A to Z Teacher Stuff ~ Teacher Resources, Lesson Plans, Themes, Tips, Printables, and more
advertise
Go Back   A to Z Teacher Stuff Forums > TeacherChat Forums > Special Interests > Job Seekers


Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 02-21-2011, 11:34 PM
puff5655's Avatar
puff5655 puff5655 is offline
Cohort
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 666
Alaska
Kindergarten Teacher
Interview Questions 2011

Please please please can we start a new one? (Or am I the only person preparing for an interview this early in the year?)

Here are some of the most common and difficult to answer questions that I've been mulling over, plus my answers. If you have others, or critiques, please add!!

Tell me about yourself.

I moved to AK because....
At my first teaching job in Koyuk, I learned a lot... but decided to leave because...
I ended up in Akiachak after that, and loved that region.... but decided to move on because...
I am now teaching in Nuiqsut, and my job is great here, but before the plane even landed I knew I missed the Delta region (where Akiachak is and the district I'm applying for is) because...
Everything I've heard about your district is positive....
I think I would be a good fit.

What are your 3 biggest strengths? (or) Why do you think you would be a good fit at our school?

1. Flexibility and adaptability
2. Experience teaching in rural AK- you can be sure you won't get someone who will step off the plane, take a look around, and get back on (yes this actually happens sometimes)
3. Love of teaching

What are your 3 biggest weaknesses?

1. I'm not Yup'ik (this would be sort of a joke.. the kids are Yup'ik, and obviously it would be great if all their teachers were too, but there ain't nothing I can do about that!)
2. I hate confrontations- I'll turn this into a positive by saying because of this I make sure to establish good rel'ships with parents
3. I won't take on too many added duties if they might interfere with my main responsibility as a teacher.

Take me through a typical lesson.

Assess prior to teaching- and make sure they know the vocab I'll be using before I teach a concept (ELLs)
Today I taught rhyming- used the gradual release model
First explained what and why- it will help you learn to read
I do: modeled rhyming matching game
We do: play together
You do: pair kids who can rhyme with kids who can't yet- peer tutoring, to play on their own.
Reassess informally. Later work in small groups with those who aren't getting it.

How do you plan a unit?

Right now doing a storytelling unit.
First, looked at state standards
Then, came up with goals- linked to standards
Next, looked at prof. literature, worked with colleagues to come up with ideas for lessons
Planned activities and assessments, making sure to include mult. intelligences and making it cult. relevant.
Then, while implementing, adapted as needed.

How do you integrate curriculum?

University's ECE program really stressed inquiry approach and integration of subject matter- making it meaningful to kids.
Science/SS don't need to be done separately- in a theme based curriculum, the themes are science or ss themes that are used to teach literacy and math skills.
In today's lesson, we read "The 10 legged bear." The kids listened to the story without pictures (comprehension), sequenced the story, drew and labeled the parts of the story (writing), made sure they had 10 legs on the bear (math), and discussed new hunting vocabulary (science and SS).

What would your math program look like?

I use the gradual release model in math as well.
I assess what they know, including vocab
Then I explain the what and why, and directly teach the concept, giving examples.
Then, individual white boards and we work together
After that, we do workshop- work on new and review concepts with games. Use peer tutoring and small group or 1:1 for struggling students.

Tell me about your reading program.

I think it's especially imporant for ELL's to have a balanced lit. program where they have a lot of time to have conversations and discussions and develop their oral langauge. So I keep lecture to a minimum.

I use both theme based curr. and direct instruction of concepts
In K, schedule would start with a morning message- shared and interactive rdg and wrtg,
Then reading workshop (daily 5) while I do guided reading groups
Next, project work- promoting higher-level thinking
This includes a read-aloud or choral read, discussion, research, followed by a writer's workshop, which is linked to the topic we're studying.
Also make time for open-ended play, where I pull my RTI Tier 3 (or is it 1?) kids for their extra small group support. During this time kids are participating in all sorts of literacy activities of their choosing.

If I walked into your room, what would I see?
Kids independently following routines, having conversations, helping each other. You would feel a real sense of community in the room and a sense of joy in learning- the kids would be highly engaged, and could always tell you what they are learning and why. You would see kids working entirely independently while I worked with small groups, and very little behavior issues.

Describe your philosophy of teaching.
Believe in inquiry approach- child-centered learning
All kids can learn
DAP/Multiple intelligences
Assessment/intentionality in teaching
Importance of collaboration with colleagues and parents
Cultural appropriateness

Describe a lesson that went badly.

Beginning of last year, taught a lesson on patterns.
Was doing color patterns, they weren't getting it.
Found out they didn't know color names.
Had to stop and immediately adjust lesson.
Did shapes instead, they picked it up much faster.
Worked on color names the next few days.

How would you adjust your teaching for ELL students?

(All kids are ELL in this school)
-Use a lot of visuals, constantly be reading their faces and responses for understanding. Go back and rephrase sentences.
-Longer wait times to allow time for processing language
-Gradual release model
-Stay away from lecture, encourage kid's talking, build vocabulary
-Lots of hands-on experience

Do you enjoy collaborating with colleagues?
-Important to have a lot of vertical dialogue in a small school
-Last year, did reading buddies with 3rd grade
-Have weekly collaborative meetings with elementary, brainstorm ideas for lessons with coworkers.

What is your behavior management plan?
-If kids are engaged, you have a good relationship with them, and they know what is expected of them, for the most part behavior problems are eliminated.
-First day of school, we make up rules and model how to follow rules and routines. We practice them over and over.
-After first few weeks, rarely any problems.
-Ongoing problems need further assistance and planning. (I would give example)

How do you involved parents?
-I send home weekly newsletters, parents tell me they enjoy them
-Something important, I call
-Get involved in community events, talk to parents "on their turf."
-Make sure they know they can come in anytime

How do you differentiate instruction?
-throughout day,
-peer tutoring
-small groups and 1:1
-Right now I'm doing this.....

Most satisfying teaching moment?
-When kids first learn how to read and are so proud.
-One child last year was struggling all year, and the first time he could read a whole predecodable, he was so happy and I told him, "Wow, (name), you are SO smart!" The next day, he was reading again and I commented. He said, "Yep, cause I'm so smart." It wasn't even a question, he was sure of it!

Tell us about your most challenging student.

I had a 1st grader reading at a 3rd grade level last year. He was bored to death when we did phonics lessons.
-Worked with coworkers and parents, decided to send him to 2nd grade for reading time. Worked out.
-During workshop, he read a chapter book and wrote reviews at the end of them.

What teaching methods do you use?
-very little lecture
-workshops
-think-pair-share
-class discussion
-peer tutoring
-white boards

How do you use assessment?
-before teaching, check background knowledge
-Here, I use aimsweb, curr. assessments, my own checklists based on the standards, Individual learning plans, notes, portfolios

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
-hopefully in your district
-still in the classroom- no plans to move to administration
-with my master's degree- i start working on it this fall part-time.
-with more knowledge about the culture and teaching

Why do you want to teach here?

I've been looking for a combination of a good job and an area I enjoy living to make my home. I haven't found that yet, but I already know I love the area where your district is, and I've heard nothing but good about your school- that the teachers are happy, turnover is low, there is flexibility with the curriculum, and it seems like the district really cares about what the kids need and about keeping their culture intact.

What would your writing program look like?
-journal as part of the daily 5 (work on writing)
-writing workshop integrated with current project- mini-lesson starts it out, focusing on the 6 traits and the standards

What questions do you have for us?
-What would my class size be?
-What curriculums are available to help with planning?
-What added duty activities or sports might be available that I could help with?
-How far is teacher housing from the school?
-The school's report card from last year looks really impressive. Is it accurate? And what do you believe makes your district unique from other villages that it is performing so well?
Reply With Quote

 
  #2  
Old 02-22-2011, 04:45 AM
Aliceacc's Avatar
Aliceacc Aliceacc is offline
Multitudinous
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 26,838
NEW YORK
Math teacher
Quote:
Originally Posted by puff5655 View Post
Please please please can we start a new one? (Or am I the only person preparing for an interview this early in the year?)

Here are some of the most common and difficult to answer questions that I've been mulling over, plus my answers. If you have others, or critiques, please add!!

Tell me about yourself.

I moved to AK because....
At my first teaching job in Koyuk, I learned a lot... but decided to leave because...
I ended up in Akiachak after that, and loved that region.... but decided to move on because...
I am now teaching in Nuiqsut, and my job is great here, but before the plane even landed I knew I missed the Delta region (where Akiachak is and the district I'm applying for is) because...
Everything I've heard about your district is positive....
I think I would be a good fit.
All that is where you've BEEN, now tell us who you ARE.

What are your 3 biggest strengths? (or) Why do you think you would be a good fit at our school?

1. Flexibility and adaptability
2. Experience teaching in rural AK- you can be sure you won't get someone who will step off the plane, take a look around, and get back on (yes this actually happens sometimes)Could be taken wrong. I think I would say that I have the background and know that this is where I want to be-- imply the same thing without actually saying it.
3. Love of teaching

What are your 3 biggest weaknesses?

1. I'm not Yup'ik (this would be sort of a joke.. the kids are Yup'ik, and obviously it would be great if all their teachers were too, but there ain't nothing I can do about that!)
2. I hate confrontations- I'll turn this into a positive by saying because of this I make sure to establish good rel'ships with parents
3. I won't take on too many added duties if they might interfere with my main responsibility as a teacher. Ouch. Someone needs to take on those added responsibilities.

Take me through a typical lesson.

Assess prior to teaching- and make sure they know the vocab I'll be using before I teach a concept (ELLs)
Today I taught rhyming- used the gradual release model
First explained what and why- it will help you learn to read
I do: modeled rhyming matching game
We do: play together
You do: pair kids who can rhyme with kids who can't yet- peer tutoring, to play on their own.
Reassess informally. Later work in small groups with those who aren't getting it.

How do you plan a unit?

Right now doing a storytelling unit.
First, looked at state standards
Then, came up with goals- linked to standards
Next, looked at prof. literature, worked with colleagues to come up with ideas for lessons
Planned activities and assessments, making sure to include mult. intelligences and making it cult. relevant.
Then, while implementing, adapted as needed.

How do you integrate curriculum?

University's ECE program really stressed inquiry approach and integration of subject matter- making it meaningful to kids.
Science/SS don't need to be done separately- in a theme based curriculum, the themes are science or ss themes that are used to teach literacy and math skills.
In today's lesson, we read "The 10 legged bear." The kids listened to the story without pictures (comprehension), sequenced the story, drew and labeled the parts of the story (writing), made sure they had 10 legs on the bear (math), and discussed new hunting vocabulary (science and SS).

What would your math program look like?

I use the gradual release model in math as well.
I assess what they know, including vocab
Then I explain the what and why, and directly teach the concept, giving examples.
Then, individual white boards and we work together
After that, we do workshop- work on new and review concepts with games. Use peer tutoring and small group or 1:1 for struggling students.

Tell me about your reading program.

I think it's especially imporant for ELL's to have a balanced lit. program where they have a lot of time to have conversations and discussions and develop their oral langauge. So I keep lecture to a minimum.

I use both theme based curr. and direct instruction of concepts
In K, schedule would start with a morning message- shared and interactive rdg and wrtg,
Then reading workshop (daily 5) while I do guided reading groups
Next, project work- promoting higher-level thinking
This includes a read-aloud or choral read, discussion, research, followed by a writer's workshop, which is linked to the topic we're studying.
Also make time for open-ended play, where I pull my RTI Tier 3 (or is it 1?) kids for their extra small group support. During this time kids are participating in all sorts of literacy activities of their choosing.

If I walked into your room, what would I see?
Kids independently following routines, having conversations, helping each other. You would feel a real sense of community in the room and a sense of joy in learning- the kids would be highly engaged, and could always tell you what they are learning and why. You would see kids working entirely independently while I worked with small groups, and very little behavior issues.

Describe your philosophy of teaching.
Believe in inquiry approach- child-centered learning
All kids can learn
DAP/Multiple intelligences
Assessment/intentionality in teaching
Importance of collaboration with colleagues and parents
Cultural appropriateness

Describe a lesson that went badly.

Beginning of last year, taught a lesson on patterns.
Was doing color patterns, they weren't getting it.
Found out they didn't know color names.
Had to stop and immediately adjust lesson.
Did shapes instead, they picked it up much faster.
Worked on color names the next few days.

How would you adjust your teaching for ELL students?

(All kids are ELL in this school)
-Use a lot of visuals, constantly be reading their faces and responses for understanding. Go back and rephrase sentences.
-Longer wait times to allow time for processing language
-Gradual release model
-Stay away from lecture, encourage kid's talking, build vocabulary
-Lots of hands-on experience

Do you enjoy collaborating with colleagues?
-Important to have a lot of vertical dialogue in a small school
-Last year, did reading buddies with 3rd grade
-Have weekly collaborative meetings with elementary, brainstorm ideas for lessons with coworkers.

What is your behavior management plan?
-If kids are engaged, you have a good relationship with them, and they know what is expected of them, for the most part behavior problems are eliminated.
-First day of school, we make up rules and model how to follow rules and routines. We practice them over and over.
-After first few weeks, rarely any problems.
-Ongoing problems need further assistance and planning. (I would give example)

How do you involved parents?
-I send home weekly newsletters, parents tell me they enjoy them
-Something important, I call Or something unexpectedly GOOD!!!
-Get involved in community events, talk to parents "on their turf."
-Make sure they know they can come in anytime

How do you differentiate instruction?
-throughout day,
-peer tutoring
-small groups and 1:1
-Right now I'm doing this.....

Most satisfying teaching moment?
-When kids first learn how to read and are so proud.
-One child last year was struggling all year, and the first time he could read a whole predecodable, he was so happy and I told him, "Wow, (name), you are SO smart!" The next day, he was reading again and I commented. He said, "Yep, cause I'm so smart." It wasn't even a question, he was sure of it!

Tell us about your most challenging student.

I had a 1st grader reading at a 3rd grade level last year. He was bored to death when we did phonics lessons.
-Worked with coworkers and parents, decided to send him to 2nd grade for reading time. Worked out.
-During workshop, he read a chapter book and wrote reviews at the end of them.

What teaching methods do you use?
-very little lecture
-workshops
-think-pair-share
-class discussion
-peer tutoring
-white boards

How do you use assessment?
-before teaching, check background knowledge
-Here, I use aimsweb, curr. assessments, my own checklists based on the standards, Individual learning plans, notes, portfolios

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
-hopefully in your district
-still in the classroom- no plans to move to administration
-with my master's degree- i start working on it this fall part-time.
-with more knowledge about the culture and teaching

Why do you want to teach here?

I've been looking for a combination of a good job and an area I enjoy living to make my home. I haven't found that yet, but I already know I love the area where your district is, and I've heard nothing but good about your school- that the teachers are happy, turnover is low, there is flexibility with the curriculum, and it seems like the district really cares about what the kids need and about keeping their culture intact.

What would your writing program look like?
-journal as part of the daily 5 (work on writing)
-writing workshop integrated with current project- mini-lesson starts it out, focusing on the 6 traits and the standards

What questions do you have for us?
-What would my class size be?
-What curriculums are available to help with planning?
-What added duty activities or sports might be available that I could help with?
-How far is teacher housing from the school?
-The school's report card from last year looks really impressive. Is it accurate? And what do you believe makes your district unique from other villages that it is performing so well?
HOpe that helps.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-22-2011, 10:02 AM
LUCHopefulTeach's Avatar
LUCHopefulTeach LUCHopefulTeach is offline
Habitué
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 781
Illinois
8th Grade Math and Science
I'm preparing for interviews as well. I know that I have one scheduled and will be asked 25 questions between 3 teachers and the principal.

I'm interviewing for jobs 4th-5th grade and middle school math and science.

What are other common questions asked during interviews?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-25-2011, 12:30 PM
puff5655's Avatar
puff5655 puff5655 is offline
Cohort
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 666
Alaska
Kindergarten Teacher
Tough ones!

Thanks Alice!

LUC, look at the Interview Questions 2009 sticky at the top of the page for more questions..

Here's are some I'm having a difficult time answering:

What are your areas of strength in the curriculum?

What is your biggest failure?

What innovative idea have you introduced at your school?

How practical are you?

How have you handled criticism of your teaching?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-25-2011, 02:51 PM
Aliceacc's Avatar
Aliceacc Aliceacc is offline
Multitudinous
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 26,838
NEW YORK
Math teacher
Quote:
Originally Posted by puff5655 View Post
Thanks Alice!

LUC, look at the Interview Questions 2009 sticky at the top of the page for more questions..

Here's are some I'm having a difficult time answering:

What are your areas of strength in the curriculum?That one has to be YOUR answer; no one can really help you there.

What is your biggest failure?
Well, aside from still not having a job ...." I love to laugh, whether I'm at an interview or not. And it's a great ice breaker.
What innovative idea have you introduced at your school?
Again, that answer has to be your own.
How practical are you?I, personally am incredibly practical. But I'm curious as to why you ask.

How have you handled criticism of your teaching? I know I'm new at this, and like anyone learning a skill, I know there will be areas of improvement. That's how we all grow.
How's that?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-25-2011, 09:13 PM
puff5655's Avatar
puff5655 puff5655 is offline
Cohort
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 666
Alaska
Kindergarten Teacher
In thinking about these more..

Strengths in the curriculum- running a reading workshop that is differentiated, where kids are able to work independently at their level while I work with guided reading groups... and then talking about the daily 5- would that be a good answer? I guess I'm not sure exactly what this is asking.

Innovative idea- How about how as the yearbook coordinator, I introduced using a photobook program as opposed to a traditional yearbook publisher to cut costs while maintaining quality. It also offers the benefit of being able to make small orders at a time- ordering more if we run out. We still have over 50 copies leftover from last year (at $30/each!). Would that answer be ok?

I like the other answers you gave- thanks!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-09-2011, 09:45 AM
newbieteacher's Avatar
newbieteacher newbieteacher is offline
Newcomer
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2
Orange County, NY
Substitute Teacher
You are new to NYC Public School 123 and are one of three teachers in your subject and grade level. It is the first month of the school year and your principal asks you to identify one end of year academic goal that would apply to all your students. Your principal wants you to use student data to help determine your goal.

Last year's assessment results indicate the following about your students:

20% above grade level
50% on grade level
30% below grade level
33% of your classroom is comprised of students with special needs whose assessment results range across all three levels
Identify the most important end of year academic goal for your students.
(Be sure to assume a specific subject area and grade level; if you have multiple certifications or teach multiple subjects, select one.) Please write a plan that addresses your principal's directives in essay format.

I was asked this questioned and was stumped how to answer. I remember my reply was based on the schools' curriculum map and the goals stated there...I did not get the job. If an end of year goal for students question comes up again on an interview, how can I answer this?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-09-2011, 01:55 PM
puff5655's Avatar
puff5655 puff5655 is offline
Cohort
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 666
Alaska
Kindergarten Teacher
WOW, that is a wordy question! I think I would first ask, what form of assessment does the school use to measure reading levels? (or try to find out before the interview)

Here, we use the AimsWeb R-CBM. So if that's what they used, I would say that I would use the aggregate norm chart provided by AimsWeb to determine ambitious but realistic goals for the students.

For the above grade level children, I would use the 100th percentile for Spring of that year, or higher if they have already met that.

For on grade level, I would use the 75th percentile goal.

For the kids just below grade level, I would use the 50th, and those far below, the 25th.

If children met those goals during the year, I would adjust them.

I would work with the special education teacher to determine appropriate goals for the sped students.

This may sound like gibberish if you aren't familiar with AimsWeb, but you probably get the idea. Use whatever you actually use in setting goals.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-13-2011, 10:35 AM
alifoo alifoo is offline
Rookie
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 31
Middle School Teacher
I had one last week and some different ones they asked me were:

1. How much do you think you need to know about your students?
2. When did you decide you wanted to be a teacher?
3. What are the two teaching strategies that you feel are most important to your teaching?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-13-2011, 01:07 PM
Pencil Monkey's Avatar
Pencil Monkey Pencil Monkey is offline
Devotee
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,201
Georgia USA
I had an interview last spring that I landed the job. They asked me questions like this:

What is your dream class like?
What is your biggest weakness? strength?
A student throws a paper airplane during literacy while you are working with a small group. What do you do?
Why did you leave your last school?
Why did you apply here?
Who was your favorite teacher and why?
Why did you become a teacher?
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
2011, interview, questions

Thread Tools

Forum Jump

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off










All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:25 PM.


Copyright © 1997-2010 A to Z Teacher Stuff, L.L.C.  All Rights Reserved.
Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.
Questions, comments, and suggestions: Contact Us
Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.