You Can Teach English In Brazil
How Teaching English Can Be Your Dream Job.
Hi, I’m John and I’ve been living in Brazil since 2008. I’m going to show you how I changed my life.
– DF, English teacher in Rio de Janeiro
I Simply Wasn’t Happy…
Not so many years ago, I had a “great job” working for a software company. I had a competitive salary, good benefits, and bonuses when we had done well that quarter. I got along well with my boss and co-workers. Sometimes I traveled. Otherwise I worked from my home office.
And yet I was not happy.
My job had evolved to be mostly handling disgruntled clients. When I answered the telephone, when I opened my e-mails, when I checked voice mail – I knew what most of them would be.
Someone, somewhere, was unhappy about something. And expecting me to fix it.
I continued on this way for about 3 1/2 years. I enjoyed occasionally being the hero, but over time, with more and more clients with more and more problems, and with less and less money at my disposal to address those problems, I found myself less able to be the hero.
More often I was a punching bag. I was frequently upbraided, yelled at, cursed at – even physically threatened on a couple of occasions.
I came to really hate beginning my work day. But like a good soldier, I hunkered down and kept at it.
Because work isn’t supposed to be fun, is it? I mean, that’s why they call it “work”, right?
Teaching English in Brazil was my salvation…
I think most of us get caught up in our situations, our jobs, our lives, and begin to believe “That’s just how it is,” that there’s not another reality available to us. So I plodded on day after day, sucking it up.
My salvation came in an unexpected guise.
The company I worked for had been bought. My boss called to tell me that she had been ordered to make some personnel cuts. I was senior, so she was giving me a choice: Did I want to take a severance package, or did I want to stay on as part of a smaller, leaner department.
I knew what that meant: An even heavier workload. More disgruntled clients to handle.
I asked what the severance package was. My boss said she thought she could get me 6 months salary and benefits. I jumped at it.
And so, for the first time in years, I was unemployed. I wasn’t worried. I had money in the bank and in investments. I decided to coast for awhile.
However, I was living in South Florida, and a lot of my money was invested in real estate: my house, a rental property, two pre-construction development deals.
That’s called foreshadowing.
Yep, you guessed it: Almost overnight, the real estate market crashed. The stock market followed soon after.
Suddenly I wasn’t in a position to coast anymore. My portfolio had been decimated.
I took a hard look at the economic situation. People were saying it would take 18 months for things to recover.
I knew better. It would take years. (PS: I was right. The recovery continues.)
So what was I going to do? I did some serious thinking one afternoon on the beach. I could stay and wait and hope that I could find another job in the worst job market in years, when people were still being laid off right and left.
Or I could be smart and go where the jobs were, to Brazil to teach English.
I decided to go to Brazil.
Was I nuts?
Maybe. But to me, being nuts is staying put in a crappy situation day after day and expecting that somehow, by some miracle, it’s going to magically get better.
I decided to do it. The lord hates a coward. Besides, I could always return to the US.
But what would I do in Brazil?
Well, I had one skill that I knew to be in high demand in Brazil, a skill that would allow me to find work immediately.
I speak English. I could be an English teacher.
Look, I’ll be honest with you: It hasn’t been my life’s goal to teach English as a second language (ESL).
But you know what? I’ve discovered that I really like it. I’m good at it. It’s not that tough. And the people here really need English, they want English. Students are appreciative and super nice. (For you teachers reading this: Wouldn’t it be nice to have students who really valued you, and told you “Thank you, teacher” at the end of every class? Remember when?)
I was more or less forced into my current situation.
And thank God I was! Or I might be eroding a little more every week.
Instead, I now live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. (And I’ve been to 25 or so countries, so I know what I’m talking about.) And the Brazilian people really are some of the most welcoming and accepting people you could hope to find.
eBook Introduction to Teaching English in Brazil
Today was a great day. Most of them are nowadays.
I woke up early. My first class wasn’t until 10:45 today, so there was time for an early morning workout at my gym. I slipped out of the penthouse where I rent a suite, took the elevator down, and exchanged friendly pleasantries with the porteiro on my way out.
The aroma of fresh coffee arrested me as I passed a small boutequim. Yielding, I decided that my workout could wait five minutes. I ordered a cafÃ© com leite, media and dosed it heavily with sugar. Supercharged for my workout, I arrived at my gym and began my workout with some sit-ups.
Since the beach is only two blocks from my gym, when time allows I typically head there after my workouts. Carefully crossing Avenida AtlÃ¡ntica and the bike lane, I found myself on the calÃ§adÃ£o, the wide sidewalk of pedra portuguÃªsa, or “Portuguese stone”, with its undulating bands of white and black stones…
I took a sip of coconut water and chuckled to myself. “I live in Rio,” I thought.
“I live in Rio!”
Life is much better for me these days. … now I sit in the morning sun, recharging my body with coconut water as I watch beautiful people exercise below me in the sand.
My outlook these days is completely different, one of optimism.
Did I retire? No, unfortunately I am not yet able to retire, but I am doing the next best thing. I teach English in Brazil.
- From the prologue to Teaching English in Brazil
Life feels right again. I’m happy again.
And in the end, isn’t that what matters?
How’s your life right now?
Let me ask you something. And please be honest.
How do you feel about your job? (Assuming that you have one right now.)
Do you truly enjoy what you do?
Are you fairly compensated for your efforts?
Do you have time to relax and enjoy life?
And how about where you live – Do you live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, with amazing beaches, friendly people, a wide choice of activities at reasonable costs?
Hey, you may be perfectly happy where you are now, doing what you’re doing every day.
If that’s the case, I say, “Good for you! More power to you!”
Why did you click over to this page?
But odds are, if you are reading this now, something is missing. You clicked over to read this for some reason. Does one of these sound like you?
- You recently graduated, and you aren’t sure what you want to do with the rest of your life.
- You don’t have a job, and the prospects in the current economy aren’t good.
- You have a job, but you crave something different, something more meaningful – and maybe even fun!
- You’re heading into middle age and realizing that the track you’ve been on is not the track you want to stay on.
- You simply would like to have a little adventure in your life, to create some amazing stories.
Maybe you currently teach, and have grown disillusioned by long hours, low pay, an administration that hinders more than it helps, students who don’t take their studies seriously, and parents who would rather blame you than make their kids study.
I don’t know your reason for clicking over to this page, but something brought you here. Something about teaching English here in Brazil appealed to you.
Brazil could be your new reality – YOUR ace in the hole.
And Teaching English in Brazil shows you how.
Brazil is a great place to be right now…
You’ve probably read about Brazil in the news. The World Cup 2014 was held in arenas across the country. (And how about all those nice things World Cup attendees said about Brazilians?) The 2016 Olympic Games will be held in Rio. Lots of events and attention means lots of travelers to Rio and to Brazil.
And that means that the demand for English is higher than ever before.
But aside from these events, which will come and go, tourism continues to increase here. And the oil and gas business is a huge employer here. Brazil continues to expand its role in the world – in business and in politics.
These factors contribute to an increased – and continuing – demand for English.
The fact is that you, simply by good fortune, have a skill that is very much in demand around the world: You know English.
That skill could take you may places. May I suggest Brazil?! Here are a few reasons.
- You can start work almost immediately. I had my first classes my second week in Rio.
- You don’t need experience, just a knowledge of English.
- You don’t need to make a heavy investment. (The internet will be your most valuable resource.)
- Pay is good if you know how to market yourself. (And I’ll show you how!) In Rio, one the largest markets, you can currently earn 70-80 reais per hour, and in Sao Paulo even more than that. (One real buys more or less the same as one dollar.)
- Hours are flexible. Expect to have 5-6 hours of class per day. Some teachers prefer to fill their schedules Monday – Thursday and take Fridays off.
- If you have knowledge in a specialized field (petroleum, aviation, any medical specialty, hospitality and tourism, restaurants, to name a few), it’s even easier to find good-paying work.
Of course, all this is a lot easier to attain and to attain quickly if you know how. And Teaching English in Brazil shows you how to be successful at teaching and avoid problems. Learn from my years of experience!
Teaching English in Brazil
How to teach English in lovely Brazil! Learn how to prepare, make the move, get settled, market yourself, and start teaching in the land of sand and samba.
Order your copy of Teaching English in Brazil now for only $34.00 and you can instantly download your PDF and be reading about how YOU can enjoy a new and rewarding job in Brazil.
But you may have some doubts…
Isn’t Brazil dangerous?
Look, I’m not going to tell you that’s there’s no crime in Brazil. But most of the crime is between rival gangs and confined to the favelas, or slums. If you aren’t a member of a gang and avoid the favelas, your chances of experiencing any violence plummet. Maybe you’ve seen dramatic footage on TV, but the truth is, the media aren’t interested in honest reporting, only sensationalism. I have lived here since 2008, and traveled here for years before that, often solo. I’ve even visited several favelas, on numerous occasions, and have never once been robbed or attacked. (I can’t say that about my time in the US. The U.S. tally to date: One car break-in, one apartment break-in, one gun pointed at my head in a case of mistaken identity.) Use a little common sense as you would anywhere and your risks of any major problems are slim.
Hmmm. But isn’t Brazil poor and backward?
While Brazil is not as wealthy or industrialized as North America or Western Europe, I think you’d be surprised. Here we have huge modern shopping malls, major highways, and some first-class restaurants and nightclubs. Brazil, like much of the developing world, is moving up fast.
What we also have here is staggeringly beautiful nature. And not just beaches – although they are pretty amazing! Thousands and thousands of miles of beach, almost all of it open to the public. But there is also the Amazon, of course. And the Pantanal, our version of the Everglades. And massive Iguaçu Falls, which totally dwarfs Niagara.
I recently returned from a visit back to the US, and you know what? It was a bit depressing. Oh, I enjoyed seeing my family and friends, but the economy still has fully recovered, and there still seems to be a lot of pessimism and uncertainty.
Brazilians, by contrast, are quite optimistic overall. Of course, optimism is a national trait here! But Brazilians are optimistic with good reason. This huge and sprawling country is finally taking its rightful place among the players of the world. The discovery in recent years of huge oil and gas reserves has really kick-started things.
The result? More jobs. More international jobs.
And that means an increased demand for English.
There are great opportunities to teach English in Brazil.
So you aren’t an English teacher (yet)
OK, you say? Maybe Brazil is worth checking out. Maybe there are jobs teaching English.
“But,” you say, “I’m not an English teacher.”
Hey, neither was I before I arrived.
But you speak English, right? You know the material inside and out. You need to learn how to teach it. Don’t worry! I’ll show you how to teach successfully!
Come on down and you’ll discover that teaching English abroad really is one of the best jobs around.
And that Brazil is a heck of a place to teach it.
Maybe you still can’t picture yourself as teacher. Fico tranquilo! Relax! I’m going to teach you what you need to know to be successful. Here are only a few of the things you’ll learn:
- Where the jobs are – so you can find work quickly (pages 2, 14) (Be sure to check out the super offer at checkout for a listing of language schools.)
- Arranging job interviews before you even leave home (page 22).
- Types of teaching jobs (page 3)
- When to come – and when NOT to! – so you can make money right away and not sit idle (page 13)
- Whether you should invest in getting a teaching certificate (page 17)
- How to minimize class preparation time – while still delivering great classes! (page 44)
- How to assess a student’s strengths and weaknesses and structure a custom training program (page 40)
- Some of my favorite class activities and materials (page 45)
- The most common problems Brazilians have when learning English (page 53)
- Understanding and working with Brazilians (page 56)
- What to pack in your backpack for a day of teaching (page 61)
- Creating a schedule that maximizes income while leaving you plenty of time to play! (page 63)
- Working with schools and finding private students (page 64) including the single best way to find new students (page 66)
- Developing a niche (page 68)
- How to determine your fair market value – and command the highest rate (page 69)
- Minimizing class cancellations (page 70)
- Where to go to find ESL books, materials, and class ideas (page 45), plus tons of sites in the appendix.
PLUS, I’ll give you the low-down on all kinds of basic logistical stuff, including:
- Do you need a visa? What kind? (page 14)
- Things to bring (page 28)
- Learning basic Portuguese (page 12)
- How to find a temporary place to live before leaving (page 24), and a more permanent place after arriving (page 34)
- Getting a cell phone – your lifeline! (page 33)
- Accessing money back home (page 19), budgeting and other money matters (page 80)
- PLUS: Life outside of work, assimilating, health and safety, staying in touch, and more.
AND, you can even order a companion directory of language schools here in Brazil in the major markets of Rio, São Paulo, and Salvador, plus lovely Florianópolis. It contains over 1,000 listings, with names, phones numbers, and e-mail addresses. This directory will give you plenty of places to teach. Have interviews lined up before you arrive! You’ll be teaching in no time! (But have a caipirinha on the beach first!)
Not sure how to apply for work? No worries! I cover that in the book, beginning on page 18. No excuses now!
As a bonus, the directory even contains a section on Portuguese for foreigners programs to help you get settled in.
Brazil English School Directory
An Excel spreadsheet listing schools and contact information in the choice locales of Rio, São Paulo, Salvador, and Florianópolis. Set up interviews before you even arrive!
Order your copy of Brazil English School Directory now for only $34.00 and you can be prospecting for work before you even leave home! Get organized and hit the ground running!
Adventures in Brazil
When you aren’t teaching English here are some of the adventures I’ve done as well as others. This is real. You can do this.
Look, plenty of transient surfer types come here and teach a little English to support their surf habits. And they actually find work, because English is in such high demand!
If they can do it, don’t you think you could? And with what you’ll learn in this book, you’ll stand out from the crowd. You’ll get the best caliber students, command the best rates, and have a lot of fun doing it. I’ve been teaching here since 2008, and I’ve put what I’ve learned the hard way (including when NOT to come!) into this book. Benefit from my mistakes and hard knocks.
Look, I’m not going to blow smoke. Teaching is a job, and you do have to prepare, show up consistently and on time, and give your students solid classes. But – unless you are one of the lucky few – you have to put in your time at a job somewhere. Why not do something that is low-stress, fun, pays well, and is appreciated?
Here you’ll find motivated students who truly appreciate a dedicated instructor. I have to admit, it’s kind of cool to hear my students say at the end of class, “Thank you, Teacher.” It really is. I’ve received small gifts, invitations to lunch and to dinner, even a wedding.
It’s a different job. In a good way. A very good way.
Life is not about having regrets
Pick up a copy of this book and one sunny day very soon, you could be enjoying an afternoon break, sipping a chilled coconut on the beach, and thinking,
“Why didn’t I do this sooner?!?!”
Seriously, life is too short to be miserable, to plod your way through one mundane day after another.
Why not go for it?!
BEST DEAL! Both Books!
Best deal! Get both the book and the language school directory at a sweet discount. Get your show on the road!
Praise for my book: Teaching English in Brazil
“…I purchased “Teaching English in Brazil”. I really enjoyed reading this book. It’s well written and full of useful tips on teaching and practical information about Brazil. At first, I was nervous about my decision, but after reading this book I can’t wait to move to Brazil and try teaching. John, see you in Brazil soon!”
– Adam Szymoniak
Listen to me chatting with Adam Szymoniak, who purchased my book and directory, and came to teach in Brazil. Click on the MP3 headset icon.
– Sara P, Italy
– Anne B, USA
“John, I just have to say that your book “Teaching English in Brazil” is a wonderful and abundant resource of information for someone like me that is interested in moving to Brazil to teach English. There so many things covered that I would have never known to inquire about if I hadn’t read your book. I strongly recommend this book for anyone interested in teaching English in Brazil.”
– Joel Garcia
Just to let you know I do appreciate your emails, and I bought the book as well as the directory.
I have no idea why you popped up on my Facebook timeline but [your message] was really right for me.
I’m just off to interview for my CELTA course here in London and plan to come to Brazil next spring.
And it’s all because you gave me that final nudge – so thank you!
– Alfredo Rinaldi, Italy
-Tim Abram, UK
It’s easy to read and provides lots of helpful information about teaching and life in Brazil. I would suggest to everyone before coming to Brazil to read it. It’s the best information source you can get, written by a person who has truly gone through everything written in the book.
– Daiga Geizane, Latvia
– Nicolau Ferreira
There’s nothing to lose
I offer an unconditional 60-day money-back guarantee. Really? Yup. I’m not worried. My book is worth every penny, and you’ll realize that as soon as you open it up.
You won’t find any other book like this for sound advice, tips, secrets – everything you need to hit the ground running here. My book offers over 80 full-sized pages crammed with detailed, quality information, including chapters on Getting Organized to Teach, Teaching 101, and Administration & Marketing. It’s your roadmap.
Vem pra ca! Come on down! The water’s fine!
Hey, I truly enjoy my job. Some days I feel almost guilty getting paid for doing what I do. I have a truly great bunch of intelligent, motivated, friendly students, and they are happy to have me as their teacher. Some days they only want to have spirited conversation.
I’ve walked out of classes thinking, “I get paid for this?”
Sounds great, doesn’t it?
Why wait another day?
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