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ESL Teaching Jobs in the United States
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IndoGal



Joined: 25 Dec 2014
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 4:26 am    Post subject: ESL Teaching Jobs in the United States Reply with quote

Hello, I am a graduate student working on my M.A. in TESOL and also have been teaching abroad for the last 4 1/2 years. I'm interested in possibly moving back to the United States to live and teach there and was just wondering if anyone has some insight on the current job situation. I don't plan to move back for at least another two years, but it would be nice to get some information about teaching there.

If you work in TESOL in the U.S., where do you work and how do you like it?
Is it possible to make a good living teaching TESOL in the U.S.?
Are there certain areas of the country in which there is a higher demand for teaching TESOL?
What advice might you have to someone like me who doesn't have too much experience but is working her way up?

Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated.
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 2006
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What type of program are you interested in and qualified to teach?

    Adult education (focusing on life skills for immigrants and refugees)?

    Academic ESL (focusing on college and university students)?

    K-12 education (in either public or private schools)?

    Private language schools (focusing on adults, teens, or children)?


The answers to your questions will vary widely depending on which of the above you are interested in.

I currently teach college-preparatory ESL to community college students. Out of 20 faculty in our department, only three are full-timers with full pay and benefits. It's not hard to get your foot in the door for part-time work teaching academic English, but moving up beyond that can take years as full-time positions are few and far between.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11451
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might take a look at "Applying for jobs - Looking for a reality check" (http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=104794).
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IndoGal



Joined: 25 Dec 2014
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, this is something I still am trying to figure out. I currently teach middle school in Indonesia and although I really like it, I'm not sure that's what I want to do in the U.S.

I would like to go into adult education, however, it's difficult to get enough experience with adults here. I've worked with private academies and you might teach adults for 3-6 hours a week, but that's hardly enough to say I have substantial experience doing it.

I'm very flexible about who I teach and am honestly trying to gain experience at all levels. But I'm not sure that will do me any good when trying to get a job in the U.S. I think either Adult Educations for refugees or immigrants, or private institute would be great. I would be grateful just to be offered a job anywhere, actually. Is it possible to have a few different teaching jobs? I imagine some teachers must have to do that if it is difficult to find full time positions.
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IndoGal



Joined: 25 Dec 2014
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the link Nomad Soul.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11451
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, take a look at the career page on TESOL International's site (http://www.tesol.org/). It will give you an idea of requirements for teaching TESOL at the adult level. Additionally, consider joining the organization.
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IndoGal



Joined: 25 Dec 2014
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, I frequently visit tesol.org just to look and see what kind of jobs are available even though I can't apply for any of them right now. (That probably sounds a little crazy.)
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11451
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IndoGal wrote:
I frequently visit tesol.org just to look and see what kind of jobs are available even though I can't apply for any of them right now. (That probably sounds a little crazy.)

No, it's not crazy. It's always a good idea to look at ads for the top qualifications/requirements employers expect to see in job applicants, and then using that info as a guide for the skills and knowledge you'll need in order to beef up your chances for employment.

On a related note, see my recent post on "post-MA experience" (http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?p=1188528). It's relevant regardless of which country you're targeting.
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 2006
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your best options in the U.S. for full-time pay and benefits are k-12 education such as (1) public schools, (2) private day schools or, perhaps, (3) residential schools that cater to international high school students.

Adult Ed, community college or university IEPs, and private language institutes typically pay by the hour or the class and positions with full-time pay and benefits are few and far between. If you have administrative experience, you might consider applying for FT positions at private language institutes or community adult education programs.

If you're willing to put in a few years cobbling together a living as a part-timer and open to relocating ANYWHERE in the U.S. where jobs might be available, you'll greatly improve your chances at landing something in adult ed or at the uni level. You just have to be persistent and flexible.

If you've got a K-12 teaching credential, you might pursue one of the K-12 options listed above, teach a night class or two in adult ed or at a local college, and, over time, make the transition away from k-12 teaching.
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 1003
Location: US

PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IndoGal wrote:
I would like to go into adult education, however, it's difficult to get enough experience with adults here. I've worked with private academies and you might teach adults for 3-6 hours a week, but that's hardly enough to say I have substantial experience doing it.

Are you open to teaching somewhere else between Indonesia and when you hope to return to the US? You may want to gain more experience teaching at university level, after you finish your MA TESOL.

For example, you could apply for university positions in Japan. Although the better (longer-term, higher-paid) positions require Japanese language ability and academic publications, the shorter-term positions (3-5 years) generally only require the MA (and still pay pretty well, between US$40k-60k/year), and that 3-5 years of university-level experience would probably help you a lot if you apply to university IEPs in the US. Or, after university-level experience in Asia, you could spend a few years in the Middle East -- with the huge number of Saudi students in university IEPs in the US right now, such experience would be a plus. That said, no one knows whether that will continue to be the case in a few years.

You could try for a position at a refugee center in the US, but my (limited) impression is that such places often have only part-time positions, and full-time positions are usually filled from within their existing part-time instructor pool.

Quote:
I would be grateful just to be offered a job anywhere, actually. Is it possible to have a few different teaching jobs? I imagine some teachers must have to do that if it is difficult to find full time positions.

Yes, some people cobble together a schedule from a few part-time positions. However, the big problem with this in the US is the lack of benefits (e.g., insurance). If I were in your position, and I didn't need to come back to the US soon, I would keep applying for full-time jobs from abroad, and not come back until you have a job lined up. Most US IEPs will do interviews via Skype.

And no, it's definitely not crazy to look at ads even when you can't apply for jobs yet. I've been in my current position for a few years now (full-time in the US, with no intention to leave), and I still read job ads from a variety of sources every day. In addition to TESOL.org's career center, you might also want to check HigherEdJobs.com and Chronicle.com, both of which are aimed at higher ed, but not specific to ESL.
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IndoGal



Joined: 25 Dec 2014
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 4:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Are you open to teaching somewhere else between Indonesia and when you hope to return to the US? You may want to gain more experience teaching at university level, after you finish your MA TESOL.


I would be interested in doing that, however, my husband is Indonesian and this makes it difficult. Not completely impossible, but very difficult to consider moving somewhere where we could both be on visas. I could figure out how to get a dependent visa for him so working somewhere else to get University experience is a possibility that I will definitely look into.

I will probably consider working in K-12 and then trying to work my way into other places teaching adults. I don't have a problem working my way up as long as there is somewhere to go.

Thank you all for the information, this is very helpful.


[/quote]
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 1003
Location: US

PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IndoGal wrote:
I will probably consider working in K-12 and then trying to work my way into other places teaching adults. I don't have a problem working my way up as long as there is somewhere to go.

If you don't already have K-12 certification in the US, and want to pursue it while you are abroad, you might want to consider one of the online alternative certification programs, such as Florida's Teacher Ready program. Some relevant discussion can be found here: http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=108919 .
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 2006
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're thinking about college-level teaching, particularly at a community college, you should plan to read through Rob Jenkin's columns over at the Chronicle of Higher Education. While his advice is specific to conducting a community college job search, much of what he says would certainly be relevant if you applied to a university IEP.

http://chronicle.com/search/?searchQueryString=rob+jenkins

Also, be sure to join and get involved with your local TESOL affiliate. Most are usually looking for volunteer board members and the networking opportunities will be invaluable as you seek better job opportunities.
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IndoGal



Joined: 25 Dec 2014
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you everyone, I'm going to take a look through all these links. The information you gave is very helpful.
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 2006
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck! And please keep us posted on how things go. Sharing your experiences will help others who follow in your footsteps later.
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