Teaching English In Mexico

by David Simmonds

Some retired expats, once they settle into a daily routine of morning coffee at the local café, followed by a trip to the market for fresh produce and bolillos, sliding into the afternoon siesta, a couple of evening ‘tails at sunset, ending the day with a late dinner…well, they start to get a little bored. These are people who have worked hard their entire lives, and now they feel like they should be doing something constructive, and a few extra pesos every month could come in handy.

You may get a local business hire you below the radar, working a few hours a day in a art gallery or a restaurant that caters to gringos. But in general, by law, a foreigner can only do work that a Mexican can’t. Selling time-shares is a popular choice, but it’s intense work, the turnover is great, and your skin has to be thicker than your skull…not something the average retiree is interested in.

One job that is possible in most areas of Mexico is teaching English in a local school. The schools often prefer the classes to be taught by a native English speaker, thereby satisfying the law. This is true for both public and private schools. The downside is that the pay is not going to buy you much. An hourly wage of $4.00 – $6.00 is standard in most places, but can pay as much as $10.00 – $12.00 in the big city. Or you can tutor the kids of the wealthier families. The real reward is working with kids (usually) and knowing that you are making a difference in their lives. And as they learn from you… you will learn much more from them.

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