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What employers say

Steve talking about interviewing teachers.
When we’re looking for a new teacher, or hiring a new teacher, the most important thing is that we find someone who fits the position, which sounds very general, but more specifically, they need to be able to actually take on and handle the kind of classes they’re going to have, the kind of students, whether they’re young learners who come to the classes, or general English. As we look at their capacity to do that, their ability to handle the workload, if it’s quite a high number of hours, split shifts, and things like that. But we also want to look at whether this person is somebody we want in the teachers’ room.
Because if we are bringing somebody into our staff, we want them to be somebody who actually helps support the staff, and make the staff room a more pleasant place. Personality and professionalism are key. So we look at how a person presents themselves, whether they’re easy to communicate with, whether they’re open. And of course, in terms of their teaching, one of my favourite tasks is to get the interviewee, the person applying for the job, to talk through a piece of coursebook material. We just open the coursebook and say, OK. Here’s a lesson here. Give them time to get oriented to it. How would you adapt it for a group and why?
And that way we can talk through, in a way, teaching the teacher the kind of decisions they make, and how they make their decisions, how they might vary the dynamic in the class, even what they know about varying a dynamic in a class. Because the grammar lesson, it’s quite useful to do it with a grammar lesson. We can actually go into the grammar point, and that tells me a lot about the person’s language awareness.

We’ve heard from teachers and learners but what about employers? What do they think and how do they choose teachers to work for them? Watch this video of a Director of Studies (Steve) talking about what he looks for when he’s interviewing teachers for a job. He says he considers what the person will be like when they are at work and what the person will be like in the staffroom.

Listen and take notes about this or complete a table like this one with the things Steve looks for:

A table with columns for qualities at work and qualities in the staffroom
Steve says that he asks interviewees to tell him how they would use a page of a coursebook. Why does he do this?

You can find the answers here or in the ‘Downloads’ section below.


What about you? Do you think you’d make a good teacher? Why? What qualities do you have? Are there any qualities you’d like to have? If you are already a teacher, what do you think your learners like about you? Write your comments in the comments box.

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Exploring the World of English Language Teaching

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