In most cases, it’s not up to the school, it’s up to the State Department of Education.
Some places are recruiting native Chinese teachers FROM China or Taiwan, but the special conditions that apply to those people do not apply to non-Chinese (who – BTW, understand American students, can control them in a classroom setting, can deal with parents, and can do many many more things that Chinese teachers fresh off the boat find daunting). But the idea is that those Chinese teachers (who are ESL teachers, not Chinese language teachers, to begin with) will “inspire” the kids to go on in Chinese, and anyway there is such a shortage of Chinese language teachers (mostly because of the insane requirements for someone who is in the US – even a native speaker of Chinese – to get a license) that, well, we have to do SOMETHING.
The thing to do is figure out where you want to go, then check with the department of ed’s web site for that state. Look for words like alternative, pathway, career-changer, or things like that.
Be aware that many states are moving toward elimination of these alternative pathways (!) in favor of making everyone go to teacher’s college. IMHO this is totally stupid, and would skew the profession toward 22-year-old recent graduates who have no world experience (especially for foreign language, this almost guarantees a lack of proficiency in the language being taught, if we’re talking about a typical “I majored in Spanish” student) who are barely able to control a class of 17 year olds because they are nearly the same age. So, because of the move to eliminate, time can be of the essence.
The problems that Housecat talks about are widespread a well. Getting a teaching license doesn’t mean you are licensed for the rest of your life (or that you are “really” licensed – many times you get an “initial” license that then requires you to earn an MA degree and be mentored in a full-time teaching job for two years and…blah blah blah…before you can turn in a video of your teaching for the “experts” at State Ed to evaluate [my husband received a canvass letter asking him if he’d like to become an educational credentials evaluator for State Ed – like he has anything approaching a knowledge of teaching!!? these are civil servants in many cases, nothing more, and even if they were teachers, they haven’t been in the classroom for some time now, have they?] and THEN you need 175 hours of “continuing education” (which is a total joke) every 5 years to keep your license current, and you had better pray that no parent complains about what their kid said you said in class.
But that being said, teaching Chinese is fun. If you only look at the time you are interacting with your kids in Chinese, it’s worth it.
MOD: Maybe we should split the information about teaching Chinese and Chinese licensure in the US into a separate thread? We can take it over in Learning Chinese if that seems appropriate.