Passion vs. Paycheck

Aqeelah, one of our newest teachers at ELC shares her thoughts on the TEFL industry and the challenges around money when you decide to pursue a career as an English teacher.

Passion Versus Pay | UCT English Language Centre

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius 

As evocative and inspirational a sentiment as that is, the realist in me can’t help but fall into a disenchanted state and think that Confucius clearly didn’t have bills to pay in an inflation fuelled society. 

Don’t get me wrong, I do LOVE my job. I absolutely love teaching English as a Foreign Language. And by no means am I discouraging anyone who wishes to pursue a career in that field. But before you purchase your whiteboard markers and learn how to say ‘hello’ in 7 different languages; there is a question I encourage you to ask yourselves. When you’re having a bad day, will passion be enough? 

I’ve had the opportunity to teach locally (in Cape Town), where I would wake up every morning with purpose and conviction but no green in the cash machine. And then I’ve also had the opportunity to work overseas, where even though I was earning better than ever before; I would count the days left until I could return home to Cape Town. (My experience overseas is a blog for another day.) 

My point is this; if you’re seeking the hand of passion through teaching English, then by all means “run, Forrest, run!”. Teaching can be an utterly remarkable and rewarding experience that is often seen as a somewhat noble profession (swords and armour sold separately). But by the same token, I feel it my (knightly) duty to inform you early on that teaching English as a Foreign Language is not about the money. If all you are is keen on the green then I would suggest you stop and reconsider. Because there will be terribly taxing days that no amount of money will get you through. What will get you through it is pure passion. And knowing that somehow through your constant engagement and relentless efforts, you helped someone get closer to pursuing their passion. 

If teaching English is a career you would like to pursue, or if you would like to make some money abroad and travel while teaching, then contact us for more information about our TEFL course or check out our TEFL course page on our website.

 

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