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Jul 29 2013

Teaching English at Summer Schools & Independent Travel

Teaching English at a summer school

Since qualifying as a Trinity TESOL teacher in 2010, I have worked on an ad hoc basis teaching English in a couple of local schools.  I had originally signed up for the course so I could teach English to fund my travels but it didn’t quite work out like that until recently.

If you’ve been keeping up with the goings-on in this blog, you will know that I let out my house again in May this year.  For that reason, I wasn’t expecting to be in the UK this summer but things didn’t quite work out as I was expecting.

While working out my next move, I started looking at the summer teaching jobs in the UK because I only wanted something temporary.  I also wanted one that provided accommodation.  To be honest, I wasn’t holding out much hope of getting anything because it was July by that time and I knew that most of the summer schools would have already begun and probably had all the staff they needed.  I contacted some schools nonetheless and found out that there were at least a couple that still needed teachers.  With that, I applied and was offered both jobs.  I accepted one which meant that, for the next couple of weeks at least, I had a plan.

Well, that two weeks has just come to an end.  I have been working at a small family-run summer school in the East Midlands.  Before I arrived, I wasn’t sure what to expect but I have had a fantastic time.  The students have been great fun, I’ve worked with a friendly and supportive team, and have been well-fed.

Whilst doing the job, I realised what a great opportunity it is for independent travellers.  If, like me, you are free to move about and not constrained by location and you don’t want to be stuck in one place for long, this is a great option.

What are the advantages?

  • You can work for between 2-6 weeks, depending on the school.  You could even work for different summer schools in different parts of the UK throughout the summer if you wish.

  • It gives you the chance to make a bit of money which helps to fund your independent travelling lifestyle.

  • As long as you choose a residential summer school, you will have accommodation and meals included for the duration as well as practising and improving your teaching skills, doing a variety of fun activities, and going on day trips.  I got a guided tour of Rockingham Castle and its gardens (see the photo above), which was fantastic.

  • You can explore the area in your free time.

  • You get to live and work in a new location.  This is great for me because it gives a completely different perspective rather than just travelling around.

  • You get to have lots of fun and meet some fantastic people.

What are the disadvantages?

  • You won’t have as much free time to explore because you have a number of duties to perform.

  • It is only temporary work and is limited to the holiday seasons such as Easter and summertime, although some of the schools operate all-year round and may be able to offer work in the future.

  • It’s full-on from the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep – breakfast, journey to school, teaching/trip/activities with lunch in between and then some sort of evening activity before making sure everyone is in bed before lights out.

Have your say

Would you consider working at a summer school for language students to help fund your travels?

About the author

Teresa Keane

Teresa has been to almost 60 countries. She started travelling independently at the age of 38 when she gave up her job, rented out her house, put her possessions in storage and spent a year travelling the world. It changed her life. She now creates, publishes, & promotes online travel content and is an experienced freelance trainer & EFL teacher.

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