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-   -   Elementary Teaching in the US (https://britishexpats.com/forum/usa-57/elementary-teaching-us-870894/)

sparra Jan 18th 2016 6:21 pm

Elementary Teaching in the US
 
Hi Everyone,
I am a primary school teacher, looking to relocate SC in the US. My first question, for any elementary/primary school teachers out there...

What's the real deal on workload? How does it compare to the UK?

This year I'm averaging 60-65 hours a week.


Best regards,

Helen

sir_eccles Jan 18th 2016 6:28 pm

Re: Elementary Teaching in the US
 
Are you looking to get a visa based on teaching or are you getting a visa some other way?

Hint, getting a visa to be an elementary teach is unlikely.

Owen778 Jan 18th 2016 6:29 pm

Re: Elementary Teaching in the US
 
Welcome to BE!

So, I don't know much beyond this, but the answers you're going to get will say this:

1. What visa are you expecting to use to be able to live and work in the USA? If you can't get a suitable visa, this is a non-starter.

2. Teaching varies a lot by state, but you will be able to get some advice here all the same.

Pulaski Jan 18th 2016 7:47 pm

Re: Elementary Teaching in the US
 
Assuming you can get a visa, which based on what you have told us so far, is unlikely, you can't just rock up and start teaching. There is going to be substantial and potentially expensive additional training and certification required. Another BE member moved to SC with his wife (that was how he got a visa), and concluded that recertification as a teacher wasn't viable for him (at least in part because SC is among the very lowest paying states for teachers) so he ended up working as a driving instructor.

sparra Jan 18th 2016 7:58 pm

Re: Elementary Teaching in the US
 
Hi,
Thanks for the replies.
I've been doing a bit of research, so completely understand that I can't rock up and start teaching.
I've been in touch with a few school boards and some seem to sponsor H1b visas and some don't. I was then trying to find out the realities of the situation, just to see if mine and my husband's initial thoughts were at all viable.
Bit of background... I teach primary. My husband is retired but we have rental income from some properties we own in England.
We were looking at the possibility of relocating to sc even though the wages aren't fantastic.
Thanks for the reality check though. Is it especially difficult to get sponsorship for a visa from a school?
We weren't looking just at an exchange...more to live there long term.

Pulaski Jan 18th 2016 8:11 pm

Re: Elementary Teaching in the US
 

Originally Posted by sparra (Post 11841420)
..... Is it especially difficult to get sponsorship for a visa from a school? ....

It has never been reported to have happened on BE, despite the question being posed several times every year. Why would a school district shell out $5,000-$8,000 for visa and legal fees for an immigrant teacher who isn't even licensed under state requirements to teach?

School boards (equiv to LEAs) are (i) heavily cost constrained, and (ii) subject to politics, such that importing teachers from overseas when there are plenty of people already qualified and ready to start work immediately without the visa cost, would look terrible for the school board when it comes to election time (school boards are directly elected). ..... How do you think it would look if your LEA starting importing Americans as teachers?

Honestly, I would say that you thoughts are not viable. Sorry. :(

ddsrph Jan 18th 2016 8:26 pm

Re: Elementary Teaching in the US
 
Check with the state of Alaska. Twice the size of Texas, with lots of federal money for native population. A year there could be very interesting and could possibly lead to permanent status and credentials to transfer to lower 48.

Wintersong Jan 19th 2016 7:59 pm

Re: Elementary Teaching in the US
 
I'd suggest that your first step would be to contact school districts in the area and ask whether or not sponsoring an H1B is something they have done in the past and/or might consider. It's not unheard of (e.g. Washington public schools hire some foreign teachers by using H-1B visas | The Seattle Times) but I'd say it's highly unlikely, particularly for elementary level.

It's also worth noting that the H1b ties you to your employer (unless they are willing to transfer it, and you can find another school district which is willing to take it on), no matter how much you may dislike working for them. If you lose your job, you will also lose your residency status within the US.

Fwiw, I was a teacher in the UK before I moved over here and I was one of a group of teachers who were sent abroad for a week to share good practice. We ended up in Clemson, SC. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and very much liked South Carolina. Between that and my experience as a parent of elementary-aged kids in California, there are some major differences between teaching in the US and UK which might not be immediately apparent. First and foremost is the lack of funding over here - the schools are highly reliant on the parents and the local community for the most basic of supplies, even down to needing PTA grants and/or community fundraising to buy desks and chairs. Parents are expected to supply paper, pens, crayons, pencils and other day to day supplies. Teaching in a less affluent area means that you aren't going to have access to the supplies which you may be used to having available.

Pulaski Jan 19th 2016 8:36 pm

Re: Elementary Teaching in the US
 

Originally Posted by Wintersong (Post 11842461)
.... Teaching in a less affluent area .....

To be clear, this means most of South Carolina, which by most measures is one of the poorest handful of states in the US, only consistently better off than Mississippi, and sometimes Louisiana and Alabama.

sherbert Jan 20th 2016 12:48 am

Re: Elementary Teaching in the US
 
I don't know if they sponsor visas but there are a few British schools in the USA and most of those require teachers to have trained and worked in the UK for a certain period of time so you would expect that they might be a little more used to bringing staff over on visas. Here's a list of British schools on wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britis...ols_of_America

Pulaski Jan 20th 2016 12:59 am

Re: Elementary Teaching in the US
 

Originally Posted by sherbert (Post 11842670)
I don't know if they sponsor visas but there are a few British schools in the USA and most of those require teachers to have trained and worked in the UK for a certain period of time so you would expect that they might be a little more used to bringing staff over on visas. Here's a list of British schools on wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britis...ols_of_America

I have visited the Charlotte school, and we were very impressed; we were considering it for little Miss P. It is certainly well funded, though as best I remember most of thr teaching staff were in their 30's or 40's.

The only thing we didn't like was that the absolute size of the student body is small - about 12 in each year, so only about 150 in the whole school from age five to eighteen. We felt this wasn't what we were looking for in terms of socialization and opportunities for sport and performance arts.


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