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How do You Build a Successful Teaching Career?

How do You Build a Successful Teaching Career? | ITTT | TEFL Blog

What defines teachers’ success? There is no one thing teachers can do to be successful. Success is not defined by just one aspect. Students, the learning experience, classroom environment, the relationship between teachers and their students, assessments, and outcomes can all define the success of teachers and their teaching career. If the students have learned and can apply the lessons they have learned in class to their career, it means teachers have been effective and efficient in teaching what they wanted their students to learn.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Rabica Q. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.


The first step for teachers to start building a successful teaching career is to have the right qualifications. Choosing a specific degree(s) and certification to teach a particular subject gives teachers the tools to get started and equips them with theoretical knowledge and a strong foundation in pedagogical approaches. Having a solid background with the right qualifications makes them familiar with what they have to do. Training with a mentor while earning your qualifications helps solidify the initial training and prepares the teachers to confidently start their careers. Once they have acquired the appropriate qualifications and training, teachers should create a CV/ resume. This is an important part of beginning a teacher’s career as it will help to pursue where they seek to work. Resumes are the links between teachers and employers when teachers are searching for job availability. Online options broaden the scope of their opportunities. It is important to remember to keep the resume brief, clear, relevant, and honest. A candidate’s resume reflects who they are as a person and mirrors their personality.

Also Read: How can I avoid scams when looking for TEFL jobs?

Approach to Own Behavior

Once candidates receive the job in a teaching position, their experience begins. Teachers should be conservative at the beginning of their teaching career and also during the first days of class. Whether they are working in their home country or a foreign country, it is important to remember not to share any political or social views and not be sarcastic because of how someone interprets it can become problematic. Teachers should be well informed about the place they are living and working in. They should familiarize themselves with the customs of the place and practice the right etiquette to avoid any situations that can be damaging to their teaching career.

teacher smiling

Also Read: Can I cancel my contract early when teaching English abroad?

Classroom Environment

Furthermore, the classroom environment and students are the most important part of a teacher’s job. Teachers have numerous responsibilities. What they teach, how they teach, rapport with students, lesson plans and lessons, instruction, activities, assessments, and discipline are few responsibilities among many others. After parents, teachers are important figures in students’ lives. Teachers need to determine the needs of all students by doing a needs-analysis survey at the beginning of the term. Teachers can thus deliver differentiated instruction. Through the duration of the course, teachers also become familiar with the personalities of their students. Taking on the challenge of keeping the class well managed requires skill and tact through experience. For example, if two students are being disruptive in a class by talking to each other or not getting along during the lesson, the teacher plays the role of a police officer and moves the students. Students sometimes need emotional reassurance or advice and at this time the teacher plays the role of either a psychologist, a counselor, or even a mentor.

Also Read: How long are TEFL contracts?

Additionally, classrooms consist of materials and tools that teachers use as teaching aids. Materials include textbooks, whiteboards, blackboards, smart boards, overhead projector (OHP), audios (recordings, CDs), visuals (flashcards, pictures), worksheets, and computers. Tools make lessons more enjoyable, interactive, and efficient. It spices up the curriculum and the class lessons. A mundane Monday can turn into a marvelous Monday when teachers keep their students engaged and active in class.

Getting Experienced

No one component can define teachers as good or successful. Teachers progress through their teaching career through experience with every passing year. The experience provides them with the right skills in achieving an effective and successful learning environment. Their success is defined by the results of what students have learned and how they apply it in their present and future lives and careers. Teachers learn with every group of new students they teach, thereby gaining more experience and becoming more successful. Successful teachers seek professional development to gain expertise in the area of need while teaching and do not stagnate in their teaching methods.

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In conclusion, to build a successful teaching career, teachers need to acquire the right qualifications, gain the necessary experience to become competent and seek the right tools to develop professionally as the need arises to become successful and thrive at what they do.

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