Visiting Teachers from Spain Program
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The Visiting Teacher from Spain Program, is an exciting venture between the Iowa Department of Education (DE) and the Ministry of Education and Culture of Spain (MECS).
Interaction with the global market is an aspect of Iowa’s growing economy that demands attention. From agriculture to industry, Iowa faces the challenge of gaining the knowledge and skills to communicate with and better understand the communities of the world. Foreign language education helps the state meet this challenge by teaching students how to interact and communicate in the target language, and understand and respect other cultures.
Unfortunately, a shortage of foreign language teachers across the nation makes it more difficult to provide Iowa students with qualified teachers. The Ministry of Education and Culture of Spain offers several programs that could help alleviate the shortage of Spanish teachers in Iowa.
The Visiting Teacher from Spain Program provides local school districts with the opportunity to fill vacant Spanish teaching positions. With this program, Iowa school systems have the option of recruiting highly qualified Spanish educators for a period of up to three years and at the same time provide Iowa students, parents, and communities the opportunity to work with professionals from other countries. Visiting teachers from Spain are certified Spanish language educators with at least two years of experience. Local school districts hire the visiting teachers in accordance with all other local policies in terms of salary scale, licensure, and local system requirements.
The program strives to:
- Promote cultural and educational relations that will benefit the State of Iowa and Spain.
- Foster knowledge and appreciation of the culture shared by these two global communities.
- Foster an educational environment that supports both students and teachers in their continued and future effort toward personal, academic, and professional success.
- Utilize technology to promote teaching and learning of world languages.
- To provide the opportunity for Iowa students to learn Spanish from native speakers.
- To increase global awareness on the part of students taught by visiting teachers.
- To increase understanding of the language, culture, and history of Spain.
- To develop lifelong professional relationships and friendships.
- To utilize technology to promote world languages instruction.
- The DE and the MECS signed a memorandum of understanding.
- DE surveys the needs of Iowa school districts and provides an Application of Intent, which does not obligate the school district to hire a teacher from Spain.
- The MECS selects possible candidates.
- DE Team travels to Madrid to conduct interviews with prospective recruits.
- Participating school districts are informed of the candidates and make commitments.
- Recruited teachers will make a one-to-three year commitment to teach in Iowa, provided that the local school district chooses to rehire them each year.
Responsibilities of the DE
- To assess the needs of local school districts.
- To interview prospective candidates in Spain.
- To select candidates and help them in districts that requests a visiting teacher.
- To offer orientation and training for visiting teachers.
- To provide support to the district and teachers through the utilization of technology.
- To provide orientation and/or assistance in the acquisition of official documents (social security number, licensure, etc.)
Responsibilities of the Local District or School
- Once the district is notified of the possible candidate and reviews credentials, the district will have a week to make a commitment.
- After commitment is made, the district needs to send a draft of the contract with estimated paid scale.
- To provide a contact person who is available to discuss personnel issues during the interview and selection process.
- To provide a building-level administrator who acts as a liaison for the teacher.
- To provide a fellow teacher/mentor, preferably in the same building, to provide guidance and support for the visiting teacher from Spain.
- To compensate IDE for training, orientation, application processes and fees (estimate - $895.00).
- To provide additional support to ensure a successful and positive experience for both the school and the teacher, including assistance in securing a social security number, setting up housekeeping, obtaining a driver’s license, buying a car, etc.