Why Go To Grad School?

Tedkarma, creator of TEFL Bootcamp free online TEFL training, has contributed his insight and advice to the TEFL Logue before, most recently on the topic of using business experience to help you in TEFL.

Tedkarma has an M.Ed. in Educational Psychology (learning theory) and describes it as “…invaluable – on a deeper level – in terms of thinking about the best ways to approach lessons when learning isn’t happening at a pace or on a level that it should be.” Find out what Tedkarma has to say in his own words on: Why Get a Grad Degree? Why not?

There is a lot of chatter on Internet bulletin boards about how much and what kind of education one needs to pursue a job or a career in TEFL. Often these “discussions” become angry and heated debates – usually between those with little or no tertiary education and those with a lot. Some claim that “street smarts” are all you need, others claim a need for deep analytical skills. Here’s the poop as I see it after fifteen years teaching EFL in four countries, all in Asia: For a real career in TEFL you need a graduate degree in a relevant area.

Generally, entry-level language school jobs are often very satisfactorily filled by people with only a TEFL certificate – and sometimes no university education at all. And even some “conversation course” university positions are quite adequately filled by EFL teachers with only a bachelor’s degree. The school is happy, the teacher is happy and all is well.

So, the question often arises, “Why should I get a graduate degree?”

There are many reasons, but three come to mind as possibly the most important:

1. Professionalism:
Better skills and abilities to meet the needs of your students and problem-solve special issues.

2. Opportunity: Better jobs, wages and benefits at almost all levels of the profession.

3. Personal Philosophy: If you wish to be an educator, it is important to believe in education.

Find out more of Tedkarma’s take on each of these reasons in Part 2.