After the first three job hunting strikeouts, I went to Indeed for some leads.
I applied to a company that focuses on improving non-native speakers’ American accents. In preparation, they sent me several links to watch videos about pronunciation. Then, I had a Zoom interview with a lovely Eastern European teenager with braces sitting in front of a sparkly shower curtain. My internet decided to act up, as it has been for the past few weeks, and the upload speed during the speed test was only 4.6 Mbps instead of the 10 Mbps it’s supposed to be. The teenager informed me they required a minimum of 5 Mbps. A few days later, I received an email that informed me that I did not get the position.
Since I was on a roll, I decided to tackle a video interview requested by an online teaching platform based in Costa Rica. The video requests for this company were pretty specific. I needed to wear my favorite color shirt and have some music playing in the background while I answered questions about how I handled certain situations that came up in class. I chose to have Meatloaf playing on Spotify while I talked, and for most of the time, it was ok. But Meatloaf being the exuberant performer he was, started belting it out, and it was distracting, to say the least.
I expect this requirement was to test the noise-canceling capabilities of my microphone. Anyway, it must have been good enough because about a week later, I received an email to teach a demo class with the materials and a few links to watch.
And here we get to what I’ve been struggling with about this whole job-hunting process. Back in the day, I would turn in an application. If I seemed like a potential candidate, the company called me to set up an appointment for an interview. If, after said interview, they were satisfied with my credentials/answers/availability or whatever, then I began training. After a training period, which varied from job to job, I was set to work.
But these days, all of the places I’ve applied wanted me to teach a class, and THEN they’ll see if my credentials/answers/availability match up. So in effect, I have to train myself, unpaid, mind you, and if I am just as good as the teachers they already have, I’m hired. If not, so sorry.
Anyway, I taught the demo class but ran into some technical difficulties that left me flustered. I didn’t know how to share a video on Zoom. So I know my demo class wasn’t my best effort. After that class, I had a short feedback session with someone from the company who pointed out where I could improve. Then taught ANOTHER demo class. I finally heard back from them. They decided to go with another applicant because I didn’t have enough rapport with the student. Yeah, ok.
A third company that I managed to score an interview with at first seemed promising. I met with the founder via Zoom, and we chatted about their philosophy and all that. Then the next step was to observe a class and then teach a demo class with provided materials. At this point, I had a bit of a panic attack or something. In addition to feeling out of my depth because the class would be in Spanish rather than English, and I haven’t taught Spanish in over 15 years, the hours seemed extraordinarily complicated. I would be teaching three two-hour grammar classes during the week. Then on Saturdays, I would teach a conversation class. Two evenings a week, I would hold “office hours” virtually where anyone could drop in. Then every month, there were mandatory teacher training and language events.
All of these were at set times. As you know, my internet can be a bit wonky, and there have been times when I’ve had to cancel classes because of it. With this company, that didn’t seem like a possibility. There was also the pay setup. It wasn’t an hourly wage but a set amount after completing an eight or 12-week course. I would be expected to teach not one but at least two maybe more different classes (each of which met three times a week) plus Saturday and office hours per 8 or 12-week session. I would need to adapt the materials and provide feedback for all students as well. That totaled up to a whole lot of hours per week, and my internet just can’t be relied on for that many hours.
Anyway, I backed out of that demo class with apologies and withdrew my application.