When I moved to Paris, I had sent my c.v. and a cover letter to a lot of French teaching schools but I didn’t have a lot of success. I think there are a few reasons for this.
Firstly, I was using my UK address and all of my contact info etc. was for the UK. When I changed my c.v. to my Parisian address, things started to happen…
Image by Dimitry B
When you are trying to find a teaching job in France, the best place to look (after the list of schools i-to-i give) is to use the online newspaper called FUSAC (Fusac.Fr) There’s an English and French translation for the site. On it are lots of teaching jobs for Paris and beyond. There are two parts of the site, one that has daily updates and the other that has specific adverts that are on the site all month. There you will find a list of schools looking for teachers.
There is a booming market for Business English teachers and this is what I currently do. I teach Business English in Paris and have secured a full time, permanent contract. In addition, however, there is plenty of work with children and babies, should someone be looking for this.
Many French parents look for nannies to look after their kids during the day and the requirement is that you only speak English with the children, to give them an English immersion. This type of work can often lead to free accommodation with the family and is ideal as a starter to French life.
Image by Bryce Edwards
A couple of really important things about teaching in France: One is that it is really imperative to be a native speaker of English, so it means automatically, the competition for jobs is narrowed to English mother tongue applicants. Also, a teaching certificate of some sort is nearly always required, with no specificity to whether it be Masters, bachelors or TEFL.
My top 5 tips to getting a teaching job and living in France would be:
1.) Prepare a good c.v. and cover letter in English and get a French mobile telephone number and address ASAP
2.) Learn as much French as you can before you go. It’s not a pre-requisite but if you can put a few sentences together, it creates a positive image and shows you are keen to stay and spend a bit of time teaching in the country
3.) Know your grammar and be prepared to give a quick lesson at the interview! Even native English speakers may be required to show they understand and can teach grammar before they are even considered for a post.
4.) Be prepared to put the work in to finding the job. It’s not easy but those with determination will find the job they are after. There’s a massive market and most companies actually struggle to recruit enough teachers, such is the demand.
5.) If you move to Paris or one of the big cities, be prepared to live somewhere much smaller than you are probably used to! Paris is very cramped in terms of accommodation. Don’t let it bother you though, you will be moving to the best city on the planet!
-Note from i-to-i: We have a free guide to teaching English in France that you can access for free via this link!