In view of my own moment of being trapped outside the TEFL merry-go-round, it's always nice to hear from someone who has it worse than I do, so here's an interview with another teacher with a hard luck story.
How long have you been teaching, and where?
10 years roughly. Oman for 1 year (two separate stints!), had a hiatus of about 8 months in Spain, did not even tutor one class...tefl is no good there, and the rest in China mostly at the uni or high/middle school level. Couldn't stand little kids so no kindergartens.
What kind of qualifications do you have?
BA in English Lit and a 4 week TEFL from the same uni in the UK. No CELTA, but I regret that now, oh well.
What's your current situation?
I'm sort of sleeping on the beach in Hong Kong, but at least I'm not pissing money away in bars or on a hotel room each night...hence I want out. There are a lot of homeless foreigners, some marry locals, and some just camp on the beach or in parks, the beach is great...until it rains, right now,
How did you come to be in this position?
I couldn't get the confounded police check and ended up stranded in Hong Kong. I wasn't the only one. The days of sauntering into a place like China on a tourist visa, then going to HK or Thailand to get your work visa are long gone.
China basically changed the visa rules. I was too lackadaisical and it bit me in the arse when I could not get one in Hong Kong.
What do you like and dislike about TEFL?
I dislike the fact that certain countries consider you too old to teach and basically say goodbye at 60. I also dislike teaching kids at the language mill type of places. I do like teaching at the public jobs in China because the students can be generally nice and respectful, if not a little loud. You always got the odd rude and lazy students, but mostly they were not bad, the opposite of Arab Gulf students, more respectful of the teacher.
What are your plans for the future?
Hmmmm, hopefully get out of EFL altogether, I am currently applying to a few book editing jobs, so perhaps I can get out of the classroom, but still be involved in English teaching somehow, will depend on the competition in HK, for 1 guy with a BA in Literature like me, there are 10 more the same or with masters degrees.
I'm also getting zip in replies from the Middle East. Time for Taiwan perhaps....China lite, HK is too expensive and my savings from Oman are gone. So I'm hoping to go somewhere and work, and then get it, and the reconsider my options.