Do qualified teachers need a TEFL certification?

Many fully certified teachers decide to head overseas to teach rather than stay in their home country. For some newly qualified teachers it can be hard to find a suitable job so they go abroad to gain valuable classroom experience, while others might simply be looking for a change of direction. Whatever your reasons, teaching is one of the few professions that allow you to develop your skills and knowledge and increase your experience and employability, while travelling the world and exploring new countries and cultures. If you think this is the right path for you, the next step is to think about how your CV/resume will stand out when applying for the best jobs in the most exciting locations.

Do qualified teachers need a TEFL certificate?

In many cases, qualified teachers do need a TEFL certificate. While searching for jobs online you will likely come across a TEFL or TESOL certificate among the requirements for several overseas teaching jobs. You are probably asking yourself why, as a qualified teacher, you would need another qualification to apply for these jobs. It is a fair assumption that after several years of work and/or study you should be in a good position to teach overseas as it is surely much the same as working at home. The truth is, there are many differences to teaching in your home country and teaching abroad and there are several reasons why qualified teachers can benefit from completing a TEFL certification course.

What are the benefits of having a TEFL certificate?

If you land a job teaching in an international school where all the students are native or fluent English speakers, then there are probably few benefits to completing a TEFL course. However, this scenario is rare on the international teaching scene. The majority of teaching jobs will involve students that are non-native English speakers of varying abilities, many who are still at the beginner stage.

As a trained teacher you already know how difficult the job can sometimes be, so why make it harder by not having the specific skills required to teach effectively in an international environment? And it is not only you that you need to consider. If you haven’t learnt the skills that are specific to a non-native English environment then you are doing your students a disservice as their studies will be much more difficult.

Will a TEFL certificate get my CV/resume to the top of the pile?

As a qualified teacher you are a top candidate for many of the best schools around the world, but many of these will only consider applicants who also have a TEFL certification on their CV/resume. Once you add a TEFL qualification to your credentials there really is nothing standing between you and applying for the best paying jobs in all of your dream destinations. As you probably already have some classroom experience, an online TEFL certification should be perfectly adequate for most employers. Just make sure that you choose one that consists of a minimum 100 hours and is internationally recognized.

The interview stage of the recruitment process is when you will first feel the benefit of your TEFL training. Employers will be looking to dig into your personal approach to teaching in an international environment, something you are unlikely to have the answers to before you take the course. In these situations, candidates with only a TEFL certificate can often run rings around an experienced teacher who might struggle to answer questions relating to overseas teaching scenarios.

Whatever job you are applying for, if you can prove you have done everything you can to prepare for the experience, as a qualified teacher you are in a great position. By adding a TEFL/TESOL qualification to your toolbox you can prove your dedication to your profession and that you have all the necessary skills and knowledge to deliver high quality results for your students.