambodia, from my experience, they see classroom management as your job, not theirs) then think again about your teaching career.

It really is a full-time job which takes over your life. If you're happy with that and are prepared to fully immerse yourself into the life of a teacher, you're just what schools are looking for. Otherwise, you may need to think a little more about what teaching, especially teaching in Cambodia involves and decide if it really is for you or not.

It's all too easy to sit at home and think "I know! I'll be a teacher in Cambodia!" without giving it any further thought than that.
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Bitte_Kein_Lexus
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Re: TEFL. Degree or no degree?

Post by Bitte_Kein_Lexus »

CliffBastin wrote:
Bitte_Kein_Lexus wrote: Fri Feb 21, 2020 9:16 am Why did you postpone your degree? Did you realize you weren't interested in geography anymore, or was it something else? You can find a job, but it'll be a bit aimless in terms of pay and progression. It's fine if you set yourself a deadline (say, 6 months, one year), but the degree is what will open doors in your future. It's easy to get stuck in the degreeless tefl scene here, but I don't think it leads anywhere.
I wasn't interested in geography to start with. I felt a bit ushered to go to university. I dropped out because I stopped attending lectures and my heart wasn't in it. I truly regret this now.
If your heart wasn't into it, it wasn't necessarily the wrong move. You just have to find something you're passionate about. I didn't end up working in my related field, but the degree and stuff I learned have served me fairly well. It'll eventually become a requirement here to ha e a degree, and time flies here so be careful. You don't want to be a 45 year old degreeless tefl bum who's only experience is in some shitty Cambodian school when some sort of quality control comes into place.

Again, it's fine to do a few months to figure out what you want to do, but don't make it your career. Figure what you want to do, then move back and get some sort of higher education (doesn't have to be university, could be a trade it whatever, but a skill you can fall back on). You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders, so go ahead, but don't touch meth...
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Re: TEFL. Degree or no degree?

Post by Electric Earth »

I'll start by saying that I didn't read page two or three of this thread, so forgive me if this has been mentioned, but...

Your biggest problem is your gender. Are you decent looking? That would help. Cambodian schools want white girls in their 20s. A degree matters less than gender and age here. 22, female, cute, zero degree, zero experience, and possibly not even tefl? No problem! You'll have job offers on the spot for $1,000/month - Not exaggerating.

For a male, it helps to be in your 20s. It will help if you're conventionally western attractive and have a good picture on your CV. The whiter the better. It'll take longer, but you can find a job, and probably an decent one making OK money. You probably won't save much, but you'll be able to live perfectly comfortably to a standard nearly what you're used to.

I don't know the Phnom Penh market, but in SR, I would say you'll make ~$700-800/month and it'll take you two weeks-two months to get a job depending on when you apply and if you hit the school at the right time, when they need someone(but no white girls have applied recently).
Do you think the parents of baby boomers whined so much when the boomers started changing society? And yet the whiney ones like to call young people "snowflakes." Hmm...
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