WHAT IS A DOS AND SHOULD YOU BE ONE?

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There is no doubt that being an English as a Foreign Language teacher is a career in itself, but if you find yourself wanting to branch out a bit after a few years of teaching, then you should perhaps look into other options which are extensions of teaching. There are quite a few other job options in the EFL field and which route you take will entirely depend on your interests and your skill set. If you are interested in looking into this further, do some research on becoming involved in materials development, recruitment or teacher training.

One option is to become a DoS.

What is a DoS?

A DoS is a Director of Studies. A DoS is responsible for the day-to-day running of a teaching and learning centre – a language school, in other words. The DoS deals with the recruitment of teachers, the training of teachers, the sourcing of classroom materials and overseeing the general administration of the school.

The DoS is the person teachers will tell if they are late or sick so they can make a plan regarding those classes; the DoS is the person students will complain to if they are not happy with their classes; the DoS is the person who decides which coursebooks are going to be used each term and makes sure enough are ordered for each level.

Should you be a DoS?

Being a DoS puts you in a funny position. You need to have quite a bit of experience as a teacher in order to be a DoS, but when you are DoS you don’t do much teaching. You may need to jump in and teach a last-minute class if a teacher is sick and there is no one to cover, but other than that your teaching hours are limited, if you have any at all.

On the other hand, being a DoS requires other skills from you in order to maintain an effective teaching and learning environment in your school as a whole. Being a DoS means building and maintaining rapport between the teachers in your teaching team, building and preserving motivation in your staff room, ensuring clear communication between the different parts of the school, and ensuring satisfaction on all levels. To be a DoS you need to have strong analytical and organisational skills, be good with figures (budgets don’t balance themselves!), a leader and a team player.

As you can see, being a DoS makes use of a lot of the skills you gained as a teacher with a few added extras as well. Teaching experience is vital to be a DoS so you can understand the workings of a school from the teachers’ and the students’ perspectives, but you need to want to leave the classroom and join the administrative side of education as well. If this sounds like you, you should think about doing the Delta and becoming a DoS one day.

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