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No luck in the US
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Hemlock32



Joined: 14 Apr 2017
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:19 am    Post subject: No luck in the US Reply with quote

I have a few questions I would like to pose for the forum. I first want to say that I am a recent graduate with MA in TESOL and have four years of international experience teaching adults and children/adolescents. I have been on the job hunt for one month so far and have begun to believe that simply sending out cv after cv to various locations throughout the U.S. isn´t very fruitful. I have had one interview that was about 3.5 hours away from my house, and for which I needed to pay out of pocket to get there. Although I thought the interview went very well, it nevertheless ended in a "thanks, but we have found someone to fill the vacancy."
One of my mentors in my MA program told me that before he got hired he sent out his CV to about 60 employers and got about 5 replies. 3 were: "no thanks" and 2 were: "okay, lets have an interview."

In any case, my questions are:

1. If you have been employed in a University or community college IEP or IELP or anything similar to this, how long did it take you to land a position? What were your credentials?
2. Do you have the impression that if you are applying from out of state, you will not even be noticed?
3. Do you negotiate interviews? I mean: how willing are you to travel to an interview if it is in-person only? Would you ask the interviewer to pay for your travel expenses? Or would you just ask them to do it through skype?
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11353
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scroll down a bit for the thread, "Student slump?" for a sense of how enrollment numbers have impacted university IEP hiring nationwide.

Keep in mind you're also likely competing against MA TESOL holders who have post-MA teaching experience.
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peripatetic_soul



Joined: 20 Oct 2013
Posts: 292

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:16 pm    Post subject: No luck in the US Reply with quote

Hemlock 32,

To add to NS' comment, I have also learned this over 30 years of teaching ESL/EFL.
1. There are very few full-time ESL positions at tertiary institutions in the U.S. I remember sending over 120 "portfolios" to institutions back in the 1980s and NEVER landed a FULL-TIME position, although I had interviewed for quite a few. That is when I decided to obtain state licensure to teach in public school.

2. There are even fewer FT openings these days.

3. Most importantly, positions are advertised to comply with EEOC regulations, but in reality, there is already often a PREFERRED INTERNAL candidate in mind.

Although the institution must interview applicants who meet the criteria, ultimately that preferred internal candidate is hired.

I know this paints a bleak picture, but that seems to be the reality in the U.S. as well as some other Western countries.

Where did many of us earn a generous income with benefits? Overseas, but that too is becoming a fruitless endeavor compared to the "golden days." I'm afraid we are a dime a dozen and as NS indicated, there is stiff competition. Consequently, many teachers are expanding their skill set.

Recent statistics show that at tertiary institutions, 70% of faculty are comprised of adjuncts (without benefits), not just in ESL, but in all academic subjects. At our local community college, for instance, there is a Coordinator and only one FT ESL instructor and all the rest are adjuncts.

Good luck in your future career opportunities. As NS points out, there are other options.
Best wishes


Last edited by peripatetic_soul on Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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Hemlock32



Joined: 14 Apr 2017
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey peripatic soul,

Thanks for your information. Ya, I just need to set a deadline for what I think is a legitimate amount of time to wait to see what happens and start calling these institutions. Many of them just post openings for applicant pools and will hire when they need to. This is really detrimental since, as a teacher, you can´t just sit and wait while they decide when to call. I will keep on applying throughout this year here and abroad to land something in the states. If not, I will just pack up my bags and go. I think with trump as president it is not going to become any better here. Yet, some of the jobs in the middle east looked pretty good, even if they are not total cash cows. That is fine. As long as they require U.S. citizenship, at least there is a little advantage from the rest of the world of teachers.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11353
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're willing to pursue an adult education and vocational certificate (e.g., Adult Basic Education Authorization), you'd boost your chances for full time work at a vocational school in your school district or in a correctional facility via the state's ed department. For example, I recently saw an ad for an ESL/GED teacher with two years' teaching experience and time spent abroad that pays $52,348-$62,816 a year. ESL teachers seem to overlook these opportunities.
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Hemlock32



Joined: 14 Apr 2017
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
If you're willing to pursue an adult education and vocational certificate (e.g., Adult Basic Education Authorization), you'd boost your chances for full time work at a vocational school in your school district or in a correctional facility via the state's ed department. For example, I recently saw an ad for an ESL/GED teacher with two years' teaching experience and time spent abroad that pays $52,348-$62,816 a year. ESL teachers seem to overlook these opportunities.



How much will that cost? And how long will it take? Do you have a good link?
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11353
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check out Adult education: an alternative to teaching k-12.

Also do an Internet search using adult ESL GED jobs to get a sense of what's out there and what's required.
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 1003
Location: US

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As others have said, right now isn't a good time to be applying for ESL jobs in higher ed in the US. We were in the middle of a slump anyway with the Saudi scholarship program dwindling and more Chinese students opting for other countries. Then Trump was elected, and I'm sure that hasn't helped. ESL does tend to go in waves, so hopefully there will be an increase at some point in the future.

Do you have experience teaching in an IEP at a US university? If not, you'll have very little chance at a full-time job at an IEP. If you taught at an IEP as a grad student instructor or adjunct, you've got a better shot, but will need to be extremely flexible on location.

To answer some of your questions:
I don't think applying from out of state will necessarily make universities overlook you. As peripatetic_soul said, there are usually internal candidates (usually someone who has been adjuncting there for years), but I don't think that necessarily means the search committee will be pushing to hire someone internal. Sometimes that is the case, but definitely not always.

In the searches I've been involved in in an IEP, we always had telephone or Skype interviews in the first round. If they want you to do an in-person interview for the first round and you live far away, I don't think it's unreasonable to ask whether you can do the interview via Skype or by telephone. I wouldn't negotiate with them to cover travel expenses; if they have a budget for that, the interview invitation will say as such. For non-tenure track positions, there's often not a budget to cover travel for the interview.
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Hemlock32



Joined: 14 Apr 2017
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you have experience teaching in an IEP at a US university? If not, you'll have very little chance at a full-time job at an IEP. If you taught at an IEP as a grad student instructor or adjunct, you've got a better shot, but will need to be extremely flexible on location.

I have some experience teaching at an IEP. During the practicum, it was required of us to observe, tutor, and teach. I just recently graduated from my MA TESOL program, one month ago. Since then I have been constantly applying for jobs. I have applied to around 40. I originally got contacted by some military dudes in KSA, but that fell through. In any case, I think going the military route isn´t necesarily the best way to go. I think good experience in an IEP would be better in the long term.

What kind of experience do you think you need to have to land a full time position? 5 years post MA experience? 10 years?
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Hemlock32



Joined: 14 Apr 2017
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
Check out Adult education: an alternative to teaching k-12.

Also do an Internet search using adult ESL GED jobs to get a sense of what's out there and what's required.



Cool. Ya. That seems like a viable option. Any other tips???
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 1003
Location: US

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hemlock32 wrote:
I have some experience teaching at an IEP. During the practicum, it was required of us to observe, tutor, and teach.

Practicum teaching will count a little, but not as much as being employed (e.g., as a graduate teaching assistant or an adjunct). You may need to try to get adjunct position(s) for a while OR work abroad for a while to build up your experience, if you intend to work at a US university in the future.

Quote:
I just recently graduated from my MA TESOL program, one month ago. Since then I have been constantly applying for jobs. I have applied to around 40.

If you just recently started applying for jobs, then you missed the boat for most openings in US universities, which were probably advertised last spring and early summer.

Quote:
What kind of experience do you think you need to have to land a full time position? 5 years post MA experience? 10 years?

Hard to say, really. I'd say at least 2-3 years. I've known people in the last couple years who had 2-year graduate assistantships or adjuncted during their MA and got a full-time job at an IEP at a US university on graduation.

I'd recommend working abroad for at least a couple years, preferably teaching academic language skills (EAP), in a university context if you want to apply for full-time university positions in the US. You'll at least make some money that way. You could adjunct in the US, but money may not be enough to survive, let alone pay off any debt you've incurred, if that's your only income.
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Hemlock32



Joined: 14 Apr 2017
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rtm wrote:
Hemlock32 wrote:
I have some experience teaching at an IEP. During the practicum, it was required of us to observe, tutor, and teach.

Practicum teaching will count a little, but not as much as being employed (e.g., as a graduate teaching assistant or an adjunct). You may need to try to get adjunct position(s) for a while OR work abroad for a while to build up your experience, if you intend to work at a US university in the future.

Quote:
I just recently graduated from my MA TESOL program, one month ago. Since then I have been constantly applying for jobs. I have applied to around 40.

If you just recently started applying for jobs, then you missed the boat for most openings in US universities, which were probably advertised last spring and early summer.

Quote:
What kind of experience do you think you need to have to land a full time position? 5 years post MA experience? 10 years?

Hard to say, really. I'd say at least 2-3 years. I've known people in the last couple years who had 2-year graduate assistantships or adjuncted during their MA and got a full-time job at an IEP at a US university on graduation.

I'd recommend working abroad for at least a couple years, preferably teaching academic language skills (EAP), in a university context if you want to apply for full-time university positions in the US. You'll at least make some money that way. You could adjunct in the US, but money may not be enough to survive, let alone pay off any debt you've incurred, if that's your only income.


Thanks a lot for your responses. Ya, I think in five years time I can build up my experience and talents, either abroad or adjunct here in the U.S. I´m open to anything. I just a little reluctant to move out to a place like oklahoma or kansas, if I stay here. Do you think it is for the better to begin publishing?

On the good side, I finished my MA in 1 year (no online component). I didn´t work as a TA, which is okay, but I worked as a writing center tutor and I think that could work towards something. I don´t have any debt, but yes, I would like to work in EAP. I have worked with ESP, which was awesome. I taught Business English and Telelphoning in English, which to this day, were still my favorite classes. RTM, thanks alot again.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11353
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hemlock32 wrote:
I think in five years time I can build up my experience and talents, either abroad or adjunct here in the U.S. I´m open to anything.

If you decide to head to the Gulf for work, apply as a direct hire. See The skinny on direct-hire university opportunities in the Saudi forum.
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 1003
Location: US

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hemlock32 wrote:
I just a little reluctant to move out to a place like oklahoma or kansas, if I stay here.

Unfortunately, the nature of higher ed jobs in the US is such that you may need to either be flexible on location or willing to take part-time work for quite a while. People tend to stay in full-time university positions for a long time, which means there are few openings in any specific place. You'll have a lot more possibilities if you are flexible on location.

Quote:
Do you think it is for the better to begin publishing?

For most non-tenure track instructor/lecturer positions in the US and many places around the world, publishing won't matter too much. It probably won't hurt your CV, and could be a little boost, but it's not really what ESL instructors are paid for. There are some exceptions though, like in Japan, where universities often want people who have research publications.

Quote:
On the good side, I finished my MA in 1 year (no online component). I didn´t work as a TA, which is okay, but I worked as a writing center tutor and I think that could work towards something. I don´t have any debt, but yes, I would like to work in EAP. I have worked with ESP, which was awesome. I taught Business English and Telelphoning in English, which to this day, were still my favorite classes.

Those sound like good experiences. You should play up the experience with academic writing in your university job applications. ESP (business English, etc.) experience is good, but doesn't substitute for regular EAP experience.
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RedLightning



Joined: 08 Aug 2015
Posts: 114
Location: United States

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might try looking into education/pedagogy departments.
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