Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Best Bets for Staying in Mexico?

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Mexico
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Fitzgerald



Joined: 10 Aug 2010
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:24 pm    Post subject: Best Bets for Staying in Mexico? Reply with quote

First, I'll lay out the situation.

As noted in an earlier thread, I've been teaching for the past two years in a university-based prepa. Continuing in this environment of whiny, uncooperative rich kids and a blase administration would not be good for my sanity. But I like living in Mexico, me and my two cats; I like the weather and the lifestyle here. I don't feel like crossing an ocean back to Asia (I did a year at a Korean hagwon) or anywhere else that distant.

However, I'm perfectly open to going anywhere within Mexico (or Central America). In fact, I'm currently in one of the roughest, most dangerous drug trafficking cities, so most other locations would probably feel like a step up. There are almost no expatriates where I am, apart from a handful of fellow teachers, and I wouldn't at all mind having a bit of a local expatriate community, with people I could talk to about something other than school, school, school.

I have a master's degree in English language education from an excellent university, plus tons of experience teaching every humanities subject you can think of. I've taught high school, college, and adult education. So I'm pretty flexible. In my current job, I teach humanities subjects in English.

Right now I make a quite good salary, but it is as BadBeagleBad wrote in another thread:

At a normal, middle class neighborhood private school you can expect something in the $10,000 to $12,000 pesos range, with full benefits. At the top tier colegios you can earn up to $25,000 and a salary of $30,000 is not unheard of, but you will earn every peso of it, both in terms of what is expected of you, and what you will have to put up with. Ironically, you will be treated far better by both students and parents in the lower paying schools than in the elite ones.

So I'm trying to figure out what my best bets would be for staying in Mexico, at a reasonably pleasant, sane, relatively unpolitical job (my current environment is political and then some). I welcome input and opinions as to what sort of job that could be.

My lifestyle needs are not extravagant; I'm in my early 50s, so I'm not out partying and dropping my cash. A reasonably pleasant apartment in a reasonably pleasant neighborhood does me fine. Being near the ocean would be a lovely plus. But as long as I've got my cats and my home amusements (books, CDs, DVDs), I'm in good shape.

Of course, I'd rather not completely drop off the map in terms of salary, but right now I do feel as if I'm paying in spiked blood pressure for every peso I earn at the prepa, and that is not sustainable. It's turning me into a crabby guy, and I really don't think I'm crabby by nature.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts on all this.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1101
Location: 17°48'N 97°46'W

PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

University teaching is probably your best bet.

Can you tell me a little more about your educational background. I assume English Language Education, means English for English speakers--but I could be wrong. What kind of specific second language acquistion training do you have? Do you have something like an ESL endorsment on your teaching license?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Fitzgerald



Joined: 10 Aug 2010
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MotherF wrote:
University teaching is probably your best bet.

Can you tell me a little more about your educational background. I assume English Language Education, means English for English speakers--but I could be wrong. What kind of specific second language acquistion training do you have? Do you have something like an ESL endorsment on your teaching license?


You are correct, the degree is a Master of Arts in Teaching/English Education, jointly awarded by the School of Education and the Department of English at the university. It would count as a master's en route to both an Education PhD and an English PhD (not that I'm planning on either). No ESL endorsement, unfortunately, just three years teaching internationally. I have not taught English as a subject at my current job, just humanities subjects in English. At the Korean hagwon, I did the usual Conversational English for adults drill, with a special focus on Business English - I did a lot of company classes, because I have extensive background in the business world.

My MAT is from a high-ranked private university (USA Today Top 60); my BA is from an elite private university (USA Today Top 10).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Fitzgerald



Joined: 10 Aug 2010
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should add, too, that I am perfectly open to teaching online, both ESL and other subjects within my portfolio, and in fact am quite interested in that possibility, perhaps pursued supplementally to start but growing from there. I am starting to look into the companies operating in that area, and will begin to make applications to them. So I'd be interested in tips with respect to that sector, as well.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1101
Location: 17°48'N 97°46'W

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On-line and local private lessons just might be your best bet.

Some universities will not like that your background is in English to English speakers. Why? Because the people doing the hiring studied Linguistics and Foriegn Language Teaching, and stuff like that so they feel like that's what everyone who works with them should do.

I work with public university students and I love working with them. It's almost like the complete opposite of the rich prepa students you've written about. It's such an enormous priveledge to work with them that I can't bring myself to quit.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Fitzgerald



Joined: 10 Aug 2010
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MotherF wrote:
On-line and local private lessons just might be your best bet.

Some universities will not like that your background is in English to English speakers. Why? Because the people doing the hiring studied Linguistics and Foriegn Language Teaching, and stuff like that so they feel like that's what everyone who works with them should do.

I work with public university students and I love working with them. It's almost like the complete opposite of the rich prepa students you've written about. It's such an enormous priveledge to work with them that I can't bring myself to quit.


Well, I can always apply to universities and find out. Sometimes you get lucky. I would have been hired into an English-teaching spot in my current institution - it's what I originally applied for - except that I also met the qualifications for a humanities teacher, which they were having trouble finding.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
BadBeagleBad



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 824

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might want to look into online work, I have been working for Open English for two years down, and have moved from position to position, with accompanying increases in salary. Coupled with living in a very small town with a very low cost of living, and I am literally rolling in dough. We are renting a house for 1000 pesos a month, what is on the upper end of what you pay, a nice 3 bedroom house with a patio and huge plot of land out back for a garden. I am like you in that most of my interests are solitary or things I can do at home, and I am socking away over 1000 dollars a month here lately. If you did opt to look for online work, you could couple that with a few private classes, you could pick and choose. And you could choose a low cost of living town so that your income would be more than enough. Otherwise, though the money wonīt be anything like what you are getting now, I taught a few days a week in a middle class private school, and it was like night and day in terms of the students and the respect you get from parents.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Fitzgerald



Joined: 10 Aug 2010
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BadBeagleBad wrote:
You might want to look into online work, I have been working for Open English for two years down, and have moved from position to position, with accompanying increases in salary. Coupled with living in a very small town with a very low cost of living, and I am literally rolling in dough. We are renting a house for 1000 pesos a month, what is on the upper end of what you pay, a nice 3 bedroom house with a patio and huge plot of land out back for a garden. I am like you in that most of my interests are solitary or things I can do at home, and I am socking away over 1000 dollars a month here lately. If you did opt to look for online work, you could couple that with a few private classes, you could pick and choose. And you could choose a low cost of living town so that your income would be more than enough. Otherwise, though the money wonīt be anything like what you are getting now, I taught a few days a week in a middle class private school, and it was like night and day in terms of the students and the respect you get from parents.


I am happy to hear from you - I have read your posts with interest. The strategy that you suggest is one that I have been strongly considering, and since this upcoming week is a vacation week, I will start to make my applications to the relevant agencies for online work.

I would certainly be open to combining online work with private lessons and part-time school or university teaching. The variety might be nice.

To have more pleasant and respectful students and parents to deal with would mean a lot to me, even in a part-time setting. The prepa I have been working at is far from the worst around, and I realize that, but still, the attitudes I have seen horrify me. My department head admitted to me privately that the school aims for the "day camp for rich kids" atmosphere, which is popular with students and their parents, but is a nightmare for teachers who are trying to get anything serious done.

Your housing costs sound incredibly appealing. I am paying almost six times that for a two-bedroom apartment in a good neighborhood in my city.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Fitzgerald



Joined: 10 Aug 2010
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is interesting, by the way, how consistent the reports about the Mexican class system by BadBeagleBad, MotherF, Prof.Gringo, and others are. I hate to sound culturally judgmental, but to this average American, the ways of the Mexican upper class are not too appealing. I often comment to friends in the States that I feel like I've been transported back to the 17th Century and am dealing with grandees or something.

I've always said that I'm glad not to have been born wealthy, because I feel that it is a disadvantage that is difficult to overcome. A child born into wealth, absent some heroic efforts on the part of his or her parents, will never understand what ordinary life is about, and will always nourish an unexamined superiority to those less well-off. And that describes most of my current students.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
BadBeagleBad



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 824

PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fitzgerald wrote:
It is interesting, by the way, how consistent the reports about the Mexican class system by BadBeagleBad, MotherF, Prof.Gringo, and others are. I hate to sound culturally judgmental, but to this average American, the ways of the Mexican upper class are not too appealing. I often comment to friends in the States that I feel like I've been transported back to the 17th Century and am dealing with grandees or something.



Itīs not just the Mexican upper class, I think it is upper class everywhere. I nannied one summer for a super rich family in the US, and barely made it through the summer sane. They made all kinds of assumptions about me because I was nannying, that I was a High School drop out (I wasnīt) that I wasnīt going to college (I was) and on and on. And I have a friend in Chicago who works in an exclusive private school that sounds about like yours, maybe even a little worse.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Fitzgerald



Joined: 10 Aug 2010
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BadBeagleBad wrote:

Itīs not just the Mexican upper class, I think it is upper class everywhere. I nannied one summer for a super rich family in the US, and barely made it through the summer sane. They made all kinds of assumptions about me because I was nannying, that I was a High School drop out (I wasnīt) that I wasnīt going to college (I was) and on and on. And I have a friend in Chicago who works in an exclusive private school that sounds about like yours, maybe even a little worse.


Oh, I think you're quite right. The psychologist Robert Coles goes into this in a big way in his 1977 book Privileged Ones, Part V of his great Children of Crisis series.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1101
Location: 17°48'N 97°46'W

PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup. That's why I put my kids in public school in first grade. I just did not want them rubbing shoulders with those kids. We had some problems with the school, partly related to strikes, partly related to class size and partly related to them being identical twins, so we moved them to a private school. However the student population is fairly economically diverse as tuition is only 620 pesos a month.

I actually have very little experience with the upper class of the US. While I grew up very comfortably, certainly non well enough off to be considered anything more than firmly in the middle of the wealth distribution.

As for your job hunt--you might want to keep an eye on this board too. http://www.higheredjobs.com/search/remote.cfm
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Fitzgerald



Joined: 10 Aug 2010
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MotherF wrote:
Yup. That's why I put my kids in public school in first grade. I just did not want them rubbing shoulders with those kids. We had some problems with the school, partly related to strikes, partly related to class size and partly related to them being identical twins, so we moved them to a private school. However the student population is fairly economically diverse as tuition is only 620 pesos a month.

I actually have very little experience with the upper class of the US. While I grew up very comfortably, certainly non well enough off to be considered anything more than firmly in the middle of the wealth distribution.

As for your job hunt--you might want to keep an eye on this board too. http://www.higheredjobs.com/search/remote.cfm


Thanks for that link! The online possibilities are looking, well, possible. And if I can cut my living costs in Mexico as much as BadBeagleBad's experience suggests I might, things might work out yet.

I had been thinking of going to a bigger city, to increase the potential for work, and hadn't really been considering going to a smaller city, to cut the cost of living. Yet I see where that might be viable.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Mexico All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Road2Spain - TEFL and Spanish with one year student visa
EBC