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mid-life career change to ESL teacher in Mexico
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Jultime



Joined: 25 Jun 2014
Posts: 113
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

notamiss wrote:
I recommend Practical English Usage by Michael Swan. SBN-13: 000-0194420981 ISBN-10: 0194420981.

It’s not a handbook of grammar per se, but it’s an invaluable support for answering language learners’ questions of the form ‘Why do you say it that way in English and not this way?’ and ‘Why can you say A but not B?’ when the only answer we can come up with as a native speaker is ‘Because we do.’ and ‘A sounds right but B sounds wrong.’

Swan explains all the ins and outs of English customary usage, and the book is very complete. I can’t recall any question of this type for which I haven’t found an answer in this book.


Yes, its a great book.

All hail Swan during the CELTA!
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inotu-unotme



Joined: 26 May 2013
Posts: 197

PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jultime... I have been in Mexico for years. I feel different regions in Mexico handle things differently. My experience has been different from other posters here.

I am in the age range some posters stated women will have a hard time finding positions. I have not found age to be a factor in me getting work. But, other things are factors such as what type of school you want to work for. Yes, I do feel you would get more work if willing to deal with children. And in my experience I have found the CELTA thats talked about so much on Daves to be almost non existent in Mexico where I have been. Most of the schools I've talked to would be happy with a minimal ESL certificate earned online.

I know, I know this next thing is not exactly serious teaching. But, there are also pre school programs that are looking for ESL teachers. I'm just throwing it out there. I myself did not want to teach children but ended up teaching young children in a private language school. And it was one of the best experiences I've had in Mexico. You can also check into teaching online. If you teach online you can live wherever you want in the world. The more open you are to the age group you teach your odds are higher for getting something. Many times private schools even hire 'teacher assistants.' Also, I think someone said something about getting a work visa before coming to Mexico. You can't get a work visa beforehand.
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BadBeagleBad



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

PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

inotu-unotme wrote:
Also, I think someone said something about getting a work visa before coming to Mexico. You can't get a work visa beforehand.


If you can´t get one beforehand, and you can´t get one once you are in Mexico, then HOW do you get one. pray tell?
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notamiss



Joined: 20 Jun 2007
Posts: 907
Location: El 5o pino del la CDMX

PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What some people have reported here is that they came as a tourist, did the leg work, and then when they had a concrete job offer, they either returned home or to a nearby country (Belize, Guatemala, or U.S.) where they applied at the Mexican consulate there for a resident visa with work permission, supported by the prospective employer.

If the employer has never hired a foreigner since the 2012 immigration reforms, the employer also has to go through some new bureaucratic procedures to be able to sponsor a foreigner. I’d guess this is less of a problem now than it was when the reforms were first instituted, and everybody was new to the process.
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inotu-unotme



Joined: 26 May 2013
Posts: 197

PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, notamiss is right... Many people do 'border jumping.' Its not fun and it is expensive. But, it is how many people get their visa. And some people work in the black. I've run into several employers who did not want to go to immigration to fill out the correct forms and who where unfamiliar with how the process was supposed to work. Some employers don't want to talk to immigration even though they want to hire you. I would be hesitant to talk to an employer who did not want to talk to immigration.
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Jultime



Joined: 25 Jun 2014
Posts: 113
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fortunately for me I made some good connections with teachers in private schools here. They are providing me with leads on jobs in private schools as well as language schools.

I've sent a few resumes out but don't expect to hear anything until after the holidays.

I'm aware of the visa situation. I hope whatever school I get a job with will sponsor me for a work visa. If not I think one of my connections may assist in helping me get a work visa.

I am expecting to have a good number of private students both adult and adolescent.
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 2006
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just out of curiosity, did you make those job connections via folks you met through your CELTA course, or was that the result of spending time doing Spanish-language study in Oaxaca?
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Jultime



Joined: 25 Jun 2014
Posts: 113
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2014 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

esl_prof wrote:
Just out of curiosity, did you make those job connections via folks you met through your CELTA course, or was that the result of spending time doing Spanish-language study in Oaxaca?


I made connections through the people I met when I was here studying spanish.

I don't think many people understand the importance of networking to find jobs whether abroad or back home.

IH Mexico had no leads on jobs in this area.
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 2006
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jultime wrote:
I don't think many people understand the importance of networking to find jobs whether abroad or back home.


So very true!!!
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missmonica



Joined: 06 Jan 2015
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just wanted to say that it has been very inspiring watching your journey from Canada to Oaxaca. As I write this I'm in New Jersey and it's 18 degrees. My husband and I live on our boat and I'm contemplating getting my CELTA to help support us once we sail south…hopefully soon. All I know is I'm pretty sure you won't look back and wish you were still freezing up north! Suerte!
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Jultime



Joined: 25 Jun 2014
Posts: 113
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update:

I've applied to 5 language schools here in Oaxaca. Word is that most are not starting ESL classes until February. One school is expanding and may hire me come February or March.

So now I have a decision to make. Should I do a border run now while I'm not working or wait until the end of March when my tourist visa is close to expiring. I think the smart choice is to do the border run to Guatemala now so I don't take a chance of interrupting any job or training I may have in a few weeks from now.

So it looks like I might be going to Guatemala next week. I can take in San Cristobel de las Casas, Palenque and Tikal. I don't want to be away from Oaxaca for more than a week. But that 11 hour bus ride to San Cristobel may require sedatives.

Has anyone done this border run? Suggestions?
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missmonica



Joined: 06 Jan 2015
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't done that border in a long time, but passed through many years ago on my way to Quetzaltenango for Spanish school. San Cristobal is an amazing town and Palenque is not to be missed. Still haven't made it to Tikal, if you do, let us know how it went!
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roadwalker



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 1750
Location: Ch

PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure I see the value in doing a border run now unless you mean to hole up in Guatemala waiting for the prospective school to email you work authorization so that you can apply for a work visa. If you're planning to work under a work visa and temporary residency then it may take a while for your new school to get the permission from immigration to send to you to allow you to apply. If you mean to get a new tourist stamp, then a job, you'd have to exit and re-enter again for a work visa anyway.

If you are currently in contact with some of these schools, be sure to ask them what they will need from you (e.g. apostiled university degrees, official transcripts, translated copies of them, etc.) I recently got work permission and residency in Oaxaca and it took a while with many steps in the US and in Mexico. If you will be working in Oaxaca City, then perhaps you will be able to have fewer work disruptions (for the temporary residency card), especially with evening classes, but you should expect to be waiting in the immigration office for tramites a couple times or more.
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Jultime



Joined: 25 Jun 2014
Posts: 113
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't want to be in the situation where I just start a job and have to tell them "oh by the way I have to make a border run to renew my tourist visa."

Good point about the apostile....which service can you recommend? My education was in Florida.
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roadwalker



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 1750
Location: Ch

PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jultime wrote:
I don't want to be in the situation where I just start a job and have to tell them "oh by the way I have to make a border run to renew my tourist visa."

Good point about the apostile....which service can you recommend? My education was in Florida.


Sorry, I didn't use a service for getting docs apostiled since I was in state and just went to the Secretary of State office myself. Your school will have to have copies of all of the documents required of you before they can sponsor you for a work visa, so the sooner the better.

My main point was that you'll have to do a border run for the working visa since you can't change your status in country, as was apparently possible until 2012 or so. So getting your tourist card updated (is it possible? I don't know what the time limits are for being a tourist in Mexico are) won't change the fact that you'll have to leave Mexico (again) to apply for a work visa.

Here's a post of someone who did the visa run in Guatemala: http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=108807&highlight=work+visa Note that it may be referred to as a work visa but that "Resdencia Temporal" is written under type of visa. Your actual Residencia Temporal will be in the form of an ID card after you complete the rest of the paperwork inside Mexico.
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