I recently completed an assignment as part of an interview process for an ESL teaching position. This is the first time I was asked to do something like this and I enjoyed completing the assignment immensely because it put my teaching to good use and also demonstrated my abilities. It really gave me a chance to shine.
The assignment was divided into several parts, but basically had me comment on a student’s writing and come up with sample activities.
I’d of course done this before many times in my own teaching, but now I was able to show the employer my approach. The assignment also gave me a chance to take a more active role in the interview process, which made me happy.
I’m still waiting to hear back, but no doubt, the assignment gave the hiring committee some tangible evidence of my abilities, which is why this works well for the employer, too. If I was the one hiring, I would want to see the candidate in action. There were times looking for work as a journalist where I had to provide samples of my articles as part of a portfolio. Completing an assignment like this is a bit different because it really caters to what the employer is looking for and hopefully reflects the type of teaching they want to see and the kind of students they have.
For example, if the employer has adult students looking improve their English in a professional setting, your teaching lesson may take more of a professional tone. Likewise, if the employer has newcomers looking to better integrate into Canadian culture, you may create a lesson with Canadian content that addresses their learning needs, and, of course, language proficiency level.
This assignment gave me an opportunity to test myself, as well, and see if I could do the work they were hiring for. Plus, it was fun. All in all, it was a win-win situation for everyone. That’s why I think that every employer should make assignments a part of their hiring process—especially in teaching.
Have you experienced a similar interview process as a job candidate? What do you think are the pros and cons of this type of interview process?