The Visiting Teachers from Spain Program
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The Maine Department of Education’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Education and Science of Spain was created to promote cross-cultural connections between the citizens of Maine and the people of Spain and to collaborate on educational initiatives. The MDOE’s participation in the Visiting Teachers from Spain Program helps to address the shortage of qualified instructors of Spanish in Maine schools. Under this agreement, teachers from Spain may come to Maine to teach in elementary, middle or secondary schools for a period of up to three years.
- 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.
- Postsecondary 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 2-3 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 MDOE’s Teacher Certification office.
- Payment of $55 fee for a Criminal History Records Check (fingerprinting).
- Payment for a telephonic or computerized ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) 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 (FLAME) Conference held in Portland, ME.
- Payment of the visiting teacher’s expenses of up to $150 to attend a 1-day orientation program held in August in Augusta, ME.
- Partial funding (if available) for the visiting teacher's participation in a required 1-day teacher workshop/orientation held in New York, NY.
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 an MDOE 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, MA.
Selection and hiring process
- The Spanish Ministry of Education, Social Policy, and Sports recruits and screens candidates to work in Maine and other US states.
- The MDOE 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 MDOE World Languages Specialist (or the appointed 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 teachers’ 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 (held in Augusta, ME prior to the start of the 2011-2012 school year).
- One-day teacher workshop/orientation conducted by the J-1 visa sponsoring organization (held in New York, NY, prior to the start of the 2011-2012 school year).
- Ongoing support and resources from the regional education advisor from the Consulate General of Spain’s office located at the Massachusetts Department of Education.
Additional information about the program is available online from the Ministry of Education, Social Policy, and Sport of Spain.
For more information or questions about information contained on this website, contact:
World Languages Specialist
Maine Department of Education
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