The Book is on the Table…

“The book is on the table” is a common expression for Brazilian’s when they are planning on or actually starting English classes. And no I am not starting English classes, but I am teaching English!

I finally got my first job in Sao Paulo and no surprise it is teaching English. This is probably the most common job opportunity for foreigners coming to Sao Paulo because you don’t have to be fluent in Portuguese to teach English. And after 7 months of Portuguese classes, I am still not fluent:(

Sao Paulo has about a million (I’m exaggerating a little) language schools in the city. I feel like you see one on every corner. There are major chains like “Wise up”and “CELP” but there are also several privately owned schools all around. That is how I came to teach English; a guy at our church owns a school (Renaissance Idiomas) and needed “Native Speakers” to teach English.

It’s really not hard, I just go to the offices of the students and speak English with then while correcting their grammar and pronunciation. I make okay money for what I do, but right now I only have two students because I don’t want to over do it while pregnant. I met another girl teaching English who works at four different schools and just about works full-time, so if you do need the money you can make it work. Prices range for teaching classes from about R$30/hr to R$80/hr. Or if you are of the entrepreneurial type you can teach classes on your own, although I don’t recommend it for women, this is Brazil afterall.


7 thoughts on “The Book is on the Table…

  1. This is such a nice blog! I am brazilian and have a bacherlors in International Relationships, and I always wanted to know the perspective of foreigners here in brazil, as i have been a “foreigner” in other places, while living abroad…

    The only thing I think I should say about this post is that it provides good information, but as far as women who want to give classes on their own, like “aula particular”, it’s quite common…

  2. Well…. “if you are of the entrepreneurial type you can teach classes on your own, although I don’t recommend it for women, this is Brazil afterall”… Well, as a brazilian, I tend to dislike such a sentence, but I recognize its importance and relevance, though… I think this kind of issue involves a lot on learning the different cultural rules of another country. I have a female friend, brazilian, who teaches English privately… she told me of some complicated situations and how she dealt with them, at the same time trying to push some unwelcome iniciatives away and at the same time not loosing the students. It’s not the rule, but this kind of problem happens… I was talking to a young female teacher in the university and she was telling of this student, believe you or not, who was practically chasing her, if I can use this word… and if she wanted some official measure to be taken, she would have to have some objective dennounce against the guy, and since these situations sometimes are not really explicit, you are alone in that frontier: you can request some bigger and official measure, but then you will call attention explicitly to something that was not explicit before, the problem will grow at least in the beggining. Or you can stay quiet and try to find a way out of this situation. In this case, everytime this student went to this teacher’s room to talk about doubts and so on, she managed to have another friend in the room… In the case of a private teacher, it can get harder, because maybe you’ll have to disprove some comment in a delicate way so as to try not to loose the student (if you don’t want this to happen, of course)…. It’s a long discussion and may be I, as a man, am not the most qualified talker on the issue…

  3. I’m loving your blog!

    P.S. I used to give private English lessons in the Guarulhos/SP area, I don’t think it’s a big deal. And the income is way better than working for a school.

  4. Hi,

    Im an English girl moving to SP in October and i really need to find a job !! I have been studying Portuguese but no way am i going to be able to speak enough for a job in Portuguese initially. Maybe teaching is something i can do… Is it easy to find these kind of jobs?? I have no experience in teaching english!



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