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What would you ask a potential teacher?

Moderator: Tempo Gain

What would you ask a potential teacher?

Postby Baas Babelaas » 02 Jun 2016, 08:52

My company has asked me to be on the panel this afternoon (and I presume in the future) when interviewing a potential new teacher.

I'm not sure why, as that is not my role in the company (we provide online and regular classroom education), however I'm doing it.

I might have to ask the candidate a couple of questions. What would you ask a potential teacher if you had to?

(If the English above is a bit off it's because I'm still waking up)
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Re: What would you ask a potential teacher?

Postby HenHaoChi » 02 Jun 2016, 09:15

Apart from the standard stuff like experience, you could ask them:- "What would you do in [-random classroom situations-] and see if they can think on their feet.

A tough general interview question: "What would your enemies/detractors say about you?" One boss followed that up by requesting a phone call with whoever the interviewee referenced. ^^^ That is probably too intense for an EFL interview.

http://www.fastcompany.com/3056142/hit- ... -to-answer

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Re: What would you ask a potential teacher?

Postby Ermintrude » 02 Jun 2016, 10:35

1. Will you take my kind and gracious offer to use my coffee machine and fuck me with it by arriving five minutes before me and filling it with decaf?
2. Exactly HOW did you 'map your curriculum and assessment to the CEFR' as you wrote on your CV. Describe to me the process, how you tracked the project and what the tangible outcomes were. Now explain to me why your answer is a massive red flag, you bullshitty little bullshitter. Ditto your 'firm interest in' teacher training and e-learning. Tangible examples of how you have done something, not babbling on about buzzwords.
3. If offered the job, would you join the staff football team?*

You're look for evidence of emotional stability in terms of ability to handle direction and repetitive work, staying power and planning ability for project management (or basic record-keeping and following the curriculum for a more junior role) and the maturity and flexibility to deal with the students and admin without kicking off or bitching all the time. Bit of charisma: will the students have any connection with this person? Possibly. Just think of the characteristics and skills the job requires and ask for evidence of those.


* The answer is 'Fuck no, but I did introduce an extensive reading program in my school in Japan and 39% of participants said it increased the amount of reading in English that they did for fun.'
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Re: What would you ask a potential teacher?

Postby Baas Babelaas » 02 Jun 2016, 10:38

:wink:

but

:eek:

and

:no-no:

to Ermintrude.

Thanks HenHaoChi.
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Re: What would you ask a potential teacher?

Postby Ermintrude » 02 Jun 2016, 11:32

Well, the second one is the things that bug me. Strong interest in 'elearning' usually means 'Did a module on it in my MA that I finished three weeks ago, and I used a website in a classroom once.' 'Teacher training' means 'I did a British Council seminar for local teachers to teach them how to be communicative! Chinese students like to be spoonfed!' 'Mapped curriculum and assessment to CEFR' means 'During a typhoon day I wrote 'B1' on all our documentation'. If you're crapping on about the CEFR, I want to know how familiar you are with the key documentation and research but more importantly how that impacts learning. E-learning: bring something up on your phone and show me what happened as a result. 'Teacher training': explain exactly how you would mentor people who are older and more experienced than you without starting a mutiny and going over the 48 pence sterling teacher development budget.

Another thing that bugs me is referencing particular studies on British MA TESOL 101 classes as if they discovered fire and talking about their 'research interests' which of course is always unpublished 'classroom action research'.

Just ranting about my skool. People who just blah on about what they think you want to hear like the little proto-sociopaths that they are. I want specifics about your attitude and your past achievements, is all. :D
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Re: What would you ask a potential teacher?

Postby Baas Babelaas » 02 Jun 2016, 12:47

The teachers we are interviewing are strictly doing classroom teaching, not the e-learning side of things.
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Re: What would you ask a potential teacher?

Postby HenHaoChi » 02 Jun 2016, 12:55

Interviews don't show that much. Demos reveal more. Given an hour with a teacher, I would want to see them teach for 40-50 minutes, with a 10-20 min interview just to check they aren't too weird.
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Re: What would you ask a potential teacher?

Postby Ermintrude » 02 Jun 2016, 13:19

Baas Babelaas wrote:The teachers we are interviewing are strictly doing classroom teaching, not the e-learning side of things.


Yeah, sorry, just off on a rant. We have mid-career people with generally ten plus years' experience (although that's not a rule), and with that, the main thing is where they have worked and what their attitude is, for a teaching job. Because we only teach 22 weeks a year in a uni, you also need to know what you can usefully expect them to do the rest of the time, so whether you can trust them to get stuff up on the VLE, etc, is important. You can tell what you need to know from the CV with older people, you just need to check how much they are bullshitting and what their attitude to certain things is. Basically whether they will be a pain in the arse to manage.

Could you ask them to do a brief pre-interview task? That would give you a lot of info. I would start with a job description (either the published one with the vacancy if it exists or sketch out what you want) and then ask questions based on that.
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Re: What would you ask a potential teacher?

Postby the bear » 02 Jun 2016, 18:57

You can never go wrong with a "where do you see yourself in 5 years". The question's so overused it generally causes mirth all round.
I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.
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Re: What would you ask a potential teacher?

Postby zender » 02 Jun 2016, 19:18

Better to mix it up a bit.

I'd ask, "Where do you see me in 5 years?"
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