Why I’m a TEFLer who doesn’t worry about money

Given the crappy pay and job prospects, a lot of TEFLer understandably have money worries. Not me! And unlike most TEFLers who don’t worry about money, it’s not because I haven’t thought about the future.

The way I see it, the future could go one of several ways, none of which will be affected by stressing about them, and the only future worth worrying about is so unlikely as to be hardly worth considering.

The reasonably possible futures are:

  • The invention of cold fusion, improvements in robotics etc will mean that all humans will be able to live a life of luxury on the moon or Mars, however bad their career choices up to that point
  • Someone who loves my worksheets will suddenly become filthy rich and offer me shitloads of cash to express their eternal gratitude for my help with making “this/ that/ these/ those” or the Unreal Past teachable
  • Enough authors working for the big publishers will unable to resist the temptation to rip off my free online worksheets that I’ll be able to sue them for a bucket full of gold coins
  • The boom in mixed-race minor celebrities in Japan will last long enough that I can live off vaguely amusing anecdotes about the childhood of my daughter
  • I’ll become the first foreigner to live permanently in a cardboard box with the homeless in Ueno Park in Tokyo
  • The environmental apocalypse will leave all us living in cardboard boxes in parks, sewers, fields, etc – making me feel much better about it
  • The stress of having to look for another job at age 60 when my employers lay me off at their obligatory retirement age without having actually offered me any pension plan up to that point will make me have a fatal heart attack or stroke in my last class at the age of 59 years and 364 days
  • I’ll save just enough money to be able to afford to be able to spend 3 months trying to drink myself to death in best possible way in the beer bars of Belgium (before going the Ueno Park route if I am unfortunate enough to survive any longer than that)
  • Aliens will invade and become benign overloads that sort out this screwed up society of ours
  • Aliens will invade and wipe us all out

The virtually impossible future that it’s not even worth thinking about is:

  • That I will save enough money to have a comfortable retirement
This entry was posted in Teaching English as a Foreign Language and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Why I’m a TEFLer who doesn’t worry about money

  1. CT says:

    Chances are we’ll all be working ’til we’re in our 70s and bits are falling off of us anyway Alex, why sweat it? At least you get to be doing something you enjoy while you’re waiting to die :-)
    And you missed the most important one:
    – Have a minor mid/late-life crisis and move to whichever morally dubious theocracy happens to be paying way over the odds for desperate older English teachers, save every penny you can and then get the hell out with your savings before someone cuts your head off or your kids get old enough to start getting interested in drugs and booze :-)

  2. Danny C says:

    Well put! Not worth stressing about it

  3. Sean Mitchell says:

    Despite the Mater’s degree, I think it’s going to be the cardboard box in the park. Never got the CELTA, and after 20 years teaching English that’s the one that’s gonna sink me, if it hasn’t already. My Master’s in Nottingham was 7-9 on a Wednesday and so was the local CELTA course, Bad luck with timetables can have a life-long effect if you’re in TEFL.

  4. alexcase says:

    Sounds like you’re the perfect candidate for selling your soul to an oppressive regime as CT suggests, Sean. I’m saving that for when I flee the house when my daughter becomes a teenager, but looks like any money saved then will be wiped out by her useless degree in fine arts and having to support her for 20 years after it…

  5. helenwaldron says:

    This cracked me up, Alex. I thought it was going to be one of those LinkedIn-type, this-is-how-to-do-it Godlike pronouncements, but something made me click on it anyway. We’re doomed, doomed, but as someone above has answered, at least you haven’t spent a lifetime pushing paper round an office. By the way, I don’t worry about money either, but it’s mainly because I’m dyscalcula.

  6. Astrid says:

    Brilliant!! Absolutely brilliant!!! :D

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