My path to a job here in Ecuador has been a strange one for sure. When I first arrived I was told I was a shoe in for the High School technology teacher position at Colegio Americano where Michele works. I went for an interview, and needless to say, did not get the gig. That was not too bad, because it allowed me to hang out, take spanish class, and pretty much keep it real for a few months.
Three weeks ago I heard about a middle school social studies position at Colegio Terra Nova. Terra Nova is a beautiful school with a great vista. I really liked the school, and I thought it would be interesting to teach Social Studies. I interviewed for the position and was asked to teach a course about Cro-Magnon Man, Neanderthal, and Homo Erectus. I know very little about this topic and had do quite a bit of research. When the class was over, the director of the school explained there were other candidates and would get back with me on Tuesday or Wednesday.
The next week came and Tuesday and Wednesday passed. I had not heard from Colegio Terra Nova, so I called them on Thursday and they told me they had not made a decision yet and would let me know. This made me a little nervous and slightly annoyed. Around that time a friend sent me an email about a 5 week sub position at Colegio Einstein.
Colegio Einstein is the only Jewish school in Quito, but many Philistine students attend there as well. My landlord’s children attend there, and the reputation around town is that it is the most academically inclined of all the schools in Quito. I sent Colegio Einstein an email while I waited to hear from Colegio Terra Nova and they asked me to come in the next day for an interview.
When I arrived they told me one of the teachers was leaving to have a baby and they needed a person to cover for her while she was gone. Then they smiled and said, “We reviewed your resume and we think we have an even better job for you than the one you emailed us about.” They told me about the elementary computer teacher position. Every elementary class comes to the computer lab for one hour per week, and would be left to me. I met with the school’s manager and he explained the pay scale, policies, etc. I was offered the lowest pay on their scale, which was considerably higher than the highest pay on the Colegio Terra Nova pay scale!
When I returned home Colegio Terra Nova called me when I walked in the door and asked me to come in on Monday morning. When I arrived they offered me the position. I asked for a day to consider the position, and they were shocked. Almost indignant with the statement, “We thought you had made a decision?” I walked out with a bad taste in my mouth. When I got home there was an email waiting from Colegio Einstein.
I was asked to teach a demo class at Colegio Einstein on Tuesday, which I did. It was a group of second graders. We played some games to practice on the home row of the keyboard. I made the site, Technology is FUN! To help with my classes. The students squirmed around a lot, and I plan on working with their teachers to find out what they are learning in class and try to develop relevant activities from now on. I have been asked to come to the school today to fill out the paper work and sign the contract.
When I returned home I called Colegio Terra Nova and told them I was turning down the position. They were not very happy and hang the phone up on me. I was very professional about the entire situation, and if they would have contacted when they had originally said, I would be working there.
English is a rarity in the Technology Department of Colegio Einstein, though I am nervous, this will be very good for my Spanish ability. After having four months off work, I am back, but I do not think there is a lot of stress and I get to practice my Spanish.
If any one knows any tips about teaching technology to wee little ones, please let me know in the comments.