I love teaching. I love it so much that I often do it for free. I'm happy to spend hours planning lessons, and I feel energized at the end of a class. But I'm definitely in the minority, especially among teachers of English here in China.
I don't really understand the dissatisfaction. Is it the low salary that teachers get? Is it the shock of living in an unfamiliar culture? Is it the loneliness of being away from friends and family? Or could it be that many English teachers abroad are not really teachers at heart?
Teaching English overseas is seen by many as a time filler, a layover on the way to some other more prestigious career. As a result, morale is low, turnover is high, and institutions are reluctant to invest in professional development since the teachers will be gone in a year anyway.
I recently came across this post addressing the issue of disgrunt among EFL teachers, in which the author suggests improving an otherwise horrible day at work by going to ESL/EFL conferences and reading up on the industry - essentially by engaging in professional development.
Perhaps teachers feel unprepared to do a job they thought would be easy-peasy. Perhaps if these overseas institutions stepped in at the beginning and invested more time and energy in professional development for teachers, they would understand their jobs better and thus be more likely to enjoy it, and maybe even stay a bit longer.
Are there any other ESL/EFL teachers out there? Is the attitude the same among English teachers the world over?