Actually, I’m not so busy with teaching at the moment, but I’ve been sending off a few job applications. I had a job interview last Thursday, in person. Previous interviews have been via Skype or over the phone, due to the fact the positions were not in Beijing. This one was. It was at a high school close to my current school. The interview itself was in front of a panel of four Chinese English teachers. They were pleasant enough, although an awkward question was why I wanted to leave my current school, given its status, and move to that one. I said something about curriculum changes and reaching a plateau there, which seemed to placate them.
I was then told I had to give a 10-15 minute lesson. I had about 15 minutes to prepare. I was expecting to teach a class, but it was just the Chinese teachers. They use their own oral English textbooks, which they had given me to plan from. The lesson went okay actually; the teachers seemed to enjoy it.
After departing, I got a text to say they were happy I was actually an oral English teacher and would I be willing to go and teach a real class the following day? My timetable on Friday’s is light (I have one class), so I said okay. The class – 26 students – were Junior 2 (about 13-14 years old).
The lesson I used was an introduction lesson from what I had already used with all my classes this year. I arrived with my laptop, expecting to plug it in (like we do here), but there was no plug socket. What they did have, however, was a touch screen, so I transferred the lesson onto a USB and loaded it there. Being unfamiliar with this, it took a couple of minutes for it to work, but eventually it worked. I was also warned that the students at this school are at a far lower ability level than at my current school.
I am always a little apprehensive about demo lessons (though this was a full-length one), and how students will react. In the class, there were some students who were very weak but also some students who could speak some English and, I think, on the whole, they broadly enjoyed themselves. The feedback I received afterwards was that they liked me very much. The school then sent over a document in which I can stipulate my requirements for a position there and the school will then see if they can come to some arrangement.
Whilst it may be typical of me to do this, since I’m in Beijing, it does show that they want legitimate teachers and see if you are any good, which is a somewhat comforting thought!
With other applications still outstanding, we’ll see what happens next…..