What is your weakness question?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by My3kloves, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. My3kloves

    My3kloves Rookie

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    Jul 23, 2013

    This is a very common question. What is the ideal answer? Do they really want us to voice a weakness? Or are they looking for a confident teacher who answers to their knowledge, they don't know of any weakness. But to throw in that we can all grow in all areas.

    Same question about your weakness with student success.

    I really hate these tye of questions. :rolleyes:
     
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  3. geoteacher

    geoteacher Cohort

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    Jul 23, 2013

    In my experience, you should cite something that has been difficult for you and then go on to explain how you are overcoming this difficulty. You should that you are aware of your weaknesses and that you have a plan to improve, and that shows initiative.
     
  4. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I go with geo...
    But I think that I turned into something like an area I would like to improve in and will grow more is by trying different strategies and some strategies I will find and some I will learn from the other teachers.
     
  5. JustMe

    JustMe Guru

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    I do NOT recommend choosing a "weakness" that is basically a "positive" to employers such as working too much. Choose an area of growth that you are actively working on. We all have room for improvement.

    The bogus "weakness" kind of had a similar feel to a thin person crying that they're so darn fat just to hear someone go on and on about how thin they are. Stop it.
     
  6. My3kloves

    My3kloves Rookie

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    Would an answer like this be looked at positively or negative.

    As a teacher my goal is to build relationships with each child with my students individually. I truly believe student success is connected with a great relationship with being a teacher/ mentor to them and also a friend. After all, having trust in the teacher is important. But there may be a student that won't let me break through to him/her and I seek ways to get to know him and help Him. As a teacher, I feel it also gives me new ways to help them and also learn from them.

    Something like that. I do try to get to know my students like this. It is true. I also find myself getting really attached to these students who are troubled. I want to help them in every way possible. Their home life might not be great but I work to make them feel safe and secure at school.
     
  7. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Jul 23, 2013

    That is a good point. I've heard others also give this as a "weakness" of theirs, and it certainly can rub people the wrong way.

    My honest weakness, is my lack of exposure as a "teacher". I'm not sure how I can address that.

    As it relates to interviews, it is hard for someone who is JUST a substitute teacher... who has had student-teaching experience, maybe some LTS experiences, to have a base of experiences to draw from, in interviews. Day-to-day, your experiences as a teacher in general aren't very noteworthy--Teaching is a process, and when you are able to go through that process, that is where you have an experience that you can draw from and refer to.

    So there are questions and areas that I feel uneasy answering, because a lot of it is frankly grasping... grasping for something substantial, to say that I've done. And so that is my weakness--that I don't have the experiences to be able to really answer that question. When they ask you, "What do you have on your classroom walls?" Well, I've never had classroom walls, to really answer that question.
     
  8. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Jul 23, 2013

    So true! The advice I had always heard in college was to spin a "weakness" into a positive. I tried that on my very first interview and the lady looked at me and flat out said, "That's not a weakness." :eek: I've never tried that again!

    It is hard though because you also don't want to say something that's a huge part of your job.
     
  9. Teacher Gii

    Teacher Gii Companion

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    I really hate this question too lol. I try to refer to my evaluations from time to time and see what my particular "weaknesses" were that maybe my cooperating teacher or advisor listed, and I go, "Okay. How have I improved on this?"

    John Lee - Very good point. It is very hard as a new teacher to name a weakness and maybe even a strength when you have limited teaching experience.
     
  10. breezymarie07

    breezymarie07 Companion

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    In my education program, we were told that it is OK to use things such as "too dedicated" as an answer to a weakness question.

    Teacher Gii - That is a good idea to look at what my supervisor and cooperating teacher had on my evaluations. I know I always tried to incorporate or adapt the feedback my supervisor gave me, which she ended up writing about on my final evaluation.
     
  11. JustMe

    JustMe Guru

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    Too dedicated? Horrible advice, in my humble opinion. :unsure:
     
  12. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    When I interviewed I had subbed. So I said something like.. I would like to work on my own classroom management skills. I have subbed for X amount of years and to lean on the teacher's management style. Now that I have subbed in the many classroom's I have learned different management styles and I would like to try to put those that I've learned into place to see what works best for me and my class.

    I never used the word weakness in my answer... Just something I'd work on or area I need to strengthen.
     
  13. teacher girl

    teacher girl Comrade

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    I would say....

    I plan too many activities in one lesson because my focus is to differentiate instruction so that diverse learners can be successful in the classroom.


    or.


    I have a hard time saying "no", I volunteer for most things at school so my plate is always full.

    or

    I have the most trouble with time management. Sometimes my lessons are so engaging and entertaining for students we lose track of time because students want to make a personal connection to the lesson and want to share their experiences.
     
  14. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    What does "too dedicated" look like?

    It's been a long time since I've interviewed, but I always dreaded this question. My weaknesses would be: I can appear disorganized (although I'm not); I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve; I bond with my kids and tend to lose sleep when I am worried about them either academically or socially; I hate making phone calls (but I do make them); I'm often blunt--not mean, but I call it like I see it. I would feel comfortable discussing any of these in an interview now.
     
  15. mom2teach

    mom2teach Rookie

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    I've been giving this a lot of thought. In honesty mine is I have an horrible memory. I realize this and to compensate I live by calendar...if its doesn't get written down, it doesn't exist. I also am the queen of lists. So, while I realize this is a weakness of mine, does it come across of someone you don't want in your school.
     
  16. doodle70

    doodle70 Companion

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    I have ADD so I too live by calendars, lists, etc. I spin it as I have ADD so I have learned to be very organized and have reminders set on my phone, computer, etc. I plan lessons in detail and have materials organized for lessons. I have learned to take this weakness and turn it into a strength of being organized and prepared.
     
  17. Rhesus

    Rhesus Comrade

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    I agree. It sounds disingenuous.


    I tend to pick something that is real, but that I have been improving. My work in progress area is organization, because I have been teaching out of a bag for twelve of the past thirteen years.
     
  18. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    What is your weakness?

    The reality is we all have them. I've been teaching for 15 years, am National Board Certified and do professional to help other teachers and I can think of several weaknesses I have. :) I guess my point is that we do all have areas we are strong in and areas that we know in our hearts could be improved.

    Think about those with an open mind.

    List them out.

    Research ways you can improve.

    In an interview be ready to answer that question by selecting one of your weaknesses that least applies to the position (i.e. working with English Language Learners if the school has a low ELL population, enriching for GT students if there is already a full time teacher who is responsible for gifted education, etc), but also talk about the steps you plan on taking to grow in that area. List specific books you plan to read or a course you are going to take, etc.

    Good luck!
     
  19. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jul 23, 2013

    We had a teacher once sincerely answer: chocolate! ;)

    I do agree it should be a real weakness. Honestly, they are going to see that anyway if they do hire you.
     
  20. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Agreed. Teachers are supposed to be reflective and improve. A candidate who picks a fake positive weakness will sound inexperienced.

    And ... I think everyone has caught on to the technique of creating a positive weakness, so it's important to answer in a genuine manner.
     
  21. Lynn K.

    Lynn K. Habitué

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    I lucked out this year.

    When they asked what my last principal would say my weaknesses were, I honestly answered that she thought I was too strict.

    Fortunately, the school I was interviewing with likes strict! :)
     

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