Greatest weakness? please help.

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by galenaCO, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. galenaCO

    galenaCO New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 10, 2008

    Hi, I'm going for a teaching/grad school interview soon. I have no idea what type of questions they are going to ask because the program is for people who have never taught before. If they do ask the question, what is your greatest weakness? Are there any answers they really don't want? I'll think of some honest answers today and maybe i can get some feedback. THANKS!!
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2008
  2.  
  3. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Messages:
    6,439
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 10, 2008

    You should be able to turn a weakeness into a strength. Does that make any sense? Perhaps you are very driven- you won't stop until you succeed. Some may see that as a weakeness, but it is also a strength.

    I wouldn't say I'm a procrastinator. Somehow, I don't see there being a way to flip that into a strength.
     
  4. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    17,355
    Likes Received:
    20

    Mar 10, 2008

    Your answer should be something that has been a challenge for you in the past, and something that you've tried to improve on. Honesty is important because principals will be able to tell if you aren't honest with your answer. You need to be able to turn this negative weakness into a strength. Some things I would avoid are "I'm a perfectionist" or anything with classroom management.

    My weakness is organization. And I'm trying to rectify that by utilizing organizational storage. I prioritze lessons by how they will benefit student learning. And I have to realize that I can't do everything I would like to.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    23,033
    Likes Received:
    458

    Mar 10, 2008

    We've never asked that question on my interviewing committee...It's kind of a gotcha question, don't you think? I think answering that classroom mgt is a weakness is problematic...can you think of something else?
     
  6. cMcD

    cMcD Groupie

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,214
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 10, 2008

    I agree with everyone else. TURN YOUR WEAKNESS INTO A POSITIVE. I had a planned answer last year. I was never asked, but I was always ready. Since I was a new teacher my weakness was that I was a new teacher. I didn't have the experience of a veteran teacher. BUT, since I'm new I'm driven. I'm excited to teach. I'm eager to come in early and stay late. I'll use that line this year when I interview, since I'll have finished my first year, but I'm still new.
     
  7. galenaCO

    galenaCO New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 10, 2008

    thanks

    thanks everyone for all your help. cmcd... that should have been obvious to me, i know that new teachers will have their struggles and i'm only a little nervous about what will happen my first year of teaching, but thats great. i love this forum!!! it helps me realize things i've pondered but never quite been able to put my finger on!
     
  8. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,569
    Likes Received:
    1

    Mar 11, 2008

    Okay so this is an interview to get in a teaching program correct?

    Picking a teaching specific weakness won't work.

    If you don't like speaking in front of a group of people, use the one Jaime had.

    It was something like "I tend to get nervous when speaking in front of a large group of my peers until I get to know them better." Then you can go on to say how you have no trouble in front of childrem, family or friends and you are trying to improve.

    sorry, it's early :yawn:
     
  9. luv4994

    luv4994 Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 16, 2011

    I have the same problem. I have to write an essay for graduate school about my strengths and weaknesses, but I'm not sure what to put. I was thinking about saying what my weakness was when I first started teaching and then explaining how I over came it.

    My weakness was communicating negative feedback to parents out of fear that I would hurt the important relationship that parents and teacher must maintain. I overcame this weakness by ...............
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,640
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 16, 2011

    I'm not a big believer in telling them what I think they want to hear.

    I would answer the question honestly, but with a serious eye on how I'm working on that weakness. I would hope that all of us, upon realizing that we have a weakness, would work on fixing it, right???

    When I last interviewed (as a math teacher, with the possilbility of teaching Pre-Calc or Calc) I said that my greatest weakness is my total lack of knowledge of graphing calculators. And that, if hired, I would have to hire my teenage babysitter to tutor me on how to use one.

    So, between you and me and the world wide web, what is your greatest weakness as a teacher? Not when you first started, but now?

    We'll find a way to make it both truthful and appealing.
     
  11. luv4994

    luv4994 Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 16, 2011

    Parent interaction is still a weakness for me, but not as much as before. Now it's more because I get frustrated with parents. (not openly to them, but inwardly) Some don't seem to care about the work we are doing with the children in school or make an effort to support it at home.

    I get really frustrated with that. I think that's my biggest weakness. I know they are busy and they don't want to deal with arguing with a crying child when they get out of work but it is maddening sometimes.

    I teach preschool right now.I told one parent that her daughter bit another child. The next day I found out that they went to the toy store the night before and she got a new baby doll. I've also talked to parents about the importance of working on something at home (such as letter recognition) only to find out that they were doing nothing.

    I don't want to seem like I'm complaining about or blaming the parents in my essay though. So I'm not sure what to write.

    I need to find a way to communicate the importance of working together to parents, but you can't force them to do it. I'm not even sure if that would count as a weakness.

    I'm just stumped on this one.
     
  12. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,640
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 16, 2011

    OK, so it sounds as though you need to work on sending home assignments that the parents WILL see value in?

    I know that sometimes the work that comes home with my kids seems to be work just for the sake of work.

    For example, my 5th grader came home with a math packet last week all about MLK. Multiply the year of his birth by 4, subtract the day of the week he was born.. and entire worksheet of that.

    She didn't learn about MLK. It didn't reinforce anything about the work she's currently doing on decimals. It was busy work. (But of course she did it. I LOVE her teacher-- she's taught each of my kids at least once. But this assignment was busy work, pure and simple.)

    For preschool, it sounds as though you need to reinforce with the parents the necessity of making learning an all day thing-- that they need to realize that reading and letters and words are part of our everyday lives, not just something we do in school.

    Does that help at all???

    (as to the child getting a toy after biting another-- it most probably has nothing to do with school. Perhaps her bike is grounded for a week, and this is the birthday gift Grandma got her. Perhaps the dog ate her old babydoll and this was as long-standing promise. There are lots and lots and lots of things going on at home that teachers don't see-- don't overthink this one.)
     
  13. luv4994

    luv4994 Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 16, 2011

    So my weakness would be:

    I could do a better job of communicating to parents that learning is a constant process. It not just something that should occur in the classroom, but something that we all need to be consciously promoting throughout the day.
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,640
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 16, 2011

    I think that sounds OK-- what do you think?

    You could probably come up with some ways that parents could reinforce it, from having the kids count the number of times a day mom or dad read something-- the newspaper, a recipe, the mail, or the varied ways that we compare things during the day.

    (OK, I'm rambling here. My youngest is 7 years old, and I'm out of the Pre-K loop.)
     
  15. luv4994

    luv4994 Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 16, 2011

    Thank you for all your suggestions. That really helped me! I have a better idea was how to address the weakness question now.

    I was also thinking of another weakness: Becoming too reliant on technology in the classroom.

    My preschool has ipads and computers in every room and an interactive white board, but I feel like we use it too much some times. I think too much technology can take away from creativity. Maybe I could make that my weakness and then talk about finding the balance between making children technologically savvy, while also maintaining their creative thinking.
     
  16. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,640
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 16, 2011

    Why not rough it out both ways, walk away, and see which one you like better tomorrow?
     
  17. luv4994

    luv4994 Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 16, 2011

    I think I'll do that now while I'm feeling motivated! Thanks again for all your help.
     
  18. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,640
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 16, 2011

    You're welcome!

    Best wishes!

    (Now if I could only get motivated to do some housework, or to make up an Algebra test....)
     
  19. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,100
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 16, 2011

    I got asked this question on my first interview. Organization is my weakness and I answered truthfully. Then I said I have to stay organized and gave a couple of examples of how I do it. Truthfully, if I get behind I am in a pickle. I got the job. Oh, and I got asked another question. If you see a student with a ziplog baggie of green stuff what would you do? I was surprised by this question and said well, I assume you may be talking about pot and the teacher interviewing me...started to laugh and everyone at the meeting said "sorry, but we were told we had to ask that." That was my best job ever.
     
  20. Special-t

    Special-t Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Messages:
    1,995
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jan 16, 2011

    A rep in HR once told me not to answer the question, "Why do you want to teach?" with, "Because I love kids." His reasoning was that it's a cop-out answer that tells nothing about the interviewee. And, that there will be those certain students who are very difficult to like.

    Instead of telling your interviewer about one of your weaknesses, you can instead talk about a past weakness and how you overcame it. "I used to be shy, but took classes in public speaking - now I actually enjoy speaking in front of others". I used to have a problem with organization, but I learned to use xyz technique - I plan to teach my students some of the skills I've learned because they've been so effective.
     
  21. InterviewTips

    InterviewTips Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2013
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 7, 2013

    Answer to greatest weakness question

    If you are interviewing for graduate school, the top questions that you are going to be asked are: Why do you want to participate in this program? What are your long term career goals and how will this program help you achieve those career goals? Why us? Why do you want to join this program and what will you get as benefit specifically from being a part of this program? Now because they are motivated in where you want to go and what you want to do, it's less likely that you will hear a question like what is your biggest weakness? If you do come across what's your biggest weakness question, the answer that you want to give is one that shows some self awareness and shows a good part of yourself as well as the limitation and how you have learned to overcome that limitation. So an example of this will be, if you are a really caring person who goes out of your way to help others. The downside to that would be a weakness and that weakness is likely that you are more sensitive to criticism from other people. So you needed to learn how to manage that weakness and how not to take that criticism personally. So again, what we did there with the weakness question was we looked at a strong trait of yours, a potential downside for that trait, and a way that you have managed to compensate or mitigate that downside.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. mckbearcat48,
  2. ally06,
  3. waterfall,
  4. Srhhwtt
Total: 281 (members: 5, guests: 193, robots: 83)
test