8th Grade Interview Help

Discussion in 'Secondary Education Archives' started by AChancetoTeach, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. AChancetoTeach

    AChancetoTeach Comrade

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    Dec 14, 2005

    My degree is Early Childhood, but I am certified Generalist 4-8 also. All of my interviews so far have been for elementary positions. What might I expect from an interview for an 8th grade position? (I've applied for 8th Language Arts). Any ideas/advice you have would be greatly appreciated! Also, tips for behavior management. Thanks!:D :thanks:
     
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  3. Hermione

    Hermione Rookie

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    Dec 15, 2005

    With regards to the behavior management of 8th graders, you could browse through the "Behavior Management" section of threads on this site, or you could look through the threads in the secondary and elementary threads. I've learned from my shadowing that elementary students can be full of energy. They are also caught between puberty and childhood and so swing back and forth between maturity - or at least what they think is maturity :) - and immaturity. My best friend teaches 8th grade - she finds it difficult but also very rewarding. Good luck.
     
  4. teachnyc

    teachnyc New Member

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    Dec 15, 2005

    I teach 7th grade Language Arts and love it. I really do not have any behavior issues. I am real with them I do not talk down to them, I am honest with them and I constantly include personal details, popular TV shows and their other interests into my lessons. As for the interview, I found that my principal was more concerned about my handling the upper grades as apposed to my teaching methods.
     
  5. mshutchinson

    mshutchinson Comrade

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    Dec 15, 2005

    I'd say bone up on the ELA. That's what the 7th AND 8th grade english teachers in my building are constantly having shoved down their throats.
     
  6. AChancetoTeach

    AChancetoTeach Comrade

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    Dec 16, 2005

    Thanks for the replies everyone! I'm going over our state standards for 8th grade ELA and your advice really helps!
     
  7. NathalieBug

    NathalieBug Rookie

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    Dec 17, 2005

    I teach 8th grade Language Arts and there are several things I wish someone had pulled me aside and told me beforehand:

    1.) While classes are changing they will come up to you and ask to go do things, like use the bathroom, go to their locker, etc. Things that they should be doing, not asking to do. They ask because they have wasted their time while classes were changing and know they will be tardy. They want the okay from you so that if they are caught in the hall they can say, "Well, Ms. X told me I could go." Make sure you tell them early on NOT to ask you these things while classes are changing.

    2.) Give them a set number of passes (for any reason) per semester. Keep a record of when they use their passes and for what reason. When they have used the passes up, they're used up. No emergency phone calls or bathroom breaks. If you let one person have an extra pass, it's all over.

    3.) If they start getting loud, start counting. Whatever number you get to before they decide to quiet down, count to that same number when the bell rings before you release them. Your rationale? "You waste my time, I'll waste yours." They will begin to police themselves, I promise.

    4.) Right before classes change make them clean up around their desks. Middle schoolers are notorious for leaving copius amounts of paper and other garbage around their desks. Don't let them leave for their next class until their area is clean. If you don't do this, you will have a room of complete filth by the end of the day.

    5.) Have a short assignment up on the board (maybe a few questions) for the kids to begin working on as SOON as they enter the room and the bell rings. That will give you the time you need to take roll, etc. Give them maybe 5 minutes tops to finish the short assignment and integrate it into their daily grade. That gets them in the room quietly and to work quicker than anything.

    5.) Make it fun. Middle schoolers love to work with construction paper, crayons, and glue just as much as elementary school kids do.

    6.) Make sure one of your MAJOR rules is that if the intercom beeps, the class immediately becomes dead silent. You never know, you might be doing groupwork or be in the middle of an active class discussion, but the last thing you want the office to think is that your class is rowdy. After awhile the kids will have it drilled into their heads and will stop talking mid-breath when the intercom beeps. Plus, you won't have to worry about the kids answering the office--how embarassing!

    7.) Some middle schoolers are going through their "antisocial" phase and are really loathe to do groupwork. Be prepared. Assign their groups, do not let them choose their own. If they choose their own, certain kids will get left out completely. Assign everyone in the group a particular role, that way you don't have one groupmember doing all of the days work while the rest of the group goofs off.

    8.) If they watch a film, make even whispering a no-no. It sounds harsh, but when 8-10 people start whispering it makes a film unwatchable. In addition to this, have them take a certain number of notes, that way they will be certain to watch the film.

    9.) Don't fear parents. Parents can be far more supportive than you expect. If you are having problems with their child and need to call them, odds are they have heard it before. Usually parents will do their best to support you. It's also a good idea to try and give parents a call early on in the year just to introduce yourself and ask if their is anything in particular about their child that you need to know in order to help make the year "fun". Many times they will give you extremely useful information. In addition to this, even if you get no help from the parents of an unruly child, at least you can say to your administration that you made the effort, called, and the parents are aware of the problem. If you tell a child you are going to call--CALL. Oh, and block your phone number because you never know.

    10.) Join your local union (I didn't do this, so I'm a hypocrite, but still). Middle schoolers have a tendency to fall in love with their teachers and with all the creepy teacher-student affairs gracing our news networks lately you never know who is likely to get mad and bring a bogus charge against you. Unions are great about diffusing these things and offer large amounts of money for court defense for their members. This defense is good for any charge whatsoever.

    11.) Pick your battles. Middle schoolers can make offensive comments. Have selective hearing.

    12.) Kids love to feel needed. Get the roughest kids on your side early on and they, being respected, will police the others. Tell them that they are respected and that you would like their help. They love that kind of thing and most of the time will be very helpful.

    That pretty much exhausts my behavior management tips. I have no interview tips because right before my interview I sprayed body spray in my face (bloodshot, watery eyes), cut myself across the arm (bleeding), couldn't find the place (late), and fell flat on my face in front of the principal the moment I walked in the door. Believe me, you don't want interview tips from me. :) Best of luck!
     
  8. AChancetoTeach

    AChancetoTeach Comrade

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    Dec 17, 2005

    Nathaliebug Thank You! These are exactly the types of things I don't know of having spent most of my student teaching time with those under 4th grade! I do have a middle school son not yet in 8th grade so I am beginning to see how they act. LOL! Thanks for taking the time to type all this info! I'm printing it out!
     
  9. NathalieBug

    NathalieBug Rookie

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    Dec 21, 2005

    No problem! Glad it was helpful. :)
     

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