What do You look for in an ESL Teacher?
It struck me recently that many employers set the recruitment ball rolling without having a clear idea of what they are looking for in a teacher.
I think two approaches are possible. One is the analytical approach, which I have touched on before. This requires us to identify specific competencies that we require in teachers . Armed with the list we can use a checklist for each candidate. Selection can be based on those who already demonstrate these competencies or those who are moving towards their acquisition.
But some employers might prefer a more intuitive approach based on their general reaction to the candidate. This might sound less rational but has its merits. After all, if the employer does not react well to a teacher, then how will students react? But how can you at least try to objectify this approach? I think the way forward is to think of the teacher as requiring three main attributes: an engaging personality; a set of skills that permit them to a organize a class well and a body of knowledge that they can use as a classroom resource.
The second two attributes can be checked by appropriate questioning and verification of background, training and references. The first, personality, could be the critical factor for deciding between two otherwise equal candidates. It may be less βscientificβ to reject or accept a candidate on the basis of their personality but, as teaching is an interpersonal activity, it seems fair to me to assume that a teacher with appropriate personal qualities will create a better classroom atmosphere.
Do let me know what you think.
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The hiring process. How can we be sure that our vitas truly reflect "a set of skills that permit [us] to organized a class well?" Are there things that need to be on our vitas that might cost us the job should we choose . . . [Read More]
Tracked on November 12, 2005 08:32 PM