From agriculture to industry, Nebraska faces the challenge of gaining the knowledge and skills to communicate with and better understand the communities of the world. World 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 world language teachers across the nation makes it difficult to provide Nebraska students with qualified teachers. The Nebraska Department of Education is working with Educational Service Units and local school districts to provide options when a district is unable to find a world language teacher. These options include sharing teachers between districts, teaching via distance learning, receiving instruction over satellite, independent study, or online courses offered by colleges and universities. Even with these options, there is still a need for qualified world language teachers. The Visiting Teacher Program is one possible option for alleviating the shortage of world language teachers in Nebraska.
The Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) is a designated sponsor of an Exchange Visitor Program by the United States Department of State. Through this designation, NDE is able to sponsor teachers from other countries to teach in Nebraska. NDE currently holds Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreements with Spain, Mexico, and China. Highly qualified visiting teachers from Spain, Mexico, and China can be brought to teach in Nebraska elementary, middle, and high schools for a period of up to three years, depending on the availability of the teacher, his or her willingness to stay for an extended period, and school/district interest in extending the visiting teacher’s contracts beyond the initial year.
Visiting Teacher Program Objectives:
• To provide the opportunity for Nebraska students to learn 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 other countries
• To develop lifelong professional relationships and friendships
Schools/Districts interested in hosting a visiting teacher must complete a Visiting Teacher Program Application of Intent. Completion of the Application of Intent does not obligate the school district to hire a visiting teacher, but it provides NDE personnel with the necessary information to identify the best fit candidates for a vacancy. NDE will facilitate the selection of candidates, sponsor visiting teachers (J1 Visas), and provide assistance as necessary to place teachers in Nebraska K-12 classrooms.
School/District officials interested in the Visiting Teacher Program should carefully read program requirements to understand obligations for their school or district. These school/district obligations ensure the well-being of our J1 Visa recipients and satisfy U.S. Department of State and Homeland Security regulations. In addition, a review of Visiting Teacher Program timeline would assist school/district officials in understanding the flow of activities involved in the Visiting Teacher Program.
For More Information:
Contact Stephanie Call
World Language Education Specialist
Resources for J-1 Visiting Teachers