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Certification for K-12: Best Option?

 
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srs3829



Joined: 09 Sep 2014
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:36 pm    Post subject: Certification for K-12: Best Option? Reply with quote

Hi!

I'm in Mexico City and I love it so much. But I'm at a crossroads and am wondering if the hivemind can offer advice regarding certification.

I work for a Mexican (not international) private school. It's low-tier and is very badly managed. I don't get to do much actual teaching; it's more babysitting and placement testing. Training, etc is non-existent. I'm there because they pay me well above market rate, but I want to be a "real" teacher and am trying to decide on the best path for that. I'm sure it's time to get certified.

I have a BA in an unrelated field and no certification whatsoever but some experience with kids. I want to be in K-12 schools.

I suspect my best option is to go back to the US for a while. Does this seem logical to you? You all know more about making a life in Mexico than I do.

Here are the options I see:

1. Stay in Mexico. Do CELTA for the purpose of getting my foot in the door as an assistant, etc. at a better school. Is that a valid idea? While at the better school do an online US teaching cert. (Doing an online cert at my current school is not an option bc you need an onsite mentor...)

OR

2. Go back to the US for 3-4 years to get certification and work experience, then return to Mexico. I'm not particularly keen on living in the US again, but I do want to set myself up to be in Mexico long-term and this seems like a good path toward having more/better options. Even if not at 1st tier schools.

Thanks for any advice you have! I've been thinking myself in circles about this.
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 10 Mar 2003
Posts: 9650
Location: Guadalajara

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Going back for a couple of years and getting a state license is the surest way to go. Get some experience on curricula that matters if you can (IB, Common Core).

That said, it's very possible to stay in Mexico and network your way into one of the better schools. Start looking for IB schools that would give you a chance, gain experience there, then keep moving up. Some of the larger international schools will subsidize a master's if you'd like to pave your path that way.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11444
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

srs3829 wrote:
I have a BA in an unrelated field and no certification whatsoever but some experience with kids. I want to be in K-12 schools.
....

2. Go back to the US for 3-4 years to get certification and work experience, then return to Mexico. I'm not particularly keen on living in the US again, but I do want to set myself up to be in Mexico long-term and this seems like a good path toward having more/better options. Even if not at 1st tier school.

You mentioned elsewhere that you have a degree in music. Is that what you want to teach? If not, you'll likely have to get both a master's degree and licensure in the subject you expect to teach in order to gain k-12 experience in a US school.
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BadBeagleBad



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

PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you want to teach your subject, or do you want to teach ESL? If the later, I would actually suggest working for one of the chain schools for a year or so to get experience. You likely won´t make enough to live on but should be OK if you pick up some private classes. I would also suggest getting a CELTA or another cert. But, if you think you are going to want to live long term in Mexico, you are going to be better off getting into an international school, so have a US certification can help you get into a better school, but then so can experience.
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srs3829



Joined: 09 Sep 2014
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all very much for your advice! In the US, I'd be most interested in teaching Special Education. But Special Ed doesn't seem to be a thing in Mexico. Would Special Ed experience in the US be valuable in Mexico? In Mexico, I'd be happy teaching anything in a good working environment.
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 10 Mar 2003
Posts: 9650
Location: Guadalajara

PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I get this question all the time...the answer unfortunately is no, SPED doesn't count for much here on it's own, save for the very largest American schools. Inclusion is not a thing here like back home.

That said, if you can specialize on reading within SPED and place emphasis on that when talking to schools, you'll have a much better chance as it plays better when speaking with section heads that know little about special education or resource.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11444
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

srs3829 wrote:
In the US, I'd be most interested in teaching Special Education. But Special Ed doesn't seem to be a thing in Mexico. Would Special Ed experience in the US be valuable in Mexico?

There are quite a few articles on the Internet about special ed in Mexico.

If this specialization is of interest to you, look into getting an MA in Elementary Education with a Special Ed endorsement, which would give you some versatility.
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