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Applying for jobs - Looking for a reality check
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 579
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is good to know but I haven`t been able to get a job in the US.
I get rejected since I never taught at an IEP at an American university.
I got rejected by Teach for America last week, so that is why I have been thinking about my age.

So far it seems my 17 years abroad counts for very little.
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revilo



Joined: 05 Oct 2013
Posts: 74
Location: Beirut, habibi!

PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 1:21 pm    Post subject: Real purpose of Teach for America Reply with quote

If you applied for TFA in your 40s, you put all your eggs in one basket. It is widely known as a stepping stone for the 20 somethings to pay off student loans and make connections for a better job outside of education.

If you search Inside Higher Education .com you will find an article that describes a public university using TFA as a "feeder program" to supplement its own credential program. And the kicker is that taxpayer $$$ goes to the university.

I have seen American education turn into a big F'N scam....and it's getting worse. Mad
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 579
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about public schools in Memphis or in Charlotte?
Does anyone have anything to say about teaching there and getting an alternate license?
Thanks.
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ttxor1



Joined: 04 Jan 2014
Posts: 62

PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:21 pm    Post subject: the tesl scene in the states cont. Reply with quote

Hi all,

Quote:
uh huh asked: If someone has a feel for the market and what employers are looking for and would be willing to chat with me about my prospects, I'd appreciate a PM.


Quote:
Nomad soul responded:The job ads should give you a sense on what your prospects are, though I suspect some employers may have a bias for teachers whose experience leans towards TESL and not TEFL. As such, consider joining your state/local TESOL affiliate for networking opportunities.


Quote:
And rtm added: The market for full-time instructors is getting a bit harder, but if you have a masters in a relevant (e.g., TESOL, Applied Linguistics) or semi-relevant (e.g., Communication, English, Education) field and you live in an area with at least a few universities, you should be able to get at least one course as an adjunct.


I was hoping to get into the TESL scene, as many suggested that it would strenthen my CV. I have just completed an MA in TESOL, CELTA and have four years pre-certification experience (2 in the schools in Korea, 2 in a private community college in Kuwait). My hopes were immediately dashed by the first few pages of tesol.org's results for job vacancies: Many job titles include “Senior Instructor, Director of Programs and Assistant/Professor” and want experience in IEPs or higher ed programs and I began to see the scene that peripatetic_soul describes. I have read elsewhere on these forums that experience in the gulf can be the “kiss of death” for your career, but I was dismayed that I seem to have no other choice as there seem to be few entry level positions in TESL, even with a relevant MA. And those few jobs can't begin to match the pay and benefits that some international jobs offer as routine. I would love to hear from any instructor, either at an entry level or more experienced, at a South African/American/Canadian/British/NZ/Aussie uni who is given an average to above average salary, a housing allowance, one time furniture allowance, free health care, and 60 days fully paid summer leave + national holidays for 18 weekly contact hours. The Director of Programs at the local private university in my state who helped me with my research project has a small staff of about 8 or 10, very low turnover, they all have the same or more experience as you, uh huh, and their situation is as rtm and peripatetic_soul depict: Adjuncts or part timers, with scant benefits and pennies (two or three thousand dollars per semester) for pay, maybe one or two classes at the uni a week and one or two classes per week at some of the other local community colleges/public schools.

The ESL director with whom I spoke suggested that, if I want a full time job with benefits in the US, I be “mobile” and flexible, and through more digging it appears that Arizona and Texas have the biggest demand for ESL instructors in the states. Uh huh, I think your chances of getting a full time uni/college/community college position in the Southwestern US are really good and benefits are decent. This is what I have learned from a friend doing her Phd in Linguistics in Arizona. Again, though, my sense from the networking and internet research I've done leads me to believe that these jobs are very competitive. My mom works at a local university and received over 100 applications for 1 adjunct professor position. A posting for an ESL instructor in California I saw described an interview process which required you to fly out there 3 times, with them only paying half the flight cost on the 3rd trip (all hotel and other expenses are on you). The ESL director (who had worked in Cali) told me that the colleges/unis out there had recently been snubbed by their top candidates, and were started to make applicants pay for travel to weed out those who intended to use their interview in Cali as a vacation.

hope this helps,

ttxor1
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 565
Location: US

PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:41 pm    Post subject: Re: the tesl scene in the states cont. Reply with quote

ttxor1, nice post, and thanks for sharing your experiences.

ttxor1 wrote:
I have read elsewhere on these forums that experience in the gulf can be the “kiss of death” for your career, but I was dismayed that I seem to have no other choice as there seem to be few entry level positions in TESL, even with a relevant MA.
This is interesting, as I have not heard that experience in the gulf can be the "kiss of death" for your career. With the recent gigantic influx of Saudi students in IEPs at American universities, I'd guess that gulf experience could even be advantageous (for getting a job at a university IEP).

I agree with the other tings you said. One really does need to be mobile, or be willing to take a low-paying adjunct position for a few years and wait until something full-time opens up. In either case, a full-time position is far from guaranteed.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12462
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear ttxor1,

"Uh huh, I think your chances of getting a full time uni/college/community college position in the Southwestern US are really good and benefits are decent. This is what I have learned from a friend doing her Phd in Linguistics in Arizona. Again, though, my sense from the networking and internet research I've done leads me to believe that these jobs are very competitive. "

Here I am in Santa Fe, NM, and while I can't speak for the whole Southwest, I can definitely tell you that this is NOT the case in New Mexico. Part-time, adjunct (i.e. serf) jobs can be found, but don't plan of making a living unless you somehow manage to paste two or even three such together.

Regards,
John

P.S. I have an MA in English Ed, 22 years experience in EFL and over ten in ESL. Oh, and if you're bilingual (English/Spanish), that can help



[/u]
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 579
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would move to Arizona. My problem is that I am not certified to teach at public schools.
There is a job fair in early May in Phoenix and I wonder if it is worth it to go.
I have seen jobs in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico where knowledge of Spanish is required, but
I don`t speak it.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3969
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rtm wrote:
ttxor1 wrote:
I have read elsewhere on these forums that experience in the gulf can be the “kiss of death” for your career, but I was dismayed that I seem to have no other choice as there seem to be few entry level positions in TESL, even with a relevant MA.

This is interesting, as I have not heard that experience in the gulf can be the "kiss of death" for your career. With the recent gigantic influx of Saudi students in IEPs at American universities, I'd guess that gulf experience could even be advantageous (for getting a job at a university IEP).

I disagree about the Gulf being the "kiss of death" for one's career. There are plenty of Arabic speakers from the Gulf enrolled in IEPs in the US. Previous experience teaching the Mid East is very beneficial, especially if you have a good grasp of the general culture, knowledge about Arabic language transference, and experience teaching writing and reading---Arabic speakers' weakest skills.

Nailing a job generally depends on how one presents and "sells" their skills and experience on their cover letter, CV and subsequently, in an interview.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3969
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mitsui wrote:
...but I haven`t been able to get a job in the US.
I get rejected since I never taught at an IEP at an American university.
I got rejected by Teach for America last week, so that is why I have been thinking about my age.

So far it seems my 17 years abroad counts for very little.

and wrote:
I would move to Arizona. My problem is that I am not certified to teach at public schools.
There is a job fair in early May in Phoenix and I wonder if it is worth it to go.
I have seen jobs in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico where knowledge of Spanish is required, but
I don`t speak it.

Then reinvent yourself. Get a graduate certificate or master's degree in Instructional/Educational Technology and you'll be guaranteed a full-time job in education, government, or corporate.
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Xie Lin



Joined: 21 Oct 2011
Posts: 312

PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mitsui wrote:
That is good to know but I haven`t been able to get a job in the US.
I get rejected since I never taught at an IEP at an American university.
I got rejected by Teach for America last week, so that is why I have been thinking about my age.

So far it seems my 17 years abroad counts for very little.


LOTS of belt tightening in the US. Jobs are scarce, and seem to be getting more so, not less. We've posted two openings in the last few years, and received an avalanche of applications both times, most recently upwards of 170. In the past a candidate who fell short of the specified qualifications might have gotten a second look, and perhaps even an interview. Not so today. Now it's necessary to tick every box on a long checklist--just because the sheer numbers of applicants means that there is no reason to consider anyone who doesn't, and it helps winnow the pile down to a manageable number.

And sure, presentation and the ability to "sell" your experience will be important in the second and later stages; but won't get you past that initial checklist, where more than 2 out of 3 are eliminated. (On the other hand, poor presentation--grammatical errors, misspellings, disorganization, etc.--will get your CV binned at this stage, even if it does tick all the boxes.)

At least where I am, age is not a factor in hiring decisions.

.
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revilo



Joined: 05 Oct 2013
Posts: 74
Location: Beirut, habibi!

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"At least where I am, age is not a factor in hiring decisions."
and where are you, presently?

Contrary to what Scot 47 says, working in KSA or Middle East is not the kiss of death. I tried to find work as ESL instructor in California and then the rest of the U.S. Believe me, there is nothing there except work in the "adjunct pool" where teachers are pitted against one another and drive wages down.

I would rather have a full-time job in KSA, save my money, take an occasional trip to Europe, and have medical coverage than work part-time, lose money, and have no medical coverage. I heard that CCs in Cali got snubbed by their top candidates. It serves them right. Administrators in Cali think people will put up with low wages in exchange for great weather. It has been that way for a loooooong time. Now administrators refuse to pay air fare for interviews. They ask, "how bad do you want this job?"

I extend my middle finger to them and say, "about this much." Twisted Evil
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fat_chris



Joined: 10 Sep 2003
Posts: 3135

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

revilo wrote:
I would rather have a full-time job in KSA, save my money, take an occasional trip to Europe, and have medical coverage than work part-time, lose money, and have no medical coverage.

I extend my middle finger to them and say, "about this much." Twisted Evil


Seconded on all sentiments here.

Warm regards,
fat_chris
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3969
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

revilo wrote:
I tried to find work as ESL instructor in California and then the rest of the U.S. Believe me, there is nothing there except work in the "adjunct pool" where teachers are pitted against one another and drive wages down.

I would rather have a full-time job in KSA, save my money, take an occasional trip to Europe, and have medical coverage than work part-time, lose money, and have no medical coverage. I heard that CCs in Cali got snubbed by their top candidates. It serves them right. Administrators in Cali think people will put up with low wages in exchange for great weather. It has been that way for a loooooong time. Now administrators refuse to pay air fare for interviews. They ask, "how bad do you want this job?"

I extend my middle finger to them and say, "about this much." Twisted Evil

What's up with the heavy resentment? Or shall I say, sense of entitlement? Frankly, these employers owe you (and the rest of us) nothing. You chose the degree; you chose the career path with full knowledge that the pickins' are/were slim for a full-time, IEP teaching situation in the US. Nothing new there. In fact, that's the main reason folks head overseas when starting their TEFL career. As I stated in my previous post, perhaps it's time to reinvent yourself.
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revilo



Joined: 05 Oct 2013
Posts: 74
Location: Beirut, habibi!

PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, your answer is the best reason why baby boomers are the worst generation in the history of mankind. You live by the philosophy of “Do as I say, not as I do.” Do you want an example of this? Let’s take the issue of full-time vs. part-time employment.
In the 20th Century, California decreed that a minimum no. of community college teaching jobs had to be full-time. The percentage was over 50 percent. Then, as baby boomers moved into the workforce, they decided that more and more CC teaching jobs could be part-time. We are now at the point where 70 percent of all teaching loads are taught by part-timers. The fat, corrupt CC administrators were aided and abetted by tenured faculty who got a free ride complete with medical care and the best pension plans in the U.S. Administration all over the country gave themselves pay raises and hired their friends to be administrators. The growth of administrative staff outpaced the growth of full-time tenured faculty during the 2000s. Administrators still fail to defend the increase in staffing despite the fact that it is the teachers who have direct contact with students. However, the reputation of higher education in the U.S. is going through the toilet due to the malignant neglect of this work-force who handles 70 percent of the classes.
And you have the gall to say that I have a sense of “entitlement”? You owe an apology to the Gen X and Gen Y instructors who bought into the lie that “there is room at the top” for the best and brightest and “only the best” get hired for the positions you have. You are a hack who defends a corrupt system. What will happen when those Gen X and Gen Y instructors default on their student loans? It is so easy for them to do this and go abroad to find new opportunities throughout the world. The demand for English is worldwide. What can the IRS do to them? Nothing! But what will the banks do to you when enough students default on their loans? There is plenty they can do. They can hit you with extra fees, but I prefer the concept of “bail in” which occurred to bank depositors in Cyprus. Your bank accounts and pensions are hit with a one-time tax which leaves you with a lot less money and happy bankers go on vacation. But don’t think it will stop there, because it will only get worse.
Yeah, I'm reinventing myself. I'm doing unto others.
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peripatetic_soul



Joined: 20 Oct 2013
Posts: 46
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:47 pm    Post subject: Applying for Jobs - Looking for a Reality Check Reply with quote

Hi, Revilo, et al.
Have you read this article by Noam Chomsky about the university as a "business model" which you alluded to in a previous email? He describes two groups in American society - plutonomy (investors) vs. precariats (the adjuncts and workers in a precarious state). I welcome your thoughts on this article (overlook some of the small typos no doubt occurred in the typesetting phase).
Excuse this non sequitur. Ah, please don't knock ALL baby boomers. I became a parent later in life and adopted a strict, authoritative child rearing approach. I do share your concerns, however, but it extends beyond baby boomers, based on years of teaching in public school. You show me a child who exhibits inappropriate behavior and I'll show you absent, neglectful or uncooperative parents (some in denial). And I'm not talking about baby boomers. Anyway, back to the main idea of this posting -- I'm interested to hear what others here think of Chomsky's analysis of the American educational model and how it relates to applying for teaching jobs in the U.S. today. Best wishes.

Cheers

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/03/the-death-of-american-universities/
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