You’ve decided to take the bull by the horns and set off to Greece to take your TEFL certification and finally start teaching English – but have you thought about where exactly you would like to teach? Not geographically – we will cover this topic in one of the next articles – but, would you prefer to teach a big group of beginner adult students, or do you think you would be more successful as a 1-on-1 teacher prepping your student for a certified examination?
Opportunities await for motivated and diligent teachers
The financial crisis has been gripping Greece for many years now; but the English-teaching practice has persevered through the difficult years and it just keeps expanding in all directions, even to the worldwide web, which was unimaginable a decade ago.
Despite the unemployment rate being high and the great amount of already present teachers of English, there is still a plethora of opportunities available in Greece for aspiring English teachers. We will make sure to point out the pros and the cons of each choice, in the paragraph dedicated to it.
The most important question that you must ask yourself before deciding to try out any of these options is:
“What are you looking to gain from teaching English in Greece?”
Your answer to this question will lead you in the right direction. Let’s begin!
Types of English teaching jobs available in Greece:
Only for the bravest of us!
Before we talk about the most popular choices, just in case your answer was “I want to practice my (already perfect) Greek!” we feel like it’s important to mention the existence of the Greek public schools.
Without a perfect knowledge of Greek language, a certificate that proves it, a lot of teaching experience, and sometimes even a Greek citizenship, it is really difficult to get a position in a Greek public school. However, judging from the pros and cons of being a teacher in one, you shouldn’t be too sad about missing out on this opportunity.
The monthly salary tops at 800 euros, but usually stays lower; therefore, without any extra income it is quite difficult to raise a family on this salary. Additionally, the crisis affected the Greek public schools, causing many to cut down on their expenses in order to stay open, and the teaching environment suffered greatly.
Private schools of English:
The closest thing to a teacher’s paradise in Greece
Is your answer “I am hoping to gain a balance between a professional life of an English teacher, a good salary and also experience some of the unforgettable Greek culture”?
The most common (and the most successful) way for foreign teachers to start teaching English in Greece is in one of the thousands of private schools of English, called “frontistirio” (Φροντιστήριο) in Greek.
These schools are convenient for the teacher and for the employer, as there are no complicated mandatory requirements, in comparison to, for example, the public schools.
In order to teach in a “frontistirio” you need to be a native English speaker with any Bachelor’s degree, and the only certificate you need is a TEFL certificate.
One of the less known facts is that there are some schools that accept non-native English speakers as well, in case they have a Bachelor’s degree in English and a TEFL certificate and a native accent or no accent at all.
However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows in private schools!
Some downsides of this kind of employment could be that classes usually take place in the evenings, when all the students are out of school and the businessmen are out of their workplace, and that during busy periods you can’t take a day off for a couple of week straight! But, this job definitely pays the bills, and more: teaching in a private school makes you able to find students for additional 1-on-1 teaching, in case you want to make some extra cash – but, more about that in the paragraph below.
Wanna earn some (extra) cash in Greece? Private English lessons are the answer
Did you reply to our starting question with “I want to make some money!”? Well, we will not say that Greece is not the right place for earning “some” money, but it surely isn’t a place where English teachers get rich. This is mostly due to monthly salaries being enough to break-even and leave a little bit on the side. However, if you are determined and want to make money in Greece, in addition to working in one of the language schools, you can also give private English lessons.
Why do Greeks prefer Private English lessons to Group Education?
This phenomenon dates to the old ages when the children of the wealthy would have a private tutor. You would be doing this, but in the 21st century, with all the 21st century perks – flexible class schedules, many books with even more available materials, and the best of all, a large sum of cash for every class. Namely, the 1-on-1 classes are the most expensive, but, arguably, they are also the fastest way for a child or an adolescent to “level up” their English to the acceptable level.
Many parents prefer private tutoring to the cost-efficient, small-group, private language schools, for reasons such as making sure their young ones are progressing in their studies. Parents would often ask you about the progress of your student. Be careful, as some parents may be a little overprotective, and put the blame on you if the expensive classes don’t bear fruit. However, other than this simple downside, there aren’t many others – it is quite easy to find students for 1-on-1 teaching.
How to find students for your classes?
Be friendly and outgoing!
All you need is to meet some people and make some friends, which should be easy once you start working in Greece, as Greeks are extremely gregarious and always ready for new friendships.
Many things in Greece, this one included, are done through “networking” – meaning that you will, more often than not, find students for private English lessons through a friend of a friend, or they will find you using the same method.
This is exceptionally true for remote places in Greece, such as islands or small towns inside the mainland. Things are much more transparent in the Athens or other big cities – here, you should consider sending an advertisement to a newspaper.
Greece is a country of traditional values, so for many elders that might be searching for a way to help their grandchildren, newspaper is the first place to look at. We will be discussing various ways to find a job in Greece in one of the following articles.
Why is online English Teaching not (very) popular in Greece?
Let’s tackle some of the equally great, but rarely available jobs, such as teaching English to pre-school children and teaching English online. Both of these are usually unavailable, but for different reasons.
In order to teach English in pre-school, you need a special teaching certificate that makes you able to work with children. This certificate is rarely accepted by the Greek authorities if it did not come from Greece itself, unfortunately.
The internet schools (or the online teaching), on the other hand, are a whole new experience for the Greeks. People in Greece prefer to do everything face-to-face, and that applies to teaching and learning, too.
There are certain private schools of English that have online options available, but most of the time, the teachers holding the online classes are the same ones giving the classes in that private school. Therefore, it’s the best to not count on the opportunity of online English teaching, at least in the current day and age.
Greece – A perfect place to experience a whole new way of life & teaching
If your answer is somewhere along these lines: “I want to get some valuable life experience!” – Then, you can pick any of the job opportunities! We believe this is the best motivation for an aspiring teacher to come to Greece.
What Greece offers is a full-fledged experience of a Mediterranean culture through work & relaxation. If you are yearning to learn how it feels to live as a part of such a peculiar nation, our recommendation is to pack your bags and apply for all kinds of teaching jobs in Greece. Your chances become higher with every application, and every new contact made!
Have you made your choice? Making such a decision takes time. We’ve got your back!
In addition to presenting all the types of English Teaching jobs available in Greece to you, we will also help you decide where you want to start your teaching career.
Are you drawn to the shining lights of the country’s capital, Athens, or would you prefer a quiet teacher’s life at the sparsely populated inland region? Perhaps you would prefer to teach on an island? In our next article, we will take you on a journey through Greece, with information on top cities where you can start your teaching career. It will be a true teacher’s journey where you will surely fall in love with one of those beautiful sights, just like we did!
This article was originally published in Apr-2019 and was last updated in May-2019.Author: Sara Djumic