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Old 02-05-2010, 01:24 AM
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mkate mkate is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 413
Primary Elementary Teacher
So, what are your strengths and weaknesses as a teacher?

Okay, I have a job interview on Monday, so this question (among others) has been on my mind. I think my biggest area of "needs improvement" is classroom management, sadly (no, I will not say that at the interview, but I definitely will re-read Tools For Teaching and make a plan before starting if I actually get the job!) The other thing is that although I've had experience teaching, it has been in a slightly different context (aside from student teaching, of course) and so really I am pretty new at this. That means that I have less experience to guide me in all of those split-second decisions that come up over the course of the day, that experienced teachers can make instinctively based on past experience.

One of my strengths, however, is that I am constantly reflecting on my practice and looking for ways to improve.

I'm sure once I've been teaching longer I will be able to identify more easily both strengths and weaknesses. But since this has been on my mind, I'm curious to hear what you veteran (and new!) teachers have to say.

What are your strengths and areas that need improvement? What have you worked consciously on to improve?

Last edited by mkate; 02-05-2010 at 04:31 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 02-05-2010, 03:47 AM
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Aliceacc Aliceacc is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 26,837
Math teacher
It sounds to me as though your major weakness is a lack of experience (something they know from your resume anyway.) With more experience, the classroom management thing becomes easier because you have more tools at your disposal.

My major strength is my experience. Because I've been teaching so long I've taught almost every course we offer. As a result, I've told both my chairman and the Principal to do my classes last; I'll be happy to cover whatever grade or course they need me for. (As a result, I've sometimes been pulled from my own classes mid-year to cover, say, a maternity leave in Precalc.) Give me a room number and maybe a page, and I can go in and teach it competantly and completely.

My weakness is that I'm not all about technology. Give me a blackboard and some chalk, and maybe a scientific calculator, and I'm good to go. I could probably make better use of the available technology.
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Old 02-05-2010, 04:31 AM
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MrsC MrsC is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 11,402
Ontario, Canada
Grade 7
I think that my biggest strength is my flexibility and willingness to always learn and try new things. This extends to my classroom as well, where I'm willing to, sometimes, follow the lead of the students and alter my plans.

My biggest weakness is most definitely time management; I usually have too many things going on at the same time and struggle to juggle them all. It is something that I am actively working on, however, and am making some progress.
It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop

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Old 02-05-2010, 08:58 PM
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teacherfan teacherfan is offline
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 572
2nd Grade Teacher
My weaknesses are classroom and time management (always working on both) but I don't think I would really admit to that during an interview, and not being as technologically competent as I should be (this one I would admit to, and let them know what I am doing to improve my skills). My strengths are being flexible and patient in dealing with the students and what goes on in the classroom. I have also been told by those that have observed me that I project a sense of calmness! I guess that would be a good thing although I don't always feel calm!
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:28 PM
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monsieurteacher monsieurteacher is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 3,451
New Brunswick, Canada
4th Grade Teacher
My strength is always being willing to learn and try new things, but this can be a weakness as well...

For instance, when I was done my student teaching, I reflected on the experience. I got glowing reviews from both my co-operating teacher, and the person who did my observations... but I never liked how I taught writing. I also knew that teaching the class I had was really easy... but if I had a more difficult class that needed more instruction in writing, I would be cheating those students.

So I went to PD about writing, and I picked up books about writing, I paid close attention when visiting other classrooms, what their rooms looked like, and chatted with teachers about their writing instruction. I have worked so hard to develop a good way of teaching writing.... the problem? I have soooooo much stuff in my head that I need to take a summer to sift through it all I find that I'm starting to find direction in my writing lessons now, but at times I still feel like I'm all over the place.
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:33 PM
John Lee John Lee is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,315
Strengths: (in all the the recommendation letters written for me), calm and good rapport with students. I think one of my strengths is that I always want to grow/learn; I hope I never lose that. Cuz frankly, I see many long-time teachers, married, kids, etc. and they seem to be (overly?) contented. (It's like the old boxing quote about becoming complacent as a champion.) And they stop trying to do new stuff. And they stop learning. I'm not married obviously, and so I don't know if it's just a natural result of married life. But I hope not.

Weakness: planning. It's something I haven't done much, and I admit that I need lots of work doing it.
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:57 PM
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MissScrimmage MissScrimmage is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 2,424
Literacy Coach
When I was asked that question in an interview I usually replied that my weakness was that I try to do everything perfectly and often take too much on. I didn't get offered a position. Finally I changed my answer to a lack of experience. I gave a little speech about how I didn't have experience but I needed someone to take a chance on me and that I was worth the risk, blah blah blah and I got a job!

My strengths right now are my willingness to learn and reflect on my practice. As well, I am super organized.
My weaknesses - as a first year teacher there are so many. It changes weekly. Just when I think I have figured something out there is a brand new angle or dilemma and I am back to square one!
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:57 PM
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dogs&teaching dogs&teaching is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 366
Strength: During my first week, I was told by another teacher that some of her students had told her I was very organized. I have heard the same thing for some other teachers and the principal. However, it's more of an organization that is really disorganized underneath it all yet still makes sense. I've been told I find innovative ways to teach material.

Weakness: Time management and planning. Not only do I teach p.e. and preschool, I'm starting my personal training business, going to college full-time, working out five days a week, managing four dogs, and trying to spend time with the bf. All of that I am juggling and trying not to pull out all of my hair. I have a outline of what I must accomplish when teaching, but not in depth into each section.
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Old 02-05-2010, 10:11 PM
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ChristyF ChristyF is offline
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 5,601
4th Grade Teacher
My weakness is definitely time management. I am the world's worst at "teachable moments" that grow into teachable hours or even days. I've committed myself (and brought my class in on) sticking to my classroom schedule. They are to call me on it if I get off. It's really helped. I'm still walking uphill, barefoot, in the snow!
My strengths, according to evaluations, is my ability to make connections to real-life, to teach across the curriculum, and my rapport with my kids. I work hard to create a safe zone in my classroom. No one, including me, is allowed to bring anyone else down.
Be the change you want to see in the world.
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Old 02-06-2010, 05:42 AM
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KinderCowgirl KinderCowgirl is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,990
Kindergarten Teacher
My mom's office was interviewing someone once for a job and when they asked her for a weakness-she said "chocolate". She was serious, but I've always thought of going with that answer-just to lighten to mood. I usually said that often times I take on too much-that's my excuse for why my desk looks like it does. I facilitate for student organizations, etc.

Strength I would have to say patience and work ethic (probably why I take on too much). I am also really passionate about challenging all kids and have really studied a lot about teaching GT in the past couple of years.
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