Next in our meet the team series, we spoke to Nefeli, Teacher Team Manager about what makes online learning special, the teacher recruitment process… and dancing!
Hi Nefeli! You’ve got a very interesting background, tell us a little about yourself!
I come from beautiful Greece and have lived in Berlin for the last 6 years. I studied Classics i.e Ancient Greek and Latin but since I couldn’t work as a teacher in Greece after the financial crisis, I decided to move to Germany. I’ve started my Masters in the Freie Universitat Berlin which focused on linguistics and translations. At the same time I was trying to find a job that fits both my studies and my interests so, after working mostly in retail, I applied to be an Intern at Lingoda. My interest in languages was always there since my mother is half German and I have been learning the language for as long as I can remember! I also love dancing and did ballet for 10 years! I continue my dance adventures in Berlin too, focusing on contemporary and floor work.
You’ve worked at Lingoda for almost 2 years now. How has your role developed?
I’ve started as an Intern for the Teacher Team back in 2019 and it was really a challenge for me since it was my first proper ‘office’ job. Since then I have been working alongside the Teacher Team as a Junior Teacher Manager and then as a Recruitment Coordinator; a position that was more focused on our hiring processes. After a while I wanted more responsibility, which led me to the position I hold now. I was always interested in people management and HR so this role is exactly where I saw my future at Lingoda going.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Work, of course! At work I focus on teacher forecasting, hiring goals, team growth, general recruitment and quality control of our teachers. When I finish I usually go to my contemporary dance classes which helps me to relax and release. I also take Spanish classes with Lingoda twice a week in order to improve my language skills for when I travel to South America again.
What do you look for in an online teacher?
The official qualifications are very important and must be met in order to proceed with an application. We screen the resumes of the applicants thoroughly to understand the applicant’s professional path. Experience is something we value, especially online experience as it indicates that the applicant is already aware of the implication of teaching online. That being said we had many applicants who were new to online work, with more traditional offline experience, and they are now flourishing at Lingoda.
In the Interviews we speak with the applicant and try to get to know them (as much as someone can in 30 minutes) and have a short but fun demo lesson. In an interview potential teachers can show us their teaching skills but at the same time their teaching style which is crucial in assessing their potential success at Lingoda. We encourage different teaching styles since we believe that’s the magic of our platform.
What is the recruitment process like for a potential teacher at Lingoda?
It’s fast. Depending on the demand for teachers, an applicant can be on the platform and teaching within a week of application. First, an applicant has to submit the application through our website , then we receive it and we screen the application which means we check their qualifications and experience. After that they are invited to an interview which includes a short demo lesson (10 minutes) with provided Lingoda materials. If the applicant is successful they undergo an independent on-boarding, followed by a short quiz which once completed gives them access to our platform and they can start right away.Their profile can be set in no time and potential classes are already show on their calendars.
Why did you choose to work in online education?
Online education is the future, isn’t it? To be honest since I’m also a teacher I thought this position would be a great fit because I would be able to recruit and work with teachers for different languages. Online was a challenge for me since humanitarian studies don’t introduce you exactly to this world but I wanted something new and interesting, so here I am!
I also admire what Lingoda offers because in Greece, for example, it’s difficult to have a native-level teacher teaching you German or even English. Furthermore, being able to study and take classes from home is convenient for everyone, I think.
Do you have any tips for someone who might want to pursue a career in teaching?
It’s a cliché but I think you have to adore teaching to be a good teacher. It requires patience and hard work so that you’re essentially always there for your students. It can be a rather difficult profession, especially when students are encountering a new language. When learning a different language you discover a new world and the role of the teacher is to be a knowledgeable guide into this world!