Thursday, July 24, 2008

Second Interview

I walked into the school about 10 minutes before my interview was scheduled to start, and it was an absolute madhouse.  Hundreds of students, talking, laughing, eating, watching an American TV show, and otherwise seeming happy to be there and having a good time.  This is the type of environment I would like to teach in.  

Through the crowd I managed to find the gentleman I would be interviewing with.  He asked me to fill out an application form.  This was slightly annoying, but it is a big company, and they have schools all over the world, so I understood there is some need for uniformity in the paperwork.  He told me not to bother with too much detail though, as they have my resume as well.

The interview went quite well.  He showed me the books they use, which I have used before in a previous job.  We talked about the curriculum in quite a bit of detail, which I liked.  They seemed to be a lot more professional than the other interview I had.  He asked me quite a few questions about my previous experience teaching students, and if I had ever taught in a similar environment to this school.  

All was going well, then he blindsided me with a very detailed hypothetical teaching situation.  "How would you introduce a class about the difference between gerunds and infinitives?"

Uh, what?  

Seriously, I was a bit lucky he asked me for an introduction to a class on this, a opposed to a detailed grammatical explanation.  I described a communicative activity that involved me modeling use of the same or similar words as both a gerund and an infinitive, then helping the students to use that word as I did, before using similar words to create their own unique sentences.  I gave just enough explanation to make it clear I knew what gerunds and infinitives were, but focused on the activity.  

I'll be honest though, as I was talking, I was really hoping that I was getting it right as far as what gerunds and infinitives are.  Turns out I did, more or less.  That was the most harrowing part of the interview, but I felt like I did OK.  I asked him a couple more questions about the school, and we talked about salary and benefits, as well as what kind of schedule I would prefer. 

We made a bit of small talk at the end, and the interviewer informed me he was from Barcelona.  This made me happy, and we spoke a bit of Spanish before I left.  He told me that he would discuss my application with his boss, the school's director, and that they would get back to me within the next few days.

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