What it’s like to work as a teacher in an English institution in Colombia
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Working as a teacher in Colombia presents you with a large number of opportunities for places to work. Colombia’s big cities (Bogota, Cali and Medellin) are ideal places to work as you can teach English within public or private schools. Working as an English teacher in a city can be a great experience due to the opportunities to meet new people, learn Spanish, and experience Colombian culture.
Working as a teacher in an English institution in Colombia can be a great way to work in the country with flexibility. Whilst working in a school environment can be great for some teachers, working in an English institution in Colombia can be a different, and more flexible, way to live and work in the country. Schools provide a consistent daily schedule which brings stability and long holidays, but working in an English institution can bring a great deal of additional benefits. These benefits include flexibility, no long term contracts, greater opportunities to take time off, and a pay per hour contract or salary.
Working within an English institution in Colombia means that teachers are employed and paid on an hourly basis or have a monthly salary and a set number of hours. Classes normally take place in the morning between 7am and 9am, at lunch time between 12pm and 2pm or in the evenings between 5pm and 7pm. Classes are usually for a set number of hours or the number of hours required to complete a module (for example you may have an individual student for a period of 60 or 120 hours). These classes can be paid for by the individual or by a company as a perk of the job and normally take place within the company’s offices or the individual’s house; this means that teachers are required to travel from one class to another.
Working in an English institution in Colombia can give teachers the flexibility to learn or study Spanish around their classes, get out and experience the city, and meet new people. It can also give teachers the opportunity to teach classes all around the city: moving from one office to another whilst exploring new parts of the city and meeting new people who work in different companies. These students tend to have a basic knowledge of English, depending on the level, and are eager to learn to improve their job prospects and future careers. This gives you the chance to gain experience working in different office environments and teaching to a wide range of abilities and levels.
Many of these English institutions in Colombia pay on an hourly basis, meaning teachers can take as many hours as they like and some companies even allow teachers to create their own schedules. Many institutions have a long break over December and January which gives teachers the time to travel and explore the country as they desire. English institutions in Colombia occasionally allow teachers to take holiday when they wish (given the determined notice is provided) which allows time for travelling and exploring, but there are obviously limits to the number of days per year.
In English institutions in Colombia at the end of a student contract or number of hours another set or contract will be given which means that you have new classes once or twice a year or sometimes even more frequently. This means that teachers have the opportunity to interact with and meet new students on a regular basis, while teaching to a range of abilities and in a variety of situations. A large number of English institutions in Colombia provide the relevant paperwork for individuals to teach and work in the country which usually range from one year visas to two year visas. Although very few institutions pay for the visas, they make the visa process very simple for applicants with step by step guides and all the required information presented to the teacher.
As you can see, working in an English institution in Colombia can be beneficial and more suitable for some teachers than working within a school environment.
Written by: Anny Wooldridge