Mexico boasts quite a colorful culture, deeply rooted history and iconic tourist spots.
The Latin American country is most famous for its ancient ruins like the Mayan city of Chichén Itzá, the lush jungles and the Spanish influenced historical towns. It is one of the best countries in Latin America for teachers to teach English since it’s a predominantly Spanish speaking country so there are plenty of locals who are wanting to learn the universal language. There are plenty of job opportunities for English teachers and they can also learn Spanish while living in Mexico
Teaching TEFL in Mexico
Mexico is a top country for those looking for job opportunities with a TEFL certification. Instructors teaching English in the country can find jobs all year round but the holiday season such as Christmas, New Year or Easter is slower than usual. English schools usually interview in person but some schools also do interviews ahead of time. These are usually done via e-mail or via a phone call. The English teachers usually pay for their airfare and accommodation so most live in apartments or rent shared housing with other colleagues to save money.
- Teaching requirements: Having a Bachelor’s Degree is preferred for most schools but it is not a requirement for teaching English in Mexico; Having a TEFL and/or TESOL Certification is a requirement; Work visa is also a requirement
- Hiring season: There are good job opportunities all year round so anyone can apply any time. The school year usually begins in August. For universities, the school semesters start in August and January. Take note that although the hiring process is fast, the work visa processing takes a long time so it is ideal to have plenty of time on your hands to process all the work requirements before flying to Mexico.
- Hiring process: Interviews are done either in person, email, phone or online video call
- Work hours: The teaching time in schools is usually between 20 to 25 hours of classroom schedule
Best cities to teach in Mexico
Mexico City is the capital of the country that was built on the ruins of Tenochtitlan, an ancient Aztec city. The rich historical place is where you can find the beautiful Plaza del Zocalo which is declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The plaza is a historical center downtown. You can admire and gaze at the historical archaeological ruins of the Templo Mayor. There are also ancient structures surrounding it that was built during the 16th to the 19th centuries. Visit the Xochimilco during your day-offs from teaching English. It is a man-made destination that is dubbed as “Venice of the New World” where you can see floating gardens made by farmers.
Cancun is a popular destination because of its gorgeous, relaxing beaches. If you prefer to live and work by the beach, then this is a place you should consider finding a job in Mexico. It is surrounded by the amazing Caribbean Sea boasting a great view of different shades of blue of the crystal-clear waters. It is a tourist destination with a hip nightlife so it never gets boring living here. There is also an underwater museum, a Secret River and Xcaret, an eco-archaeological park.
It is known as the city of eternal spring which is a magical town with serene surroundings. Cuernavaca is full of beautiful flowers such as African tulips, daisies, and jasmine. But if you like adventure, Cuernavaca is more than just its tranquil environment. You can hike the mountains, go to the caves or do river rafting. The activities are endless in this city. You can also visit in your free time the Garden Borda Museum and the Amanalco Rift.
This city is known for its historic buildings such as the Palacio de Gobierno that is located in Plaza de Armas. Plaza Liberación is also one of the iconic infrastructure worth visiting. A UNESCO Heritage Site Hospicio Cabañas has an outstanding José Clemente Orozco murals. You can also spend time shopping in the huge indoor market, Mercado San Juan de Dios, for good quality leather products, shoes and clothes. Indulge in good local dishes such as quesadillas, chilaquiles and tortas ahogadas.
Monterrey is Mexico’s third-largest city that has plenty of good universities where you can teach English. You can also find huge shopping malls, a hipster nightlife and great museums in this city. Visit the El Cerro de la Silla, El Cerro de las Mitras, La Sierra Madre.
Another World Heritage Site in the city of Oaxaca. It is where you can find all the historical periods of the Latin American country on the streets from the statuesque colonial buildings to cultural festivals. It has great ecotourism such as lagoons and mountains. Oaxaca has a vibrant arts and crafts scene. It also has a beautiful coastline where you can go surfing in Puerto Escondido.
Puebla de Los Angeles
Puebla is known as “the city of the angels”. It garnered the nickname when the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception was being built back in the olden days. The locals didn’t know how they could carry the heavy 8,000 kilos bell on top of the bell tower. But to the surprise of the Mexicans, they woke up one morning with the bell already at the top of the building. They didn’t know how it got there or who moved it. This led the people to call the city as Puebla de Los Angeles. You can visit some of the 365 churches such as the Church of Santo Domingo, Templo de San Francisco, and Puebla Cathedral. The city is also known for its Talavera pottery which is usually hand-painted with blue and white patterns.
Tulum is another city located in the Caribbean. One of the most picturesque places you should see while living here is the Mayan ruins that are sitting on top of a cliff. Below the ruins is the Riviera Maya beach which is near the famous Mesoamerican Reef Barrier. The city also has the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. So if you love the seaside, this is a city in Mexico you can consider living in to teach English to the locals.
Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen is at the center of the Riviera Maya. Here you can find the fine white sand beaches and aquamarine water. It is a good destination for water activities including windsurfing, diving or jet skiing. Playa del Carmen is well known for its great musicians and holds jazz and local music concerts every year.
Cost of Living
- Accommodation – £255 to £355 rent per month for an apartment with one or three bedrooms
- Utilities – £28 for basic utilities such as electricity and water
- Transportation – £14 for a monthly pass; £37 for a one-way ticket for a local transport
- Meals – £19 for an average meal for two at a restaurant; £4 for an inexpensive meal
Types of English Teaching Jobs in Mexico
There are actually a lot of exclusive international schools in Mexico that have primary schools, high schools, and colleges. These schools are independent and they hire teachers on their own so the hiring process is a lot easier and faster compared to other institutions. You will be able to work with a smaller team and have a close working relationship with your co-teachers and students.
You can choose a specialized language school which caters to teaching different languages. This type of school has smaller group classes or has one on one students per class. It allows English teachers to have more flexibility in their work schedules compared to a bigger school. But they are expected to be able to teach different levels from basic to advanced English.
This type of school is best for native English speakers but it has higher requirements such as more teaching experience, a higher level of education, and also a higher teaching qualification.
When you are looking for an English teaching job in Mexico, make sure you read your contract carefully. Take note of the agreed start date and until when will your contract last. Negotiate the salary, benefits, and bonuses the school is offering. Check how many hours you are working and don’t forget to know how many vacations and sick leaves you are allowed to take. Ask also if there is a working visa sponsorship if the company will cover housing and flight expenses. It would be good to have health insurance in case you get sick while living abroad. You can negotiate your contract before agreeing and signing it since it is a huge move to work and live in a new country.
Having the opportunity to teach in Mexico is a good avenue for those who are looking for a career change, looking for a new experience abroad or those who love to travel. Living and working in another country is great to learn the culture, a new language like Spanish and open your mind to a different experience.