Visiting Teachers from Spain Program

The Maine DOE, in collaboration with the Spanish Ministry of Education, Social Policy and Sports, participates in the Visiting Teachers from Spain Program to bring qualified teachers from Spain to teach the Spanish language and culture in Maine elementary, middle and high schools for a period of one to three years. This program began in 1985 and currently includes a number of state Departments of Education in addition to individual school districts in at least 30 states.

Program objectives

  • Expand the teaching of the Spanish language and culture in Maine
  • Promote cultural and educational relations that will benefit the people of the State of Maine and Spain
  • Increase global awareness and international resources in Maine school communities
  • Provide Maine students with educational experiences that will help them prepare for future success in personal, academic and professional spheres

Qualifications of the visiting teachers

  • Teacher certification (in Spain) in philology (languages) with a certificate of pedagogical aptitude
  • Post-secondary degree equivalent to a bachelor’s degree or higher in the U.S.
  • Three or more years of teaching experience or related educational activities in the Spanish or English language
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in English
  • Spanish and/or international driver’s license

General requirements for participating Maine school districts

  • Full-time language teaching assignment for the visiting teacher
  • Placement of the visiting teacher under contract, including employee health insurance coverage if the teacher does not have civil servant status in Spain, with salary payment commensurate with the teacher’s educational level and years of teaching service. An initial one-year contract may be followed by contract renewals of one or two additional years if all parties agree.
  • Assignment of a teacher mentor to the visiting teacher throughout the program
  • Placement of the visiting teacher with a temporary host/welcome family for the initial two or three weeks until the teacher locates suitable rental housing, the cost for which the visiting teacher will be responsible
  • Assistance in arranging for permanent rental housing and vehicle purchase or lease.
  • Payment of $800 annual fee for the visiting teacher to obtain or renew a federal J-1 exchange visitor visa.
  • Payment of $100 application fee for an International Visiting Teacher Permit issued by Maine DOE’s Certification office
  • Payment of $55 fee for a Criminal History Records Check (fingerprinting)
  • Payment for a telephonic or computerized American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Oral Proficiency Interview or Advanced Level Check-Speaking if required for teacher certification due to the guest teacher's credentials
  • Payment of expenses for the visiting teacher to attend the annual Foreign Language Association of Maine Conference held in Portland
  • Payment of the visiting teacher’s expenses of up to $150 to attend a one-day orientation program held in August in Augusta
  • Partial funding (if available) for the visiting teacher's participation in a required one-day teacher workshop/orientation held in New York City

Responsibilities of the Maine Department of Education

  • Interview and select candidates whose skills and backgrounds match the detailed job descriptions provided by the schools/districts in their applications. The interview/selection process will be conducted by a Maine DOE official or designated representative.
  • Arrange for a telephonic or online interview between the recommended candidate and a school/district official
  • Assist in the application process for obtaining J-1 exchange visitor visas
  • Provide an orientation program in Augusta for the visiting teachers.
  • Monitor visiting teacher placements throughout the school year and work with schools and districts to resolve any issues and concerns that arise
  • Ensure coordination of the visiting teacher program and act as liaison between the participating schools/districts and the Consulate General of Spain’s regional education advisor in Boston

Selection and hiring process

  • The Spanish Ministry of Education, Social Policy and Sports recruits and screens candidates to work in Maine and other U.S. states.
  • The Maine DOE world languages specialist (or a designated representative) travels to Spain (in April) to select candidates for Maine schools/districts, based on a review of credentials (transcripts, diplomas, certificates), interviews and writing samples. Alternately, an online interview might be conducted.
  • The Maine DOE world languages specialist (or a designated representative) contacts the designated school/district official to recommend a candidate. Information about a candidate will also be provided via email to the school/district official.
  • The designated school/district official will have the opportunity to briefly interview the candidate. At the end of this contact, the school/district official will either approve or decline the selected visiting teacher candidate.
  • If approved, the visiting teacher subsequently will be issued a contract by the hosting school district.

Orientation and support

  • Orientation and professional development provided by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Social Policy and Sports prior to the teacher's departure from Spain
  • One-day orientation program on living and teaching in Maine, which will include a general orientation to Maine and its educational system, as well as professional development in instructional methods and classroom management
  • One-day teacher workshop/orientation conducted by the J-1 visa sponsoring organization (held in New York City)
  • Ongoing support and resources from the regional education advisor from the Consulate General of Spain’s office located at the Massachusetts Department of Education