3 Key Ways to Build Your Teaching Career From Scratch
There are many fields in today’s industries that require growth and adaptation on part of the worker. Teaching is no exception. While it’s true that after a few years many teachers will recycle old lessons, the lessons need to adapt to the new classroom. Being outdated can lead students to boredom and teachers losing confidence in themselves. The question becomes not ‘why’ but ‘how’ can teachers develop their careers.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Taylor K. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
1. Beginning of The Teaching Career
Most teachers will begin their careers with a base level of certification or education. The most common would be through a TEFL or TESOL either in person or online. However, there are some certifications that are seen as higher quality than others. The Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (or CELTA) is often seen as a gold standard or desirous certificate by language schools around the world.
2. Professional Development
A step beyond the basic level of certification is always further education. A great way for an English teacher to develop their career is through specialized certification such as a focus on Young Learners or Business English. These English for Specific Purposes (or ESP) certificates can make a teacher seem more promising to potential employers and also help build up the teacher in the aspects they which to focus on in their career.
Beyond this would be a diploma course. Teachers can find diploma courses online, such as the ITTT Diploma course, or face-to-face such as the Cambridge DELTA. A diploma course can help elevate a teacher to University classrooms or even management positions in a language center such as Director of Studies. In certain countries and fields, like the United States of America, a Master’s Degree is preferred over a diploma. MA degrees in teaching English as a foreign language can be found at a few Universities.
3. Networking With Other Teachers
More constant, and certainly less expensive, ways an English Teacher can develop their career is by staying active within a community either online or face-to-face. Many teachers find it very helpful to join online communities so that they can attend webinars, discuss theories, and even express concerns over their classrooms or their fields. Online communities have a plethora of shared lesson plans, authentic, and non-authentic teaching materials available. If a teacher is interested in covering a new topic but unsure how to approach they can always post a message in these communities and many teachers will answer with valuable information.
Often face-to-face teaching communities can be a teacher’s number one resource in career development. Having weekly or monthly meetings with other teachers in your community can allow you to solve and handle problems specific to the country and region you are teaching. Reading articles and talking about how patting a student on the head is bad in Thailand won’t necessarily benefit you if you’re teaching in Viet Nam where a teacher is free to pat a student on the head.
There are many associations and organizations a teacher can join to network, gain lesson plans and materials, attend webinars, and even find mentors and ask advice. Some such organizations are The British Council English Language Contacts Scheme, The European Council of International Schools, Japan Association of College English Teachers, and International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language. (Source - ITTT Business English Unit 6 page 12). Associations might have costs that come with them, but the networking and job placement opportunities should pay for themselves.
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Are you ready to build your teaching career? Start right now by taking a TEFL course!
Teaching is a special field of work where you are not only responsible for the growth of those you teach, but also the growth of yourself. Whether it’s from using the benefit of today’s online certification or online communities, your own career development as an English Teacher is at your fingerprints. Never underestimate the value of what specialization certification or association networking can do for your career development.
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