When you are applying for an English teaching position, it is important to take into consideration the type of school; private, government, or language school. Each type of school offers different pros and cons when considering taking a position. We have laid out the different aspects of each below to help you make your decision.
Depending on the country, landing a teaching position at a private school can be difficult. They tend to require more experience, a university degree focused on teaching, and your TEFL certificate. If you are offered a position at a private school, congratulation! Private schools tend to have great benefits for English teachers!
If you are teaching English in another country, the base level of the students is usually much higher than in public schools. This tends to be the case as the students begin learning the language from a younger age and are required to meet a higher standard. In addition, the class sizes are usually small and manageable, up to 24 students. However, in private schools, you may be required to teach more than just English, depending on the position, for example, you could be teaching Math or Science in English.
Along with having a higher level of English, the facilities and resources available to teachers are very advanced and high tech in comparison to government schools. This is due to the fact that private schools have more funding than public schools. This also translates to higher salaries for teachers in private schools than government schools.
Government schools in foreign countries tend to be easier to get an English teaching position at, especially if you are new to teaching. However, this also means that you will likely have a lower salary than private schools and fewer resources.
In terms of students, depending on the class, their level of English can be rudimentary, requiring you to adjust your lessons accordingly. In addition, the class sizes will be larger and can have up to 55 students! This can be challenging at first, however, it can also create a fun environment for the language games as you will have a larger group to work with. On the other hand, it may be difficult to have one-on-one time with each student during the class.
Government schools also tend to be more relaxed in terms of their requirements of teachers as compared to private schools. Unlike private schools, they may not require teachers to attend as many events in the evenings or weekends. Therefore your work week will be 7:45-16:00 Monday through Friday.
Language schools tend to have different hours as compared to both government and private schools. Depending on the school, you could be working only mornings, evenings, or weekends. For example, you can work from 8-12, 17-20, or 8-5 on the weekends. Depending on your lifestyle, these hours can be very beneficial and offer you more days off than a typical teaching position.
Language schools also differ from government and private schools in terms of the students who attend the school. Adult learners or students with a specific purpose, for example, to pass a language exam, tend to be enrolled in these classes. By having older students in your class, they will be more motivated to learn the material and less likely to cause a disturbance during the lesson. However, this can cause a unique dynamic in the class if the students are older than you. Be sure to read our blog on how to teach English to different ages.
These are simply a few differences between private, public, and language schools. However, these schools also have differences between them that vary according to country. Each school has different pros and cons that will suit you depending on what your life and teaching style is.