Remembering what you want to say

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by TeacherWhoRuns, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. TeacherWhoRuns

    TeacherWhoRuns Companion

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    ARRGH! I am so frustrated with myself right now. I always prepare for interviews. I know exactly how to answer the standard questions. The night before and in the car before I enter the building I'm going over my list of answers to, say questions about classroom management. Then I'm in the room with the panel and go completely blank and burble out nonsense about clip charts and consistency and forget all my finer points and all of the teaching lingo! The more I want the job, the worse it gets.
    I spent years as a corporate recruiter before getting my teaching license, but it's so different on the other side of the table, especially when you're facing five or six people. I always leave the room on the verge of tears.
    I wish I could bring notes with me.
     
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  3. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Honestly, while you want to know the terminology, that's not what will get someone hired: anyone can spout that off.

    Perhaps you could try grounding your answers with specific moments from your previous experience? For example, a question about management, you can have a memory of a specific time where that shined, and share your answer through that moment, which then will hopefully allow you to more easily remember the key words.

    When I interviewed, I always tied my answers back to some key successful moments so that I could both show that I understood how to do it, the words related to it, but more importantly, that I had had proven success with it.
     
  4. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    You can! I created my portfolio so it makes sense to me. There are examples of strategies I use for classroom management, and then a post it on the divider page that says: clear, calm, consistent to remind myself to touch on those points. I also have pictures of the math centres I run and then a random post it that says spiraling so I remember to talk about how that goes into my planning.

    Go through your portfolio and add in key words and notes to help you remember what you want to say. I get nervous, too, and put way too much pressure on myself. These little post it notes have been super helpful so I can stay calm and say everything I want to say.
     
  5. kellzy

    kellzy Comrade

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    I completely understand. There were 15 people on the committee when I interviewed for my current position. It's incredibly intimidating, I sometimes wish that schools wouldn't do this.
    Just remember that if you have an interview, you're actually perfectly qualified for the position, they know you know the lingo. They are deciding if your personality is a good fit for the school and the team. They're deciding if you're the kind of person they want to work with every day.
    Turn on the charm.
     
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  6. TeacherWhoRuns

    TeacherWhoRuns Companion

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    This is a good trick. I don't always bring my portfolio because they never ask for it and I feel foolish trying to show people things they're not asking to see. I may try your tactics.
     
  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Phenom

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    We don't mind when candidates bring notes with them.
     
  8. TeacherWhoRuns

    TeacherWhoRuns Companion

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    I often feel foolish trying to be charming or make jokes because I'm greeted with such poker faces. I don't understand why so many people on interviewing panels try to seem so severe. It's not hard to make someone feel welcome - especially when your profession involves making children feel comfortable.
    I know I'm qualified. The problem is so many other people are qualified in my county, so just getting in the room is a big deal. I try to show that I'm thinking outside the box and doing things in a creative way...then I pull a blank when I'm specifically asked how I reach students when they're not grasping a concept or how I handle discipline issues. I think the poster above makes a good suggestion. Instead of thinking broadly, I need to think of one kid who I got through to and tell that story.
     
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  9. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    It feels awkward to force people to look at your portfolio, but I open it to specific pages to show examples of what I'm talking about. I usually unclip the page from my binder and pass it around. If there's a post-it on it, I pull the note off before passing the page(s) around. It works for me!
     
  10. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Yes! Tell lots of stories! It helps make a more personal connection with the interview panel. And it shows exactly what you do as a teacher, which will keep you calm and focused.
     
  11. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I don't think you can remember what you want to say because you don't know ahead of time what they are going to ask. That's why I stopped preparing for interviews ahead of time. I research the school, but I don't plan out answers to hypothetical questions. I just go in, listen to them, and then answer the question on the spot. If have enough experience and knowledge now that I don't really need to remember a prepared response. It all comes naturally now... and it works a whole lot better than my prepared, nervous responses used to.

    Also, unless you're interviewing at a school that you are sure uses clip charts, I wouldn't mention them. Many schools are moving away from that sort of thing now. If you mentioned that during an interview in my school, we'd probably cross you off the list right away. We want to hear about how you create community and build relationships within your classroom, not how you publicly admonish students for minor behaviors. Just a thought. I used to do clip charts, too, so I'm not judging, just advising.
     
  12. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    I've interviewed so many times that I'm usually thinking "Wow, do these people even like their jobs?''
    I get you want to be neutral and professional... but yeah some panels come off as really cold and uncaring. Then you start to think about what it would be like to actually TEACH there.
    :eek:
    Interestingly: the interviews I have been on in Arizona are way more personal, warm and friendly than ANY I've been on in New York. I think there is such an over abundance of candidates that you're quite literally a number to them.
    :(
     
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  13. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    I always found it helpful to pause for a few seconds (5-10) after hearing each question to gather my thoughts and consider my options before opening my mouth. You can even display a pensive expression (e.g. look upward, downward, to the side, at your clasped hands on the table, etc.) before giving a response. This simple act helped to alleviate my nervousness by not having to look into the eyes of the people in the room for a few moments. Practice this technique with someone at home to experience the benefit!

    While some interviewees are quick to respond with the first thought that comes to mind, I preferred to project the image of someone who doesn't just "shoot from the hip" with typical, expected responses, but takes the time (albeit a few seconds) to evaluate different options before responding.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
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  14. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    And I promise, the pause will only seem long to you! Your interviewers will not be phased.
     
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  15. pommom

    pommom Comrade

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    Teacherwhoruns,
    I dont recommend you go into interviews without preparing. Only few people can pull this off. My husband is one of them. He is very well spoken, and he is able to give great answers on the spot. He has never been rejected from an interview.
    I am the opposite, just like you, interviews do not come easy to me. Keep practicing your answers. Write then down and say them out loud. One thing to remember is that they might not ask exactly the same questions you wrote for your answers, but your written answers still pertain to their questions. Hope that last part makes sense!!
     
  16. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I wasn't suggesting that no preparation is necessary. But I do think that it's necessary to be prepared to be unprepared - if that makes sense. You can never predict what they will ask you, so you need to go in ready to listen, think, and answer on the spot. You can't have a rehearsed answer for every question. It's just impossible. Of course you should have reflected on yourself as a teacher - what you believe to be best practices and what experiences you have that can represent your beliefs. You should have also researched the school or district and thought about how your values align to theirs. However, I think that preparing scripted answers for possible questions can only lead to anxiety and increased nervousness when they ask you something that you were not expecting. If you go in expecting to be surprised by questions but armed with knowledge of your own beliefs and experiences, you are sure to have something swirling around in your brain that you can grab a hold of and spit out as an answer - eloquently or not.

    Let me be clear: I am not well-spoken. I get nervous and have a lot of anxiety when people - especially large groups of people - are watching and listening to me. Public speaking and interviews are not my thing at all. I can write well, but I don't speak as well. I'm a "behind the scenes" type of person. Doing some self-reflection and having a pep talk with myself about how it's either meant to be or not has been the only thing that has lessened the anxiety that comes with interviewing for me. Because it's worked to lessen my anxiety, I've interview better, and my job opportunities have improved. I get that it's not for everyone, but, when people post on this board looking for interview support or advice, I'm going to share what's worked for me.
     
  17. ssgirl11

    ssgirl11 Companion

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    I would always bring a little notebook with me, not just to look at my previous notes, but also to gather my thoughts about a particularly difficult question, or some new information about the school that I wanted to remember. Interviewers never had a problem with it, in fact I think it made me look even better because it showed how much I cared.
     
  18. Aces

    Aces Comrade

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    Bring your notes and take notes during. What helps me with the portfolio is to put your car salesman hat on. You're trying to sell yourself to these people, and while you're not a car, some of the same tactics will help. Be upfront and direct but don't try to shove it down their throats. Before your next interview when you're sitting in your car, stop the review. Take a few deep breaths, jam out to your favorite song for a minute or two.
     
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  19. pommom

    pommom Comrade

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    From another thread, I remember we dont agree with this topic.
     
  20. pommom

    pommom Comrade

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    Anyways OP, even though you dont know what exactly they are going to ask, you know most of them. You know they ask about differentiation, motivation, communicating with parents, technology, collaboration, how you solved a difficult situation, and so on. Make sure you also include subject/grade specific questions. What helped me is going in with 2 examples for each type of question.
     
  21. CDOR79

    CDOR79 Comrade

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    Wow! 15 people on the panel?! That’s crazy!!

    OP- I totally get your frustration! It happens to me too. Just do your BEST with preparing. That’s all you can do!
     

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