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Teaching in California

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by zephrzephr, Jun 11, 2016.

  1. zephrzephr

    zephrzephr New commenter

    Hi all,
    I will be relocating to Los Angeles in January due to my partners job. I am hoping to continue teaching whilst in America and currently have an English Degree, PGCE, Masters in Education and 6 years teaching experience in the UK. As exciting as the prospect of moving to LA is, it also raises lots of questions for me so I'm hoping that someone reading this might be able to help me out with a few of them!
    • How easy is it to get teaching work in California? I wouldn't have the state qualification so assume I'd need to apply to a private or charter school?
    • How different is the American education system/curriculum to the UK?
    • Would a full time teaching role in the USA feel like returning to my NQT year again? I'd like to be able to enjoy my time abroad and travel around at weekends so am hoping that I wouldn't find the role any more demanding than I currently do.
    • Would a school be prepared to help with my visa?
    I'd be really interested to hear from anyone who has experience of teaching in America/California or who can give advise re visas. Thank you!
  2. musikteech

    musikteech Occasional commenter

    How can you go with your partner to America just cos he's got a job? Will you have the right to work in America? If you do then teachers-teachers.com has a lot of American school vacancies advertised. IF you don't have the right to work you can get a school on there or somewhere else to sponsor you for a J-1 visa. That's all I know so far. LA is expensive to rent. My American friend rents in Burbank and it costs him $1500 a month for a studio apartment. He looked at getting a 2 bed 2 bath for the same amount but couldn't find any so he stayed where he was.
  3. Wotton

    Wotton Lead commenter

  4. jomaimai

    jomaimai Established commenter

    Is that a teachers' agency?
  5. musikteech

    musikteech Occasional commenter

    I think it's just a job portal specially for teachers and American schools. You can apply directly to the schools once registered properly, which is free. Sometimes you just click submit and it sends your profile and CV directly to the school and other times it directs you to the state board's website to complete your application there. I haven't seen any agency involvement.
    jomaimai likes this.
  6. mikemcdonald25

    mikemcdonald25 Occasional commenter

    There are lots of posts on this forum about teaching in the US and I have posted on the difficulties of teaching in California. Did you do a search of the forum?
  7. zephrzephr

    zephrzephr New commenter

    Thanks so much for your help everyone. I'd registered with the teaching agency you've suggested and will also contact schools directly in the hope that I can get a job, along with sponsorship for the J1 visa. Will also have a look on the other California forum.
  8. cadenza_13

    cadenza_13 New commenter

    I am British and a teacher and currently teaching in California, I have work authorisation through marriage to USC. If you are married to your partner then you will be permitted to relocate together, but depending upon the visa catagory they are awarded you may or may not be permitted to work. If you are not married, then you will be visiting on the visa waiver program and limited to 90 days. In the event that you are permitted to work through your spouse visa, it is a time consuming process to get your credentials recognised but it is doable (quite expensive, approx $1000) - it took me approximately 6 months to get my credentials accepted by the California Comission on Teacher Credentialling http://www.ctc.ca.gov and awarded a preliminary credential, there is a list of 'stuff' to complete to clear that credential (also expensive). I requested district clearance before applying for positions and was offered a position almost immediately. I have not been treated as an NQT (though I was pay scaled as a beginning teacher) but that is because the 'California Standards' and the National Standards in my subject are reflected in the British NC and adjustment was reasonably smooth; I don't know if the same can be said for your subject - check here http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/
    In the event that you are not permitted to work through your spousal visa, it is highly unlikely that a school will pay $5000 to sponsor a visa for you when they can employ a citizen to do the same job. A private school might but a charter school or a school district will not. You can apply for positions, but do not be surprised if your applications are ignored by school districts because without district clearance a school can not consider your application.
  9. cadenza_13

    cadenza_13 New commenter

  10. jennifermd25

    jennifermd25 New commenter

    Hi! I have been a teacher in CA in the SF Bay area for the last 11 years. I work in inner city districts and coming here from another state and especially from another country you will most likely be put through some tests by the CTC. Check here for the requirements on getting your emergency or interim credential: http://www.ctc.ca.gov/

    Pay will probably seem low to you due to the cost of living in CA, LA has gotten a lot more expensive in recent years but it can be done! The weather and beauty of this place will make it worth your while but expect difficult behavior from parents and students much of the time. If you teach a high needs area like special education, science, or math you will have an easier time finding a job. Jobs for different districts are generally posted here: https://www.edjoin.org/
    Search Los Angeles and look for certificated jobs. There will be plenty listed.

    I love CA but I am leaving to teach in Denmark this year so am nervous about the change. Good luck in all of your endeavors!
  11. Hi cadenza_13,

    Is that how much it costs schools to sponsor / hire through the J1 visa? I'm trying to find out as much info as possible about my options as my partner has moved to the US already and I'm looking to join him after the academic year.

    Many thanks!
  12. officiallukeg

    officiallukeg New commenter

    I am currently a UK teacher (in my second year of teaching) and I will be moving to the USA this summer to teach in New York as a full-time school teacher.

    The process to teach in the US from the UK is relatively straight forward providing you have been teaching in the UK for at least 2 years (this is the US requirement). You first need to find a sponsor; EPI and Participate are two organisations which don't require you to pay any fees, however, they only work with schools in states like NC, SC, VA and FL.

    In order to work in more desirable states such as NYC, CA DC, you will need to pay a significant fee to a designated sponsor. I went through a sponsor organisation called 'Teachers Council'. Whilst you do have to pay a large fee to have them sponsor you (approximately $3,000), teachers wages in places like NYC, CA and DC are considerably more than less-desirable states; therefore, it all averages out in my opinion. For example, as a 3rd year teacher, I was offered $68,000 per year for a particular school in New York.

    If you want to work in California, the process is more tricky. Unlike most other states whereby you can work as a teacher in some schools without having a state-specific teaching permit (just your QTS from the UK), in CA, almost all schools require their teachers to have a valid state teaching credential. I applied for this online (approximately £300) and had to submit many documents from the UK. Although I have now secured a job as a teacher in NYC, I have also been granted my teaching credential for California, allowing me to teach in all schools in California if I wanted to. This preliminary teaching credential is for 5-years and so I intend to relocate from NYC to California in a few years time to teach there.

    If anyone needs anything clarifying about the process, please feel free to reach out to me....
    m_frogley likes this.
  13. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    Wow I knew US teachers were underpaid but that's ridiculous.

    $68,000 a year in New York is a starvation wage. If this is pre-tax then it works out as $4150 a month with an average rental cost of about $3000

    No wonder it's easy to get a job
  14. officiallukeg

    officiallukeg New commenter

    UK teachers don't have to pay FICA taxes in the US, so that equates to about $5,000 more a year.

    In the UK, teachers can start from as little as $31,000 a year. Therefore, New York wages are far more generous.

    After all my expenses (social, bills, travel etc) and rent in New York, on a $68,000 a year salary, I will have approximately $600 left each month 'spare'.

    T0nyGT, I think you're perhaps just a little money hungry LOL
  15. loranp

    loranp New commenter

    Where on earth did you get that nonsense from? I've been teaching in the US for 8 years, in different states and different types of school, as both a visa-holder and now as a permanent resident. I have always paid the same taxes as any average American at both the federal and state level. You will pay these taxes too.

    I think you are being exceedingly naive here. The cost of living in NYC is extremely high in terms of rent, and the cost of living in the US is much higher than the UK, particularly for things like mobile phones, internet and general groceries. New York wages are more generous than the UK because the cost of living is so much higher.

    This is from 2017, and bear in mind the current economic chaos in the US - it is now likely to be more expensive than ever. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/13/the-cost-of-living-breakdown-between-london-and-nyc.html

    And you're forgetting the cost of healthcare, which you would certainly be paying towards even with good insurance subsidized by your employer.
  16. officiallukeg

    officiallukeg New commenter

    It's all factual, as confirmed by my sponsor and school so you're clearly getting ripped off LOL.

    A decent 1 bedroom apartment in NYC can be around $1,700 per month which is very similar to the UK.

    As per above, I have always been extremely good in terms of my budget and establishing the cost of things. The financial figure I stated earlier took into account health insurance, mobile phone, food etc etc.

    If you have such little money each month, perhaps you're doing something wrong...

  17. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    I hope it goes well, but I think you may be in for a very rude awakening. Even if you're extremely, extremely frugal I don't see how it's going to be possible to keep $600 a month, particularly after any element of 'social'. I'd love to see a breakdown of your costs
  18. Treesa

    Treesa New commenter

    If you are only staying for 2 years then you won't pay FICA tax. After that, you are liable for the tax and you have to repay the money you owe.... I know because this happened to me!
  19. loranp

    loranp New commenter

    No, I've just never held a J-1 visa, and I am now a green card holder (legal permanent resident). I never said anything about how much money I have each month either - it's utterly none of your business and you know nothing else about where I work, what my living situation is, what my salary is and what my outgoings are.

    You are utterly naive if you think you can live in NYC on such a low wage. You are in for a completely rude awakening.
    Treesa likes this.
  20. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    Always amazing how the person who has no actual knowledge/experience of a given situation/environment is utterly convinced that they know so much more than the people who have actually lived it (to the point of lashing out at those attempting to impart actual first hand insight).

    Go for it. What could go wrong?

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