Returning to California - only taught abroad

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Chiliverde, May 9, 2020.

  1. Chiliverde

    Chiliverde New Member

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    May 9, 2020

    Hello all,

    I'm considering returning to California to teach Elementary school, and would love the good, bad, and the ugly. I've been teaching abroad for the last 15 years and got my New Jersey state cert in 2015. Also have my Masters. Lots of experience in accredited schools, so hoping some of my years abroad would be counted.

    I basically know nothing about teaching in the US. Would love to hear the good, bad, and ugly about charter schools, public, private, etc. Also, my husband who is a French citizen, is currently doing Teach Now to become a French teacher.

    Questions: assuming we decide to do this, is it even feasible for two teachers to support a family in California these days? Would possibly be living in Ventura (moderate expense) or Mendocino (cheaper?) counties. What about insurance, pension, etc? Can you see supporting a family and eventually affording a modest home, and possibly affording a trip back to Europe yearly?

    All of this is assuming things stay how they were pre-Covid, which we know they won't.
     
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  3. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    May 9, 2020

    According to my experience, just about any district will allow you to bring in 10 years of experience. You'll need to negotiate to get more. You might be able to persuade them of your added value due to your experiences of teaching overseas.

    Can't answer your question about living in Ventura or Medocino, but I strongly suggest you avoid charters and private schools if you want good pay, benefits and pension.

    My wife and I lived in Europe for 4 years teaching for DOD schools and loved it. We came back to start a family, looked for teaching jobs in California, but ended up in Oregon. We could afford a little house with a white picket fence and a cat in the window. Love it here.
     
  4. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    May 9, 2020

    Any particular reason you’re set on California? Are you open to other locations?
     
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  5. Chiliverde

    Chiliverde New Member

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    May 10, 2020

    Yeah, probably should have mentioned this - our kids are super small, 3 and 6 months. So to get help and save on childcare, would love to live in the same small town as my parents in Ventura county (also have family in Mendocino). Seems like that might be a way to make up for the quality of life difference from moving back from abroad.

    Would love to hear from anyone working in public school in California and also raising a family - what their experience is like, things to know or look out for, etc.

    Thanks to everyone who has weighed in so far - except for the UAE bot?
     
  6. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    May 10, 2020

    :toofunny:

    I’m not in CA, so I can’t give you info on that, but I wish you good luck! I tend to think “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” If you want to make it happen, I’m sure you can, but depending on the COL you may need to settle a bit on your ideal home or neighborhood.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2020
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  7. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    May 10, 2020

    Have you had a job casually teaching English, or a full time job as a licensed teacher internationally? That will likely make a difference in whether they accept your experience. It sounds like you have a true career abroad, and you say the schools are accredited, so make sure you’re able to document it as such. It can come down to how you’re able to “sell” your experience when you are trying to move up on the pay scale when hired. I taught abroad for a little while when young and did not count it towards my years of experience. A colleague taught for a few years and was able to count it with proper documentation and the contract to show them.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2020
  8. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    May 11, 2020

    I have been teaching in Mexico since 2009 and was going to return this July but, due to Covid, I am waiting another year.

    I checked with my local district in California and because I teach at an accredited school, they will count my years of experience.

    I don't think you will need to do a lot of work on "selling" your experience. Teaching is teaching. If anything, I think moving to a foreign country and being bicultural, perhaps bilingual, shows how open and flexible you are. Living among and adapting to another country is no easy feat. You can easily turn those into marketable skills that will make hiring you very desirable.

     
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  9. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I have heard exactly the opposite from several people but I think it likely really depends on A) district policies, and B) the nature of the job you were doing previously. My school tries to cheap out as much as possible when offering contracts and salaries. But I’m glad you found a school that will accept the experience and I hope it’s a norm!
     
  10. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    May 11, 2020

    That's unfortunate. Well, our teachers haven't had issues with the schools in the states accepting their years as experience when they return home (and half of our teachers come from English-speaking countries, primarily the US and Canada). The difference could be that we are a school with a Mexican and US accreditation. The accreditation makes all the difference.

     
  11. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    May 13, 2020

    I think the fact that you taught abroad is a positive coming to California, we have a multicultural / multilingual population here, to the point that every teaching credential has ELL certification embedded and those who don't have it must take a test or course work.

    So this bring up a concern. You said you originally got your credential in another state - I don't know how this works, but I know some people have to jump through additional hoops, take tests or coursework to transfer to a different state and I've heard it's especially so coming to California.
    Hopefully others can chime in on this, but it's definitely something to research.

    Other than that I would also recommend public school and not private. Some charter schools have the same pay scale as public schools with unions, etc, so they might not all be bad. I am currently working at a charter school that's part of our alternative ed district. The school went from title one court / community school to charter (I think still title 1) and nothing has changed for any of us.

    Two teachers can definitely afford to live here. I can afford to live here and it's only me, although I live at a lower cost of living area, but I could still make it in a higher area.
     

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