In late August, after about a month of exploring Medellin and its surrounding regions, I decided to start looking around for English teaching positions. I started off by asking my family for some names of good bilingual schools and English institutes in the area and they gave me quite a long list.
Here’s a short list of the schools I looked into:
- Columbus School
- Gimnasio Vermont
- New School
- Only Kids
- Colombo Britanico
- Gimnasio Los Pinares
Here’s a short list of English institutes I looked into:
Well, I’m more than happy to say that I ended up getting a fist grade teaching position at a top bilingual school here in Medellin! I’m equally as happy to report back to Medellin Living followers that it was a pretty simple process… although at times I found myself disappointed and discouraged.
I started preparing for my job hunt back in Jersey by making dozens of copies of my resume in both English and Spanish. I was then advised to “apostille” my college diploma and my New Jersey teaching license (for those of you who have never heard this term, like myself, an apostille is a seal that your state places on documents to show authenticity overseas).
Once in Medellin I simply began calling the schools and institutes mentioned above. Typically I introduced myself and told them that I was a certified teacher from the USA hoping to find a position as an English teacher. A number of places informed me that they were in the middle of the school year and that they would not be looking for anyone until the beginning of the school year in late January… this was not good news for me.
A few places did however show interest in me and invited me in for interviews. The interviews were all held in English and they were pretty straight forward. Typical questions like, “What experience do you have as a teacher?” “Which age groups do you enjoy working with the most?” “How would a typical lesson run in your class?” All of the questions were easy for me to answer being that I had teaching experience from home.
I came to Medellin thinking that it would be easy for me to find a good paying job because I’m a native English speaker and because I have teaching experience and credentials but this wasn’t necessarily the case at most of the schools and institutes that offered me positions.
Here’s what some of the job offers looked like…
A number of language institutes offered me part-time positions, about 10-15 hours a week, paying 8 thousand COP ($4.40) per hour (the hours and pay were not exactly what I was looking for).
One well-known English institute offered me 15 hours a week and a private preschool offered me a Saturday morning position, both paying 18 thousand COP ($10) per hour.
These were two offers I was about to take but then… I received a call from a well known bilingual school. They called me in for an interview and offered me a full-time teaching position, with benefits, as a first grade teacher… it was my Colombian dream job! I was offered a salary of two million COP ($1,100) per month which will now allow me to stay in Colombia for as long as I wish.
I’ve now been working for two solid weeks teaching English in Medellin, and every day I enjoy my job more and more. I’ll be writing about my experience as a teacher in the future but I hope that this blog gives everyone some insight into looking for a position as an English teacher in Medellin.
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