So, the draw of the world’s most fun city has proved too much, you’ve decided to move to Berlin and teaching English is the way that you’ll make your bread and honey. Berlin truly is a great city to live in with tons to do, culture, parks and importantly – cheap beer. Beware though, that for those teaching English, this is absolutely not another Madrid or Dubai. Competition is fierce, work is on a freelance basis, workloads are variable and making a living can be a challenge. Still, if you’ve got your heart set on the city of currywurst, have a look at these top tips for finding work.
- Get the CELTA (or other well-regarded TEFL certificate)
- Email out your CV before you arrive
- Print off your CV and go to schools in person
- Come with some pocket money
- Going to the interview
It may be a bit of an investment in time and money, but having one drastically increases your chances of finding work. You may (if you’re very lucky) still find some work without one, but the more reputable schools won’t consider you. Having some experience (especially business English) can also be a massive help.
Teaching positions are rarely advertised. The way to chase potential positions is to contact schools directly, introduce yourself and send them your CV. You may well be able to line up a few interviews in advance of your arrival date, saving you a lot of time (and money).
When you arrive in Berlin, print off your CV and deliver it in person. Emails often get forgotten or ignored (directors of studies are busy people!). Getting your face out there is the best way to secure an interview.
Getting a teaching job in Berlin is not black and white and a successful interview never equals an immediate full time schedule. Rather the school will give you one class (usually a substitute class for another teacher) to get you started and as an evaluation. Your timetable will slowly build up over 2-3 months. With all this in mind, you should bring sufficient money to cover your living expenses during this time
If you’ve got an interview, congratulations! Teaching interviews in Berlin are generally informal affairs and are often more like a chat about your experience and how the school works. Here are some more tips on aceing the interview:
Bear in mind that you will almost certainly have to work for more than one school to make ends meet, so keep job searching until you get your full timetable.