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  #1  
Old 07-31-2010, 07:50 AM
CrayolaCrayon CrayolaCrayon is offline
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New York
Interview: Teachers Aide for children with autism

I have an interview Monday morning at a private school that specializes in the education of children with autism. I would be in a self-contained classroom where there are six children, one teacher, and three teacher's aides. The duties are listed as: Utilizing ABA techniques 1 on 1 w/ students. Since my degree is in Elementary Education, not Special Education, I am little worried about what questions I will be asked. I have knowledge of ABA because my nephew used to receive it but I hope I don't get stumped. I have never interviewed for a Teachers Aide position and I'm assuming that means I'm going to have a different set of questions.

What are some questions that I should expect?

What are some questions that I should not forget to ask? One that I plan on asking is about training and professional development. Another is about what the schedule is like for the class and what my duties would be within that.

How much should a Teachers Aide make per hour in NYC?

If you can help put my mind at ease too, I'd appreciate it.
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  #2  
Old 07-31-2010, 09:07 AM
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mom2mikey mom2mikey is offline
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Alberta, Canada
Special Education Teacher
Some possible questions that might come up

- situational questions related to students - what would you do if kind of things - probably will include what you do when a student gets physically aggressive either towards himself or to others
- what experiene/training do you have with ABA
- do you have CPI training?
- what do you know about PECS?
- questions related to how you would get along with that many other adults in the room
- questions as to how you would handle situations where you don't agree with what the teacher is asking you do to
- questions related to parent interactions (where are from the teacher needs to talk about all school relatd things with the parent)

I would spend some time researching ABA techniques online (task analysis, data collection, discrete trial training, pivotal response training...etc.). You shouldn't have to know it all but should be willing to take training and have an interest in it.

You also want to know the importance of visual supports, transitional supports.

Know what you believe about positive behaviour supports and reinforcements as you will need to make sure that this is a good fit. Some teachers are really big on reinforcements (I'm one of them) and if you have a learning assistant who sees it as "bribing" it doesn't work.

Prompting and prompt fading (prompt heirarchy) might be something else looking up.

If you get the job, you will learn much that will help you in teaching any population. It will be a great starting out experience as to properly run a classroom for students with autism things need to be organized and routines need to be specifically laid out. The things you would learn about providing supports and behaviour management would be incredibly beneficial anywhere.

Good luck with your interview. There are a couple of people here who teach specifically autism classrooms and they might be albe to help out more.
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  #3  
Old 08-01-2010, 07:45 PM
CrayolaCrayon CrayolaCrayon is offline
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Thank you so much! This is my first interview after graduating from college and I'm experiencing a combination of nerves and excitement. Your reply was a big help in making me feel more prepared and confident for tomorrow. Thanks again!
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  #4  
Old 08-02-2010, 08:10 AM
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mom2mikey mom2mikey is offline
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Good luck. Would love to know how it goes.
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  #5  
Old 08-02-2010, 09:52 AM
CrayolaCrayon CrayolaCrayon is offline
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Thanks!

The woman who interviewed me said because I have my initial certification, even though it's in General Education, I can work in the school as a Teachers Assistant rather than an Aide. The job itself would become more hands-on. I would work full-time, get plenty of training and professional development opportunities, paid vacations, and salary instead of hourly wage.

At the interview, she asked me what experiences I have working with children who have autism or other special needs, asked what I see for myself in the future, and told me about what to expect when it comes to behaviors. After a few questions I was placed in one of the high-functioning classrooms they have and was allowed to observe. I felt like I didn't want to leave! Many of the concerns I had felt put at ease because of the positive environment throughout the school. Everyone seems to work very well as a team and I can see myself as a part of that.

I think the interview went well. When I left, I started thinking "I should have said... I should have asked..." but I know that's normal. I made note of what I could do to improve in future interviews and I'm trying to wait patiently. She said I should hear from them in a week's time. *fingers crossed that it's good news*
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  #6  
Old 08-02-2010, 09:55 AM
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mom2mikey mom2mikey is offline
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That's wonderful that you got to see the classroom in action . Classrooms for children with Autism should be som of the best run classrooms out there because of the level of consistency and predictability that students with ASD need. I think working in this type of classroom should be part of every teacher's training as there is so much that you can take from it to make any other classroom run smoothly. I taught regular ed for 14 years before moving to self-contained and I wish I knew then what I know now as result fo working in this field.
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  #7  
Old 08-02-2010, 10:00 AM
CrayolaCrayon CrayolaCrayon is offline
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Yes, it was a nice surprise to get to see a classroom. When I first applied to the job and got a call back, I was unsure whether taking a job like this would be a good idea. Now that I know more about it and was able to see a classroom firsthand, I see what you're talking about. If offered a job, this will definitely be a valuable experience. Thanks again for all your help!
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  #8  
Old 08-02-2010, 03:17 PM
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teachersk teachersk is offline
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Special Education Teacher
I love teaching students with autism. I know that its what I am meant to do!

I love going to work each day. The only challenges I run into are admin support issues, parents challenging my methodologies, and lack of money to spend on things I need ( I spend a lot of my own money). It's never the kids! Love them.


It's a very fast paced but structured environment. It's a demanding job but someone has to do it!

If you felt like you didn't want to leave, you ight be one of the special people who is meant to work in this kind of classroom.

Good luck, let us know how it goes!
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