• Grace Arnold

The TEFL world is opening up - be ready for the change. Red flag checklist on a job posting


We're nearly through the first part of 2021, we’ve all been stuck inside for months, many of us under lockdown, dreaming of being anywhere but in the four walls we're in.


However, it looks like we will be able to travel and work again as the world opens up in summer, so what do we need to look out for when looking for training and jobs?


Whether you're new to teaching, or looking to apply for a new international position, it is important to remember the 'Red Flags' of job postings


Red flags to look out for when applying for jobs


As has always been true, there are many different levels of position, salary and conditions in teaching jobs worldwide, so it remains important that when you apply for an international position, you know what you are getting into. Be wary of red flags such as:

  • Mention of ‘competitive salary’ - if a school or institution won't tell you what the job pays in the job ad red flag it - immediately!

  • Always find out what the salary and conditions are before accepting. Also, find out what other benefits (accommodation, contact hours, holiday, insurance, etc.) are or aren’t provided by the school

  • Bonuses and end-of-contract payouts - be aware that performance-related pay such as these can be viewed subjectively. Find out exactly what needs to be evidenced by teachers to receive these extra payments, and how it balances with general salary and when it is paid

  • Tax - boring but necessary, check where and when you have to pay. Is there double taxation

  • Check your holiday allowance - always double check to see if National Holidays are actually holidays or they need to be made up over weekends

  • If a flight allowance is included find out if you're paying the flight up front and being reimbursed or the company is paying. If you're going to be reimbursed find out when - on arrival or at the end of the contract, get it in writing

  • If you have accommodation included get confirmation of the quality of the apartment, distance from your place of work and talk to another teacher already working there

  • Check where you'll actually be working, don't presume because you're hired by a centre in X place that's where you'll be posted

  • Check how often a centre/school/institution advertises - if they're consistently advertising for the same centre that means a high staff turnover. Red flag! High staff turnover equals high staff dissatisfaction

  • Make sure you're legal, ask about your visa


Job ads will give the basic information about positions, but as always, it is better to get information from the horse’s mouth. When you are in the application process, ask to speak to a current teacher and talk to them about the conditions they are working under.


Most importantly trust your gut. If it feels wrong, it more than likely is wrong.



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