Hawaii welcomes 80 Filipino teachers to fill vacant posts
Hawaii welcomed 80 Filipino teachers, most of them experienced and with advanced degrees, to help fill the state’s teacher shortage.
The state will start the school year with some 300 vacant teaching positions. Many teachers have left because their annual salary at around $47,000 is insufficient in the face of Hawaii’s high cost of living.
The newly arrived Filipino teachers, whose credentials have been screened, are on a special J-1 visa of up to 5 years. They must return to the Philippines after their contract and stay there for 2 years before being eligible to apply for work visas or permanent residency in the U.S.
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The Department of Education is confident that the teachers who are proficient in English and somewhat familiar with US culture will be able to overcome cultural challenges.
Overcoming being away from their families in the Philippines is likely their toughest challenge. Most will likely be staying in private homes that are willing to rent rooms.
An orientation for the newcomers was held at the Farrington High School library in Honolulu, where they were informed of their new teaching milieu such as a different disciplinary measures for students, which does not include corporal punishment.