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Fork in the road moment. Advice needed!

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  • jake290788
    23 January, 2016 at 12:23
    • Total posts: 1


    I am a 27 year old trainee teacher, working in an academy school in London as a History and SEN teacher. I started training in September 2015 and I am really enjoying it. The job can be extremely challenging, especially as a large proportion of the students I teach come from very unstable backgrounds. Nevertheless, I’m hooked on teaching and can’t see myself doing any other job for the foreseeable future.

    My problem is I feel I’ve reached that ‘Fork in the road’ moment. The issue is not whether or not I want to teach, but where. I feel like my head is telling me to see it out here in London, even if it means another 2 and a half years to become fully qualified (I’m doing a slightly different training route). However, my heart is leaning more towards the adventure of teaching abroad and trying to make a success of that.

    No matter what, I am going to work in my current job until the end of July. That way I have a full year of teaching experience and confidence under my belt. I would really appreciate any advice as to what options I might have available from then with regard to teaching abroad. This is not me wanting to travel and do a bit of teaching to fund it. I’ve had the backpacker experiences. This is me wanting to find out if I can seriously consider Teaching English abroad as a potential career.

    Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance for any help or advice.


    8 March, 2016 at 9:33
    • Total posts: 243

    Hi Jake

    The only way to be sure if teaching English abroad is a potential career for you is to try it! With regard to your current training, I guess you need to think about how easy/possible it would be to come back to this and complete it at a later date if you were to decide that teaching abroad wasn’t for you. Does the training route that you’re following allow this? If not, would it be worth sticking out the two more years so you have a backup plan? (I can’t answer this, it depends on your level of risk tolerance I suppose!)

    Personally, I would say follow your heart – you’ve nothing to lose. At the very worst you won’t enjoy teaching abroad but you will have had a worthwhile experience.

    You’d need a TEFL certificate – you can go down one of two routes:

    – a 120 hour classroom based course like CELTA or Trinity Cert TESOL or equivalent. These are expensive but open the largest number of doors in terms of employability.

    – an online course. These are cheaper but open less doors because they don’t give you the teaching practice element. But as you already have experience teaching, this could make up for this to an extent.

    The advantage of an online course is that it would give you a way in to teaching abroad (albeit more limited in terms of job possibilities) to see if you like it, without the expense. If you find that you like it and want to get serious about it long-term, you can then start to look at CELTA/Trinity or equivalent courses after, say, a year.

    Further down the line, TEFL can absolutely be a career. You can take a more advanced qualification such as Delta (run by Cambridge, who also run the CELTA), move up to Director of Studies positions (managing the academic side of a language school), get into teacher training, etc.

    Hope that helps.


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