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Foreign Teacher in Alaska

PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:21 am
by kgjerde

I am looking into the possibility of working as a teacher in Alaska, but I am a Norwegian citizen. I was in the process of a possible job in the North Slope School District, but they have had some bad experiences in the past with hiring a foreigner because of all the paperwork, so I was not able to pursue it any further. I was wondering if anybody here does not have a US citizenship, but still were able to get hired? Or if anybody possible knew anyone that does?

All help is very much appreciated!


Re: Foreign Teacher in Alaska

PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:52 pm
by kazachka
Do you have a green card? If you have a green card, it's much easier. My other half is a Russian citizen and I basically told him forget about work until he gets a green card. You have to be legally eligible for hire in the US. My principal's wife just got hers last fall and began subbing at our school at semesters. Without a green card, the school district would have to sponsor a work visa for you. That IS a bunch of paperwork to get a work visa and a district willing to sponsor it. Anchorage does it for immersion teachers if necessary. In the early 2000s when I was teaching in Fairbanks, our German teacher's visa was sponsored by the school district. I have, however, known a number of teachers and or classified staff over the years who have worked in the schools once they got their green cards. You will also need a foreign evaluation of your teaching credentials and coursework if you did University outside the USA to get an Alaska teacher certificate. DEED has a list of agencies on their website that do this. This process can take several weeks. I used an agency on the list that's in California when I submitted graduate coursework I'd done in Moscow. Good luck!

Re: Foreign Teacher in Alaska

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:10 am
by Johncn

As Kazachka says, it is possible. However, it is difficult, and requires the employer, not the applicant, to initiate a complicated and time intensive process to begin visa authorization. Districts have not historically been interested in doing so unless they have a real shortage of options in a particular certification area. It is difficult and expensive for them to undertake this process for a foreign national not currently in the state because by the time the paperwork is completed, it is frequently too late for the foreign teacher to obtain the required visa stamps and get to Alaska in time for the school year to start.

This does not mean it isn't possible, but above all it requires finding a willing district to "sponsor" you. Each year there are some teachers who successfully navigate the obstacles and secure jobs. It does require persistence and a fair bit of luck on timing.

The main ATP website has this as one of their top Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) here:

And here is the official Alaska Department of Education information about the credential ... n_Info.pdf

Hope this helps,