Published: 29 September, 2014  |  Last updated: 29 September, 2014

Teaching English in San Juan, Puerto Rico

 San Juan, Puerto Rico

Report submitted on 29 September, 2014 by Mery.

Teaching English in San Juan, Puerto Rico:

How can teachers find teaching jobs in San Juan, Puerto Rico?
First, you take PCMAS teacher’s Test you make an application for your teachers license and wait in a turn list for the Department of Education to call you for an evaluation meeting.  Private Schools only want your license and academics credits. After you summit everything they call you for evaluation meeting.

The main English teaching jobs available are:
Full time English language school positions, part time English language school positions, agencies (send teachers to different locations), teaching at state schools, teaching at community centers, etc..

What are the minimum teaching requirements?
The minimum teaching requirements for getting an ESL from fourth to sixth grades is 128 credits in BA. and to be HQT in the specialization are 54 credits.

What teaching requirements would you recommend?
Only 18 credits in methodology in the area to specialise and a test evaluation.

What are the levels of payment?
The level of payments are US$1,700 with BA. and US$1,850 with MA.

How many teaching days a week is normal?
5 days per week.

How many face-to-face teaching hours a week is normal?
70 hours per week.

What is the normal arrangement for holidays?
The normal arrangement for holidays are 12 holidays a year.

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to San Juan, Puerto Rico to teach English?
speak only in English. Students in Puerto Rico understand the grammar and reading but don’t speak the language with fluency because they don’t have a daily conversational practice.

What are the positive aspects of teaching English in San Juan, Puerto Rico?
Many people from Puerto Rico Travel to the U.S. and stay there for vacation or work for one or two years.  When they come back they have improved their language and practice.

What are the negative aspects for teaching English in San Juan, Puerto Rico?
Some oppositions and political groups think that English couldn’t be official language of this country so when the Department of Education tried to implement a pilot project to develop and enrich the language many opposed it. I think English is an universal language like Spanish and if many people in Europe speak it we have the right to decide how many languages we want to speak. Teachers are not well paid.  Before I got this job I worked in two part time jobs. Now, because I am a transition teacher and not a permanent, I only have vacation and holidays days pay.

Also, I can tell you now because I will begin next Monday – last week I had to paint and decorate my own classroom with my money. The principal told me “This will be your classroom to do your work”. It was very depressing to receive my children with dirty walls and floor.  They have never had an English teacher until now.

What are some of the teaching challenges for English teachers teaching the local people in your area?
We continue to have challenge students not the more than we hope achieve our goals.


Living in San Juan, Puerto Rico:

Are there any visa or other legal requirements to live in Puerto Rico?
Yes. You can work with passport permission from the Department of State.

What is the cost of living like in Puerto Rico?
The cost of living is very high to compares to what you earn. You earn less than your daily necessities so teachers need to have two or thee part time jobs to have life quality.

Other than teaching, what positive aspects are there for living in San Juan, Puerto Rico?
Well, the land where I live is mine and my house too. My country is beautiful.

Other than teaching, what negative aspects are there for living in San Juan, Puerto Rico?
The cost of live is too high. The increase in crime and drugs doesn’t let me go to a weekend place to have fun because you think something will happened but there are many places that continue to be good.

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to San Juan, Puerto Rico to live?
Look for a place to live with access control and comes with the mentality for the pay and the high cost of life.

What things would you recommend to new teachers in your area to bring with them from their home country (e.g. things that are difficult to get in your location)?
Get information about the place and school where you will apply to. Don’t forget to teach you customs and traditions from your own country.

What do you think you will miss most when (or if) you leave San Juan, Puerto Rico?
My traditions, the food and the nature and ecology of my country.


About Me and My Work:

My Name: Mery

Nationality: Puerto Rican

Students I’ve taught in Puerto Rico: Elementary (6-12 years), junior high school (12-15 years), high school (15-18 years), adults.

Where I teach: SEPA an Addiction Program in Hogar Crea, Rio Piedras, P.R.  Teaching for 14 years.  The SEPA Program is a Project from The Dept. of Education. Teachers assist like tutors for the equivalent test for middle and high school Program.

My school facilities: Adequate – I give an F for the school library. The school doesn’t have a librarian or adequate textbooks for grades.  Classrooms don’t have air conditioners and I have the smoke from Kentucky Fried Chicken near my classroom. Image the class at eleven o’clock!

Teacher support at my school: training / workshops, teacher evaluations, peer support / training.


Do you teach English in Puerto Rico?

Tell us about your experiences – click here to submit your report about teaching English in Puerto Rico.

4 comments on “Teaching English in Puerto Rico – San Juan”

  1. I am somewhat interested in SJPR because part of my family is Puerto Ricans, but I am interested in the highest paying areas. I spend a lot of time in Palm Beach, Florida and am familiar with customs, traditions and costs in that region of the world. I do not want to be disappointed because I have spent 10 years earning high Asian incomes, Describe typical apartment fees, transportation, food and a few aspects of tutoring on the side.

    Muchas gracias y que te vaya bien.

  2. Hello! I am interested in teaching English in Puerto Rico.I currently teach in Haiti.At the institutes I work in Haiti I teach people of different backgrounds.I have a couple of TEFL certification in English and leadership and I have worked as a teacher trainer. I can also speak Spanish. What are my chances of getting a job in Puerto Rico?

  3. Hello Mery, Im intersted in teaching English in Puerto Rico. I currently teach in Japan. At the company I work for I teach people of all ages. I have a bachelor’s degree and a TEFL certification. I can also speak Spanish. What are my chances of getting a job in Puerto Rico?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *