TEFL career progression, does it exist? The short answer to this question is yes. The TEFL industry is massive and career progression can take on all sorts of shapes and forms. It is true that in recent years, the Teaching English as a Foreign Language industry has developed a reputation for teachers who just like to travel, party and have a good time. But that's not everyone, and this is true of many international professions. It's only natural for those who work abroad to travel and experience new cultures.
In this post, Jaye reflects on her TEFL journey. From teaching in a small school in China to moving to EF and starting her TEFL career progression journey at EF.
My story starts in a small Kindergarten in the south of China. After completing my degree in English Literature and Contemporary Media, I decided I wanted to teach, travel and explore the world and its cultures. A job in China seemed like a good option for all of these things; close to different countries I wanted to explore and a culture so different it'll rise up and slap you in the face if you're not paying attention.
After almost a year, I wanted to explore my options with regards to teaching. I chose to apply to EF because it's an enormous company with a sterling reputation; they provide so much support, both when in China and in the ways they help you to develop as a teacher.
One year later and I'm still here, enjoying my job, the city I live in and the company I work for. By the end of my contract, I was able to secure a job within the company head office, this time moving into content writing: my long-term career goal and true passion.
The question is, what do you expect to gain from your next job?
The opportunities available to teachers to advance their careers are highly accessible; TKT (teacher knowledge test), TEFL, CertTESOL, DipTESOL and CELTA qualifications are often available and usually subsidised. Take advantage of them, develop your teaching career, whether you're experienced or a brand new teacher!
You know something is worth doing if you're gaining enjoyment from doing it. I enjoyed my time as an ESL teacher at EF; encouraging students to realise their potential, developing positive and friendly relationships with students and staff, and realising how you can impact another person while honing your skills as a teacher. Not to mention getting to act like a big kid most of the time.
There are so many jobs available in the TEFL industry. In teaching, you can become a senior teacher, and then a Director of Studies or a Center Education Manager. If you'd like to broaden your career opportunities, you could move into other areas like product design and create new classroom materials and courseware. Even recruitment and marketing are possible career paths available. Becoming a teacher is an exciting, fun-filled opportunity to advance your career. If you have a useful skill set, you have a platform to nurture it and help it grow!