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Old 05-02-2012, 12:43 AM
8 posts, read 27,168 times
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Do you think teaching ESL overseas will help me to determine if I should become a kindergarten teacher? Do you think this experience would have (or did) help you to solidify you're in the right career?

I already have a bachelors degree and I love kids. I would like to get some real on the job experience before starting school to be sure that I'm cut out for teaching. I've been trying to volunteer locally in the elementary schools but I haven't had any luck. A friend recommended since I am a native English speaker to teach ESL overseas for one year to be able to experience what teaching is like. Do you think teaching English overseas for a year would be a worthwhile experience to reinforce my decision to be an early childhood school teacher for a living?
I guess the main question is: Would I be able to teach ESL overseas to an elementary school? If I could I would in a heartbeat b/c this would definitely help me decide on my career.

My country of choice would be Bolivia in Latin America because my boyfriend lives there and Iím not sure of the demand for English teachers at the elementary level.

Thanks very much for your insights,
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:29 AM
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It is definitely possible to get a job teaching ESL to elementary school children overseas, but I don't know if there is a demand for it in Bolivia. An ESL teaching job can definitely help you decide if you want a teaching career in general.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:42 AM
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Yes, there are opportunities available for EFL teaching in elementary schools (and even kindergartens) abroad. Spending a few minutes Googling around I don't see anything recent for Bolivia, but you might have better luck. There are opportunities elsewhere in Latin America, though. One website says it might be easier / better to look for jobs while you are in-country: ESL in South America Your boyfriend might be able to let you know about availability where he's living, or if any schools are hiring.

You'll get some good experience teaching kids, but there will be some differences, of course, between teaching overseas and in your home country. You probably won't have anything to do with the administrative side in Bolivia: no calling parents, no paperwork, no event-planning. Likewise, depending on the country you choose you may find more lax standards, so you won't go through the numerous background checks required of teachers and volunteers in the US.

But there are plenty of resources available online for teaching EFL to kindergarten and elementary school students, and you'll be able to adapt some lessons you'd use in your home country to what would be appropriate there.

Best of luck.
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