By Josh Butterworth. Josh is Impact Teaching’s Thailand Program Coordinator , and he recently taught in China & Thailand.


Rewind back to 2019, long before I’d ever stepped foot into a classroom as anything other than a mischievous sixth former or sleep deprived student, I had an idea that changed my life forever. I thought that maybe I could teach abroad. But how on earth could I do that? I’d never taught in my life! The thought of standing up in front of a class full of students terrified me! Five years on, having taught in China and Thailand, and now working for Impact Teaching to help others start their adventures, I’m here to tell you how you can become a teacher overseas with absolutely no experience. If I can do it, you can too!

teacher surrounded by Chinese students Landing a safe and legal placement at one of our trusted partner schools is where it all starts, but how do you get from that to confident go-get-em teacher? Well, when you join Impact Teaching, you are also unlocking access to priceless training that prepares you for the classroom as well as life abroad. Throughout the year we provide multiple in person and online events where we share our wisdom and the knowledge that our alumni members have accrued over the years. From the teaching basics to insightful tips and lesson plan structures, you’ll have it all at your fingertips.

As part of all of our programs you will also complete a TEFL, this is a crucial step and a necessary qualification. You can study at home over a few weeks, depending on your pace, then do the open test with your notes and another device by your side. And just like that you’ll have grown your classroom confidence and be the proud owner of an internationally recognised teaching qualification.

Then to top everything off, every year we host an orientation day in central London for all our new teachers, in July. It’s a great way to meet your fellow teach abroad adventurers and sow the seeds of friendship, but will also be a day packed full of classroom and cultural training to make sure you’re ready for living abroad and being the best teacher you can.

But our work doesn’t stop after that warm day in July has come to an end. Throughout your time abroad, we are always there on the end of an email or call to support you through any issues you are having. That could be anything from how to engage a class full of sleepy teenagers or strategies for managing a heavy workload. Our team is very experienced with these issues and will be there whenever you need us.

Student and English teacher in Thailand doing a funny pose with folded arms in the classroom. There might, however, be a better option first. All of our schools from Warsaw to Beijing have been carefully vetted and assessed before we send our teachers their way. We have developed a network of schools that we trust and continue to communicate with throughout the year, one of the main things we discuss is the support they offer our teachers. Whether you receive some initial training or not, you will be guided and given feedback to ensure you are doing what the school needs, and that you are happy too.

It’s also important to remember that your new school will not be expecting perfection. Being a new teacher can be daunting but believe us when we say that pressure more often than not comes from within, rather than from the school. It’s natural to feel like you need to stride into the classroom on day one and deliver the best class that’s ever been taught, but that’s simply not right. Your school needs to see enthusiasm, energy and hard work, not a polished teacher.

It’s also likely that you will have a co-teacher who you can look to for direction, they are usually fantastic. A big part of their job is to set you on the path to success and to be there to support you. Any questions can go to them, they’ll gladly answer, give feedback and generally be there to help you develop from a newbie into a confident teacher. But occasionally co-teachers are not as active or as useful as they should be, if this is the case then you can look to other colleagues, foreign teachers or someone higher up the chain for support. Regardless, you will be in a warm and friendly place where mistakes are expected and you are given the time to grow.

Group of students and an English teachers in China looking at a calligraphy work in the middle of the table After all of the invaluable training and support you’ll receive from us and your school, there is just one important ingredient left, and that is confidence. By no means am I saying that you must be the loudest voice in the room and a complete extrovert. But you must believe in your ability to succeed as a teacher, even in the face of adversity when you come up against hard times, that you can do it and won’t give up. I’ll be honest with you, it’s not always easy, but what kept me going in difficult moments is the desire to do my best and know that that’s enough.

If you’ve reached this deep into the article then I’m sure you have what it takes. But let us give you the assurance you really need, let’s meet for a 30-minute chat. After helping over 2,000 teachers move abroad with Impact Teaching and Teach English In China, we know what it takes. And if all goes well, which I’m sure it will, then trust in us and trust in yourself that you have what it takes to teach abroad without any experience!


We have programs in China, Thailand, Vietnam, Poland and Hungary. Check out our program pages and apply here to arrange a chat, we’ll discuss the right place for you and answer any questions you have. We can’t wait to help you get started on your journey to teaching abroad this year!