In the pre-COVID world, online teaching certifications led primarily to lower-paying TEFL and TOEFL jobs. But not anymore. Nowadays, you can become a fully-certified teacher online and gain valuable teaching employment worldwide.
Learn from home, in your own time, and the world becomes your classroom!
In the wonderful world of international teaching, the term ‘qualification’ can have myriad meanings. To some, it’s a 3-year university degree in education while, to others, a 12-week online course on Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL).
Not all qualifications are alike, of course; they don’t all lead to the same kind of teaching jobs.
The teaching qualification you need will depend highly on the kind of teaching job you seek and where, in the world, you wish to live and work.
In China, top international schools might demand a Bachelor of Arts in Education and several years of classroom experience. On the other hand, public schools, kindergartens and language centres might be more than happy if their teachers have a basic TEFL/TOEFL certificate and a super sunny disposition.
Usually, TEFL/TESOL certificates don’t cut it if you wish to score a job with a reputable bilingual or international school. During the pandemic, however, some schools in China made extraordinary exceptions out of desperation. As the gates to the country closed, most English-speaking teachers left, and many have yet to return. Schools lowered their requirement standards. Some bilingual schools accepted TEFL teachers who had started or had recently finished a professional teacher qualification.
Saying that, the top tier schools still maintained their high requirements. It was a case of qualified teachers in bilingual schools upgrading to international schools.
Since the reopening of China, however, highly qualified English teachers are beginning to come back, so the relaxation of the qualification rule is being re-tightened.
Interestingly, many schools began supporting TEFL teachers who wished to undertake more professional qualifications. They essentially employed teachers with TEFL certifications and helped them upgrade their qualifications. An absolute win-win for teachers and schools alike! Naturally, you can expect a year of teaching + studying in China to be insanely busy and stressful. Yet we think this is a marvellous way to gain experience and further qualifications whilst still earning a full teacher’s salary.