School Interpreter Jobs
Many public and private schools hire translators and interpreters to facilitate interactions between non-English speaking families and educational staff.
This could be translating documents that will be sent home to families or school rules and regulations, interpreting for parent/teacher conferences, simultaneous interpreting at school board or parent-teacher association meetings, or interpreting for confidential meetings regarding disciplinary or health issues. Interpreters and translators who are interested in this type of work should contact their local school district or private school administrative staff to be put on their list of qualified individuals. Translators and interpreters who have had teaching jobs or who have children of their own tend to be well-suited to this type of work.
“We hire interpreters primarily for parent teacher conferences. Our best interpreters not only interpret accurately word for word the conversation between the parent and the teacher, but also help to build this important relationship by providing cultural information when it’s appropriate for understanding each other. This teamwork promotes the best educational experience for the child,” says one Public School District Administrator from Minnesota.
“I frequently interpret for psychological evaluations and parent-teacher conferences in public schools. I typically work with individuals from Francophone African countries.
Though my primary job is to accurately relay information between multiple parties, I also find myself doing quite a bit of ‘cultural translation’ during these sessions. Since the educational systems in West Africa are so different from those in the U.S., I rely on my knowledge of West African culture to explain concepts that either the parents or teachers may not be aware of. The educators I work with have told me they request me to come back because of both my in-depth understanding of American educational practices and my understanding of West African cultures,” comments Jen Westmoreland Bouchard, owner of Lucidité Writing.