Published 10th December 2019
What Career Options Do I Have After Two Years of TEFL well, when you start out teaching, you will probably find it quite overwhelming and intimidating. Some people even say that on the first day of school the teacher is more nervous than the students, which we can totally believe! But once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you’ll find your confidence growing in leaps and bounds and before you know it you’ll be looking for more challenges in the classroom.
This could mean asking your Director of Studies if you can teach a class you’ve never taught before, like English for exams or young learners or English for Specific Purposes. This could involve writing and developing your own materials. It could mean attending TEFL workshops or conferences to improve your ELT knowledge. Or it could mean studying further. Let’s look at each of these in detail.
Teaching new classes
Usually new TEFL teachers are given General English or Conversation classes. These classes are often quite relaxed and flexible and follow a set curriculum so it’s a great way for teachers to find their feet in the classroom. Two years in the classroom will provide you with a solid foundation to build on when you feel brave enough to try something new. Depending on the different classes your school offers and the availability to teach them, you could find a new strength you didn’t know you had teaching a class you’ve never taught before.
As teachers we are constantly writing lesson plans and looking for games and activities which can help us teach better. With a few years’ experience in the classroom you might be a bit bored with the same-old-same-old that the coursebooks offer, so why not write your own materials? You could even start your own blog or sell your materials online, on websites like Teachers Pay Teachers. Who knows, you may end up foregoing the classroom altogether in favour of the freelance life.
Attending TEFL workshops
Many schools offer in-house Continuous Professional Development workshops, or they will happily sponsor their teachers to attend such events at other institutions. Now that you’ve got a handle on the basics of teaching English as a Foreign Language you can focus on different topics you might find interesting – learning vocabulary, for example, or teaching learners with disabilities. You might find yourself passing on your new knowledge to the teaching staff at your school in a teacher training role.
If you’re really keen then an ELT conference is the way to go. Loads of conferences take place all around the world so you just need to check your local publications for more information. The annual IATEFL conference is the big daddy of all conferences so if you’re only looking to go to one, make it this one.
If you’ve taught English as a foreign language to adults for two years you are eligible to apply to study the Delta. The Delta is the Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. It is a highly respected qualification which qualifies you to be a Director of Studies or a teacher trainer. It is quite costly and a huge commitment, but it’s not unheard of for a TEFL school to sponsor a teacher, provided they stay with the school for a certain amount of time.
Being a TEFL teacher for two years is a pretty impressive achievement. You most certainly no longer have rookie status. Teaching for that long shows that you have the ability to teach, as well as the passion to enjoy being in the classroom. It shows dedication and commitment to your job and it is a definite plus on your CV. There are a few different career options available to you once you have a few years’ experience, but at the very least you should get a pay raise!