teaching and livin...
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teaching and living in VI

(@Brian McVety)
Posts: 1
New Member
Topic starter

Hello all,
I hope all are well. I am currently in receiving my master's degree in secondary education in Connecticut. Does anyone know how realistic a chance of landing a job as a high school English teacher would be? Does anyone know or has anyone met anyone in my similar circumstance? My girlfriend and I really want to move here, (she is a marketing coordinator for a software company), but we were also wondering if it is financially even possible. I have read many stories about how the cost is much more than stateside, but typically, how much of a nest egg or start up fund did you all find necessary to move. Also, is a car a must? Thanks for the help, and I am sure I will have many other questions.



Posted : January 11, 2007 12:17 am
Posts: 3919
Famed Member

You need a car and at least $10,000 in savings to move here and live until you find work. I would suggest you read the moving stories under "what to expect" on this site.

Posted : January 11, 2007 12:27 am
Posts: 389
Reputable Member

You don't have to have a ton of money if you are willing to work a job you don't really want while you are waiting to find one that you do. We came here on vacation, never left and had about two thousand bucks to spare. We spent most of that on getting a cheap place to stay. We both worked jobs we never would have considered back in the states, and we did not have a car. It is possible to move here and make your way on a limited budget.

Posted : January 11, 2007 1:34 am
Posts: 3904
Famed Member

Send your resume to all the private schools in the VI & see what kind of response you get.

Posted : January 11, 2007 7:04 am
Posts: 713
Honorable Member

Beth, it is good to see you and Tab are still lovin' every minute of it! You are an inspiration to those who, with a little ingenuity and open-mindedness, will make the islands their home for years to come. Hats off to you for never going back to AZ - lord, that would have scared me to death - but you did it and we're proud of you!

Posted : January 11, 2007 2:25 pm
Posts: 3919
Famed Member

Hi Beth,

Ok, maybe my standard answer of $10,000 is a little arbitrary. I do know the way you and Tabra wound up as residents of the VI. Not exactly the norm, but as a exception, you two do prove the rule.

I'd like to ask a question. What do you figure you spent to get settled, including airfare, hotel rental, food etc?

I'm in Kentucky getting my other knee replaced. Keep me in your thoughts. And give Ric a call, I think Mike W will be on island around the middle of Feb.

Linda J

Posted : January 11, 2007 6:45 pm
Posts: 48
Eminent Member

hi brian!

i am also a teacher in ct looking to relocate to the vigin islands! what island are you considering and when do you plan to make the move?


Posted : January 11, 2007 8:44 pm
Posts: 389
Reputable Member

Linda.. Good luck with the surgery. I will definitely look for Mike.

As for what we spent... We came on a package deal for our vacation, so call airfare and initial hotel 800. The cormornat was closed the whole month of september, and since we were both working there, Julie let us stay for free while Tabra was in charge of renovating the rooms. It's hard to say on food... we spent way too much while on 'vacation" because we ate out every night, but once we knew we were staying, we borrowed a hibachi and ate most of our meals in. All in all, I would guess about 2600 was the budget for the vacation, (after the initial airfare and hotel, most of the meals went on credit, which we didn't pay off for several months) and two thousand once we decided to stay. So total of say, 3000 cash, the rest on credit. And that got us into our rental house, and the first several boxes of stuff that we really needed. *Clothes, bathroom stuff, some books, etc* By then, we were both working and we had our friend back in the states ship stuff to us as we could afford it with our paychecks.

I don't disagree with your 10,000 number. Frankly, Tabra and I both had great jobs and spent A LOT of money when we were back in the states. It really wasn't until about a few months before our vacation that we started actively saving and it amazed me how much we saved in a short time. If I could do it over, I would have started saving sooner, and I would have gone back after the vacation to pack up the house and deal with all of the stuff there. It was a lot to put on our friends, and it took a lot longer than it would have if I was there. Also, with all of the car problems we had, and are STILL having, I would have sucked up the money to ship our car.

Still, the good thing about the way we did it, is that we didn't have a lot of stuff here that we didn't need. If I had gone home, I would have shipped so much of our stuff and ended up with a lot of things that are impractical, or just unneccesary here. Living with nothing for so long convinced us of what we can really live without. 🙂

So, I wish we could have done it with ten thousand *and* a car, but the point is that it can be done with a lot less. I guess it really depends on the person, what they are willing to do, what they are willing to do without.


Posted : January 13, 2007 4:53 pm
Posts: 0
New Member

Hi Brian,

There are often teaching jobs available in the private schools, you just have to ask for one at the right time. There is quite a bit of turnover due to many teachers coming for only a year or so to experience island life. The public schools may also have positions, these are better paying, but you will be dealing with more issues (including understanding local dialect). I agree with the suggestion to contact the private schools you'll find listed on this site and ask about positions. Recruiting is often done later here than in the states, so you might not get much response until April or May, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're not interested.

Several teachers at All Saints School and Sts. Peter and Paul School on St. Thomas have managed to find places to live downtown and can walk to these downtown schools. They've managed to avoid having to buy cars, and seem to be comfortable with that.

Good luck!

Posted : January 15, 2007 10:12 am
Posts: 312
Reputable Member

And there aren't private school students who speak the local dialect?

Posted : January 17, 2007 12:15 am
Posts: 532
Honorable Member

a far smaller percentage

Posted : January 17, 2007 3:39 am
Posts: 121
Estimable Member

All right, CT teachers!!! Come on down! I moved here from CT almost 3 years ago. I had never been to St. Thomas before and I was hired after applying online to the USVI Dept. of Education. I moved my entire family here (husband and 2 kids) so that I could take a teaching position at Charlotte Amalie High School. We are always looking for (and hiring) English teachers so please do not hesitate to come down. The Dept. of Ed. will pay for one, one-way plane ticket and rent reimbursal for up to one month. There is also a 'teacher network' in place to help you find long-term housing. We needed approx. $5,000 to ship our car and household stuff, along with plane fare, rent and other misc. stuff. Be advised, though, that you might not get the rent reimbursal (or a paycheck for that matter) for several weeks. It's kind of a big problem in Education, not to mention the NOPA situation but let's hope a new Ed. Commissioner will sort things out. The Math Dept. chair at CAHS lent me a grand so that we could eat and live--bless Ms. Passenier!

Please visit our school's website (www.cahsvi.com) I'm the resident computer geek/webmaster/technology coordinator. While you will need to go through Dept of Ed to apply, if you click on the 'Contact Us'/Email the Principal' link and drop Jeanette Smith a letter, you will be one step ahead. Please let me know (email below) if I can be of further assistance.

Suzanne Barber

Posted : January 18, 2007 5:11 pm
Posts: 35
Eminent Member

I, too am interested in a teaching position. Currently teaching in Cleveland, Ohio High School. Would like additional information regarding what I should do to find out what is available and how to go about it. Above is my e-mail address at school. Thanks for your help.

Candy Z.

Posted : January 18, 2007 5:53 pm
Posts: 389
Reputable Member

Candy, are you teaching in Cleveland proper or a suburb? I am originally from Bay Village.

Posted : January 19, 2007 10:45 am
Posts: 35
Eminent Member


I have been teaching at Brush High School, SouthEuclid/Lyndhurst City Schools for 13 years and before that I was at Bedford High School.


Posted : January 19, 2007 11:27 am
Posts: 983
Prominent Member

I just wanted to say thank you for giving this board a voice from within a STT public school. We are often asked opinions about the public schools and I don't think we have previously had the benefit of an inside opinion. certainly not one from the staff!


Posted : January 19, 2007 1:13 pm
Posts: 121
Estimable Member

Thanks Onika,

I used to post on here all the time but then my schedule became too hectic. One of these days I'll finish writing my moving story and share it with everyone. Ronnie L. was the first person I met on this board and he set me on the right track. I love to talk about my experiences here on STT, I am in love with this place.

Starting in Feb. I will be conducting the Adult Computer Literacy classes over at the Kirwin Terrace Community Center (evenings). I think it is important to connect with the community and not isolate yourself in your 'comfort zone'. As a teacher at CAHS, I have had so many opportunities that I never would have had in CT. Here's a short list: travel to many states (all expenses paid), to attend conferences, in June I brought 3 CAHS seniors to San Diego, CA, where we were presenters in the Student Showcase at the National Educational Computer Conference. I wrote and got a grant for a seismograph for the school, so they sent me to Boston for the training--keep an eye on our website as data will be live/streaming daily one the unit is configured. I was sent to Nashville in November because I am the Technology Liaison for the Virgin Islands Writing Project (VIWP). I'll be on STX for 5 weeks this summer teaching at UVI for the VIWP and I'm off to Tortola in Feb. where I was hired as an Ed. Tech. consultant for their teacher Professional Dvpt. Day. As you can see, I like to keep busy!

If you are a positive, motivated, go-getter type of person that doesn't get easily frustrated and can laugh when all you really want to do is cry over the state of our schools, then teaching in the VI is for you.

Posted : January 19, 2007 2:06 pm
Posts: 17
Active Member

I was so glad to see a positive post written about the public school system - I have only heard negative things. Your post however illustrates how vital a positive mind set is to any situation. You have definitely encouraged me to go ahead and apply with the public school system. Thanks a ton.

Posted : January 19, 2007 2:29 pm
Posts: 121
Estimable Member

You go, Tecara!

Posted : January 19, 2007 2:47 pm
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