How do I become a director of studies?

A Director of Studies is one of the nicest sounding, and most financially rewarding roles that you can have in the TEFL field. It means you are responsible for the academic operations and running of the centre or institution. You may be line managing a group of teachers, administrative staff, and the provision of language tuition for thousands of students. It’s a big responsibility, a lot of stress and pressure, but ultimately, a rewarding role.

How do you get to be a DoS? There are a few things that are generally looked for. The first of these is a broad range of experience with different age groups and types of teaching. As a large centre will often cater to different age ranges and styles of English teaching, it’s useful to have a good understanding of these different areas.

Secondly, you’ll need a good range of experience, with a minimum usually of around five years in the industry, and a maximum of more than eight. You need to have experienced a few different roles and have a deep understanding of the challenges of the industry.

Thirdly, you’ll need an advanced qualification. Usually, this means a Delta, DipTESOL, IDLTM, or MA TESOL. This demonstrates a commitment and level of expertise required for the role.

And the final thing you’ll need is the soft skills and hard skills required for the job. This might include basic arithmetic and financial knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and good communication, leadership, and management skills. If you plan to be a DoS and you’re just starting in your career, then the best thing to do is throw yourself into teaching and take every opportunity to gain different experiences in the industry.