How to Get a TEFL Job in South America – Part 3 – Find schools and apply!

So you’ve chosen Latin America as your TEFL destination and you’ve gotten the TEFL certification you need to qualify for jobs there. You’re almost done! The next step is to locate English schools and apply.

Teaching English in Latin America

There are a few things you need to know about working in Latin America

  • Employers rarely post their job openings online and prefer to have face-to-face interviews. This means you’ll have to choose a country and go there to find a job. This can seem risky but demand for teachers is high enough in most big cities that there’s little reason to worry about going jobless for long.
  • TEFL teachers in Latin America don’t make a lot of money so don’t expect to be saving a lot or making payments on debt you may have at home.
  • Demand for English teachers is huge but there are peak hiring seasons that are the best times to find work. For most countries in Latin America, this is between March and August.

Find TEFL Schools Online

Since you can’t expect to find a job lined up before you go, you’ll need to actually go to Latin America to interview with schools. It can be possible to contact schools ahead of time, however, to schedule those interviews. In my opinion, the best site for this is ESLBase.com/schools. You’ll find employers in different regions and cities for all the countries in Latin America.

Ace the Interview

The best way to ensure you nail the interview is to have a good idea of what your interviewer is looking for. Most schools in Latin America want teachers who are professional in their dress and speech, express self-confidence, and come across as friendly and likeable. How do you do these things?

  • Speak clearly and confidently. If you give your interviewer the sense that you don’t speak English particularly well, they may be less likely to offer you a job.
  • Be professional. Wearing shorts, sandals, or Pantera t-shirts are an easy way to ruin your chances of getting hired right off the bat in Latin America. Dress professionally; a suit isn’t over-doing it. Behave professionally, too. If you look and act like the typical tourist, your interviewer will have doubts about your motives for being there.
  • Be prepared. Lots of websites have sample TEFL interviews and/or lists of common interview questions. Familiarize yourself with these and prepare answers to those you feel most likely to be asked, or those you feel unsure about. Research the school so you know what to expect.
  • Ask your own questions. This shows that you’ve taken the time to think about what you want and you’re confident enough in your abilities to want to make sure that you’ll be appreciated in the new position.

That’s all! Now get out there and get TEFLing!