Post # 1
I’m in a bit of an odd situation. I worked as a primary teacher in my home country (New Zealand). I have spent the last few years in Japan, doing ESL.
Due to my upcoming marriage, I will be relocating to the US. I am curently doing some grad school papers, in hopes of getting my credential. I understand that the teacher job market is really bad right now, but still had a couple of questions, for working out my future plans.
Due to FI’s future plans, we don’t know which state we will be in. It is likely to be out of Arizona, Texas, Ohio, Missouri, Tennessee or Pennsylvania. I therefore understand that it can be hard to give or know specifics.
I was wondering firstly if my plan is how things tend to work in the US. I had hoped to work as a sub (and maybe as a volunteer as well) so school districts get to know me. I am then hoping to pick up a longer sub job at some point, which will give me better US experience, and also hopefully US education references (my letters are from NZ/ will be from Japan), especially as I will have been out of an English speaking system for some time. Hopoefully then I will be able to start applying for full time positions. Is this how things usualy work in the US? Have I missed something?
Secondly, I was wonderinf if there is anythign specific that is valued in elementary teachers in the US? Any specific skills I should be looking to develop?
I know it is going to be hard; I am well aware the market isn’t pretty, but I feel like I should push as hard as I can, as it is what I really want to do.
Post # 3
National certification! That should be easier to get soon, because Common Core (National Standards; currently all states have their own) are coming into effect in, I believe, 2014. The fact that you have prior experience will help a lot, even though it’s in another country.
Familiarize yourself with Common Core. That’s the big thing right now and the higher-ups want someone familiar with it (or at least that’s what my professors are telling me). You should also familiarize yourself with high-stakes testing and No Child Left Behind. Form an opinion on them. They’ll probably ask.
Your plan to get your foot in the door is excellent! In most states, you don’t have to have any type of certification to sub. You might want to research the state your Fiance will be working in as soon as you know. You can get your state certification while you sub.
It’s not how things “usually” work here, but it’s definitely a doable option! Here, you typically get your Bachelor’s Degree (undergrad) first and then apply for jobs. You have an advantage because you have experience. If you also have an undergrad degee, even better!
Good luck! Let me know if I left something out.
Post # 4
@mepayne: Sorry – to clarify, I do have my Bachelors degree in Edu, but because the structure is different to the US, I’m doing some grad school to get the extra credits and hours I’m likely to need. I should be finished with those about the time I get my US work permit.
If National Certification becomes available, then that would be awesome. It’s really frustrating spending all this time and money on school, hoping it will be ok, with no guarenteed way of knowing because of state differences!
Post # 5
@farawayviolet: National certification is already available, but it’s harder to get than it will be soon. I’d go for state first and then national after Common Core goes into effect. It won’t be too much longer.
It sounds like you’re doing everything right! They may even take your Bachelor’s for what it is and not require anything extra. It can’t hurt to have it and I wouldn’t hold my breath that they’ll take it as is.