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Ways to Build a Successful Teaching Career

Ways to Build a Successful Teaching Career | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Considering how to build a successful teaching career is no different than similar considerations for any other profession. Before beginning such consideration, however, one must first ponder what success looks like. What is your conception of a successful teaching career? After resolving my definition of “success” I’m left with three primary factors to consider; education, self-awareness of where in the teaching profession I’ll be happiest, and obtaining good relevant experience.

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

Education Background

The first, and perhaps most important, factor in a successful teaching career is to obtain the best education I can get. If I’m not educated it will be challenging to educate others. My personal opinion in this regard is it’s best to obtain a broad education in preparation for a teaching career. Included in a solid education is certification as a teacher of foreign students. The knowledge you will receive in pursuit of your certification is applicable no matter whom you wish to teach. I believe this approach of obtaining a broad education is best because it affords more flexibility moving forward by not limiting your options with a narrow educational background. This is important, particularly when considering my second factor because you don’t want to find yourself in the position of having not taken the proper educational courses after discovering with whom you desire most to teach.

Also Read: 5 Reasons Why Teaching Abroad is Better Than Studying Abroad

Target Group

As indicated, my Second factor to a successful teaching career is discovering who you want to teach. This may take the longest before you can honestly conclude you’ve made a decision and know how you want to spend your career and whom you wish to teach. Some people prefer special needs students while others prefer students within a particular age range. I fall within this latter category. I discovered the most pleasure for me was teaching the children around first or second grades. Once I’ve determined the “type” of a student I desire to teach it’s time to put in the hard work.

Also Read: 5 Great Places to Teach English Abroad Without a Degree | ITTT | TEFL Blog


The third factor for a successful teaching career is getting as much pertinent experience as you can. While every experience is helpful, I believe if I can garner experience with the type of student I desire to teach I’ll be better prepared for that student than had I not received that experience. In my example then, this third factor ideally involves obtaining experience teaching students in first or second grades. I am not suggesting there is no value to getting experience with other student types, there is. My point is the most benefit would be to get the experience with the students you’ll be teaching.

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Building a successful teaching career is not any different than building another profession. If you want to be successful you have to be organized and thoughtful. I believe for the profession of teaching this breaks down into three factors to consider; (1) education, (2) knowing whom you wish to teach, and (3) obtaining pertinent experience. Following a strategy methodically eventually will get you someplace and if your organization and thoughts were truly structured and cogent respectfully, then you’ll end up someplace good.

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