News: Teach Abroad in the Canary Islands - Oct 14, 2019
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Monday, October 14, 2019School Spotlights

Teach Abroad in the Canary Islands

The only American school in the Canary Islands, The American School of Las Palmas (ALSP) is an independent school with an international identity and American origins. Founded in 1967, ALSP accepts children regardless of race, religion, gender, economic status, or nationality. The student population, representing 27 different countries, reflects the multicultural nature of the school. Not to mention, the school is located in an idyllic location.

Re-locating to this region is a chance to live in a diverse natural environment with endless opportunities for outdoor recreation. Footpaths crisscross the islands, so you can take coastal walks or mountain treks through tranquil forests. Snorkelers will find 350 species of fish as well as “the odd shipwreck,” says Lonely Planet. Paragliding, diving paddle sports, kite surfing, surfing, boat trips, horse rides, and yoga on the beach can all be daily endeavors! Lonely Planet describes the stunning geography:

The . . . near-perfect temperatures mean that, year-round, you can soak up fantastical, varied landscapes otherwise only found by crossing continents. . . Marvel at the pine-forested peaks of Gran Canaria’s mountainous interior, the tumbling waterfalls of La Palma or the subtropical greenery of La Gomera’s Parque Nacional de Garajonay. Then contrast all this lushness with the extraordinary bare flatlands flanking Tenerife’s El Teide, the surreal party of colours glittering across Lanzarote’s lava fields, the gentle flower-filled hillsides of El Hierro, and Fuerteventura’s endless cacti-sprinkled plains.

The Canary Islands are also rich in both art and architecture. Artists such as painter Óscar Domínguez, sculptor Martín Chirino, and conceptual artist César Manrique grace the islands with their works. Lonely Planet details elements of local architecture to seek out:

. . . emblematic wooden balconies, leafy internal patios and cheerily painted facades that typify vernacular Canarian architecture [as well as]  . . .  charming palm-shaded churches, many of which date back several centuries.

ASLP’s facilities consist of an elongated two-story building, housing a cafeteria/dining room and science laboratories; six unique igloo-shaped structures containing classrooms; the library and the music and art rooms; and the preschool building, with four classrooms and adjoining areas. These and other small buildings lie within the picturesque Marzagán Valley—which offers a panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean—15 kilometers south of Las Palmas.

Accredited by AdvancEd, the school currently enrolls 343 Nursery to Grade 12 students, 66% of whom are local students, with the remaining 33% from international families. The school delivers the U.S. Common Core curriculum followed by a selection of Advanced Placement courses in the upper grades. Among the teaching staff of 38, 19 are native and international, nine are Spanish and teach within the Spanish system, and the remaining teachers are Spanish, oftentimes former students with a high level of English.

ASLP provides students of all ages with a wide selection of summer abroad courses in England, Ireland, Germany, France, and the U.S. While some are run by school personnel, ASLP can also recommend more options organized by outside agencies.

After-school activities are provided one or two days a week for all students, for a fee. All levels may take part in Capoeira, Mindfulness, Spanish Academy, and swimming. Elementary and nursery students can elect dance or violin. Additionally, students in elementary may choose creative art lab. Baseball is offered for elementary and middle school students, and elementary through high school students can choose from ceramics, illustration, soccer, technology, and volleyball. Choices solely for middle and high school students are digital typing, strategy games, and English Academy for fluency. Finally, Model United Nations is strictly for high school students.

ASLP is interested in hiring singles, interns, and couples, including those with a non-teaching partner. They will also consider outstanding newly-certified candidates and those certified in a non-English speaking country. Ideally, candidates should have at least two years of teaching experience. Teachers need not hold an academic degree in the subject they will be teaching, and there is no age limit to obtain a work visa in Spain. EU work permits are helpful. Otherwise, a visa, along with a fingerprint security check, is required from the Spanish Embassy, a process which takes between four to six months.

Benefits include a moving allowance commensurate with family size and current city of residence of the employee. The tuition benefit is 100%; however, teachers pay for services such as student lunch and the school bus for their children. Lunch is included on a daily basis for all staff. If a teacher works in the After-school Program, his/her children attend for free. An annual professional development plan and different online options are offered throughout the year for all teachers. Local health insurance, including emergency evacuation and long-term disability, is fully covered.

To gain access to The American School of Las Palmas’s full profile on the Search Associates database, including a list of all open positions, candidates can apply for membership by clicking here. Candidates already registered can easily access the school profile directly through their dashboards.

Please note: The information presented about this school was valid on the date published. This information may change, and the most up-to-date information can be found on the school profile.

Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Gary MacPhie is based in Toronto, Canada where he started his teaching career, and then spent 26 years overseas as a teacher, principal and recruiter in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.