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hawaii jobs info?

 
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scot



Joined: 13 Jun 2003
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2003 3:36 am    Post subject: hawaii jobs info? Reply with quote

hi all, i'm an american teaching in japan and i'm ready to head home. kinda. only as far as hawaii really. how is the market there? can the salaries support a family? can i go there and look or should i try from here? any info or contacts would be appreciated.
thanks, scott
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bnix



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 645

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2003 3:58 am    Post subject: Hawaii As a TESOL Market? Reply with quote

I think you are definitely barking up the wrong tree.Sure,it might be an island paradise,but I can unequivocally state I have NEVER senn a TESOL job advertised in Hawaii.The only possibility might be with a state school,and then you would probably have to be certified to teach TESOL in the State of Hawaii.
Good luck.I think you are going to have a tough one with this one.
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Irish



Joined: 13 Jan 2003
Posts: 371

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2003 4:35 am    Post subject: Paradise ain't all it's cracked up to be Reply with quote

Scott:

I am by no means an expert but I think your biggest obstacle will be competing with students from UH-Manoa, HPU, and BYU-H. All three universities have TESL programs--that translates to a lot of people looking for practicum hours. If you've got connections at one of these programs, that will help. However, the market overall is so soft right now I'm not sure you could support yourself let alone a family.

Sorry to give you something so general but it's hard to say more without knowing more about you. If you want more details about specific situations (language schools, public schools, universities), just post and I'll do my best to answer. But do keep in mind that you'll only be getting one MA TESL student's opinion, for what it's worth (not much).

Oh, and you might look at another thread in this forum entitled "Has anyone ever tried to start their own school?" Hawaii is discussed there also--general info but it might be useful to you.
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scot



Joined: 13 Jun 2003
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2003 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i had the idea it would be tough. i'm not interested in the traditional school system, and i don't have any cert. but i was an english major (ba) and i am very competent as a teacher. i was hoping to get p/t at a language school and tutor privately, and maybe use some contacts here to host homestay or japanese tours. i'm sure i'm not the only one to think of this also. if i wanted to try a b&b/restaurant (my girlfriend is a fantastic philippina cook and fluent in japanese also) is this also a pipe dream?

not giving up easily,
scott
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Irish



Joined: 13 Jan 2003
Posts: 371

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2003 4:31 pm    Post subject: Tough one, bruddah Reply with quote

Scott:

For language schools, a BA in English is acceptable. Combined with your experience in Japan, this makes you a fairly solid candidate on paper. The problem (well, one of them) is that your competition is similarly qualified and has local references. If you have "Dr. So&So" from UH or "Professor What's-Her-Name" at HPU to vouch for you, great, but that's no guarantee. As for whether to job hunt from Japan or come here first, I can only say that I've seen very few language schools advertise in the local papers. People find out about openings via word of mouth, usually through their university. I'm only talking about legit language schools here. Our numerous visa mills don't bother hiring anybody--sending them your resume is a waste of time.

The other major problem is economic. Yes, JAL recently added more flights but tourism numbers are down and when they'll improve is anybody's guess. International students say that new immigration restrictions make getting a visa a huge pain. Many of them have family or friends back home who are electing not to deal with it but I'm sure their economic situation is also a factor. Enrollments at language schools are down island-wide and no one is sure when they will pick up.

Quote:
if i wanted to try a b&b/restaurant (my girlfriend is a fantastic philippina cook and fluent in japanese also) is this also a pipe dream?


In this economy, probably, but it depends on numerous factors and I'm hardly qualified to answer. You'll have to do your own research on that one. There's a local publication called Pacific Business News that might give you better info--sorry, I don't have the address but you'll easily find it with Google. Clearly, you'll need huge amounts of cash to get started. I wouldn't do it but I'm a big coward.

Quote:
i'm sure i'm not the only one to think of this also.


Oh, no, people come here and try these things all the time. Trouble is, they usually don't make it because they didn't do enough research, they don't have any connections, and they don't have enough money. You'll have to work hard to avoid becoming another statistic. Having a family to support makes this even more important.

I know I sound negative but I honestly wish you luck, whatever you decide.
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scot



Joined: 13 Jun 2003
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2003 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i appreciate the info irish, and it doesnt sound so negative. i actually wont leave japan for a few years yet probably. i just want to get started now making some solid contacts, people and schools/companys. maybe some names to keep in touch with (e-mail pals i guess in the know there) or websites/e-mail addresses to apply to and such. maybe then i can get into the loop over time and maybe luck into a spot. i'm pretty against going back to school, but is it a field with a lot of opportunity to have an ma in tefl? lucrative? as you alluded to i have already gotten a couple letters of rec and will have a couple more by the time i leave.
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Irish



Joined: 13 Jan 2003
Posts: 371

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2003 4:08 am    Post subject: Good God, he's planning ahead! Reply with quote

Scott:

First, good for you for thinking ahead--if you're really going to do this, that's the smart way. I'm glad you're not upset or angry by my dim portrait. As I said, I'm just trying to be realistic about things as I see them right now. Who knows how things will look in a few years time?

Regarding a master's: it's true that all the jobs I've heard of required a BA as a minimum. Having one in English means you make the minimum requirement. Unfortunately, you'll be competing with students who are in an MA program or actually have the degree. From what I've heard, employers tend to go with the MA or MA in progress applicant because they know the program. However, your years of experience in Japan will be a definite plus. I guess what I'm saying is that--for language schools--you'll be competitive but it may still be tough because the tendency here is to go with the local. Obviously, if you want to teach at a uni or public school, you'll need more.

As for an MA being lucrative...well, I suppose that depends on your definition of "lucrative." Personally, I feel wealthy if I can go to a matinee after paying all my bills. Thinking of it the way most people do, I don't believe ESL will ever be lucrative here. The holy grail is landing a good job with reliable hours--right now, that's damn difficult if not impossible. Lots of opportunity? I wouldn't go that far. As with so many things, much depends on who you know and being in the right place at the right time.

Personally, I'm planning to leave when I finish my degree next year. Don't get me wrong--I'd love to stay but I just don't see things changing soon and I seriously doubt I'll be able to afford the outrageous cost of living. But it would be great to be proven wrong.
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scot



Joined: 13 Jun 2003
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2003 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

how about any specifics about the geos in honolulu. salary, program, atmosphere and the like. any inside info out there? is it a long term option?
thanx
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lorcan1996



Joined: 27 Jun 2003
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2003 1:13 pm    Post subject: Not personal experience, but that of a friend... Reply with quote

Scott,

I can't speak from personal experience, but I can tell you about a friend of mine in Hilo on the Big Island. He taught EFL in Japan for a couple of years (JET programme), then moved back to Hawaii with his wife (I think he was originally from California, but his wife is from Hawaii). He stayed home to take care of their newborn for a year or two (she worked as an attorney), and took on private students (mostly Japanese) part time. I understand he had established some kind of homestay program with his former students in Japan, and he continued this after he came back Stateside, which helped him gain some experience.

In the meantime, after the kids were old enough for daycare, he went back to school for his MA in TEFL (probably UH-Hilo, can't remember specifically, though). He still kept his private students, expanding just a little bit, then eventually got a job teaching at a local community college. He's now director of the TESOL program of that college.

Long story short, he knew he needed his MA if he really wanted to make a living out of teaching ESL. Private tutoring just wasn't bringing in much -- and this was during the economic boom years of the late '90s.

It would probably give you a slight edge to get the MA -- if you do decide to go that route, that is -- in Hawaii in order to get the contacts you need to land a job.

Good luck!

Cheers,
Lorcan
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scot



Joined: 13 Jun 2003
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi Lorcan, and thanks. i really appreciate you taking the time to tell me your friends story. i'm looking to build a true picture little by little and every bit helps. and i think youre probably right on the ma count, though i REALLY have a hard time imagining going back to school...lol (ugh..)
thanks again,
scot

ps: feel free to offer beg for a scholorship to your friend on my behalf as i am also buying daipers these days.. Wink
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