Erica Fairchild

A day in the life of a TEFL teacher (teacher of English as a foreign language) can vary. It ultimately depends on where you are teaching and who you are teaching for. My day may not be like the one you have, but I can say with confidence that it will be pretty close. If you're curious about what a TEFL teacher does day to day, then this post should help!

A Day In the Life Before Teaching

Before teaching, I enjoyed a steady job in HR. I made enough to go on holiday once a year, I lived near friends, and I had a vibrant social life, but I wanted more. I wanted to travel and see the world but still needed an income. The good news for me, and maybe you, is that I found the vehicle to not only travel but get paid at the same time and it’s working perfectly....I decided to teach English as a foreign language and listed my name for TEFL jobs!

Becoming a Foreign Language Teacher

Many countries today have rapidly expanded with eager to learn populations. This has created a demand for people like me, and possibly you, who want to travel and be paid to teach English as a foreign language. I have discovered an environment as a TEFL teacher which not only provides me with a career and development prospects but also gives me a lot of fun and the ability to live abroad.

My Day To Day As A TEFL Teacher

Thanks to the demand for English teachers overseas, I work with six colleagues from English-speaking countries around the world. Between my students and getting to work with my friends, my day just flies by!

When Does My Day Start?

This is totally up to me. If I want to go to the gym, study, or meet friends for brunch, I get up around 8 am. If I need to catch up on some sleep, I’ll probably get up around 10 am.

When Do I Start Work?

I don’t live far from work, so I usually hop on the metro and make sure I am at work for around 12 pm. Start times can vary depending on my class schedule, and I usually need to be in earlier at the weekend.

When Do I Start Work in Shanghai?

What Do I Do When I Get To Work?

When I get to work, I am usually greeted by my local colleagues who work at the reception desk. Before I head to the office, I grab a coffee from the coffee machine and start planning for my classes that day.

What Do I Do When I Get To Work?

Teaching Hours

On average, I work about 5 hours per day, with some extra time allowed for planning lessons and various student activities. There are generally intervals between different classes, although like any other teaching environment, I sometimes have back-to-back lessons.

Teaching hours with EF

After Work

I can’t say that every day is a party, but I really do enjoy my social life. I’ve found that most cities in China have restaurants open until late, as well as karaoke venues and local bars. The low cost of living means that I can eat out 3 or 4 times a week, enjoy a few beers and sing at KTV. There’s nothing better than heading for some food after work with friends and colleagues without having to travel too far.

After work with EF

The Benefits of Teaching English in a Foreign Country

New Experiences

Working in different parts of the world as an English teacher opens doors to new and exciting experiences and to making new friends. For example, in China I have made friends who introduced me to the various forms of entertainment like KTVs (Chinese karaoke) or going for bike rides while they help me study Chinese. During the holidays, I pack my bags and, alone or with friends, visit and explore different parts of the country. This is what memories are made of: having a great time and making my travel dreams a reality!

Teaching is Fun

Teaching English as a foreign language is more to me than a job; it’s an occupation filled with new experiences almost every day. As a teacher, you will never be bored with your lifestyle or the people around you. They are friendly, with an inherent curiosity, which makes for great teaching experiences. I was given the opportunity of teaching kindergarten students and every day was a fun day! From playing games to introducing new words with colour flashcards or singing songs, the kids and I all had a great time.

It’s Easy To Stay On Top Of Work

Being prepared is an important part of being an English teacher. I make sure that my lesson plan is structured well in advance and approved by the principal. There is no shortage of teaching aids and materials, which makes my life easier. This support means that I never have to take any work home with me, which ensures that my free time is my time. Overall, this is an ideal life: financially stable and giving me the opportunity to not only experience new environments but also learn more about myself!

Should You Teach Abroad?

If you’re thinking about teaching English abroad, then I’d say just go for it! I know it’s a big decision, but you will get the support you need to make the move easy and it could turn out to be the best decision you’ll ever make. I have been teaching for two years now and can honestly say it has been an amazing experience.

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