Teaching in Mexico
January 30, 2017 7:37 AM   Subscribe

I'm a teacher in Massachusetts, thinking of teaching in Mexico or elsewhere in South America. I speak Spanish and am certified to teach elementary, high school English and all levels special education. Can anyone point me to decent programs for this or conversely, steer me away from scams?

I'm interested in trying this for a summer or even a year. Does anyone have experience with any of these programs? How does one interview? How about housing? Does the cost of living work with the pay? What's the work culture like? What types of certification does one need? What questions am I not thinking of?
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes to Work & Money (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: A couple of years ago I considered applying for a job at this school. A friend worked at an international k-12 school in Ecuador and loved it.

I think it might be difficult to find a job in K-12 schools overseas if you only plan to stay a year. Are you also thinking of teaching English to adults?
posted by mareli at 8:18 AM on January 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: More than one year is absolutely within the realm of possibility, yes. I hadn't considered teaching English to adults -- is that something people need to do to survive financially?
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 9:08 AM on January 30, 2017

I have known several people who taught in international schools in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Ecuador, respectively. My understanding is that it will be fairly straightforward for you to get hired by one of these schools as a Spanish speaker who is a certified and experienced teacher. I know there are websites where international schools post jobs and I believe there are recruiters too, though it seems like that's where a lot of the scams would be.

Sorry I can't give more specific info - this is all second-hand. But it's definitely possible.
posted by lunasol at 11:36 AM on January 30, 2017

Best answer: Oh, you might also want to look into universities as well.
posted by lunasol at 11:37 AM on January 30, 2017

Oh, and! The people I've known who taught at international schools and universities did decently financially. Not a ton of money by American standards, but enough for a nice standard of living. Sometimes their schools arranged housing for them, sometimes they dealt with it on their own. One friend who was uncertified and applied in-country already had housing. Another was certified/experienced and had an apartment provided. It's definitely something you can negotiate. I know these schools tend to have a lot of turnover, so a candidate like you is valuable!
posted by lunasol at 11:41 AM on January 30, 2017

Best answer: I live in Honduras and know a couple of teachers that teach at the bilingual schools here. I think you can either apply to a school directly by sending them your resume or there are recruitment fairs where a bunch of recruiters and job seekers come together and try to make a match.

The schools here have two year contracts, so doing a summer or a year would probably not work, but I'm sure the length of contracts at other schools vary.

I believe one school provides housing and the other one doesn't. Finding housing isn't very hard here, but it's mostly done through word of mouth. For example, one teacher was paying $650 for a furnished one-bedroom apartment in a safe building, fairly close to the school.

I think the teachers get paid a decent salary. Not a huge amount, but enough to live on and take trips back to the U.S. for the winter holidays and the summer.
posted by Lingasol at 3:06 PM on January 30, 2017

Check out this school in Colombia
I went to school there.
posted by SyraCarol at 3:17 PM on January 30, 2017

I have a friend who manages an ESL school in Costa Rica, and another who works in Japan. However, I also have a cousin who teaches English in Mexico, and he's trying to come home ASAP because of the recent current events. There seems to be a growing hostility towards Americans in some areas, because of the wall, and now the immigration complications. Be careful where you choose, and make sure you do everything by the book travel-wise. Good luck!
posted by jhope71 at 9:54 AM on February 1, 2017

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