Compared to the nearby states of Illinois and Tennessee, Missouri does not have the ELL population numbers to create a high demand for ESL and bilingual educators. Data compiled by the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition (NCELA) in 2010 indicate that the state had 19,000 students categorized as ELLs in the 2007-2008 academic year. While this number is a 162 percent increase from the prior decade, it is still low compared to many states. The major home language other than English in Missouri is Spanish, followed by German, Serbo-Croatian, Vietnamese, and French.
Missouri’s ESL Teaching Career Outlook
Missouri DESE compiles and submits data to the U.S. Department of Education regarding its Teacher Shortage Areas. For the 2011 to 2012 academic year, it included ESOL as one of its shortage areas. However, it is important to note that the last school year in which ESOL was designated a shortage area was 2008-2009. This means that, unlike several other states, Missouri does not register as having a consistent urgent need for qualified TESOL educators.
Missouri Education Job Boards
- Missouri DESE maintains a list of Missouri Teaching Jobs and Advertising. The prime site for browsing job openings and applying online is MOREAP. Search by teaching position, support position, and school district. The website also contains an interactive map of the state’s public school districts.
- Another state employment board is MO Teaching Jobs, a Missouri Jobs website that allows applicants to search educator job openings by region and public school district.
Key ESL Teacher Resources in Missouri
- MIDTESOL, or Mid-America Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, is the regional affiliate of the international TESOL professional group. Educators and TESOL students from Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, and Missouri comprise its membership.
- Missouri DESE maintains its English Language Learners webpage to review resources, policies, current issues, and language development standards. It also has a section devoted to Migrant Education.