Teaching With No Experience

Do you want to try teaching abroad but don’t have any experience? It seems there are just as many schools asking for at least a year experience as there are who don’t mind if you don’t have any experience at all.

kc2Maybe you have more experience than you know– here are three reasons why you definitely can teach abroad with no experience!

1. You Have More Experience Than You Know

Have you ever showed someone how to fix a computer? Have you ever played a game with children? Have you ever been in a classroom yourself? How about a foreign language class?

I’m sure you see where I’m going. There are a lot of instances where you’ve probably taught someone how to do something. Granted, it might not have been a structured two-hour lesson, but you know what teaching someone something might require.

If you’ve even been around children, you have a good idea about how they act and react to different situations– that’s great! You were a child once, too. And you were probably in school yourself. Remember your favorite teacher? What did he or she do that helped you so much? Try to emulate what they did!

2. Companies Are Able to Teach You Their Style

This can be said about a lot of companies and you can definitely spin it to your favor when applying it to teaching abroad. A lot of companies you can start with have written plans and ways they want you to teach.

If a teacher has a lot of experience, they might feel like they don’t need to teach the school’s style. This can create some animosity between the school and the teacher. Some schools like to train teachers to teach a very specific curriculum  that might conflict with other experiences a seasoned teacher may have.

You could see this as a negative, brainwashing type of behavior, but a company is a company– all companies have their specific way they want to achieve a goal. Maybe it’s not great for some, but for others it is. Don’t let experience become arrogance!

3. Every Classroom Has Different Needs

Upon encountering a new classroom, there will be some assessment of where the students are. What do they excel at and where might they need more practice? Every classroom will be different, down to each individual student. This is a great chance to use fresh creativity in teaching differing levels different skills.

One class might be great at reading but lack in writing, another might be great when writing but their pronunciation is not clear. One student may have a really big problem with verb tenses. Another might not properly move their mouth when pronouncing an ‘R’.

You’ll never fully know what you might find in a class, and every day will be something different! While you can pull different lessons you taught with more experience in these areas, having no experience is absolutely no hindrance in this area. You can always research and come up with fresh, new ideas for overcoming these problems! That’s the essence of fun with teaching!

While experience can absolutely help when teaching abroad, there are many ways having no experience doesn’t hinder you, but actually, may help you! Don’t be discouraged to give teaching abroad a try if you don’t have experience– you will be better than you know for just trying!

face1 (1)Michaela left her small town in the flat cornfields of Iowa in April of 2015 to explore the world before becoming condemned to a desk in an IT corporation. She has been teaching at Hess International English school in Taipei,Taiwan and shopping, hiking, and eating her way through the foreign streets. She has traveled alone and encountered many interesting experiences and hopes to aid others traveling alone as well.

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2 Comments
  1. I don’t understand??? It says at the top of the page: It seems there are just as many schools asking for at least a year experience as there are who don’t mind if you don’t have any experience at all.

    Yet when I check out the job board, all jobs require a bachelor’s degree and two years of experience.

    Can you explain?

    Jean-Marc

    • Dear Jean-Marc,

      Sure. It really depends on where you want to go. In China, most provincial governments require teachers to have a minimum of two years of post graduate work experience, plus a Bachelor’s degree and a TEFL certificate. First tier cities like Beijing, for example, require two years of post-graduate teaching experience. You don’t need teaching experience to teach in South Korea or Taiwan, for example, although schools give preference to teachers who have teaching experience. Most countries in Asia now require teachers to have a full university degree, and many countries are moving towards making TEFL certificates a requirement as well. These teaching requirements are set by government regulations, not by Reach To Teach.

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