As a Canadian, teaching English in my hometown Toronto has allowed me to develop my skills as a teacher, earn a good wage and meet students from all over the world, while remaining in close proximity to my family and friends. Canada offers many opportunities in English language teaching, whether it be in private language schools, government funded settlement programs, or at the College or University levels.
Starting Out – Teaching English in Canada
Most inexperienced teachers begin their careers at privately owned language schools, which are abundant in major Canadian cities. Because enrollment numbers tend to fluctuate significantly at different times of the year, a relatively high rate of turnover means that teaching positions become available frequently. Typical hourly wages for new teachers range between $21-26, and schedules usually approximate a standard 8-4 or 9-5 workday. While many school staffs are not unionized, some are; if you plan on investing many years to the industry, it may be worthwhile seeking out a school that offers job security. Finally, I advise that you consider the degree of collegiality amongst teachers and administration; it makes all the difference to work with teachers who care, and for a school that takes care of its teachers. You’ll learn more, become a better teacher and enjoy your day-to-day significantly more in this kind of environment.
The Job Search – Teaching English in Canada
When you know what city you want to teach in, take time to make a list of reputable language schools in the city and visit them to set up appointments with their Director of Studies. Private language schools usually accept resumes throughout the year and call interesting candidates as they need them. The vast majority of schools experience their highest volumes in the summer months, so if you`re looking to get a start in the industry, May and June tend to be good months for job-hunting. In my experience, the most effective method of getting the interview is to present your resume and cover letter in person. Dress sharply, smile and be prepared to give your best elevator pitch as to why you would make an excellent TESOL teacher. If experience is not your resume`s strong suit, concentrate instead on selling your enthusiasm and professionalism. Emphasize your understanding of how to apply what you learned in your TESL Canada certification course to a real classroom and your willingness to learn from more experienced teachers. Articulate clearly and succinctly why you wanted to be a teacher and what you bring to the job that makes you stand out. Creating a portfolio of original and creative lesson plans is highly recommended!
Stay tuned! In the next blog, I will tell you about the resume and the interview.