ESL Career Crisis!
August 31, 2008 3:46 PM   Subscribe

Should I stay an English teacher or move on to a new career? I have been working in the ESL industry for eight years. I have a Bachelor's degree and CELTA. I have taught babies, young children, as a high school teacher, Business English, and IELTS preparation classes. I am an IELTS invigilator, and have curriculum design experience. I will be moving to Toronto soon, and I'm wondering what the next step in my career ought to be. I feel as though I've reached the limit of what I can do as a classroom teacher, and am interested in a counselling or international marketing role. Has anyone made this transition? What qualifications or re-training were needed? Am I on the totally wrong track? Should I just make a totally different move into a new industry?

This is a question posted on behalf of Mrs. Mariokrat.
posted by mariokrat to Work & Money (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
So does Mrs. Mariokrat not like teaching ESL anymore, or is she just feeling stuck? If she's just feeling stuck, I'd suggest a master's in TESOL--I did mine after getting a certification first, and the master's was really inspiring and motivating. (A PhD in applied linguistics, etc., is a possibility, too--even with lots of experience, there's still a lot left to learn!) If she wants to move out of teaching without training in something else, I know people who've moved into textbook sales and various roles at intensive English programs (international student counseling, recruiting, etc.). I started my own company providing tutoring and editing services to businesspeople and their families.

Good luck, Mrs. Mariokrat!
posted by wintersweet at 5:10 PM on August 31, 2008

Toronto is right beside the Peel board of education, which is one of the few growing school boards around (read: it's easier to get a job than in Toronto proper). They need ESL teachers due to huge areas of mostly ESL students (especially in the north) in their district. I can't help with your other stuff, just thought you should know.
posted by maxpower at 5:50 PM on August 31, 2008

I wish I could help, but I'm in a very similar boat. Having pretty much reached the top of the game here in Korea, where I still live and work for one of the major multinationals, I find myself thinking about moving back to Canada and doing something else, but what that something else might be, I'm at a bit of a loss. I am certain I can excel at whatever I turn my hand to, but after decades out of the system there, I'm unsure what success I'd have in finding someone to offer me a job doing anything but teaching. I actually love classroom teaching, but I feel, as Mrs M does, that I've pretty much hit the ceiling in what I can do, and real challenges with real payoffs (monetary and otherwise) are something I'm wishing for more and more every year.

I've considered going back to school for an MBA with an international relations flavour, but I'd rather just work, you know? And even if I did commit the tens of thousands of dollars it'd cost to go back to school, at the age of 43, I'm not certain how much help that would even be in terms of finding rewarding employment.

Sorry, this comment isn't really directly answering the question, and is more chatty than I like to be in AskMe, but I empathize, and I'll be following the thread with interest.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:58 PM on August 31, 2008

If you're tired of the classroom environment, teach through books or some other outlet, but by all means follow your heart. It sounds like you just need a good old-fashioned challenge.
posted by docmccoy at 12:48 AM on September 1, 2008

« Older trouble synching sent mail on IMAP   |   I want to have my cake and eat it too Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.