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Old 07-09-2010, 10:05 PM
uncleal uncleal is offline
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 71
Southern California
Job interview to be a paraprofessional

I have an interview next week for a substitute paraprofessional position in special education. I am very excited and nervous. Paraprofessionals, what kind of interview questions did you guys get?

I know this isn't a teacher interview, but it is a great stepping stone into the field for me. I just started grad school to get my teaching credential for special education, mild-to-moderate, and this would give job would give me the experience to get me into the field.
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Old 07-10-2010, 03:51 AM
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SandyCastles SandyCastles is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 221
North Carolina
Kindergarten Teacher
My paraprofessional interview asked questions about my experience with the diagnoses I would be working with. In my case, it was Asperger's and a learning disability. The principal wanted to know my experience with them and what I would do to keep the students working. I'm sure there was a question about how I worked with other adults, as well. I remember it being pretty short and sweet. I asked a lot of questions about behaviors and expectations.
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Old 07-10-2010, 03:02 PM
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frankies_mom frankies_mom is offline
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 64
K-5 Tutor searching for a classroom
Hi! I was a para for 2 years while finishing up school at night. Some questions I remember are
What would you do with a disruptive student?
What is classroom management style? (my answers always were that I followed the system in place by the classroom teacher)
How do you see yourself in the classroom? (again, i would say you are an extension of the teacher, providing support and instuction to your students. keeping teacher informed of progress etc)

good luck! you will gets lots of experience as a para.
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Old 07-10-2010, 03:30 PM
jwteacher jwteacher is offline
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 570
Yeah, a lot of questions will most likely be situational and a judgment of character. They will want to see if you would work well with children with disabilities. If you think you're great with the kids, then relax. You'll do fine!
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Old 07-11-2010, 07:41 PM
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WhatchaDoin? WhatchaDoin? is offline
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 300
Elem. Sub. while Job Searching
This week, I'm interviewing for a para position I interviewed for last year. I remember being asked a lot of questions about how I get along with coworkers - what do I do about gossip. And, of course, questions similar to the ones already posted. There was also a question about reading instruction - how would I teach word families to a small group.
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Old 07-13-2010, 10:09 PM
uncleal uncleal is offline
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 71
Southern California
Wow! Thank you all for your advice! I am very excited to interview for this position.

@mccl14: I have six-months of experience with elementary school students who have down syndrome, autism, ADHD, and behavioral difficulties

@frankiesmom: Depends ulitmately on what the teacher does. I will follow whatever instruction the teacher has provided. I agree with your last comment. I am an extension of the teacher to help the class run more efficiently.

@jwteacher: Thank you, I do love kids!

@BubblySub: I have taught word families before using a white board to show children how they should pronounce the word and what the word should look like. We usually had them try to find word families within a reading passage. They had to circle the words first.

My interview is Friday! Wish me luck!
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Old 07-13-2010, 10:21 PM
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clarnet73 clarnet73 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 5,927
Preschool Teacher
good luck! Do you know if it's for a specific position, or a general "to be assigned later" position? When I interviewed candidates for a TA for my class earlier this year, we asked a lot of situational questions, specific to the kids in our preschool classes... we wanted to know
*how they feel about potty training (may not be applicable to your position but very important in preschool sped!!!)...
*how they work with the teachers they're assigned to ...
*what they would do if a parent asks them sepcific questions about their child at drop-off/pick-up, or if you see them around at the grocery store or whatever (we were looking for something along the lines of "you need to ask the teacher about that, I'll let her know you are interested", confidentiality, professionalism, etc)
*How do you handle it when a child indicates that they don't want to do something by throwing the materials on the floor or otherwise indicating they don't want to participate (I was looking for still helping them to participate, etc)
*What would you do if you didn't agree with the methodology, language, etc. that the teacher is using? (We were looking for first talking with the teacher, then if that doesn't resolve it taking it to their supervisor if it's something that could be detrimental to the children)

hope that helps... good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 07-19-2010, 12:09 PM
uncleal uncleal is offline
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 71
Southern California
Thank you all! I had my interview last week. The questions were pre-written. Some of the questions I recall were what makes you qualified for this position. The situational questions were there too, like confidentiality when a parent is complaining to you about a teacher's teaching methods. The one that did stump me is what if a student said something controversial or offensive in the classroom. I would have told them quickly that it was not the right thing to say. Then, I would inform the teacher about what was said so proper behavior modifications can be made. Another aide told me that I should also consider whether or not the behavior was for attention or because they didn't know what they were doing. The recruiter was pretty serious but she laughed when I tried to show her my "angry teacher face." I find out if I was hired at the end of July. Wish me luck!
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Old 07-19-2010, 01:13 PM
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MATgrad MATgrad is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,443
Whatever my boss asks to me do
Good Luck!!!
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:01 PM
uncleal uncleal is offline
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 71
Southern California

Hi, so I just wanted to let you all know that I was hired as a substitute aide for special education and alternative education. I am right now doing a last-minute job at a county school for high school dropouts. It is a very interesting environment. However, I am thrilled that I have work today.

I am still looking for teacher job internship so I am going to keep hunting for work, but for now, I have two jobs and college to look forward to. Wish me luck!
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interview, job, paraprofessional

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