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Discussion in 'US – Staffroom' started by jeagles23, Jul 23, 2018.

  1. jeagles23

    jeagles23 New commenter

    Hello, I am looking for some information regarding the best and most employable route for myself as a special educational needs teacher in the USA.

    I have just received a place at the University of Birmingham for their schools direct special education PGCE. Ultimately i would like to move to the USA and teach, i have gone over to the USA and after viewing and speaking with three universities and one long standing special needs teacher, their feelings, regarding myself wanting to teach special needs in the US, was that i was more likely to gain employment, doing a masters in special ed leading to initial licensure at an american university.

    I am completely stuck on what to do? Has anyone had a similar experience, or is it just as viable to train in the UK and then attempt to make the move?

  2. kmoody3

    kmoody3 New commenter

    I have a PGCE from the UK and moved to the US to teach 14 years ago. I had 2 years of teaching experience at the time. My qualifications of a Bsc in mathematics and a PGCE in secondary maths were translated to 2 Bachelors degrees, first in mathematics, and then in education with a focus on mathematics. Most teachers in this state seem to have a Bachelors in education so it makes my qualifications better than most. Yes, some teachers have a Masters and all this varies state by state. in order to get my teachers license (again, varies by state) I had my qualifications translated by the company that the licensure department in my state suggested I use and sent it all off. It was a pretty simple process. If you have a UK Masters I imagine you would still need to get this translated.

    Of course, I don't know anything about specific courses that lead to initial licensure over in the states but each state varies so much in its requirements that even if you get qualified in one state to teach you often have to jump through some hoops to teach in other states here so I would check and see if that initial licensure would work for all states.
  3. jeagles23

    jeagles23 New commenter

    Thankyou so much for your reply. That was some positive information. I have decided to get my PGCE here at the University of Birmingham rather than the masters in the US as like you say there is lots of hoop jumping with licencing in the US so it would seem, state by state. If you do not mind me asking, did you go through a visa programme, or did you apply for the H1B visa? I have heard positives about both, with the occasional comment of this being tricky. But with the H1B visa this seems like the most straightforward route, as opposed to a J1 meaning I have to do the 2year home requirement which is not something I am seeking to do. As I would eventually like to settle in the US as a Special Educational Needs teacher. Also, I would have my schools direct experience, meaning I have worked and learnt on the job whilst earning my PGCE, then I was going to do my NQT year and then hopefully apply after this, as with the H1B visa their requirement is the equivalent to a US Bachelors Degree and the licencing in your required field of occupation which I will have?

    If you could let me know that would be wonderful!
  4. kmoody3

    kmoody3 New commenter

    Hi, sorry for the delay in responding. I only just saw this... I came over here with the VIF program 9now called Participate https://www.participate.com/mktg/teach-in-the-usa/)and they sponsor J1 visas. I did that for 3 years (the maximum they allowed) and then stayed and got a wonderful school to sponsor my H1B (not necessarily an easy task but not impossible, especially for special needs position or in my instance, mathematics.). There was no 2 year home requirement for the UK .I did not have to go home and went straight an H1B visa, then green card and I am now a citizen. I've been here for a little over 13 years now. I had my PGCE and then taught in the UK for 2 years and I would definitely recommend the J1 route as an easier way to get over here. I will be sure to check back to see if you have further questions. It can be a tricky, confusing process!

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