Posted on October 15, 2019 | By Laura Tressel
22nd Mar 2019
Rome is a treasure trove for lovers of history, architecture, and pasta. But it is also full of opportunities for English teachers looking for a place to work while enjoying the warm Mediterranean sunshine. Despite the image some may have off the classic Italian being laid-back and casual, Rome is home to many business-minded workers who come from around the country to expand their prospects in the capital city.
As a business English teacher at The Language Grid, my role is more about coaching students to be effective communicators in English rather than focusing on grammar and theory. In this way it’s very different to more traditional ESL teaching opportunities in the city. When training business professionals, what you’re really doing is supporting their personal and professional growth. What could be more satisfying than that? If you’re thinking of moving to Rome to teach business English, here is an outline of a typical working day for you to get an idea of what to expect.
Mornings: A cornetto a day keeps the doctor away
Since many students will be busy with meetings during the middle of the day, you will probably start lessons as they arrive at the office, around 9am. The plus side to an earlier wake up time is getting first pick of the pastries at the local cafe. There’s nothing like a fresh-out-of-the-oven cornetto filled with jam and a hot shot of espresso to give you a boost of energy. From there it’s easy to get to work if you have lessons in-office, by taking one of the buses or metro lines.
You may be lucky enough to do lessons from home over video call, in which case you can skip the cafe and metro, and make yourself a nice cup of coffee or tea – if that’s your cup of tea – at home. For example, with The Language Grid I do video call days once a week.
Lessons usually focus on using English appropriately in real business situations, such as making presentations, negotiating contracts, or making small talk. The great news is, you don’t have to be an expert on business, that’s the students’ job! Yours is to make sure they have the tools to succeed in international working environments.
Afternoons: Luxuriate in your lunch hour
One of my favourite things about the professional environment in Italy is that they still respect the lunch hour – everyone takes the full hour so you will always have time to grab a panino and sit in the local piazza to soak up some sun, or sit down in a trattoria for a warm dish of pasta. This is also a great time to catch up with your colleagues. Many TEFL teachers share similar stories and passions, and making a connection with the people you work with can really help you become more comfortable in a new city.
After lunch, you’ll probably have a few more lessons to teach, or you’ll work on grading homework and tests. Unlike other language schools which stay open late to accommodate students after working hours, working for a business English company like The Language Grid means I finish earlier, around 6pm. This gives me plenty of time to actually enjoy what the city has to offer – taking a walk through the centre, studying Italian, or going for a run in one of the many parks.
Evenings: Move from Spritz to spaghetti
In Rome, dinner is typically eaten around 9pm. Most places don’t open their doors until 7:30pm. If you get hungry in the meantime, don’t fret – this is where aperitivo comes in to save the day! There are plenty of locales around the city that offer a base price (around 10 euros) for a drink and finger food buffet. I suggest enjoying a refreshing spritz while sitting outside in one of the cooler areas, like San Lorenzo or Pigneto.
If you enjoyed hearing about a day in the life of a teacher in Rome, check out our Italy guide: Everything you need to know about teaching English in Italy.