Over-experienced to teach English in Private Academies?

Is this possible? For someone like myself, a dedicated, career teacher, now in my 36th year as a teacher of Spanish/French/EFL, I would say the answer is a definite "yes!"

I don't know about you, but I've used "tefl.com" on a daily basis for over 20 years as the principal source of teaching posts all over the world. Since 1994 I have concentrated on positions in Spain, my CV looks very impressive (although I say so myself), so, what's the problem? After a great deal of frustration, bitterness, anger, I'm convinced I now know the answer.

Simple really, I'm "too qualified." I'd "get bored" working as a general classroom teacher. Surely, I'd be the judge of that?!

The above comments are not figments of my imagination. I've been told as much by would-be employers at the interview stage. On one occasion, back in the U.K., I'd travelled from Manchester down to London for an interview with the owner of a Language School in Madrid. Having taken the time and trouble to get down there, find my way across London to meet in the designated hotel, I was somewhat upset to hear the director inform me there were no senior posts available, the post advertised was for a general TEFL teacher teaching a wide range of adults, kids, and some in-company classes, which is exactly why I'd applied! Alas, I had too much experienced, I'd soon get bored, despite my protests that I wasn't looking for a senior position!

I've forgotten how many times that has happened to me, despite their ads asking for "experienced teachers", minimum of 3 years teaching, well-qualified, etc etc etc. huh! Right!

Wrong! The vast majority of academies in the private sector are afraid of me, of what I might know, what I might say. Six years ago whilst teaching in Bolivia I was interviewed via Skype for a Senior Teacher post in Badajoz. I was offered the position, I arrived there and, to my utter disbelief, the wonderful, friendly Director turned out to be a monster (and still is, by all accounts), who went crazy when I asked for a key to the academy, access to the computer, etc., the guy told me in no uncertain terms he was not about to risk losing a lifetime's business venture to someone like me!! Unbelievable. Like so many directors, he wanted young, inexperienced staff, preferably with no experience at all, no Spanish.....in other words, young teachers who would never question anything, would do the guy's bidding without a second thought. And this despite sending out publicity emphasising the hugely experienced staff he had at his disposition.

Ring a bell? Good grief, I have never attempted to undermine anyone or anything in any of the academies I've worked. On the contrary, I have worked with my usual passion and vigour to help advance each and every academy I've ever set foot in, striving to do my best. I've seen many different ways of running a business, I've run my own, and I'm not stupid or naive enough to question anyone's philosophy or methods.

In conclusion, having just turned 60 years young, I still feel I'm as dynamic and gifted as any young 20 years old, at least on the inside, even though some of my body parts are starting to protest. So, for the last 5 years now, I've been resigned to teach private classes from my own home, which, despite the occasional feeling of isolation and loneliness, has been a very positive experience. I'm well-known in the area, I'm getting a great reputation as a specialist Cambridge Exam teacher, and more often than not my students come to me through recommendations. Private Academies? Who needs 'em? I don't.

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