I put out a video before about my general experiences teaching in Germany. But now, as promised, here’s a video more aimed at people who are planning or are thinking about becoming a teacher. Here’s some more detailed information for you about teaching English in Germany. Hey everyone! I’m Dana and you’re watching Wanted an Adventure Living Abroad. Let’s start with the question I get asked most often: should you get a TEFL certification? Now if you don’t know, TEFL stands for teaching English as a foreign language, and the TEFL certification is just one option; there’s also the TESL certificate, so T-E-S-L, and then the TESOL, T-E-S-O-L, as well, and probably others.
Which one you choose is up to you, and you can do your own research on that. But I would definitely advise you to get one of them. I got my TEFL certification in Prague, and I’ll put a link down below to the school that I went to, but basically getting a certificate is good because it not only teaches you how to teach, but it also teaches you about English from a grammar perspective that as a native speaker you might have forgotten or maybe never learned.
And it makes employers happy. Looks good to have on your resume. So, you’ve got your teaching certification, and now it’s time to apply for jobs. But where? There are several options, of course. Do you like kids? Then how about a bilingual kindergarten. The plus side of working at a kindergarten is that you’ll have steady hours, you get health insurance, and you’re usually employed full-time. Also, the TEFL certification isn’t as important here, but some kindergartens might require other certifications, and that could depend on whether it’s a private or a public kindergarten.
So public kindergartens are bound to whatever certification rules the government stipulates, whereas private kindergartens can sort of make up their own rules to an extent.
Along this same line, you could also look for a job at a private bilingual grade school, because, again, they don’t have to adhere to the same mandatory qualifications as public schools. And I did not work in a kindergarten or a grade school, but a friend of mine told me that they’re often pretty helpful with getting your visa. So apparently there’s a chance someone will help you fill out the German forms and and maybe even go with you to the office, and stuff like that, which I did not have.
Well, Mr. German Man helped me of course, but not someone from my work. So what I did is I went the adult education route. To do this I applied at several schools around Munich, such as inlingua, Berlitz, PET Sprachschule is another one. Now, sometimes it is possible to get hired at one of these schools on a contract basis. And then you’d be paid the same every month, guaranteed classes to teach, and if you’re sick you get paid, you get vacation days, and you get health insurance.
Basically all the same benefits as working full-time at the kindergarten or the grade school. A con of this, though, is that you have to take classes whenever they’re assigned to you. And that could mean teaching really early in the morning, late at night, and on Saturdays. But anyway, most of the time, teachers are employed at these schools on a freelance basis. And what that means is, you get to pick and choose your classes.
Okay, that sounds better than it is. Basically the school calls and offers you a class. You can turn it down if I want to, but then you don’t make any money. So a pro of teaching freelance is that you can set your own hours.
And I did. I never worked a single Saturday, and that was my option as a freelancer. But being a freelancer also meant that if I was sick, no money. Vacation? No money.
Health insurance? I had to cover it all on my own. Not fun. If you do end up going the freelance route, I think teaching for one of the schools that I mentioned is a really good idea because without them, at least for me anyway, it would have been really hard to find students. I mean, I didn’t know anyone when I first moved here. Yes, you could make more money per hour working without a school, because with a school, the students pay the school and then the school pays you a cut.
But the school does all the work finding the clients.
And with the school you have access to resources, copy machines, books, exercises. All things that I really enjoyed having access to. Just a few more quick points before I go. Pay varies from school to school, so I can’t really give you much information there. Public kindergartens, I believe, might pay less than private ones, but again, it’s all on a case-by-case basis. And when teaching adults freelance with a school you’ll generally make somewhere around 20 euros an hour.
And you don’t want to know what the school makes. Speaking of wage per hour, when you teach adults, the “hour” is actually 45 minutes, and a lesson is usually at least two 45-minute segments. They assume that you’ll spend 15 minutes per 45-minute segment preparing for the class. And again, it’s always on a school-by-school basis, but sometimes even as a freelancer, if the school you teach for offers other language classes, you could get a reduced price on those.
So ask about that. And lastly, if you’re applying at an adult language school, make sure to ask if they cover travel expenses. Teaching adults, it’s common to have to travel to their office to teach them, so definitely ask if travel expenses are covered.
Okay, so I think that’s enough for now, but if you have any other questions, please just let me know in the comments and then maybe in the future I’ll put together another video with all my answers.
So my question for you is, why do you want to teach in Germany? Please let me know in the comments below. Thanks so much for watching! Please don’t forget to subscribe and hit that like button. Until next time, auf Wiedersehen! I’m not sure what this, uh, Captain Hook thing was. Thanks so much for watching! Please don’t forget to subscribe and hit that like button!.
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