Is your school anticipating difficulty in securing a licensed Spanish teacher for the 2020-2021 school year or beyond? Do you want to expose your students to a native speaker and cultural expert? Are you trying to figure out how to staff a Spanish immersion program? Then the Visiting Teacher from Spain Program may be just the answer!
Maine’s Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Education of Spain was created to promote strong cross-cultural ties between the citizens of Maine and the people of Spain and to help address the uneven distribution of qualified instructors of Spanish in our state. Under this agreement, educators from Spain can be brought to teach in Maine schools for a period of up to three years, (a two-year extension may be possible after the third year), depending on the availability of each individual teacher, his or her willingness to stay for an extended period, and the school districts’ interest in extending their visiting teachers’ contracts beyond the initial year.
Visiting International Teachers are licensed to teach in Maine while holding the cultural exchange status described above.
The process of securing a Visiting Teacher from Spain is comprised of a few simple steps. An interested school or public district must first determine that they have a guaranteed position. Teachers on J-1 visas cannot be procured for openings that are uncertain or subject to elimination or change. Next, a detailed application must be completed and signed. New schools or districts also must sign a program contract, indicating a commitment to abide by all of the program’s requirements.
Both documents must be submitted together to Maine DOE by April 15, 2021. Maine DOE representatives will conduct remote interviews with Spanish teachers and select a pool of highly qualified candidates whose skills and backgrounds may fit the needs of Maine schools. The next step is to put their visiting teachers under contract in accordance with any local bargaining unit agreements. Visiting teachers must receive the same salary and benefits that any other teacher would receive, based on their educational attainment and years of experience. Visiting teachers arrive in Maine in mid-August and undergo an intensive pre-service orientation provided by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Maine DOE prior to their arrival in their Maine communities.
Participation by the visiting educator in a strong, year-long novice teacher mentoring program in his or her school or district is a requirement for securing a teacher through this program. The school or district also should find a host family for the first one to two weeks that the visiting teacher is in the community and be willing to assist the teacher with all aspects of getting settled. Again, the application deadline is April 15, 2021. Please secure the approval of your local board of education/sponsor to hire a teacher from Spain before the April 15th deadline.
If you have any questions, please contact April Perkins or Manuel Collazo:
World Languages & ESOL/Bilingual Programs Specialist
Maine Department of Education
23 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333
Embassy of Spain, Education Office
General Consulate of Spain in Boston
31 Saint James Avenue, Suite 905 Boston, MA 02116-3606
Phone: 617 678 5920