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Hello! Getting started teaching in Mexico

 
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TEFLTeacherMexico



Joined: 20 May 2016
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 1:55 pm    Post subject: Hello! Getting started teaching in Mexico Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

I'm glad to find other like minded teachers to speak to here. I've been reading through this forum, speaking to friends who teach, and researching the subject as much as I can. I'd love to hear the opinions and honest advice of you guys who actually live and teach here.

I'm 27, born and raised in England, half English and half Mexican, which means I look white but more like a Spaniard or Italian than a north European white.

Ha, sorry if the detailed racial profile offends you, I'm just trying to give you a good description of my appearance. I'm not naive, and I know it matters.

I have a lot of private tutoring experience, from teaching people piano and drums for 4-5 years. However I have no classroom experience.

I've decided to go into TEFL instead and will have to put music aside for a while I get settled into a new career.

I am going to IH Playa Del Carmen next month for a one month CELTA course and I'm going to get an apartment for 3 months while I look for a job there or in Cancun. If I don't find one I will start to apply in places like Merida.

I know Mexico does not pay the best wages but I want to work there for a while because:
I have family and friends there,
I have a Mexican passport but I want to learn Spanish so I can get around the country and actually be accepted as a Mexican as well.
I won't have to mess around with VISAs or anything.
Also I like that area because I think its a fairly safe place and I like the mix of tourists and Mexicans there, the party atmosphere and the beach.

However from reading here, it doesn't look like that's a very likely plan to work. I'll try it out anyway, but if not I have family and friends in Merida, Queretaro and Monterrey. I like the first two cities, so it wouldn't be too bad if I had to work there.

I'm also looking into online teaching and private tutoring as I understand most jobs have a low wage. Also possibly music tutoring and performance again.

Anyway, I was wondering, are my plans completely crazy? Are there better cities in to work that I've overlooked? Are there any red flags in my plans that you've noticed? I've heard bad things about DF from almost everyone, including Mexicans.
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1450
Location: 1748'N 9746'W

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You left out an important detail, do you have a university degree? And if so in what?

And do you really not speak Spanish? Or you just feel like you don't speak it like a native?
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TEFLTeacherMexico



Joined: 20 May 2016
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah yes, I knew I would be forgetting a few things and that's why I've posted over here. It seems impossible to cover every single detail before I move there, I'm going to have to figure it out as I go.

To my eternal shame, I managed to fail my degree in Popular Music. At the time I blamed it on not being able to find other students to help me with my projects (it relied on group work), I also started to believe my degree was pretty pointless. However, really I was lazy and since I've left university I like to think I have learnt my lesson and become a lot more hard working.

However I do have a Foundation Degree in Popular Music, that's from the first year of the course that I didn't fail.

My Spanish is terrible, I used to be able to speak it as a kid but I've forgotten it. I've got a large enough vocabulary of words to understand basic written sentences, however I lack the grammatical knowledge to construct anything more than a basic phrase. Ha, another thing I am ashamed of, I am confident I can learn it though.
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1450
Location: 1748'N 9746'W

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK. I looked up Foundation degree, it's like what we call an Associate's degree or A.A. in North America. My next question, what instruments do you play? Have you ever taught music?
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TEFLTeacherMexico



Joined: 20 May 2016
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah I play drums, piano/keyboards and a little bit of guitar and bass.
I've got a lot of experience teaching piano and drum lessons one on one the last 4 or 5 years to students from 8 year old beginners to mature advanced players. I've helped a lot of younger students through different grades and I'm confident with my ability doing private lessons in a subject I know very well

I've never taught in a classroom setting but I'm looking forward to the challenge of that, and I've never had to teach English before, so I'm learning all I can about it as I hope I do well on my CELTA course at that part.
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TEFLTeacherMexico



Joined: 20 May 2016
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah I play drums, piano/keyboards and a little bit of guitar and bass.
I've got a lot of experience teaching piano and drum lessons one on one the last 4 or 5 years to students from 8 year old beginners to mature advanced players.

I've never taught in a classroom setting but I'm looking forward to the challenge of that, I hope I do well on my CELTA course at that part.
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BadBeagleBad



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 1186
Location: 24.18105,-103.25185

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know a couple of people who live in Playa who looked and looked for work and never found anything. I don't know firsthand, but have heard the same is true of Cancun. There is tons of work in Mexico City, like everything it has it good side and bad side. I wouldn't believe any Mexican who tells you anything negative about Mexico City unless they have actually lived there. I lived in Mexico City for many years, and now live in Zacatecas and the things people who have never been there tell me as fact range for the insane to the absurd. There are two factors, though, that there is no getting around. The pollution is pretty bad, and it is a huge, hectic city. However, there is tons of culture and night life, so I wouldn't completely write it off. Don't know about Merida, but there are a couple of people here who live in Queretaro who wille along I am sure. I have a friend who lives in Queretaro and works for a language school, pretty much full time and likes it, makes 12,000 a month. I would not recommend Monterrey, living in the north of Mexico myself I hear a lot of news about Monterrey and it seems like it has gotten worse in the last year, after having gotten better for a while. If you like the north of Mexico, you might look at Durango, beautiful, clean city. But as you have already pointed out, the south is far safer. You mentioned you are half Mexican and have a Mexican passport. I am in the same boat as you (half Mexican, half Irish) and being white won't get you are far as you would think with a Mexican passport, because the assumption is going to be that you are NOT a native speaker, so you'll have that to overcome, I suggest you make it very clear on your CV that you have lived most/all of your life in England. I have been ruled out of jobs because of that, even though I grew up in Chicago, went to college there, etc. Sounds like you have given things a lot of thought. Another thought, you mentioned working online. If you can find an online job before arriving in Mexico that gives you a lot more flexibility in where you live. If you want to learn Spanish fast, you might consider a small town for a few months. The cost of living will be low and you will be immersed in Spanish.
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1450
Location: 1748'N 9746'W

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TEFLTeacherMexico wrote:
Yeah I play drums, piano/keyboards and a little bit of guitar and bass.
I've got a lot of experience teaching piano and drum lessons one on one the last 4 or 5 years to students from 8 year old beginners to mature advanced players.

I've never taught in a classroom setting but I'm looking forward to the challenge of that, I hope I do well on my CELTA course at that part.


I happen to be looking for a drum teacher for my son, and would love it if the classes were in English. Unfortunately, I'm far from your target cities but you should explore the idea of combining English and music as much as possible.
I think your not needing a visa will be a big plus. You might look into a Mexican degree in the future.
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abbott123



Joined: 08 May 2016
Posts: 29
Location: Queretaro, Mexico

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 3:27 am    Post subject: If Playa doesn't work come to Queretaro plenty of work......