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-   -   UK teacher --> Chicago schools / education sector (https://britishexpats.com/forum/usa-57/uk-teacher-chicago-schools-education-sector-879279/)

ENichols Jun 22nd 2016 1:56 pm

UK teacher --> Chicago schools / education sector
 
I am hoping to make the move from being an English
teacher in a UK state-run school, to a school or other
education related job in Chicago. Would anyone kindly be
able to help out with the following questions?
1. The best time of year to apply for teaching jobs in
the UK seems to be around the end of the academic year.
Is this also the case in the US, or could I fairly easily
start mid-year?

2. The time frame and cost of receiving certification to
work in a Chicago public school seems prohibitive, so I'm
considering charter schools and private institutions
which seem to have broader recruitment approaches.
However, one condition on working in a Chicago charter
school seems to be having five years' experience: I have
four -- one as a course co-ordinator in an art school,
three as an English teacher -- does anyone know if there
is any flexibility with this? One option seems to be
'lateral entry' programmes via a university - does anyone
have any experience of this they'd be willing to share?

3. My ideal role in the education sector would be where
there is a strong focus on combining education research
and teaching practice, particularly language teaching
from a formal linguistics perspective. The University of
Chicago's Urban Education Institute seems like such a
place -- does anyone have any experience of it, or indeed
of similar places that they may be able to recommend?

Thank you ever so much!

Pulaski Jun 22nd 2016 2:08 pm

Re: UK teacher --> Chicago schools / education sector
 
Are you:

(i) a USC relocating to the US,

(ii) moving as a trailing spouse with a visa that entitles you to work, or

(iii) will you require visa sponsorship by an employer?

If you require visa sponsorship you likely face a long, tough time searching for a potential emolyer willing to sponsor you, and you should look at it as a multi-year project, during which time you should gain further experience and qualifications to improve your marketability.

ENichols Jun 22nd 2016 2:20 pm

Re: UK teacher --> Chicago schools / education sector
 
Hi Pulaski, thanks for your swift response.

(i) Apologies, I am still learning the acronyms - what does USC stand for?

(ii) I'm not married - I'll moving independently of my partner, who will be on an H1B visa as he'll be part of the University of Chicago.

(iii) Yes, I will need visa sponsorship - I am a British citizen, and hoping to live and work in Chicago for two years. My current understanding is that the appropriate visa options for my situation seem to be J1 or H1B. Any further advice on this would be much appreciated.

Thank you.

Pulaski Jun 22nd 2016 2:27 pm

Re: UK teacher --> Chicago schools / education sector
 
USC = United States citizen.

OK, I don't have a lot of experience in the area of teaching, but you are right in thinking that being hired by a state (US = "public") school will be, to say the least, highly improbable.

It is likely that any published job "requirements" will be rigidly adhered to, because if they hire someone with less than the specified minimum, and another applicant who did meet the requirement lost out, litigation could be the result. .... There is no harm in applying if you fall slightly short of the requirement, but don't get your hopes up of being successful.

If you accompany your partner to Chicago on a non-working "domestic partner" B-2 visa I would guess that your chances of finding an employer willing to pay for your own H-1B is no better than 25%-50% in the first year. If you remain in the UK and only seek to follow when you have a job, I would cut the odds to 10%.

That you're only looking for two years makes the task of finding work even tougher IF the employer finds out (they aren't supposed to ask/know). Effectively you're asking them to shell-out a premium of $5k+ (over and above what a local hire would cost) for perhaps 18 months of work from you.

Cook_County Jun 22nd 2016 3:21 pm

Re: UK teacher --> Chicago schools / education sector
 
Teaching in England & Chicago at high school level do not compare. To cope with the gang culture & the language differences you'd probably want to re-qualify in the States.

Pulaski Jun 22nd 2016 3:55 pm

Re: UK teacher --> Chicago schools / education sector
 

Originally Posted by Cook_County (Post 11980676)
Teaching in England & Chicago at high school level do not compare. To cope with the gang culture & the language differences you'd probably want to re-qualify in the States.

"In Chicago" is different from "near Chicago".

There is also a marked difference between private and public schools, not that it matters because the OP isn't going to get a job in the public school system anyway because she needs visa sponsorship.

sir_eccles Jun 22nd 2016 8:55 pm

Re: UK teacher --> Chicago schools / education sector
 

Originally Posted by Pulaski (Post 11980712)
"In Chicago" is different from "near Chicago".

There is also a marked difference between private and public schools, not that it matters because the OP isn't going to get a job in the public school system anyway because she needs visa sponsorship.

My wife taught in Chicago for a brief period, the gang culture is not to be trifled with.

themadpooper Jun 22nd 2016 10:44 pm

Re: UK teacher --> Chicago schools / education sector
 
Chicagoan singing in

The Chicago public school system is notorious for being one of the most challenging in the county in which to work. Teachers and staff are currently locked in a vicious dispute over pay and pensions and have been striking sporadically over the last year. This ain't just a few people - 1000s have been taking to the streets of Chicago, it's been on the local news relentlessly

Even if the op had the desired qualifications and experience of teaching in the inner city pubic school system in America which she clearly doesn't (not even close), she's picking the worst city in America to relocate to work wise. If she was coming here for pretty much any other reason, I would be saying the exact opposite

Good luck

Bob Jun 23rd 2016 12:33 am

Re: UK teacher --> Chicago schools / education sector
 
Might have more luck having interest in a really hard to recruit for school area...which probably wouldn't be a place you would want to work at.

Also, no idea what subjects might be easier to get a job in over there, but the missus was chatting to the head of the economics department at a nearby town high school. Chap is on the hiring committee and said for the business teacher position, they had a smidge over 250 applications for the position and nearly everyone had a masters and experience as that was the minimum requirement, they even had quite a few doctorates applying, for a high school position, not even a good high school. The physics teacher position on the other hand only had 4 applicants.

retzie Jun 23rd 2016 3:47 am

Re: UK teacher --> Chicago schools / education sector
 

Originally Posted by ENichols (Post 11980609)
(ii) I'm not married - I'll moving independently of my partner, who will be on an H1B visa as he'll be part of the University of Chicago.

(iii) Yes, I will need visa sponsorship - I am a British citizen, and hoping to live and work in Chicago for two years. My current understanding is that the appropriate visa options for my situation seem to be J1 or H1B. Any further advice on this would be much appreciated.

Since it hasn't been mentioned: being married will open up your visa options. Marriage to an H-1B holder doesn't help you out in terms of work, but interestingly, marriage to a J-1 holder does (a J-2 is eligible to apply for an EAD, which allows work for any employer).

Just throwing it out there in case you would consider marriage and U of C can be persuaded to go the J-1 route. Of course, this doesn't help much in terms of finding a job, but it would make it substantially easier to take up an offer :)

Also, you are in a good position to contact the Urban Education Institute directly and see if they can swing some sort of position for you as a partner/spouse.

jeepster Jun 28th 2016 4:32 am

Re: UK teacher --> Chicago schools / education sector
 
Maybe she can work as a substitute teacher. But Chicago around the Univ. of Chicago is pretty tough. Try to hold out for the outlying schools either on the Southwest or Northwest sides.

Actually she can look for substitute teacher jobs in the burbs.

Bayleaf_01 Jun 28th 2016 1:22 pm

Re: UK teacher --> Chicago schools / education sector
 
I work in the schools system in Metro Detroit, so not Chicago.
My input, having just witnessed the hiring process.
Troy School District is a GOOD district in Michigan, we received over 3000 applications for 20 openings. Yes, it would be easier to get into a inner city district, but no inner city district is going to consider paying out for a visa sponsorship when there are 1000's of US teachers looking for jobs. They simply don't have the budget.
My suggestion, sort out your visa first and once you can legally work, apply around March to the districts you are interested in and ask to be considered for the new hire pool.
Districts in Michigan are pushing for English Second Language certification, as so many students needs extra help - that would certainly be an advantage. A Masters in education is also very helpful to make you stand out from the pack.
Substitute teaching is a good option to get a feel for the districts and student cohorts. Lots of schools look to permanently hire long term substitutes if they do a really good job. Again, you would need to have your visa in place and legally be able to work before you could look to substitute.
Good luck

Pulaski Jun 28th 2016 1:26 pm

Re: UK teacher --> Chicago schools / education sector
 

Originally Posted by Bayleaf_01 (Post 11987708)
.... My suggestion, sort out your visa first and once you can legally work, ...... Again, you would need to have your visa in place and legally be able to work before you could look to substitute. .....

The OP has no path to a work visa /EAD without employer sponsorship.

Bayleaf_01 Jun 28th 2016 2:27 pm

Re: UK teacher --> Chicago schools / education sector
 

Originally Posted by Pulaski (Post 11987713)
The OP has no path to a work visa /EAD without employer sponsorship.

I understand that, I was trying to point out that finding a sponsor by a inner city school district would be very very difficult. Getting US certified in an area such as ESL would be a huge advantage.


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