I spent almost 12 hours this past Wednesday on the campus of EAFIT, mostly in the physics lab which Martin and Rodrigo call home.
They were trying to help me prepare for my first teaching interview which Rodrigo helped to set up with a 6-year old institute in the center of the city.
I developed a lesson plan, though I felt decidedly unconfident given my complete lack of teaching experience, knowledge of different methodologies, and personal teaching philosophy.
But, they continued to be supportive and offer encouragement.
I also spent a little time reading in the language center’s library which has enough books on teaching and learning English as a foreign language to keep me well occupied.
On Thursday, I read up on some interviewing tips specifically aimed at teachers looking for work abroad, and met up with Rodrigo at the physics lab around 3pm.
By 3:30pm, we were in his car cruising down the highway toward the city center.
By 4pm, we were in the lobby of the institute.
It has been a long time since I´ve been on a job interview, and while I am confident in the work I have done for two previous employers, my blogs and time spent traveling the last 15 months, none of that really applied when I was asked how I would teach a class of Colombians who speak no English!
The institute was run by the parent’s of his friend, so I was at a table with her, her mom, and Rodrigo. I did my best, however it was not meant to be.
The institute only began to offer English classes at the start of the year, so there were no established materials for teachers. There were two teachers giving classes, and both were Colombian.
After the interview, we stopped by a bigger, more established English school in the city center and I picked up an application, however it was clear to me that if I am going to succeed at teaching here, I would be better off building experience in private tutoring.
Then, if necessary, I could use that experience to bolster my chances at the English schools.
In th evening, to take my mind off the interview, I invited a friend over who speaks no English to help me practice my Spanish.