Teaching is by no means an easy job, but teaching English is one of the easiest ways to live and work abroad. If you are wondering about how you can find a job teaching English or another language in France, then you’ve come to the right place. I’ve been living in France for almost four years now and have had a variety of different teaching positions during my time here. Keep reading to find out how I found a teaching job in France for next school year and how you can too!
My Current Situation
With my two years working as a lectrice d’anglais in a French university coming to a close, I needed to find another way to stay in France. Unfortunately my current contract is a fixed term contract that can’t be renewed twice. I had previously done the Teaching Assistant Program in France and studied abroad, so finding a full time teaching position was my ideal solution. Months before the school year came to a close, I began to research different options. I also considered searching for jobs in related fields to teaching. However, I really do enjoy being a teacher and it is what I went to school for, so changing careers didn’t make a lot of sense.
Check out how I became a university language teacher in France aka “lectrice d’anglais” here:
Masters or Concours
If you want to teach long term in France, one of the best routes to take is to do a Master’s like the MEEF (métiers de l’enseignement, de l’éducation et de la formation) and take the CAPES/CAFEP concours, a national exam to get a French teaching certificate. If you are not European, you cannot work in public schools with CDI contract (an open-ended contract), but you can work in a private school.
I already have two Master’s degrees, so it didn’t really make sense to do another program. Plus, if I became a student again, I would have to go back to the States to get a student visa since it’s not normally possible to switch from worker to student status. If I went back to the US to do this, it would also interrupt my 3 consecutive years in France; I have to be a resident here for 5 years before I can apply for French nationality.
I later learned that you can take the concours if you already have a different Master’s, which is what I thought about doing. However, when I learned about the concours last November, it was already too late since you have to sign up in September/October for the test in the spring.
If you are considering this route, be sure to check out Anne’s blog Present Perfect, where she chronicles how she did the MEEF program and became a teacher in secondary schools in Toulouse.
If I couldn’t find a job that would sponsor my visa, my plan B would be to freelance. Many of the jobs I found for English teaching jobs online indicated that they wanted someone who had auto entrepreneur/micro entrepreneur status. As a freelancer, I wouldn’t need my employer to sponsor my visa. I would however, have to apply for a change of status to get the entrepreneur/profession liberale visa. To do this I would need to make a business plan with projections for the next three years and have letters of interest from potential clients.
My boyfriend and I were considering moving to Toulouse, a bigger city in the South of France, and freelancing would be able to give me freedom to choose where to live. I would also be able to have somewhat of a flexible schedule and could decide how many hours I worked each week. I even thought about doing a TEFL course in Toulouse this summer to get some professional development and start networking.
However, this would have been a bit of a riskier path because there would be no guarantee I would get this visa, even if I made a solid business plan. Toulouse is a big city so I’m sure there would have been teaching opportunities there, but who knows if I would have been able to get enough work to make the minimum wage required for the visa.
I mentioned that I already did the Teaching Assistant Program in France once, but I technically was still eligible to apply again since I only did the program for one year without renewing. I ended up applying and getting accepted into the Académie de Toulouse. This still wasn’t an ideal option because I could have ended up in a small town rather than in Toulouse. The salary and responsibilities are also smaller than a lectrice d’anglais, so financially and professionally it would feel like a step backwards. Ultimately, I decided to decline the offer.
However, TAPIF is a great opportunity if you want to live abroad temporarily or if you are curious about trying teaching since it is an assistant role. I made a YouTube video talking my experience as an assistante d’anglais here:
My dream teaching position is teaching at an international or bilingual school. I am an immigrant in France, so working in an international environment makes me feel a little more at home. Plus, international and bilingual schools are usually private schools and have the means and ability to hire foreign teachers who do not have the concours, but have teaching credentials from their home country.
Securing a Job
I ended up applying to a few international bilingual schools in Paris and in the South of France and had a couple of interviews. Although I wanted to stay in the South of France, I am happy to announce that I was offered a job as a contractual teacher in an international school in Paris and will be moving later this summer! If all goes well, I’ll be eligible for a CDI in a few years after working there.
A few things that I believed helped me get this position include:
- A Master’s degree in Teaching
- A Teaching Certificate from my home country
- 4+ Years of experience in the classroom (Most of them in French schools)
- An advanced level of French that helped me with my CV, cover letter, and interview
- An understanding of the school’s mission and a clear explanation of why I wanted to work there
- A letter of recommendation from my current French employer
- I am a native speaker of the language I will be teaching
- A positive outlook (very necessary in the land of “pas possible !” )
I won’t disclose which school I’ll be working for as I’d like to keep some things private, but I’m looking forward to sharing my future adventures in Paris with all of you!
Websites to Find Teaching Jobs in France
I will list a few websites that I used to search for teaching jobs in France, but I found that most schools posted their listings on their own sites rather on than job searching platforms. So what I did to find these listings was type into Google: [Name of city] + école (or lycée) internationale (or “bilingue“) + recrutement (or professeur d’anglais). So this would look like: “Toulouse lycée international recrutement” or “Paris école bilingue professeur d’anglais.” It also helps to network with other teachers becuase they might know of available opportunities. You can also contact schools directly and send them a cover letter and your CV in French as a “candidature spontanée.”
Job Search Platforms to Checkout:
- Teachers in France Groups on Facebook
Other Useful Websites not Necessarily for Teaching Jobs:
- The Student Language Bureau
- EdTech France
- French American Chamber of Commerce
- English Jobs in France
- The Local
When to Apply for Teaching Jobs in France
Most teaching jobs in France in schools are posted in the spring or summer before start of the next school year. Most positions start appearing in March /April and continue to be posted throughout the summer. Just be aware that from Mid-July to the end of August, most schools are on vacation and might not be very responsive, if at all! This is also the case with lecteur/lectrice positions. TAPIF applications open up in the fall and close in January for the following school year. The application for MEEF programs are also usually in the spring/early summer, but depend on the university. Freelance postions are available all year round.
If you have any questions about finding a teaching job in France, don’t hesitate to leave a comment! Or, if you currently work in France/have worked here in the past, feel free to share any advice you might have for prospective teachers. Thanks so much for reading, and stay tuned for more adventures in France!
À la prochaine,