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Experienced Teacher with no degree or certification

 
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mrkermit



Joined: 05 Feb 2013
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:37 am    Post subject: Experienced Teacher with no degree or certification Reply with quote

**Posted in another sub section but I believe this is a better forum to post this in. Sorry for double post**

Hello all!

I am currently living in Brazil and have been teaching ESL for the past 3 years. My wife and I have been thinking of moving back to the states and I have no idea what the ESL market is like there.

In Brazil I have taught privately the entire time I have been here (ranging from beginners to advanced conversation classes). Because I have been teaching privately I have little to show resume-wise. Furthermore, I have no degree or teaching certification.

If we decide to go ahead and move back (I am an American) what sort of things should I be thinking about doing to prepare myself professionally?

-Certification vs 4 year degree vs just teaching privately there.-

Here my qualification is basically that I am a Native Speaker, but I realize that in the states I would be one of many. Also, language schools tend to not pay as well here compared to the rates private teachers charge. Here I really enjoy the freedom of teaching privately and making my own lessons and catering them towards the needs of my students but I have no idea if that would even be a possibility there.

Also, what can one expect to make teaching? We are thinking San Francisco area but haven't nailed down a particular place for certain.

Thanks in advance for any help!
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 5151
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrkermit wrote:
If we decide to go ahead and move back (I am an American) what sort of things should I be thinking about doing to prepare myself professionally?

-Certification vs 4 year degree vs just teaching privately there.-

Here my qualification is basically that I am a Native Speaker, but I realize that in the states I would be one of many. Also, language schools tend to not pay as well here compared to the rates private teachers charge. Here I really enjoy the freedom of teaching privately and making my own lessons and catering them towards the needs of my students but I have no idea if that would even be a possibility there.

Also, what can one expect to make teaching? We are thinking San Francisco area but haven't nailed down a particular place for certain.

You won't find much of a demand for private lessons (those provided by a private individual vs. a language school) in the US. Moreover, your lack of a degree and TEFL cert puts you at a huge disadvantage for even entry-level teaching jobs because your competition will be BA and MA holders. If you do an Internet search on esl jobs san francisco, you'll get an idea of what qualifications employers are looking for and how much they're paying. (Living in the Bay area is not cheap.) Anyway, if you plan to continue in TESOL whether in the US or abroad, you'll need a degree and very likely a TEFL cert as well.
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TedZar



Joined: 11 Feb 2013
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You'll not have much luck back in the States. It might be worth starting to work on your credentials now. There are some reputable degree programs that you can take via distance learning. For the better ones you'll likely have to show up for an exam or take it in a proctored setting, but it is definitely worth doing.
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mrkermit



Joined: 05 Feb 2013
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TedZar wrote:
You'll not have much luck back in the States. It might be worth starting to work on your credentials now. There are some reputable degree programs that you can take via distance learning. For the better ones you'll likely have to show up for an exam or take it in a proctored setting, but it is definitely worth doing.


Thanks for the reply. i realize that this may be an uphill battle. Any suggestions or where to look first?

also....has anyone had an experience with wyzant tutoring? It looks like it matches teachers/tutors with prospective students. Almost like a craigslist of teaching.
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tttompatz



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 1951
Location: Talibon, Bohol, Philippines

PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm...

No degree.
No teaching credentials or certifications.
No classroom experience.
Wanting to work in a country where 70% of the people have the same (native speaker) or better qualifications (certifications, verifiable classroom experience, degrees, graduate degrees, etc) to be an ESL teacher.

3 years as a tutor won't go far in finding related work.

I don't like the odds of your successful employment (unless you are the entrepreneurial type and want to start your own language center) in EFL/ESL back in the States.

There ARE other options that you can look at but the most basic one if you want to be a teacher (ESL or otherwise) would be to look at alternative certification programs (most of which will require you to go back to school at some point and work towards a degree).

The bad news is that being an American (unlike most of the other anglophone countries) there aren't a lot of affordable options for a legitimate degree.

Another hit you may also want to consider is the number of teachers who are currently unemployed in California. Strained budgets mean a hiring freeze and lots of certified teachers are out there to compete with you in the open market for the few jobs that do open up in ESL.

.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:23 am    Post subject: Re: Experienced Teacher with no degree or certification Reply with quote

mrkermit wrote:
If we decide to go ahead and move back (I am an American) what sort of things should I be thinking about doing to prepare myself professionally?

-Certification vs 4 year degree vs just teaching privately there.-
Have you considered distance degree work just to get the ball rolling?
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mrkermit



Joined: 05 Feb 2013
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:03 am    Post subject: Re: Experienced Teacher with no degree or certification Reply with quote

Glenski wrote:
mrkermit wrote:
If we decide to go ahead and move back (I am an American) what sort of things should I be thinking about doing to prepare myself professionally?

-Certification vs 4 year degree vs just teaching privately there.-
Have you considered distance degree work just to get the ball rolling?


If we decide to make the move it wouldn't be for 3-4 years so working towards a degree is something that I had thought about.

And ttompatz, thanks for your reply. While I have no classroom experience in a school I do have a classroom in my house. But again, I understand what you mean. Thanks for your response
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1837

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I am inclined to suggest that although it doesn't do much to address current problems, a degree is something that will be of practical use in the long-term and might even be something that you value in itself. Unfortunately, the prices of courses with the UK's famous Open University have now been raised stratospherically, but I think a lot of hitherto conventional universities, in the US, UK and elsewhere offer good quality distance learning. Do get a degree from a recognised university, however, as employers are not impressed by diploma mills.
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