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What is Important for Early Career Teachers?

What is Important for Early Career Teachers? | ITTT | TEFL Blog

I have been teaching for almost 5 years now. My teaching career, I should say is at the beginner level. But I rather call it the aspirational level. At this level, I am in the stage of acquiring different qualifications to have more advantages and gain a wider scope in teaching. But as I seek more qualifications, I slowly understand what is important for early-career teachers like me.

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

My Start

In my 5-year teaching career, it wasn’t an easy road. In the first year of my teaching career, after graduation, the first qualification I wanted to achieve was obtaining a teacher’s license. So, I took the National Licensure Examination for Teachers in the Philippines and successfully passed it. Then, the second qualification I sought was to gain teaching experience. So, I taught Junior High School for a year in the Philippines, and currently in my fourth year teaching Elementary in Japan. Within those teaching experiences, I was also taking a master’s degree and now taking TESOL courses. My 5-year teaching career was packed. I was pushing myself to be more than qualified. But something was missing, I had NO GOAL.

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Setting up Goals

To have a PERSONAL GOAL is the most important and is also the most basic need of early career teachers like me. When you have that personal goal, it allows you to create a career path that will lead you to that goal. You can even set timelines for the tasks you will do to achieve your goal. But there’s something you should not forget when you are deciding on your personal goal. This goal should NOT be an END GOAL. End goals allow us to have second thoughts if we want to continue pursuing a teaching profession or not. For example, if your end goal is to become a university professor, what happens next if you become one? You may start over again by finding a new personal goal or quit and find a new career if you felt that teaching is too overwhelming for you. Our personal teaching career goals are not ending goals because these are goals that will keep us from growing.

What could be an example? Allow me to share mine, which took me 5 years to find it. My personal teaching career goal is to inspire people to live a fulfilled and content life through the teaching of language. I grew up in a kind of education system where competing was the way to success. If you’re on top, you get better opportunities, if you’re not then it’s unlikely for you to succeed. Education had become a commodity rather than a necessity. Education had become a tool for power. People nowadays wanted to be educated to gain control over others. My goal is to inspire my students to dream freely. That going to school isn’t about getting a job, getting rich, or gaining power one day. But going to school is about learning and using that learning to live life with a direction towards fulfillment and contentment.

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With this goal, I can choose a career path for young learners. And then after a few years, with the same goal, I can choose a career path for adult learners. I can change the path, whichever I feel, but in the end, all these paths will lead me to my personal goal. Henceforth, to all aspiring and new teachers, take time to find that personal goal. It doesn’t have to be now, but one day as you go through your teaching journey you will find that you need to have one. By then, you are now ready to keep pushing to a more directed path in your teaching career.

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