What it is homestay? Pt 2
Are there any drawbacks to homestay teaching I hear you ask? Much like everything in life, of course there are. Here are some of the biggies: - You get to be your own boss which means you get to have self-employed tax status and all that this entails. See here for more info.
- Like most EFL teaching in the UK, it’s seasonal and while in the summer you might be frantically trying hard to keep that revolving front door from spinning off its hinges, you may find the winter months much quieter. - As well as the teaching side of things, there are also all the welfare and safety tick boxes you must complete. There's a lot to do to make sure your home is a safe place for a paying guest, but once done, you’re ready to go.
- These English language courses are intensive, and that means that sometimes, the experience can be intense for all involved. Sometimes homestay teachers find it hard to get enough time to themselves. Drawing a line between teaching time and "off-time" can be challenging and we develop strategies with time and experience.
- Sometimes student’s expectations aren’t met. Sometimes students complain and when they do, it can throw even the most confident of teachers. As hard as you might try, it’s very difficult not to take criticism of teaching styles/methods personally. Teaching is an incredibly personal thing. Each one of us is different. A complaint about the way we teach almost feels like a complaint against us, the person.
- Sometimes complaints aren’t just about the teaching but about our actual homes or cooking. Homestay teachers need to have a thick skin and a good sense of humour. The key here is to have the lines of communication between yourself and your student as open as possible. Ask if there’s anything that can be improved. Negotiate any minor issues.
Please note, this drawback happens very rarely but forewarned and all that. So, if you haven’t been put off homestay teaching, and I truly hope you haven’t, then start the wheels in motion, contact us and find out more. Most teachers find the drawbacks are outweighed by the positives and find homestay a very rewarding and positive way to teach. If you have any questions or comments about homestay teaching, write your comment below and I’ll get back to you!