Washington state has not seen the dramatic growth in immigration of other states in the country. That said, it still has diversified, with 94,000 students identified as ELLs in its public school system in 2008, according to the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition. This number is a 65 percent increase from the prior decade. Spanish is the primary home language of ELLs, followed by Russian, Vietnamese, Korean, and Tagalog. These factors make Washington a possibility for people starting TESOL careers.
Washington’s Potential for ESL Educators
Green River College’s Teach Washington website indicates that certain regions in Washington are experiencing shortages in educators qualified to teach ESL. This is interesting in light of the fact that, as noted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2013, Washington is among the top five states in the country in employment of secondary and adult literacy teachers, the category used to include ESL teachers as well. Washington also ranks high (number two in the country) in number of teachers of ELLs per capita. The annual mean wage, however, comes in at about the 50th percentile ($48,100), as of May 2012. In general, though, these statistics suggest a relatively promising outlook for someone beginning a TESOL career in the state.
Where to Find TESOL Jobs in Washington
- OSPI’s Web page dedicated to Educational Service Districts contains links to every public school district website in Washington.
- Search the openings on the Washington Department of Education’s Jobs page to find fixed-term and permanent vacancies, as well as other opportunities.
Washington State TESOL Teacher Resources
- The Washington state affiliate of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (WAESOL) consists of bilingual and ESL professionals and pre-professionals.
- The Washington Association for Bilingual Educators (WABE) hosts an annual conference, promotes bilingual and multicultural programming in Washington, and advocates on behalf of students from all backgrounds.
- OSPI’s Migrant and Bilingual Education Office is charged with providing educational programming to the state’s migrant children and engaging in outreach activities with their families. It also oversees the state’s Transitional Bilingual Instructional Program.