Turning Teaching Abroad into a Career

Teaching abroad is an amazing opportunity; one that is filled with discovery, adventure, and an all round feel of accomplishment. Many people dedicate a year or two to teaching abroad and then they go home or move on. But what happens to teachers that want to make a career out of teaching abroad? How can you advance in the ESL international market? Teaching English overseas doesn’t have to be a dead end road. There are opportunities for career development in TEFL, you just need to know where to look.

Go Public (Go Back to School!)

Teaching Assistant Orientation (TAO) 2012

One way that teachers manage to develop professionally is to go into the public school system within their country. Often teachers think that they lack the required qualifications for this, but this is not always the case. Lets say you have been teaching English in Taiwan; the experience you gained there may give you an interesting option to be fast tracked if you hold a Bachelors degree. There are programs offering such candidates jobs in the field of public education, and these run nationwide.

On another note, we can say with confidence here at Reach To Teach that we’ve provided plenty of teachers with the inspiration to go home and become a certified teacher in their home country. It happens every year!

Don’t work it, own it!

Grand Rapids Montessori Principal August 03, 20101

Most ESL teachers living abroad reach the point  where they feel that their career is stagnating. That’s when some teachers decide that they’ve learned enough about the ESL industry in their new home country to open their own schools. It’s not as difficult as you may first think. The law systems in certain countries actually make it easier to open your own business than back home in the west. Ask any of the staff here at Reach To Teach, and we can all certainly point you towards teachers that now own their own school.

Another option is to advance into management within your school. Sometimes just showing hard work and initiative can land you that management job that you are looking for. Why not show your boss that you are willing and able to handle a position as a Director of Studies? You don’t always need to have specific certificates to gain yourself access to these positions.

 Publish what you know

P1080080 08/09: Books for the new school year

If you have been a teacher for a number of years, then you are going to have picked up a few things. The teaching world is constantly developing as society develops around it, so teaching is constantly looking for fresh and new voices and ideas, which puts you in this unique position.

If you have some experience in publishing or you’re a talented writer, then why not use this to your advantage? Become a Curriculum Developer and write your own curriculum based on what you know as an experienced teacher. Publish your own textbooks, or even write your own story books to introduce new ideas to children or teenagers.

Become a trainer

August 30th - September 24th, 2010

We all remember our ESL training and how great that was in setting us up for our first teaching job. Why not become this person? You have the experience, you know what is expected of a teacher, and you are looking for the development in your career. Why not? This also offers you the option of training candidates either in your home country or in a foreign country that you want to live in.

So you can see that when you get a number of years into your ESL teaching career it doesn’t have to end there. There are options available to you to shake up your career path and improve that bank balance so that you feel you are getting some development in a career that you know and love. 

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1 Comment
  1. Great advice, Dean! I’m getting ready to begin a M.A. program with a goal of teaching in my home country, after nearly 18 months of teaching and traveling abroad. It definitely inspired me!

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