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Teaching in Washington, D.C. & Boston, MA

 
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dvavrina



Joined: 23 Jun 2003
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 2:52 pm    Post subject: Teaching in Washington, D.C. & Boston, MA Reply with quote

Hello,

I have taught ESL in Washington, D.C. and northern Virginia just outside D.C.

Despite what you might think, there really aren't many ESL teaching opportunities in the D.C./Northern VA area at all, unless you teach ESL in a public school. Also, the pay rate for ESL teaching in the D.C. area is not very good (unless, again, you are teaching at a public school)--and none of the schools I know of pay for prep time (except possibly Arlington, VA's Clarendon Education Center REEP program--I can't remember whether they pay for prep time or not). The ESL student population in the D.C. area is very heavily dominated by Latinos. The only non-college-related private ESL school I know of where this is not the case is the International Language Institute in Washington, D.C. In the D.C. area, I taught at the International Language Institute in D.C. in 2005, Sanz School in Falls Church, VA in 2005 and 2006, and LADO International College on Saturdays in 2006 (LADO requires teachers to have a high school diploma and either a TEFL Certificate or 6 months of prior ESL teaching experience). None of these schools paid for prep time and the highest-paying school was Sanz School, which upped its pay from $14/hr in 2005 to $16/hr in 2006 (Sanz School asks for 1 year of teaching experience, but doesn’t check up on it, and is always losing teachers, so will hire you, anyway). Similarly, within 2006, LADO increased its pay rate from approximately $12/hr to $14/hr. I can't remember exactly what ILI paid me, but I remember that I felt I would really need an extra part-time job in addition to my full-time job there in order to really make things meet economically. I believe that ILI's pay worked out to about $14/hr for 25 in-class teaching hours/week. The teachers and students at ILI were EXTREMELY extraverted and high energy--so, be prepared for that. Some of the other teachers were jerks; some of them were quite nice. The ILI teacher supervisor, Bonnie Dahnke, is great, and the course curriculums are very good. *Even though the pay rate was the highest, I would completely avoid teaching at Sanz School, which has always seemed to have dysfunctional administrators and students with major discipline problems. The pay isn't worth it, especially if you are going to find yourself looking for a job again one month later, due to the horrible students.* I haven't taught at Inlingua or International Media Academy in the area, but I have heard bad things about them (many of the LADO teachers I met had previously taught at Inlingua and hadn't liked it), so I would avoid them as well. The Arlington Education and Employment Program (REEP) has well-paying teaching positions at the Clarendon Education Center by the Clarendon subway stop, but you generally need a Master's degree in ESL teaching and a few years of experience abroad and at home (especially with adult immigrants) if you want to get a job teaching at the Center. Like most of the schools in the D.C. area, The Center caters to a very predominantly Latino student population. If you would like to find out more information about these schools, you can contact the schools themselves or you can e-mail me at dvavrina@yahoo.com.

However, I would definitely not move to the D.C. area to pursue teaching ESL, unless you are planning to do it at a public school--I know in Virginia that you need to have successfully passed at least 6 ESL teaching college courses before you can get certified to teach ESL in Virginia.

I now live in Boston, MA. I moved here at the very end of 2006. As you may know, Boston is like the college capital of the United States. There are many, many more ESL schools/programs in Boston, even though it is a much smaller city, and I think this may have to do with the fact that many international students move here with the plan of attending Harvard University or MIT or one of the other numerous colleges here after they take ESL classes to learn or brush up on their English. Unlike the ESL schools/programs in D.C., many of the ESL employers in the Boston area pay for some prep time. The pay rates are also much better, usually in the range of $18-$22/hr (although the cost of living is much higher in the Boston area, so this should be expected). Although I have done some ESL job-hunting and interviewing in Boston, I have not taught ESL here--I am now pursuing other things--but you can find a good (albeit somewhat out-of-date) list of Boston area ESL employers at http://www.geocities.com/athens/parthenon/4148/private.html or by doing a Google search for "Boston ESL presents." Another great source of ESL jobs in Boston is the University of Massachusetts--Boston's ABE (Adult Basic Education) e-mail distribution list, which regularly sends out e-mails about ESL teaching openings, which may not be advertised on Craig's List.

Both Washington, D.C. and Boston have good public transportation systems with subways and buses, but be sure to find a place close enough to the city and on a good bus line or near a subway station to ensure that your commuting is livable. You can check this out by typing a home address and work address into the Trip Planners of www.wmata.com for the D.C. metro area or www.mbta.com for the Boston area.

Again, I would avoid Washington, D.C. On the other hand, Boston offers a great number of jobs (and the ESL student population here is more Asian--like I heard San Francisco’s is--especially when it comes to the private ESL schools). If you check the Craig’s List job ads under “Education” for these 2 cities, you will see the immense difference. I'd have to tell you, though, that the cost of living is actually more expensive here in the Boston area than in the D.C. area, where you can easily live in the less-expensive VA or MD suburbs and commute to D.C. The D.C. area offers far many free, quality events/attractions, whereas in Boston there is a hefty price tag for almost everything. Also, Boston's weather is honestly the pits (very cold for much of the year and sweltering in the summer), a huge difference from the D.C. area, which has great weather most of the time.

If you want to teach ESL and don't have a car, though, Boston would be a good city to check out. I would ask about potential employers’ teaching experience/credential requirements before moving to pursue a possible ESL teaching job.

-Dan
dvavrina@yahoo.com
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Tiger Beer



Joined: 08 Feb 2003
Posts: 754
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very thorough. This post is a little old, but found it through the search engine. Seems still worthy to bump up so that others would know.
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