Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

mid-life career change to ESL teacher in Mexico
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Mexico
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Jultime



Joined: 25 Jun 2014
Posts: 21
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:19 pm    Post subject: mid-life career change to ESL teacher in Mexico Reply with quote

I'm in the process of deciding whether to change to careers to ESL teacher in Mexico.

I'm a Canadian 52 yr old nurse. I have no debts, no house, my kids are grown and on their own and I'm single. So now is an opportune time for me to pursue my travel dreams.

I'm interested in teaching ESL in Mexico. I've done some preliminary research and think taking the CELTA in Mexico City would be a wise choice. I have already submitted the application package and my Skype interview is booked.

I have an AA degree and life experience, I do a lot of one-on-one teaching in my current job. I am only interested in teaching adults.

I understand what's involved in the CELTA course and understand that there is a chance that I may be hired by IH if I do well on the course.

Does anyone know what the rate of pay is? I want to be able to live on my wages and travel within Mexico. Will I be able to pick up private tutoring? Any idea what the pay is for that?

If I don't get hired by IH, how is the ESL job situation in Mexico for other language schools?

Is my whole idea of living and teaching in Mexico a pipe dream

I appreciate your input.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Prof.Gringo



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 2031
Location: Dang Cong San Viet Nam Quang Vinh Muon Nam!

PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:09 am    Post subject: Re: mid-life career change to ESL teacher in Mexico Reply with quote

Jultime wrote:
I'm in the process of deciding whether to change to careers to ESL teacher in Mexico.

I'm a Canadian 52 yr old nurse. I have no debts, no house, my kids are grown and on their own and I'm single. So now is an opportune time for me to pursue my travel dreams.

I'm interested in teaching ESL in Mexico. I've done some preliminary research and think taking the CELTA in Mexico City would be a wise choice. I have already submitted the application package and my Skype interview is booked.

I have an AA degree and life experience, I do a lot of one-on-one teaching in my current job. I am only interested in teaching adults.

I understand what's involved in the CELTA course and understand that there is a chance that I may be hired by IH if I do well on the course.

Does anyone know what the rate of pay is? I want to be able to live on my wages and travel within Mexico. Will I be able to pick up private tutoring? Any idea what the pay is for that?

If I don't get hired by IH, how is the ESL job situation in Mexico for other language schools?

Is my whole idea of living and teaching in Mexico a pipe dream

I appreciate your input.


Hola!


Search the Mexico forum and find a wealth of info.

Lack of a BA will hurt you.

Doing the CELTA is OK, but a CELE from UNAM would be better in Mexico, as well as having a very good grasp of Spanish.

Not wanting to teach children or teens will really restrict you, esp. in the long-run, but if all you want is to teach and have an extended "vacation/holiday" for a year or two, well, it doesn't matter so much.

Language schools? low salaries, long hours, cookie-cutter methods and training. But for a year or so, for a newbie, sure, it's fine. After that, it gets kinda old.

Age discrimination is very real in Mexico, esp. in the language mills. Being over 35 or 40 means some schools won't even consider you, right off the bat. Also, age discrimination hurts women far more than it does men. Many employers like a young, fit, "attractive" female teacher in her 20's or 30's.

No, it's not a "pipe dream" to live and work in Mexico, but you might earn starvation wages.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Jultime



Joined: 25 Jun 2014
Posts: 21
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your reply.

Unfortunately, a BA is not in my future.

I'm going to take a leap and see what happens. I won't know the answer unless I try.

I do agree that age discrimination may be an issue. But its an issue here also, I often feel like women my age are invisible.

If worst comes to worst I'll be back in my old job freezing my butt off.

I've been accepted into a CELTA program starting in October.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tamely



Joined: 28 Apr 2008
Posts: 1
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the information. I'm going to be in my mid-forties and wanted to know info on age and women.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Jultime



Joined: 25 Jun 2014
Posts: 21
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:31 pm    Post subject: Re: mid-life career change to ESL teacher in Mexico Reply with quote

Prof.Gringo wrote:

No, it's not a "pipe dream" to live and work in Mexico, but you might earn starvation wages.


So I was just thinking about what I earn now and my cost of living here in Alberta.

I earn $26 an hour and work full-time, I pay $1289 a month for rent and utilities, another $450 a month for groceries, $250 a month for gasoline, $100 a month for auto insurance, $80 for my cell phone, a meal out is at least $25.00, a bottle of wine $15.00 at the liquor store, a beer out is $5.50 for the cheap stuff. So really I am earning "starvation wages" now. Oh, and taxes eats up 28% of my income. My rent is going up, groceries and gas keep going up but I have no hope of seeing a pay raise.

Cost of living wise I'm hoping Mexico is a heck of a lot more affordable.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mtiz



Joined: 18 May 2014
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, a CELTA should allow you to find enough work to support yourself comfortably. I teach English here with no BA and it is not a problem. It can however limit you, but having a CELTA will open different doors. There are many different ways to support yourself. I don't know if IH will hire with no BA, but there are many different language schools that will. Private tutoring on your own can bring you 150-200 pesos an hour or more. You can also free lance and pick up different Business classes for a similar rate. Freelance classes can pay anywhere from 120-180 pesos an hour. Even more if you are able/willing to travel to Santa Fe or further upper class areas.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Jultime



Joined: 25 Jun 2014
Posts: 21
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just finished reading several threads and now have more questions to help me make my decisions.

First, where to take the CELTA? I've been accepted to IH Playa, I have no intention of working in that area, but I like that the student accommodation is close by. After reading more threads I can see that Mexico City would be advantageous in that`s probably where I`d want to start by ESL teaching career. I have an interview with IH Mexico City on Tuesday and I`ve already sent off an email requesting more info on accommodations.

Which brings me to: definitely getting a student visa before going to Mexico.

I'm thinking of broadening my teaching to kids and teens.

When to do the CELTA? The next Mexico City course starts at the beginning of September. Is October an odd time to be looking for work?

I also looked at the Teacher`s Diploma at Universidad Panamericana. From reviewing this, my understanding is that this is a 3 hour class once a week plus assignments for 17 weeks. Will taking this course replace the requirement for a BA for getting better jobs? I don't see a BA under the requirements for admission.

So many decisions to make. I am determined to give it a go, now its a matter of deciding when. My lease is up at the end of September. I'll also be selling everything I own including my car. I don't see much sense in keeping it. My manager has already told me that I won't get a leave of absence to do the CELTA course.

I'm excited and terrified at the same time. But I think I'd rather face this fear of the unknown than another 6 months long winter and 30 below.

Thanks again for all your feedback.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mzuri



Joined: 30 May 2011
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took the CELTA in Playa - I recommend finding your own accommodation rather than paying a quite-high rate for the student housing near the school for less freedom/room/amenities than you'll get by finding your own place for a month. Take a look at airbnb and craigslist to get an idea of some rates at places near the school.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Jultime



Joined: 25 Jun 2014
Posts: 21
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the tip. I thought the cost of the rooms to be excessive also.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mzuri



Joined: 30 May 2011
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You bet.

I rented a two-bedroom apartment for about the same price as the school accommodation. I got the two bedroom so friends and family could come visit while I was studying. Going for a smaller place would result in a lower rent, of course.

I regret I didn't arrive a few days earlier or stay a few days longer than the class duration because the course is so intense, it was almost impossible to get out and enjoy the surroundings, even though the beach is so near.

Some things I'd have brought with me if I knew better what to expect:

My own voice recorder + printer + binder + sheet protectors

With so many users of the PCs and printer at the school, I felt a little uncomfortable using my thumb drive to transfer my lesson plans to their PCs so that I could access the school's printers. Also, with two or three school printers and many of your colleagues vying for printer time in the same windows of time, it can get a little hectic on some days.

*However, it's been 3.5 years since I did the CELTA there, so it's likely there've been tech equipment updates at the school.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
VenturaDon



Joined: 17 Sep 2013
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mzuri gave good advice.

My wife and I have a somewhat similar experience as to what you are contemplating. We're in our mid-60s, on an intentional path to 'building our resume' so we can apply to the US Peace Corps program in a year or two.

We did what you're thinking - we got rid of most of our 'stuff', put the balance into long term storage, sold our 2 cars, leased out our home for 2+ years and moved to DF on March 2 to start the intensive CELTA two weeks later. We used those 2 weeks to get settled in, learn our way around town on the Metro and MetroBus, etc.

Warning: the intensive course is just that - intensive. We'd read blogs prior to coming where one blogger stated that in the second week grown women cry. It's true! A few of our classmates had language/teaching backgrounds and it was easier for them, but most of us got 4-5 hours sleep per night including weekends. The course is brutal and comes in tidal waves. Can it be done? Of course - thousands get through it a year. But until you've completed it, you won't really understand the intensity and the continual pressure to rapidly improve your skills. You will be fire-hosed with information. The TPs are fun and challenging, but the 4 assignments will demand your hours - stealing your precious time from preparing lesson plans.

What we did/our advice/experiences:

Before coming, know your English/grammar cold - this is not an English course, it's a teaching course. We found Jeff Mohamed's (www.tesoltips.org) primer (pdf download) "Grammar Development Course for Teachers of English" a good refresher course. Buy and study Jim Scriverner's "Learning Teaching" and Michael Swan's "Practical English Usage". Also Jeremy Harmer's "How to Teach English". There are others, but you'll need these as a minimum for references when you do your assignments. You'll be emailed pdf files from IH, especially the CELTA Course handbook (100+ pages). Print it out, put it in a binder. study Vladimir's "CELTA terminology & Lesson Frameworks" - won't make too much sense now, but... Also, do IH's "Pre-course Study Task" & know it cold.

Accommodations in DF: IH can assist you with finding housing, however, we decided to stay at the Quaker guest house Casa de los Amigos (http://www.casadelosamigos.org/en/). The good: we're still here after 3 months & have found it to be a very rich experience. The bad: travel time to IH (30-45 minutes each way on the MetroBus). After week 1, we were seriously concerned about that precious time we were losing commuting; we stayed and made up for it in less sleep.

You will need your own printer - just plan on buying one when you get here. It would have been hell without one. Just understand upfront you're going to be buying lots of ink! However, IH (DF) got a new high speed printer in the Teacher's Lounge that works great - it just gets lots of use.

Do you know Spanish? Fluently? If you've got the time, you might consider going to Guatemala first for intensive Spanish. We've met many here at the Casa that got their initial training there - 4 to 5 hours a day for about $225/week (including board & room) and it's come highly recommended. 3-4 weeks is a good kick start. Many go to PLQE (http://www.plqe.org/). We are now starting intensive Spanish, but here in DF.

DF is at 7,500 feet and the altitude and pollution might get to you. Going up and down the stairs at IH fast will wind you! But IH has a great roof top terrace where we hung out a lot at breaks/lunch, etc. It's in a nice area of town (Condessa) on a very nice tree lined street with food, etc, all around.

I was asked half way through the course if I "enjoyed it". I replied "Absolutely not!" But I continued, that wasn't the correct question. The correct question should have been was it valuable, worthwhile, challenging and rewarding? That answer was definitely yes. Our tutors are master teachers.

Finally, after 2 weeks of the intensive class, we caught up to the separate 'extensive' class and petitioned IH to transfer to that course, which is designed for working individuals (mostly teachers teaching 5 days a week) that met & taught on Saturdays. Because time wasn't an issue for us plus we wanted more time to absorb the material, that switch proved to be good fit for us. Maybe that might be something for you to consider.

Lot's more stuff we could share, but that's a start. PM us if we can help in any way!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Jultime



Joined: 25 Jun 2014
Posts: 21
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

VenturaDon wrote:

Before coming, know your English/grammar cold - this is not an English course, it's a teaching course. We found Jeff Mohamed's (www.tesoltips.org) primer (pdf download) "Grammar Development Course for Teachers of English" a good refresher course. Buy and study Jim Scriverner's "Learning Teaching" and Michael Swan's "Practical English Usage". Also Jeremy Harmer's "How to Teach English". There are others, but you'll need these as a minimum for references when you do your assignments. You'll be emailed pdf files from IH, especially the CELTA Course handbook (100+ pages). Print it out, put it in a binder. study Vladimir's "CELTA terminology & Lesson Frameworks" - won't make too much sense now, but... Also, do IH's "Pre-course Study Task" & know it cold.


Yes, I do definitely plan on learning the grammar rules before the course. I have 2 books recommended by IH on order from Amazon. I intend to devote a lot of time to prepping for the course. I've done intensive courses while in college a few years ago.

VenturaDon wrote:


Accommodations in DF: IH can assist you with finding housing, however, we decided to stay at the Quaker guest house Casa de los Amigos (http://www.casadelosamigos.org/en/). The good: we're still here after 3 months & have found it to be a very rich experience. The bad: travel time to IH (30-45 minutes each way on the MetroBus). After week 1, we were seriously concerned about that precious time we were losing commuting; we stayed and made up for it in less sleep.


I'm going to let IH assist me with finding housing, Ideally I'd like to walk to the school or be no more than a short bus ride away. I don't want my precious time being spent commuting. Do you have any recommendations for housing nearby IH.

VenturaDon wrote:

You will need your own printer - just plan on buying one when you get here. It would have been hell without one. Just understand upfront you're going to be buying lots of ink! However, IH (DF) got a new high speed printer in the Teacher's Lounge that works great - it just gets lots of use.


Maybe I can figure out a way to get my cheap laser printer there? I doubt it.

VenturaDon wrote:


Do you know Spanish? Fluently? If you've got the time, you might consider going to Guatemala first for intensive Spanish. We've met many here at the Casa that got their initial training there - 4 to 5 hours a day for about $225/week (including board & room) and it's come highly recommended. 3-4 weeks is a good kick start. Many go to PLQE (http://www.plqe.org/). We are now starting intensive Spanish, but here in DF.


My spanish is rudimentary at best. I can understand more than I can speak. I looked at PLQE, sounds fabulous. I will apply to go there for 4 weeks prior to going to Mexico City. Muchas gracias for that link.
VenturaDon wrote:


Lot's more stuff we could share, but that's a start. PM us if we can help in any way!


Thanks so much for your help. I can`t send PM yet since I don`t have a high enough post count.

I`ll continue to post my progress and questions here.

Speaking of which: One of the courses I`m looking at starts Nov 17 through Dec 12. My concern is finding employment and housing so close to the holiday season. Does Mexico City pretty well shut down during the holiday season
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1133
Location: 17°48'N 97°46'W

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I teach at a university with a nursing program in southern Mexico. The students take English as a required subject and at this point, we just give them general English. Generally, our teachers have to have a BA. But I can see where having someone who has been a nurse for a significant amount of time would be advantageous, so your AA might be able to be used as a stand in for a BA.
I don't have the authority to say that that is so, but it is something you (and I ) could look into.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
noble



Joined: 12 Sep 2012
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 5:05 pm    Post subject: Re: mid-life career change to ESL teacher in Mexico Reply with quote

Jultime--Do NOT waste your time or money on the Teacher's Diploma at La Universidad Panamericana--which I just completed this Spring. The diploma is no longer accepted by the SEP (as of April 2014), and the course itself is mediocre to poor. The professor is an applied linguist--very sharp and knowledgeable about applied linguistics, but the course does not prepare you to be a teacher. It may have in the past; it does not now.

One student (mexicana) actually consulted with a lawyer about suing the school for breach of promise. As much as we liked the professor as a person, the course did not deliver. Even the paper diploma was not adequate according to students in the class (all Mexican except for me). It does not carry the seal of the university nor a folio--the diploma number (standard practice at universities in México). I could have made the diploma on my home printer. Very disappointing experience overall, although the students in my class were exceptional--bright, dedicated, all with graduate degrees--a truly great group of students.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Jultime



Joined: 25 Jun 2014
Posts: 21
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:23 pm    Post subject: Re: mid-life career change to ESL teacher in Mexico Reply with quote

noble wrote:
Jultime--Do NOT waste your time or money on the Teacher's Diploma at La Universidad Panamericana--which I just completed this Spring. The diploma is no longer accepted by the SEP (as of April 2014), and the course itself is mediocre to poor. The professor is an applied linguist--very sharp and knowledgeable about applied linguistics, but the course does not prepare you to be a teacher. It may have in the past; it does not now.

One student (mexicana) actually consulted with a lawyer about suing the school for breach of promise. As much as we liked the professor as a person, the course did not deliver. Even the paper diploma was not adequate according to students in the class (all Mexican except for me). It does not carry the seal of the university nor a folio--the diploma number (standard practice at universities in México). I could have made the diploma on my home printer. Very disappointing experience overall, although the students in my class were exceptional--bright, dedicated, all with graduate degrees--a truly great group of students.


Good to know! Thank you. I'm sure anyone else reading this thread will appreciate this info too.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Mexico All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
Page 1 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Road2Spain - TEFL and Spanish with one year student visa
EBC