UK teacher wants to work in CA
January 21, 2009 1:31 PM   Subscribe

I'm a secondary physics teacher in the UK and would like to teach in California for a year or more from September 09. What do I need to do?

I have Qualified Teacher Status and I've completed my NQT year. I've taught full time for a total of three years and am now Head of Physics and in charge of developing e-learning at my London school. Ideally I'd like to live in the San Francisco Bay area.

I started teaching through Teach First, which is based on Teach for America. I know several TFA alumni have made the transition this way.

I don't mind what sort of school I teach in, and accept that it's not likely I'll be able to find a similar management position over there. I really want to experience a new country, and that area holds a big draw for me (geek community, TechShop, woo!).

I'm a good teacher with a strong record of helping challenging kids succeed, just need advice on the processes and checks needed, and how to get a job over there!

Thanks in advance.
posted by bullox to Education (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Private schools (the equivalent of British public schools) are probably going to be your best bet, because they tend not to require specialized teaching certifications. Here's a list of over 700 private schools in the Bay Area.

For Teach for America, you have to be a citizen or permanent resident, so that's out.

Physics is a good field to be in, as there is a chronic shortage of science teachers. Also, some public (state) schools are recruiting teachers from abroad, but again, you might run into certification problems.

Services such as the Southern Teachers Agency abound here; I don't know offhand of a CA equivalent, but STA wouldn't be a bad place to look if you're willing to explore beyond the Bay Area.
posted by charmcityblues at 1:42 PM on January 21, 2009

Charmcity is right on most counts. I teach in the public schools in the bay area, and you will have fewer hoops through which to jump by investigating private schools. I will add that all of California public schools are suffering from the state's budget crisis. Many districts are looking at layoffs. This may make the private sector more competitive for you. You are wise to start your job search in earnest right now, even though most schools will not be seriously evaluating their needs until mid-March.

Should you want to pursue teaching in the public sector, here is a list of SF bay area Public school districts.

And here is a link to requirements for those with 'out of country' training.
posted by TDIpod at 8:08 PM on January 21, 2009

Teaching exchange? you probably won't get to pick where you go, though there might be a california specific one somewhere.
posted by kjs4 at 9:05 PM on January 21, 2009

Thanks to charmcityblues and TDIpod - that's just what I needed, especially the credentials part. Sounds like the private schools option will be more likely, although my principles will probably lead me back to the public sector pretty fast!

kjs4, thanks for the link but the deadline for this year was last December, and I'm looking to leave my current school so they're not going to be up for the hassle of a return exchange. Thanks anyway.
posted by bullox at 2:27 PM on January 22, 2009

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