Attitudes Towards Foreign Teachers

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Heliax, Jan 18, 2018.

  1. Heliax

    Heliax Rookie

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    Jan 18, 2018

    I'm starting out my teaching career in just over a week's time, teaching secondary mathematics in Australia (ranging from pre-algebra to calculus).

    I'm Australian, and I'd love to teach at some point in the near future the US though. Now before anyone tries to scare me off (though I always welcome doses of reality grounded in wisdom) with tales of the school system in the US, or wonders why I might want to leave a place that is generally considered desirable - I really value intercultural experiences and having spent about a year of my life in the US in the past six years, it's a personal and professional goal of mine to teach and learn in the US.

    I've seen a fair amount of negative media out there regarding mismanagement of teachers on work visas/corruption in the administration, and it'd be great to hear the perspectives of those on the ground - local teachers themselves.

    What are the attitudes in your school/district towards teachers from abroad?
     
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  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Jan 20, 2018

    If your evaluated transcript is top notch, and you have already passed the teacher exams necessary to teach in the states, many districts will find you desirable to interview, so in the running with domestic candidates. However, if your credentials won't hold up for the job you want, you may need more education, or have to consider districts that are not elite. There may be culture shock, you may not experience it at all - it depends on prior experience. IMO, it is all about having credentials that are perceived as stringent as your US co applicants. You need to know what you are up against. Getting your transcripts and credentials evaluated prior to making your move will give you a head's up about what you may need to fix, or green light that you are good to go. Best of luck!
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2018
  4. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Some dehydrated people might turn down a glass of water because it wasn’t the right temperature. I wouldn’t listen to everyone who complains about the education system in America. I enjoy it, as do most others. That’s why we keep comin back. Wait, probably shouldn’t use a line out of a 12 step program to sell this notion...
     
  5. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Math is highly desirable. I think you will find a job, as long as you have your state certification.
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    No one in my district cares where you're from as long as you're licensed. You might get bonus points for having a cool accent.
     
  7. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    I also teach HS math, and I love it! It is certainly in demand, and you can be more selective about the type of district you work than individuals in other subject areas. As such, DO YOUR RESEARCH before you accept a job offer. If you are interested in making a difference in a challenging urban district, great!! If not, hold out for a spot in a more affluent, suburban area.
     
    AlwaysAttend likes this.
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 21, 2018

    Welcome to A to Z, Heliax! Do be aware that public education is run primarily by the states, and each of the fifty states (plus the District of Columbia, which isn't a state, and assorted territories) has its own rules regarding teacher licensure and teachers who have licenses from other nations. You might find it useful to do a search on "___ teacher license out of country", where the blank is filled by a state you're interested in; from the hits that result, stick with the ones that end in .gov or that otherwise show clear signs of being attached to a state department of education. As vickilyn has noted, getting your university transcript evaluated is definitely part of the process; the companies that do this are looking to see how your coursework matches up with the coursework that would be expected in the US, and, fortunately, most states seem willing to accept results from more than one of the dozen or so of those companies.
     
  9. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I truly think the perception of foreign teachers depends on the area you select. Some areas are more open to foreigners than others.

    Be prepared to start off as a "beginning teacher". I taught abroad and when I came back NONE of my years counted in the USA. So I had to start at the bottom and attend beginning teacher meetings. It was a waste of my time, but it wasn't awful. I was mostly just bitter that I had to do it at all.
     
  10. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Someone will hire you just so they can hear you say "maths." ;)
     
  11. Heliax

    Heliax Rookie

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    Jan 26, 2018

    Appreciate all the responses! I realize I've missed a fairly important piece of information from the OP: that I would need visa sponsorship for work authorization in the US.

    Sounds like the intermediate step for me now is to get certified for a state (looking at Texas since I've spent most of my time there), so that I can start being considered by schools.

    So far, my research has mostly focused on districts which would sponsor visas, and it seems that there aren't many districts out there which have a history of sponsoring many visas. Of those that do, it appears that Spanish bilingual educators are welcomed in most districts, and math/science educators are sponsored only in larger districts (e.g. Dallas, Houston ISD).

    Could the need for districts to invest finances into the visa sponsorship process be a deal-breaker for many small- and medium-sized districts?
     
  12. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Jan 26, 2018

    I'm not well versed on Texas and sponsoring visa, but if you need to taket their teacher certification exams (and they have their own exams) I suspect that they are not available for completion until you set foot in Texas, as opposed to states that require Praxis exams, which can be taken wherever ETS offers testing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018
  13. Mellymoo

    Mellymoo New Member

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    Jan 26, 2018

    Hey. For what it' worth which ,nght be nothing... I applied for a job in an international school in Houston about a decade ago. I got the interview but didn' go (met a guy, stupid devision). Anyway, my point is that Ithey were willing to provide the visa.nfrom what I saw and have been told fairly recently the school districts don' do this so am international school might be your first bet. I found the post on the tes website.

    Good luck.
     
  14. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 27, 2018

    TExES, the exam series for Texas (the name is NOT my fault!), is an ETS program and can probably be accessed at Prometric test centers outside the US, though possibly only during specific testing windows. Pearson administers the majority of state-specific tests (well, except Georgia's GACE, which like TExES started out as a Pearson product before the state decided to go with ETS instead) - anyway, I would expect Pearson's various programs to be available at PearsonVUE test centers worldwide, though again possibly only during specific test windows.
     
  15. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Jan 27, 2018

    TG, I believe you are right, and hopefully there will be more access outside of the Texas state borders. Although my son is now happily teaching in Virginia, at one point he was interested in acquiring Texas teaching certificates, and at that point that meant being in-state for testing EXCEPT I noticed a very few testing days in Princeton, NJ, which makes perfect sense to me. Since the tests are administered via computer, you would think that allowing potential teachers to test closer to their current home would be highly beneficial in expanding the teacher pool.
     
  16. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 27, 2018

    There's that, vickilyn. But limiting factors include simple availability of seats. Both ETS and Pearson administer a good many tests in addition to teacher tests, and all those aspiring students, nurses, doctors, engineers, database administrators, and so on are also looking to book appointments. And I think Prometric and PearsonVUE centers average under 20 seats. It makes sense to me that a given locale's test centers would privilege tests that are specific to that locale.
     
  17. Heliax

    Heliax Rookie

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    Jan 27, 2018

    I've checked out the ETS site for the TExES exams and it appears that all testing locations are US-based, bar a handful in Mexico. Good to know what direction to start looking now in any case.

    I'll reach out to a few of the larger districts as well and scope out what visa sponsorship policies are floating around out there too.
     

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