​​There is this quote by Lewis Carrol that you might have heard.  It goes, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”  Well, that is very a romantic idea if you are a backpacker or a Sunday driver but it’s not great advice to live by if you are trying to improve your professional development.

There has never been so many options out there for the developing teacher. There are so many qualifications, courses, workshops and webinars that are accessible to anyone, in any part of the world, on any budget. However, with this overwhelming number of options, it can be easy to get confused about what the best next step is.

I can certainly relate to this feeling. In the past, my professional development choices were based on either what was available at the time or what everyone else seemed to be doing.

It’s not to say that these things were a waste of my time, but I am absolutely certain that my career only began to really move forward once I knew what my objectives were.

Now, you might be thinking, “My goal is to become a wiser, more experienced and effective English Teacher.” Well, that’s true for all of us who believe that teachers are lifelong learners. But once you get clarity and focus about your professional goals, you can make better decisions about where to invest your time and money.

Take a minute to think about all the incredible options that you have within the education field.
Do you want to teach Pre-Primary or Primary?
Do you see more opportunities for you in Bilingual Education?
Or perhaps you eventually want to become a coordinator, materials writer or teacher trainer?

Where are you heading professionally?
Tell me in the comments!

I know it can be hard to decide on long term professional goals, especially at the start of your career. However, without planning and commitment to ongoing, targeted professional development, you may find yourself running in circles or heading in a direction you never wanted to go.   

If you are looking to arrive at a place of professional fulfillment and excellence, then the professional development pathway should be selected carefully and based on your individual dreams and goals. Once you know your destination, you are in a much better place to identify the steps you must take and the people who can help you get there.

Don’t forget that there is nothing stopping you from changing your goals. In fact, dedicating myself to becoming the best Pre-Primary Teacher I could be, led me onto the pathway of becoming a teacher trainer and a materials writer! But changing direction is very different to having no idea where you’re going.

Here’s a breakdown of what you can do next:
1. Get focus and clarity about your professional goals – this will help you decide on your professional pathway.
2. Decide on what you need to take to get you there – get advice from someone who’s been there.
3. Find the resources you need to take the first steps – take a look at what we have to offer.
4. Become part of a community who will support you on your journey.

Start thinking of your professional development as a journey.  There are moments when you’ll travel alone and others when you’ll need companions or a guide.  But if you know where you are going, you will move forward, step-by-step towards the place you want to be and enjoy the process of getting there.

professional development - roads

Find out about the Professional Development Pathways that we offer and start your journey today.


  • Claire Venables is a qualified English teacher who has been dedicated to ELT since 2001. After a decade in Spain, she moved to Brazil in 2011 where she has worked in the creation and implementation of bilingual programs in schools, the development of teacher development courses, as a national and international speaker, materials writer, active member of the National Association of Teachers of English (BRAZ-TESOL). Despite her wide-ranging experience, she is and always will be most passionate about teaching children.