District Administration June 2017 - 36

GLOBAL
ASSETS
determining a candidate's qualifications,
and districts often rely on third-party
recruiters, such as Participate, or state
agencies for help.
This year, San Jose USD hired a
teacher from Spain to teach in a dualimmersion class through a program run
by the California Department of Education and the governments of Spain and
Mexico. Margaret Petkiewicz, who oversees the district's bilingual programs for
pre-K through grade 5, says she's looking
for candidates proficient enough to teach,
say, a fifth-grade math lesson in Spanish-explaining fractions, place values,
unit conversions-and that can be hard
to find without recruiting internationally.
California's program requires applicants to pass an initial screening by their
home country's education authorities
and meet the state's teaching credential
requirements. That includes an undergraduate or higher degree from a college
equivalent to a regionally-accredited U.S.
institution, completion of a professional
preparation program, and proof of a
comparable teaching credential.
The state recruits and screens candidates. Districts can then interview them
in-person or via Skype. If hired, the
teacher's J-1 visa application is sponsored
by the department of education and can
be renewed for up to three years.

FAMILY AFFAIR-Tracey-Ann Williams,
above with her daughter, came
from Jamaica to teach at Brentwood
Elementary in the Wake County Public
School System.

Other recruiting programs bring
teachers in on a more permanent basis.
Since 1992, Houston's public education
service center-which provides extra
operational and academic support to city
districts-has worked with Mexican universities to recruit recent graduates interested in teaching in the U.S. They receive
training in Mexico and do a one-year

BY THE NUMBERS
About 13,000 overseas-trained teachers worked in the U.S. on H-1B and J-1
visas in 2012, down from a peak of nearly 20,000 in 2009, according to a report
from Education International, a federation of worldwide teachers unions.
While the Trump Administration considers limiting the H-1B program, educators make up a small percentage of workers coming to the U.S. on H-1B visas,
according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
In 2015, applications from education employers to hire H-1B workers
accounted for less than 3 percent of all the positions certified. And of those,
only about 18 percent came from elementary and secondary schools, with
most coming from higher education.

36 June 2017

internship at an American school while
pursuing certification. The district that
hires the teacher sponsors the visa.
Participation in the program has
dropped off in recent years. This year, it
recruited 45 teachers from Colombia,
El Salvador, Mexico and Venezuela. In
2017-18, it will bring in 29.
The center runs a similar program
recruiting recent graduates from Puerto
Rico, who don't need visas to work in the
U.S. "The need for bilingual teachers is
there. However, because of the requirements and complexities of the visa, it's
becoming less and less an option," says
Rene Ruiz, the program's director.
Many candidates have the right credentials; what is harder to find are those
with an "agile approach to life" that will
help them succeed in a new country, says
Participate CEO David Young. Teachers
must connect with coworkers, students
and parents, all while dealing with culture shock and logistics such as setting
up a bank account, finding housing and
accessing healthcare.
Participate, for instance, warns applicants that public transportation may be
hard to find, and encourages teachers to
be prepared to buy a car. The company
also offers driving lessons to new arrivals. "Even if you make a perfect selection,
there is a mound of work that has to be
done just to get a teacher acclimated,"
Young says.
Foreign recruits sometimes have to
adjust their teaching style. In San Jose,
the teacher from Spain arrived with a traditional approach to classroom management, while the district encourages more
hands-on participation from students.
He also needed training in the curriculum and standards, Petkiewicz says.
His students seemed to accept the
teacher, but parents had to be convinced.
"I think there's a cultural difference
between Spain and Mexico and U.S.born Latino culture," she says. "It took
some time to develop that relationship."
District Administration



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration June 2017

District Administration June 2017 - Cover1
District Administration June 2017 - Cover2
District Administration June 2017 - 1
District Administration June 2017 - 2
District Administration June 2017 - 3
District Administration June 2017 - 4
District Administration June 2017 - 5
District Administration June 2017 - 6
District Administration June 2017 - 7
District Administration June 2017 - 8
District Administration June 2017 - 9
District Administration June 2017 - 10
District Administration June 2017 - 11
District Administration June 2017 - 12
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District Administration June 2017 - 14
District Administration June 2017 - 15
District Administration June 2017 - 16
District Administration June 2017 - 17
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District Administration June 2017 - Cover3
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