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  :: Cactus TEFL Jobs, Greece



Legendary hospitality... ancient civilisation...superb climate... islands and beaches... wonderful food... there are as many answers as there are visitors to Greece. But here are a few practical reasons to choose Greece.

• Ease of access: Athens is just three and a half hours from London, and with the availability of cheap flights it's an easy destination to reach.
• Exotic, but not alien: Greece is different enough to be interesting, but not so strange that you'll suffer from homesickness and culture shock.
• EU member: As Greece is a member of the European Union, there are no restrictions on travel, residence and employment for British and Irish citizens.
• Experience not essential: Many positions are open to any graduate.

Salary and hours
Hours of work are normally between three and ten p.m. Monday to Friday. Some schools also have classes in the mornings, especially the larger schools in the big cities, which cater for older students, and it is possible that you might be required to work on Saturdays. You would normally teach for about twenty-five hours per week.
In addition to the hours spent teaching, you will also have to spend the proportionate amount of time planning lessons and correcting written work. This varies according to the kind of teaching, but 25 hours teaching generally equates to a total working week of around 40 hours.

• For the academic year 2006 - 2007, the usual (minimum) hourly rate of pay is 8.54 euros gross, minus 15.89% for your National Insurance contribution, leaving a net balance of 7.18. At current exchange rates, this is about four pounds eighty.
• Your employer will be responsible for making National Insurance contributions on your behalf. In addition to your contribution of 15.89%, your employer contributes a further 27.97%.

Type of teaching
The majority of the English Language schools in Greece are small and privately owned. The pupils attend the local state school in the morning, and so the English schools operate in the afternoon and evening. Attendance at such a school is the norm for children from all kinds of social backgrounds. They usually begin at the age of eight, and continue until they are at least fifteen.

You would not normally expect to teach the youngest children, unless you happen to speak Greek, but you might teach children of ten upwards. Classes last for one or sometimes two hours, and for the older pupils there is a strong orientation towards exams such as the Cambridge FCE and CPE. Depending on their age and level, most classes have lessons for a total of three or four hours per week, so you would be teaching several different classes.

Most of the children are enthusiastic learners and classes are usually reasonably small, with perhaps ten or twelve members, so conditions are good, and discipline is not usually a problem. However. like teenagers everywhere, our students can sometimes be boisterous, and so you will need classroom management skills. You can expect to work with a high standard of materials and equipment.

You won't generally need to create your own materials, as each class will be working with a course book that provides all the activities and exercises for the lessons. The bulk of your preparation will consist of studying the materials in the course book and the accompanying teacher's guide, and planning how to do the lesson according to the needs of each group of students. You may also like to create your own supplementary materials occasionally, and in many schools you will be required to devise additional exercises, such as vocabulary quizzes based on the course book.

In many cases, employers provide furnished accommodation, and you pay only for utilities (electricity & water). Even if you’re paying your own rent, the school will normally provide accommodation, or at least help you find it. Accommodation provided by schools is normally a small self-contained flat within easy walking distance of the school. You wouldn’t normally share accommodation.

Start of school year/ best time to look for work
Most contracts with private language schools begin in September and run through to May or June. January is also a good time to look for work.

Red Tape
After arriving in Greece you will be required to co-operate with two formalities which are stipulated by the Greek Ministry of Education:

Your employer will arrange for you to have a medical examination at the local hospital. This consists of a chest x-ray and a blood test. You will then be required to pass before the local health committee.

You will need to bring with you to Greece either an authenticated (notarised) copy of your degree certificate or the original certificate. Either Anglo-Hellenic or your employer will then obtain the official translation required by the Ministry.

Miscellaneous advice
There are teaching jobs in locations throughout Greece, and a great variety between these locations, ranging from Athens, home to half the population of Greece, to small rural villages and islands. Do some research, and give some careful thought to the kind of place where you’ll be happy.