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Maximo Nivel-Cusco teaching report
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MollyKate



Joined: 15 Sep 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:10 pm    Post subject: Moving to Cusco in November Reply with quote

Hi,

I am moving to Cusco in November to take Maximo Nivel's TEFL training course and hopefully find a 6-12 month contract shortly after. I have read through several threads and all of the information is beyond helpful. If anyone has any advice, I'd greatly appreciate it. Also, does Maximo (or any other facilities) have a dress code for their teachers? I have friends teaching in Mexico who wear jeans to class, and others who are required to wear suits (women included).
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9005
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:22 am    Post subject: Re: Moving to Cusco in November Reply with quote

MollyKate wrote:
I am moving to Cusco in November to take Maximo Nivel's TEFL training course and hopefully find a 6-12 month contract shortly after. I have read through several threads and all of the information is beyond helpful. If anyone has any advice, I'd greatly appreciate it. Also, does Maximo (or any other facilities) have a dress code for their teachers? I have friends teaching in Mexico who wear jeans to class, and others who are required to wear suits (women included).

Some places do and some don't. In general, I'd pack business casual clothes.
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dal



Joined: 12 Aug 2011
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did my TEFL certificate at Maximo and then worked for them afterwards. Overall I had a good experience. I’d say that Maximo is especially suited to new teachers who want to get a first taste of English teaching in a foreign country.
My TEFL course was great. Luckily I was trained by Sabrina who has a wealth of teaching knowledge and she’s also a very experienced TEFL trainer. The course is about a month long, it covers what you need and is especially good with regards to the practical teaching and the following feedback loops - the post lesson feedback loops are the most valuable part of the TEFL training because this is where you address your mistakes so you therefore need a good trainer who is able to notice your mistakes and then suggest remedies (which is what Sabrina does very well).
After completing the TEFL course there’s a good chance that you will get hired as a teacher which is what happened to me as I taught there for a year afterward.
Working at Maximo has it’s pros and cons. For me the biggest con was the dreaded split shift schedule i.e. you have morning classes then a very very long lunch and then late afternoon/evening classes. Another con is that the books they use (Expressions) are very old although this is more detrimental to the students rather than the teachers. (I think they are replacing these soon).
Aside from the teenage classes the students are really nice and it’s kind of a fun atmosphere. The facilities are really good, including a café, WIFI, internet room, teachers lounge (with sofas, computers, fridge and TV) and there’s also a well stocked office with plenty of teacher resources. The staff at Maximo are helpful and friendly but perhaps most importantly – Maximo ALWAYS paid me on time (In Perú this is not always the case).
Oh yeah and one last thing - Cusco is awesome
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9005
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dal wrote:
After completing the TEFL course there’s a good chance that you will get hired as a teacher which is what happened to me as I taught there for a year afterward.
Working at Maximo has it’s pros and cons. For me the biggest con was the dreaded split shift schedule i.e. you have morning classes then a very very long lunch and then late afternoon/evening classes.

DId they get you a visa?

It's not just MN that has split shifts. They're common in Peru.
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dal



Joined: 12 Aug 2011
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

naturegirl321 wrote:
dal wrote:
After completing the TEFL course there’s a good chance that you will get hired as a teacher which is what happened to me as I taught there for a year afterward.
Working at Maximo has it’s pros and cons. For me the biggest con was the dreaded split shift schedule i.e. you have morning classes then a very very long lunch and then late afternoon/evening classes.

DId they get you a visa?

It's not just MN that has split shifts. They're common in Peru.


Re: Visa - No I had to do lots of visa runs via Bolivia although Maximo Nivel actually pays towards the cost and even grants you a days holiday for each visa run (sweet!). I think Maximo has arranged legitimate visas for a couple of people but these are special circumstances i.e. only for managerial people that have committed for over a year.

Re: The split shifts - Yep, I gather they're common in many countries, I'm just not a big fan...
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Dee35



Joined: 22 Aug 2011
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:46 pm    Post subject: agree Reply with quote

dal wrote:
I did my TEFL certificate at Maximo and then worked for them afterwards. Overall I had a good experience. I’d say that Maximo is especially suited to new teachers who want to get a first taste of English teaching in a foreign country.
My TEFL course was great. Luckily I was trained by Sabrina who has a wealth of teaching knowledge and she’s also a very experienced TEFL trainer. The course is about a month long, it covers what you need and is especially good with regards to the practical teaching and the following feedback loops - the post lesson feedback loops are the most valuable part of the TEFL training because this is where you address your mistakes so you therefore need a good trainer who is able to notice your mistakes and then suggest remedies (which is what Sabrina does very well).
After completing the TEFL course there’s a good chance that you will get hired as a teacher which is what happened to me as I taught there for a year afterward.

I would like to point out that just because you pay for and finish the MN TEFL course you are not guaranteed a job. It depends on your TEFL group size and the need for teachers at the time. Also, I think it is important to remind people that TEFL/teaching styles differ from one institute to another. From everything I've heard, Sabrina is a great teacher. BUT they teach the MN way. Your next job will be very different from the MN way...just keep that in mind!
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Dee35



Joined: 22 Aug 2011
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Re: Visa - No I had to do lots of visa runs via Bolivia although Maximo Nivel actually pays towards the cost and even grants you a days holiday for each visa run (sweet!). I think Maximo has arranged legitimate visas for a couple of people but these are special circumstances i.e. only for managerial people that have committed for over a year.

Also note that it is 335 USD to get a visa into Bolivia [if you are from the USA, so make sure you try to get the max of 6 months], Yes, MN does pay half of the cost and gives you a day off...but you must pay for the transportation and accomodations. Just things to consider. [and yes, this is for the average ESL teacher, not office staff]
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TOMASB



Joined: 30 Jun 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 2:02 am    Post subject: MN Reply with quote

I am certified to teach English but have not done so as I found a more interesting and lucrative job after moving to Cusco. However, since I have been living here since September 2011 I have met quite a few MN teachers or others who have earned their certificates from MN.

Unfortunately, the vibe on MN is not a good one. It's a total turnstile there and the pay is low given the cost of living in Cusco,which is much higher than many want to acknowledge. Additionally, I have heard many strange stories about MN reneging on contract offers to prospective teachers, treating their teachers like chattel, and generally arrogant attitude.

I think they take advantage of the younger teachers who don't have a lot of experience with employers and want to teach and work here in Cusco. I make this judgment based on many years of working in the US. It's probably ingrained in their business plan. Fair warning!
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dhsampso



Joined: 17 Jun 2009
Posts: 44
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I worked for MN in CR and there was definitely turnover every few months--some from teachers who couldn't hack it and some from conflicting personalities. If you got on the wrong side of management, they could be very hostile. There were occasions where some teachers/administration workers would resign and management was pretty calm about it and other occasions where the managers/owner flipped out and told the person to leave immediately (of course, there often were factors that lead up to management reacting the way they did--just not a professional way to deal with employees). Having the TEFL course replenishes the supply of people to recruit teachers from.

The biggest issue I had with MN itself was its treatment of native workers and the idea that employment with MN was the greatest opportunity in the world--as if they had pulled us off the street and given us our salvation. As a teacher, work was reasonable (hour wise), but in Administration--Field Manager for me--I worked as a teacher when I started and putting in 10 hrs./day or 12 sometimes wasn't very fun at times, especially in less than pretty San Pedro, CR. You work pretty hard and there was a feeling of "too bad" if you weren't totally thrilled with it.

The amount MN pays host families in CR is not much and could be more. And I know MN has in the past reneged on some contract promises to native workers. They definitely pay Americans better than the natives for the same positions and have tried to walk back vacation time at random points in contracts. MN definitely knows the limits they can bend the law for native workers--for Americans working illegally (especially in Admin.), the only thing you have is they prefer Americans and it's harder to hire for Admin. positions due to the 18-month contract. The pay is decent, even though your hourly rate as a teacher is better than as a Field Manager/Office Worker--something I mentioned in the interview but was shamed to consider since you do it for the "experience and to help people" even though as a Field Manager you'll spend more time in the office than at projects.
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Basheta



Joined: 01 Dec 2013
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 7:00 pm    Post subject: Maximo nivel in Peru Reply with quote

I was looking around and found the posting on Maximo nivel in Peru. The last comments are from 2012. I was wondering if anyone had any up to date comments on going to school there and possibly teaching?

I'm looking to move to Peru in six months or so and plan to use teaching English as a way to support myself. I'm forty-three and soon to be divorce with no children. Looking to make a new start in a new country. I'm from Texas with little known Spanish language.

Any thoughts or help is greatly appreciated!

Basheta
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9005
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd def check on expatperu or livinginperu. They've got some active forums and people might know about MN there.
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