Thursday, August 27, 2009

Another applicant who didn't get the job

And then there was this laddie –


He sent his resume and I decided NOT to interview him. Really, all it took was reading the objective he put on his resume, which is reproduced below in all its glory:


Objective for Instruction of Speakers of English as a Second Language:

Display of constant and genuine concern for academic progress, and insurance of total class inclusion, along with clear equity and recognition of positive efforts creates confidence- the great source of success in and out of the classroom. Concentration needed to demonstrate content mastery will develop through exercises appealing to all learning styles, along with practice of mature discussion, and my frank assurances that concerted effort can render academic success, in every case. Through seven years of working with “beginners” in all subject areas who are, yet, highly intelligent, I am able to show a tacit, warm encouragement. I gently help examine possible post-secondary adventures in learning…by integrating information, vocational interests, and knowledge of just what each student holds as an academic goal. None of my students will “fall through the cracks.” Holistic instruction will bring out potentially great intellectual contributions to society. Imaginative and investigative projects will engender powerful factual and thematic deductions, and meaningful learning in general. Greater retention is certain, and innovation and thrilling accomplishments are very possible. Standardized test scores can be expected to rise, because productivity follows from preparation, relevance and sincerity.” 


The rest of the resume, along with the cover letter and the writing sample, was pretty similar.


When he unexpectedly showed up at my office, I was kind of stuck, so I talked to him. He sat across the desk from me looking very sincere and sounding just the way he wrote.


He was quite proud of the perfect attendance of his students in the GED program at a local youth detention facility. (Where else were they going to be?)


He said there had been no discipline problems, either, because if someone acted up, “I could just send him to lockup.”


I leaned forward and said very quietly, “We don’t do that here.” 

So you want to be a teacher?

I receive a lot of resumes, applications and inquiries from potential instructors. Many of them are very qualified people. Then again, I occasionally see something like the following:


“I would like to teach English as a foreign language at the Language Institute.


I am currently in-between jobs and thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to offer my services to the community. Although I do not have any formal teaching experience, I have a Master’s degree from [large university] where I tutored undergraduate students in Mathematics and Chemistry. I am a resident of Columbus having worked at both [tech company] and [large bank] in the Information Technology group.


I would love to meet with you to discuss my credentials and any possible opportunities. I can also provide professional references who can vouch for my work ethic and integrity.”


OK – so … at what point did he give any indication of any qualification to teach English?


It seems his request can be summarized as “I’m unemployed; pay me.”



Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Student writing du jour

OK -- The prompt in this part of the placement test was for the student to write a note to the teacher to explain why he/she (the student) wouldn't be in class the next day. Here's one of the more interesting examples:

My teacher is very lovely and affectionate.

She is decorated and tranquillizing.

She is patient and polite.

She is clever and informed.

She is very very wanton.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Columbus cuisine

One of my instructors just told me about his chat with a new student a couple of nights ago. The student arrived in town last week and is here for only a month, visiting relatives.

The instructor asked A. what he liked best about Columbus. A. said, “The food!”

The instructor replied, “But you’re from Venice. You have the finest cuisine in the world there! What do you like so much about the food in Columbus?”

With a smile, A. responded: “Hamburgers!”

I told the instructor to direct A. to Max & Erma’s, so he can at least experience the finest of our ground beef cuisine while he's here.

In the meantime, the instructor has given A. directions to a local pizza place, so he can learn what Americans call pizza.