simon44 wrote:My advice is to do a cheapie TEFL, land a low-paying job in Cambodia, and then see if you actually like teaching. You might find you hate it, and paying initially to study/obtain a CELTA could turn out to be a waste of money if you decide teaching is not for you.
To update and add to my advice:and wanted to teach more than just ESL given my maths/science/engineering background.
I teach in Myanmar, (which is probably similar to Cambodia in many respects). I have an engineering MSc from London University, but I initially started teaching ESL students (all grades from KG to adults).
Now, many years later, I still teach ESL, but also teach General Science, Physics and STEM (all taught in English to high school grade students at the international school where I work).
I never studied for a CELTA, nor do I have a B.Ed or PGCE. I have an in-class TEFL from yonks ago, plus my engineering BSc and MSc, an MA in Thai and a bevy of pedagogical certificates for short courses which essentially taught me HOW to teach and HOW students (of different ages) learn.
Thanks Simon. I've seen a few of your posts from when looking for work in Phnom Penh and going back to Myanmar. I agree with your advice. I've enrolled in an online TEFL course which includes an extra unit on teaching young learners. I have some experience teaching dance to mainly adults so I actually know I like teaching people and also practicing English with my 5yo Khmer niece and it was fun. But actually teaching to large classes of kids? I will need to try it first and decide if it's for me before considering a CELTA at this stage. I'm sure I'll enjoy helping kids learn. Just the whole working environment in the schools in Cambodia and the schedule of full-time teaching might not be for me. But then there are other opportunities like working part-time or evenings and online as well. And later we might decide to even change countries if money was the issue.
But yeah, I plan to make a start with low/entry level position first and worry about progression later once I have experience and know if I like it. I really can't see CELTA certification being a factor compared to experience. I did a 4 year Engineering degree and although it taught me to think and problem solve, in doesn't mean anything until you have a few years under your belt where you actually learn to be an engineer.
Glad to see you have landed well on your feet back in Myanmar!
Coming to Phnom Penh mid August. Will let people know how things work out once there.