Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sketchy Teacher Job Posting

One of the things I've been enjoying about teaching online is that I've been allowed to spend my time teaching from Salt Lake City, which means I've been able to spend some substantial time with Ed. And since I'm looking for actual teaching-related employment out here, I've been sending out resumes. (I had two interviews that fell through so far.) I've been looking at various online employment sites, including Craigslist. A few days ago, I applied to a part-time teaching position. This afternoon, I received the following e-mail from the self-proclaimed "Ideator" (I have modified the spacing, nothing else):

"Recently something was brought to my attention by a skeptic on craigslist and I have felt compelled to edit the posting for the job and resend the link to all applicants. My apologies if you felt misled. Here are the specific changes/updates that I've made to the posting:
- "
Our organization..." was changed to "Our group..." within the opening line.
-The status of our incorporation is pending and we will never seek accreditation for this institution for it goes against our values for education. These have been added and described in full detail in the new post.
- "
-Depends on # of classes taught" AND "-Non-regular work schedule, though of course, we will work with your schedule." were added to the "Compensation" list.
- Finally, the following lines were added to the end of the ad: "This position is not a bread-winner. Pay will be coming out of our own pockets.Work will be intermittent and this is likely going to be your second job. In the next few months we are looking to be moving toward a full time staff, [Bad sign: There's a comma splice in an ad meant to recruit teachers!] however, at this time this is not possible. There is a very meaningful conversation happening in the education industry at the moment. Some of us have been a part of it for a very long time, some only recently joined. We aim to stop talking and start doing something about it. If you are passionate about education and helping students, we hope you'll join us."

This is the ad that was posted. (I saved it and converted it to a PDF.)

Several red flags:

  1. I'm wary of non-accredited schools. Accreditation carries a certain amount of weight, and the lack thereof says, to me, that certain standards are not being met, both in terms of what students should be learning and in terms teacher requirements (namely an undergraduate education, but also experience; if you're a fresh-out-of-college teacher, your teaching experience is going to be limited to student teaching, but that foundational experience is integral). 

  2. They want a "specific area of expertise" but "no college degree [is] required." How does that work? I realize that one can be an expert in something without a college degree, but that requires a certain level, years, of experience, which most people aren't going to have without a college degree - at least in the subjects this non-school is teaching (business, finance, etc.)

  3. There is no name of this non-school, and no Website, which means you can't do any research on it. Before I have any interview, I like to Google the company/school and at least get a feel of the land.

  4. The change of their verbiage also raised an eyebrow (i.e., "our organization" was changed to "our group"). I don't even know where to start with that one.

  5. Teachers get paid pretty badly to begin with - no one goes into teaching for the money - although one can support oneself quite well. But in this case, the compensation is horrendous, and since "the pay is coming out of [their] own pockets," I foresee there being times when one might not get paid. The math breaks down to potentially $10 an hour for teaching. That's barely better than ringing up a cash register. What kind of quality teachers are you going to get if you pay them that badly?

I could go on, but my brain is on overload. Before I could send the e-mail thanking the Ideator in alerting me of the changes in the ad, withdrawing my application, and wishing them luck in attracting well-qualified, educated teachers (which somehow, I'm doubting will happen), I got another e-mail expressing interest in interviewing me.

This is decidedly not the job for me.

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