As a foreign English teacher in Mexico, you really only have four different teaching options open to you. However, first you will need to ask yourself some serious questions about your abilities to speak Spanish, and answer them with the up-most honesty. Do you speak Spanish? What level is your Spanish? Could you explain an English class in Spanish? etc.
1. If you do not speak Spanish, your only option is to work in one of the many Franchised English Schools, such as Harmon Hall, Quick Learning, Individual English, or Interlingua. They teach 100% in English, and offer their students no explication in Spanish. Working conditions are excellent, and teachers are usually either American or Canadian. Students get given an Internationally recognized English certificate at the end of their course. Pay is usually very low, although these schools do tend to pay at the end of each day.
2. If you speak Spanish, then your options begin to widen a little. You may find work in one of the many Private Schools, where students pay for their studies. The level of education is high, as good teachers are attracted to the schools by the offer of better pay. Contracts are usually for one year, after which may be renewed for a further period of time. You may be offered a house to live in as part of your contract, or your rent paid for which could be worth up to several thousand pesos a month. Also the benefit of medical insurance is usually included.
3. Government Schools and Universities are another option. Although these schools and universities are usually reserved for the lower grade Mexican English teachers. An excellent level of Spanish is required, as most of the teachers explain the English to their students in Spanish. However, the teachers level of English is usually very low, and it is normal for students when they finish school, still not to speak any English at all. It is usually very difficult to find work here if you are not Mexican, although not impossible.
4. Working from Home is your last option. Your Spanish level will need to be about 85% good, as you will be expected to explain your English classes in Spanish. You get paid either by the hour at the end of each class, or in advance having charged for a block of classes beforehand. Mexicans are not very punctual, so be prepared for your students to either turn-up late for classes, or not to turn-up at all. It is common for students to cancel five minutes before classes are due to begin.
Note: To teach English in Mexico you have to be residing in the country legally. If you are in Mexico on a tourist visa, then you are not permitted to work. However, this is usually seldom respected by foreigners!
Photo by Celso Flores