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Teaching Elementary in Latin America?
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littlelauren86



Joined: 20 Sep 2011
Posts: 84
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:16 am    Post subject: Teaching Elementary in Latin America? Reply with quote

Hi all,

I'm planning on getting certified in the USA to teach Elementary (Kindergarten-6th) because my goal is to eventually work in international schools.

The problem is, when I become certified, I will only have 2 years of FT ESL experience in Korea, without any real experience as an Elem. classroom teacher. As far as I have been told, when applying to international schools, ESL or "teaching assistant" positions don't count as real experience. Rolling Eyes As a result, I've been advised to concentrate on the Middle East for any hopes of finding a job after getting certified.

My question is, is it possible to find work and get experience in my certification area in Latin America? I don't care about the location. I'm willing to accept lower pay in order to get the experience I need and move on.

Thanks to anyone with any advice!
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8974
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some places will hire you, others will insist that you have two years experience in the US. Go to intl job fairs where you can interview with many employers. I worked at an intl school and I can tell you out of the dozen or so foreign teachers, only 2 had expeirence in the US
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littlelauren86



Joined: 20 Sep 2011
Posts: 84
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply! Do you think it would be worth it for me to attend the Latin America job fair then? Have you ever been?

I'm trying to figure out if I should go to a job fair, or just apply to schools directly Sad
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8974
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

littlelauren86 wrote:
Thanks for the reply! Do you think it would be worth it for me to attend the Latin America job fair then? Have you ever been?

I'm trying to figure out if I should go to a job fair, or just apply to schools directly Sad


While there are LA job fairs, there are also intl school job fairs in general. They're usually in the US, UK, etc. so you should be able to find one nearish to you. I've never been. I applied directly to schools, which was a mistake, since I got less money and fewer benefits, but my case was different since I held residency in Peru, but at that time was a resident in Korea. However, since my Peru residency was still valid, I was a local hire.

The issue with applying directly to schools is that you don't know if they have openings and it takes more work. On the otherhand, they might get your CV before they post an opening and hire you. With intl school job fairs, you know that everyone there is looking for teachers and it's kind of like shooting fish in a barrel. I've had friends walk around with a handful of job offers. But, the downside is that schools can cancel at the last moment since they find a teacher and decide not to go to the fair.

Have you tried the international school review website? They've got really good info. As for me, I've decided that I prefer teaching uni kids rather than kid kids. Pay is a bit better, no free schooling for my kids, but the loooong vacations more than make up for the looong days at intl schools and the stress.
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sdg05003



Joined: 13 Mar 2011
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never attended a recruiting fair, i got my current job through word of mouth. (school doesn't advertise). I did however, send out emails to over 100+ schools in various countries and spend months researching various situations. It was a looong process, but well worth it.
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Landon



Joined: 26 Sep 2011
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sdg05003 wrote:
I never attended a recruiting fair, i got my current job through word of mouth. (school doesn't advertise). I did however, send out emails to over 100+ schools in various countries and spend months researching various situations. It was a looong process, but well worth it.


Over 100 International Schools? You must have covered every school on the planet. I must be doing something wrong then. I am only finding very few American Intl schools in the countries I am looking at. Looking into Uruguay and Argentina now and I think they have 1 each.

This is getting more and more discouraging. The Intl school market must be ridiculously hard to get into if you had to apply to over 100 schools for months all over the globe and only ended up getting a job by a word of mouth school.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8974
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Landon wrote:
Over 100 International Schools? You must have covered every school on the planet. I must be doing something wrong then. I am only finding very few American Intl schools in the countries I am looking at. Looking into Uruguay and Argentina now and I think they have 1 each.

This is getting more and more discouraging. The Intl school market must be ridiculously hard to get into if you had to apply to over 100 schools for months all over the globe and only ended up getting a job by a word of mouth school.


100 intl schools isn't much. Go to TES and IBO and see the link I sent you. ONE school in Argentina? really? I highly doubt it. THere's usually at least an American one and a British one.

INtl schools aren't just limited to American schools.
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Landon



Joined: 26 Sep 2011
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

naturegirl321 wrote:
Landon wrote:
Over 100 International Schools? You must have covered every school on the planet. I must be doing something wrong then. I am only finding very few American Intl schools in the countries I am looking at. Looking into Uruguay and Argentina now and I think they have 1 each.

This is getting more and more discouraging. The Intl school market must be ridiculously hard to get into if you had to apply to over 100 schools for months all over the globe and only ended up getting a job by a word of mouth school.


100 intl schools isn't much. Go to TES and IBO and see the link I sent you. ONE school in Argentina? really? I highly doubt it. THere's usually at least an American one and a British one.

INtl schools aren't just limited to American schools.


Yes, but we are not Brittish, we are American. Surely we cannot work in a Brittish or Canadian or Irish school, correct? We dont sound like or look like they do, we dont understand their History or government, their measurement system is weird =), and dont have documentation from that country. You dont want me teaching your high school kids the metric system or how that Brittish government works, that is for sure.
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1123
Location: 1748'N 9746'W

PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To the OP you could get hired at a second or third tier bilingual private K-12 school in Mexico as you are. What I don't know is if that experience will help you move into a top tier bilingual or all English private school.

To Landon, I know Americans who work at a British school in Mexico City. The Nationality generally only implies the curriculum.
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globalcitizen1968



Joined: 03 Oct 2011
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You don't need to get certified in the states to teach at a private catholic elementary school in Mexico City. There are places in the states where you can START getting 46,000 dollars a year once you're certified so why go to another country where you won't get anything NEAR that?? Try the middle east or asia. You'll get more money and respect as a teacher there than you will ANYWHERE in Latin America.

Good luck.
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Landon



Joined: 26 Sep 2011
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

globalcitizen1968 wrote:
You don't need to get certified in the states to teach at a private catholic elementary school in Mexico City. There are places in the states where you can START getting 46,000 dollars a year once you're certified so why go to another country where you won't get anything NEAR that?? Try the middle east or asia. You'll get more money and respect as a teacher there than you will ANYWHERE in Latin America.

Good luck.


It is even more than that here. My wife walked from her college classroom straight into $51K, first year 2nd grade teacher here in Dallas. The schools were ringing our phone off the hook for months wanting her to teach for them. And this was just 2 years ago when the market was supposedly so bad. You wanna teach, come to Texas. Do not listen to this bad economy stuff. Helps a lot to speak Spanish though.

To answer your question, of course you can make more money staying home. I dont think a lot of people only want to teach overseas just because of the "fantastic salaries", and this includes my wife and I. She currently works, and I have a good career where we are earning and saving numerous times the amount of money we could make ANYWHERE in the world teaching English. Of course we would like to be comfortable where we end up, but the "great money" has never been our motivation to teach abroad. We love teaching, helping others, experiencing other cultures, learning languages (we are fluent in 3), seeing the world, and it is just time to get out of this place. I am sure that there are many in it for the same reasons.

Do you really think we would get more respect in Asia than LA? I am hearing nothing but how discriminatory those countries are toward caucasians and especially hispanics and blacks and that they dont really want us there. I think I could handle it ok but I know my wife will have a hard time with people laughing and taunting her. Doesnt seem respectful to me.

Its strange since I walked around like a rockstar when I lived in Lima. When I traveled just a little ways out of the city the kids would literally run out of their houses to see me and touch me. They would say, "look at his white skin" and "and look at his blue eyes". Also, when I went on a mission trip to Romania several years ago for a month the children and adults were fascinated with black people. They would go crazy when they saw a black man. Apparently every black guy looked like the Fresh Prince of Bel Air and was sooooo cool. I had a 30 year old Romanian woman tell me that all black guys have 6 pack abs and can dunk basketballs. And she was definately serious. Sounds like in Korea and Japan they just boo you off the streets if you are another race.
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 883

PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Landon wrote:

Yes, but we are not Brittish, we are American. Surely we cannot work in a Brittish or Canadian or Irish school, correct? We dont sound like or look like they do, we dont understand their History or government, their measurement system is weird =), and dont have documentation from that country. You dont want me teaching your high school kids the metric system or how that Brittish government works, that is for sure.


Of course you could. An international school isn't just an exact replica of an <insert country here> school transplanted intact to a new country. By it's nature, the curriculum will reflect the international nature of the students. Yes there may be a few things you have to learn, but that will likely be true wherever you end up. Certainly, there are Americans (amongst many other nationalities) teaching at the British School in Quito.

I'd be more worried about you teaching them spelling and punctuation than about the British government. Wink

Oh, and take GC68 with a pinch of salt. He has a chip on his shoulder big enough to feed a small family.
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Landon



Joined: 26 Sep 2011
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HLJHLJ wrote:
Landon wrote:

Yes, but we are not Brittish, we are American. Surely we cannot work in a Brittish or Canadian or Irish school, correct? We dont sound like or look like they do, we dont understand their History or government, their measurement system is weird =), and dont have documentation from that country. You dont want me teaching your high school kids the metric system or how that Brittish government works, that is for sure.


Of course you could. An international school isn't just an exact replica of an <insert country here> school transplanted intact to a new country. By it's nature, the curriculum will reflect the international nature of the students. Yes there may be a few things you have to learn, but that will likely be true wherever you end up. Certainly, there are Americans (amongst many other nationalities) teaching at the British School in Quito.

I'd be more worried about you teaching them spelling and punctuation than about the British government. Wink

Oh, and take GC68 with a pinch of salt. He has a chip on his shoulder big enough to feed a small family.


Thanks. Learning something new everyday.

I love it how everybody has their own strong opinion about everything and thinks everyone should do it they way they do or they are wrong. This also includes me and my preconceived notions. Someone will ask a simple question and get 10 different infatic answers. Gotta sift through it all to find what you want to hear i guess. Ask enough people and you will find somebody to agree with you. Thats what Ive been doing and its working so far. Very Happy
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8974
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Landon wrote:
Yes, but we are not Brittish, we are American. Surely we cannot work in a Brittish or Canadian or Irish school, correct? We dont sound like or look like they do, we dont understand their History or government, their measurement system is weird =), and dont have documentation from that country. You dont want me teaching your high school kids the metric system or how that Brittish government works, that is for sure.


British you mean Wink and yes you can. Why couldn't you? It's international after all. As for Irish schools, haven't seen many. Mostly British, American, Canadian, and "intl"

You don't need docs from that country, you'll be working in another country and they'll get you the visa. And you couldn't teach HS kids, you don't have a teaching icense. Your wife could teach primary kids though. In British, American, Canadian, etc schools.

FYI: not British either, but worked at a British intl school and a German bilingual school.

As for the 51K, how much does she get after taxes? My mom is at 60K and only gets 45K after all the deductions.

Just went to Romania as well, where were you? I didn't notice the thing about black people, and everyone thought I was Romanian.
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Landon



Joined: 26 Sep 2011
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

naturegirl321 wrote:
Landon wrote:
Yes, but we are not Brittish, we are American. Surely we cannot work in a Brittish or Canadian or Irish school, correct? We dont sound like or look like they do, we dont understand their History or government, their measurement system is weird =), and dont have documentation from that country. You dont want me teaching your high school kids the metric system or how that Brittish government works, that is for sure.


British you mean Wink and yes you can. Why couldn't you? It's international after all. As for Irish schools, haven't seen many. Mostly British, American, Canadian, and "intl"

You don't need docs from that country, you'll be working in another country and they'll get you the visa. And you couldn't teach HS kids, you don't have a teaching icense. Your wife could teach primary kids though. In British, American, Canadian, etc schools.

FYI: not British either, but worked at a British intl school and a German bilingual school.

As for the 51K, how much does she get after taxes? My mom is at 60K and only gets 45K after all the deductions.

Just went to Romania as well, where were you? I didn't notice the thing about black people, and everyone thought I was Romanian.


I dont exactly how much they deduct from her but I learned a long time ago that taxes are a part of life. I have never filled out a form or had someone ask me how much I NET a year. If I want to live and work somewhere I have to play by their rules and pay their taxes. And one of the most important things you have to remember about your mom is the US teachers retirement. State retirement accounts is where a large portion of those deductions are going. It is exiciting to forget out that for a while and then get letters in the mail showing that you have another $5K deposited and its growing without you even thinking about it. Your mom is packing away a huge chunk of cash towards her retirement every month and she will be set for life if she completes the contract for her states retirement. US teachers are known for retireing young when these benefits kick in. My next door neighbor just retired from public school at the age of 52.

Thanks for the info. I would have never guessed that she could work for a British or another country's school. You are right, I dont have a teaching license. I am asking for her. I am going to teach EFL. And yes, she is only currently certified to teach primary but the other certifications are only a test away. I have encouraged her to go ahead and get certified in everything possible, Primary, Secondary, Bilingual, Spanish, EFL, etc. Seems easy enough.

In Romania we worked in Bucharest, Saint George, Braila, and Slatina. We did some other traveling around too. Saw Timisoara, Sigisoara, and Dracula's castle which was cool.
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