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El Salvador?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by 1scubachick, May 3, 2007.

  1. Anyone have any experience with teaching in El Salvador? Any advice about international schools there? Thanks :)
  2. Anyone have any experience with teaching in El Salvador? Any advice about international schools there? Thanks :)
  3. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    There are two large schools, the American and the British. I believe the British one still does a combination of British and IB curricula. I taught there in the early 1990s and the students were the friendliest I've encountered anywhere on four continents. Some of them were also outstanding academically. Both schools had a majority of local students. The American school had more international children. A friend of ours still teaches in the British school and finds it professionally run and quite demanding. All my immediate family has an affection for El Salvador which has made a lot of progess in pulling itself together after the civil war but there was recently UK TV programme about gang culture there and as in many third world countries the gap between the rich and poor is enormous. ES is a small country but with easy access to major cultural/ touristic destinations such as Guatemala and Costa Rica.
  4. tica

    tica New commenter

    Just to echo mainwaring (but I am a latinophile)I know people who have remained at the british establishment for years and have nothing but praise for the way it is run. It is IB and the kids are high achievers generally and a delight to teach. ES itself is beautiful but has it's problems - seem to be a lot of guns around after the civil war (sounds like London)but friends there have a very comfortable life style and great travel opportunities. Latin America is the place to go if you're the adventurous type and want to really experience a different culture.
  5. I see that the school is currently advertising. It sounds great and the recruitment pages are very informative.
    No hints as to pay scale, however. Does anyone know if it is suitable for teachers with home-country financial commitments?
  6. geckopoo

    geckopoo New commenter

    I teach at the British school. While the school isn't in the best area for scenery or recreational purposes, it's safe and ideally situated for excellent travel opportunities.

    Salary is adequate, but watch out for the emergency tax code and stoppages that eat away at your take home pay. On a salary of aprox $50,000 you can expect to take home less than $2,000 a month (this is after your rent, healthcare - 50% payable by staff, phone rental and calls - handset provided by school with free calls to other school phones, tax etc have been taken out. The school salary is divided into 14, with an extra month paid at Xmas and at the end of the summer term (this one is tax free). There is also a $1,000 amount paid to returning teacher's each August. Pay is paid twice a month - with half of your rent coming out of each pay packet. This has the advantage that pay day is never far away. As a teaching couple it may be possible to be able to send money back to the UK - but it is quite expensive to transfer.

    The school is well organised and run. The work load is not significantly different to that of any other international school. The school day is quite long - school starts at 7am and finishes at 150 in secondary and 130 in primary, but teachers are not allowed to leave until 3pm (2 on a Friday).

    The students at the school are generally good, but it is not really the academic school it claims to be. Students study for local exams alongside British ones, and this creates a little more paperwork.

    If you require any more info, please feel free to PM me.
  7. Geckopoo (great name, by the way) thanks for a highly informative post. Just to clarify one thing....the $2000 per month you mention is take-home pay rather than disposable income, right? So luxuries like food and transport still have to come out of it to reach a final figure?
  8. geckopoo

    geckopoo New commenter

    The figure is after taxes, pension, housing, phone and healthcare has been taken out. you will still have to pay for food, transportt, electric (aprox $60 a month if no air con), TV and internet (varies, but maybe $60 a month), water ($2 per month + aprox $2 per week for drinking water - per person).

    The extra month's salary at Xmas and summer make a big difference as they have no stoppages out of them (and no tax on the summer one), so a valuable cash boost for holidays etc

    Most houses are unfurnished - but school provide a basic furniture package - cooker / fridge-freezer / 3 piece suite / dining table and 6 chairs / bed(new mattress) and desk+chair for $5 a month.

    Transport is quite cheap - taxi to nearest big mall with eating places about $4. Cars are expensive to buy - minimum $3,000 for a 20 year old 4x4. Insurance is optional - but again school will sort and stop out of your salary - maybe $20 a month. MOT's are non-existent - so makes car buying interesting. Fuel is $3.50ish per US gallon. Most accomodation is within walking / short drive of school.

    Food costs will depend on what you prefer. You can eat local food for a couple of dollars, up to whatever you want to pay in classy western joints. Beer is cheap - $1.50 a bottle. Supermarkets sell a reasonable range - but don't expect to find English commodities. School provide a cooked lunch for $2 a day.

    Hope this helps!
  9. geckopoo

    geckopoo New commenter

    Forgot to add - that the school are very helpful and try to make it as easy as possible to settle in. You also get a $2,000 settling in allowance (taxable) that helps with rent deposit, 1st month's rent , tv purchase etc.
  10. You are a star. Thank you.
  11. Just checking again.....the $50, 000 salary you mention. Do average teachers get that? It seems quite high for the region and about twice what's mentioned on the EA recruitment page.
  12. geckopoo

    geckopoo New commenter

    Just less than this with 10 years experience and no position of responsibility. Important thing to remember is salary is divided into 14 - with an extra month payable at Xmas and before the summer holidays. Tax is quite steep when you first start, you will have to pay 50% of healthcare, and rent, phone etc is deducted at source. You get paid twice a month, and will take home approximately $800-$900 every 2 weeks. Hope this helps, any more questions feel free to ask, or PM me.

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