Creative writing degree holders tend to get criticized for pursuing a college degree with a challenging and reduced job trajectory. Let’s admit it. Not all creative writing majors had the opportunity to rocket their way out within the creative writing field. Not every one ends up booking a deal with leading publishing houses. But even if this career path often gets a bad rap, many promising opportunities are only waiting for creative writing majors. One of these career options is being a teacher, an English instructor in particular. You might frown and wonder, and ask yourself the question, “Can you be an English teacher with a creative writing degree? The good news is, the answer is YES!
Why Creative Writing Majors Can Be Excellent English Teachers
Creative writing majors often have the goal of becoming famous writers or content creators in the future. With this objective in mind, one must embrace the importance of developing solid skills. The list of areas include research, organization, communication, and critical thinking, among others.
Chances are, you have studied English literature along the way. Perhaps, you have developed excellent written and spoken English communication skills. Of course, your college course required you to become adept in terms of framing narrative, arguing a point. Also, you must have the skills to analyze different levels of meaning. Creative writing majors are also often trained in terms of the following, which can effectively support them in their career transition.
Can You Teach English Online without an English Degree?
You have already made up your mind to teach English online. However, you think there’s a little problem –you do not have an English degree. Worse, you don’t have the time, money, and resources to take another four-year course just to qualify. You don’t have to worry as you can be an English teacher even if you don’t have a teacher’s license. Well, here are some valuable insights.
More than ever, almost everyone who wants to land their dream job has to know the English language, regardless of nationality. A professional who seeks to be on top of their chosen field knows the importance of writing, speaking, and understanding English. It is why the English teaching profession’s job trajectory had skyrocketed over the past few years. What makes this career even more exciting and more promising is the hefty amount of money you can get, especially if you know how to do it right.
This brings back the question: Can you be an English teacher with a creative writing degree?
Lucky for you, there is a long list of companies and educational institutions that accept English tutors and teachers. They don’t require you to have an English degree. However, it would be best if you would keep these things in mind.
Read the job description thoroughly.
Whether you’re searching online or heard of an opening from a colleague, always make sure to get a clear understanding of the job description before sending it. Most of the companies that offer an English learning course or program are clear on their experience and minimum education requirements. If the job listing clarifies that an English degree isn’t a must, then it’s safe to assume that they will take the time to consider your application.
List your skills and experience as a creative writing major.
It’s good to know that a creative writing degree and an English degree share a common denominator. You have to be fluent in English, of course, and you need to be good at it so that students will see you as a reliable and authoritative writer. Even if you didn’t major in English, you have a high chance of getting accepted as companies would know you have a background in linguistic, literature, and other common subject areas.
Make sure to list your skills and past experiences that heavily used the English language to make your application even more reliable. Include a portfolio of your work, if possible. This would help you present yourself as a credible educator who knows what to do in terms of teaching English to students.
Let’s admit it. You could be competing with English teachers who have years of experience. So, make sure to include in your CV your training experience in creative writing schools. Try to explain how they are different and, at the same time, apply them in English teaching. Use good comments you have received from your past employers or organization. Use any personal statement from notable personalities that can effectively make your application even more interesting.
Be prepared to talk about yourself.
Of course, with any job interview, you need to say something about yourself. It’s inevitable. But while most people take this question as a cliché, you have to use this one to get a “shining moment.” It can be an excellent opportunity to explain how you, a creative writing degree holder, can fit in academically and socially in English teaching. Preach about your desire to teach this language to aspiring students. However, keep in mind to stick to the things that are relevant to the position you are applying for.
Anticipate and prepare yourself for the tough questions.
Without an English degree, expect that the questions would be focused on how you would deal with potential challenges and conflicts in terms of teaching. You might be asked with an out-of-the-line question such as your behavior, goals, and teaching method. How do you plan to teach students? What resources would you use? Why do you want to make the switch? When you’re preparing for these potential questions, you can surf the net. Look for forums and other credible resources to help you make your winning speech.
Ask help from the experts.
There’s a likelihood that you have decided to teach English online because of its benefits. Perhaps you have a friend or a colleague who had already tried it before you and recommended you do the same. If you have people within your network already into the English teaching field, reach out to them. Do not feel ashamed that you are pursuing another career using your creative writing degree. Ask for tips and strategies that can help you layout your foundations. If you don’t know anyone, seek help from your previous English professors. Surely, you still have their contacts, but remember to ask politely. In the event you have moved to another place, and there’s no way you can talk to them in person, always remember to take advantage of technology’s power.
Do advanced research about the company.
It’s hard to determine if you are a good fit for an English teaching position in a company or English tutorial institution you know nothing about. Again, we’re in a fortunate time wherein we are provided with almost anything we want to know. Just a few clicks, and you’ll be able to know valuable details about your desired company. If you have an idea of a particular institution’s vision and mission, it would be easier to create a plan on how you can incorporate your skills and knowledge within their overall goal. You can also check their learning curriculum and prepare in advance how you would deal with them.
Prepare your own set of questions.
Let’s say you have already conducted your research, and you are feeling confident that you can answer every possible question. While it seems excellent to give what the interviewer wants to know from you, keep in mind that you have to do some questioning. Is there a better source of information other than the company itself? Once you feel you’re nearing the end of the interview, politely ask if you could ask some questions as well. Not only would that give them the impression that you want the job, but it would also exhibit your determination to learn more about this craft. After all, teaching English online is not one-way communication. You and your students have to engage in conversations to establish an enjoyable learning experience.
Can you be an English teacher with a creative writing degree? Perhaps, this question runs in your mind repeatedly while you’re preparing to get that job. The thing is, your creative writing degree is already an excellent foundation, as it means you have skills in researching, writing, speaking, and conveying messages. These skills are crucial in becoming an English teacher. Don’t overthink that it’s impossible to become one just because you don’t have that teaching license. It’s worth noting that several companies employ English teachers, as long as they have a college degree. Believe it or not, there are even those English tutorial institutions that do not require a degree at all. So, don’t worry, you’re standing on a stable line.
Once again, keep the above things in mind. If you did your degree right and has the aforementioned set of skills and abilities, then switching your career from a creative writing major to an English teacher would not be as hard as you think of.