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Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by T0nyGT, Oct 8, 2019.
I understand what you're saying but this is exactly why they are useful - the interruptions shouldn't really happen (and, as you realised - it said a lot about the school itself) but we use the demo lesson to see how you respond and react (adapt) to the unexpected (within reason); plus, if you were a supply teacher and already knew the class, of course there should be higher expectations than a candidate who didn't know the kids!
Those who are interviewing should know (as myself and the SLT I work with fully appreciate) that a demo lesson is never perfect; but as I said in my previous post, it's a good gauge of classroom presence and interaction with students.
My friend recently interviewed for a school in the UK where the other candidates had behaviour issues in their demo lessons (even with SLT observing) and students were sent out; the message was clear to my friend - if students couldn't behave in those conditions, then what hope on a normal teaching day? He said no to the job offer; so it can work both ways.
In the last round of interviews at my school, our 'strongest' candidate on paper was disappointingly terrible in lesson - their ability to work with students (well, our students) was nothing like what we expected. They also gave a really good interview. We were glad of the demo lesson and didn't recruit them.
Yes, there is a school in Jakarta that flies teachers to Dubai for their interview. The school pays for flights and accommodation in Dubai.
I understand both sides of the argument in demo lessons. The truth is that demo lessons don't really showcase a teacher's true ability to manage a classroom, the rapport a teacher has with students or how effective they may or may not be in instruction. The conditions for demo lessons usually allow for students to be on their best behavior (in normal circumstances) because there is intimidation from all the admin presence in the classroom. Also, the teacher performing the demo lesson has little to no awareness of the learners' needs, interests or abilities. Besides classroom management is achieved in many different ways - most teachers develop strategies and procedures that are put in place from the very beginning of the school year, structures which they know how to run and operate for very smooth functioning of their classroom. Being present in another classroom where these procedures are not in place gives you a limited means of getting children to focus or eliminate any distractions if they arise (although in demo lessons this is hardly the case IMO). Besides a great lesson means nothing with poor classroom management skills. A teacher that can manage a class of students and teach an average lesson is more effective than a teacher than can put on an outstanding lesson but lacks complete control of a class.
Someone once told me to get on my bike. Does that count?
Couldn't agree more! Though I can see the benefit of demo lessons to a SLT person who has to say 'yay' or 'nay' based on limited knowledge and gut feeling of the potential future employee. But as a teacher, teaching the one-off lesson to a group of strangers who (s)he has no knowledge of, and often has no idea what Unit/Topic students are currently engaged in, it's a very sterile experience, imo. Rapport, trust, boundaries etc etc can only be built over a period of time. Sorry for going off-topic from the OP's theme
I understand that one of the top 3 schools in Singapore (the British one) fly's candidates out after an initial application and Skype interview. That too for a teacher without any additional responsibility.
A rather large school group in HK flew me from UK to HK for a 3 day interview process. Very nice to leave a dreary, cold & grey UK March to arrive in the warm orient, especially as it was during term time. That level of investment in recruitment immediately signifies quality provision that you want to be involved in.
You hit on the point of my entire thread right here. I was specifically thinking of this school but thought I would open the question up.
I did an video interview for this school and the email sent after said that the final interviews would take place in Singapore. I read and re-read it as I couldn't believe they would fly regular teachers out to Singapore for an interview. From the UK (as an example) it's a 13 hour flight. I wonder if some schools would have a problem giving more than one day off for an interview.
Not that I've heard anything back yet (or expect to as I know it's an extremely desirable school) but I just found it interesting
Agreed. I know some schools who fly their preferred candidate over first; if they're successful then they don't fly the others over... if they're not, then they arrange to fly their second preference over and so on.... it's much cheaper but the risk is that good candidates can be lost to other offers in the interim (also can be tricky to schedule multiple interview days).
I have trouble understanding how this can be sustainable. What a massive expense from the school’s side, and what a massive investment of time from the candidates. It could all be well and good if it could be done once- one candidate for the school, one trip for the applicant, but reality isn’t that simple. You also have to consider opportunity cost, which is quite large in this scenario. As pointed out by others, seeing an applicant in person can be enlightening, for good or bad, so it’s not just about confirming your top candidate, it’s about who you skip seeing and what you lose by skipping them. It’s about the candidate who can’t get leave. The only way to do this economically is to make the playing field very unequal.
It depends on the turnover of staff. There are some international schools that have no more than a small handful of positions every year. If any at all.
If it's going to be most candidates' first choice of school, and if the candidate is strong enough to be a clear favourite, then apparently it's worth it.
Clearly it is to some schools.
Personally, I wouldn’t do it.
But I don’t run the world. Not even those schools.
I have to agree with gulfers here, I do not see how it makes financial sense for teaching roles and middle management. Although I have seen it done, it happened to my wife who was flown out from the UK to Malaysia for a Head of ICT job some years ago. I have to say it seems to me to be a vanity thing for some schools and some headteachers/owners.
There's another Singapore school advertising at the moment who also fly teachers out for the interview. It's a for-profit too. Not top 3
Must be the done thing in Singapore I guess
Was in the Middle East too when they still had money. I'm thinking of the couple of petrol schools in Qatar.