Advice for a 1st grade interview....

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by girlblue16, Jun 18, 2007.

  1. girlblue16

    girlblue16 Rookie

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    Jun 18, 2007

    I have an interview this Wednesday for a 1st grade position. I actually interviewed at this school a year ago (hadnt been in the field for almost 8 years; worked as a para for the past year...hoping I can go in a little bit more confident with that experience). Either way, I'm pretty bad at interviewing. Any helpful hints, advice, good questions to ask, etc??
    Thanks!
     
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  3. ladybuglady

    ladybuglady Rookie

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    Jun 18, 2007

    I would definately brush up on how you plan to teach reading, phonics, what would you do if you had a student who was struggling to read, etc. When I interviewed for 1st grade it was all about teaching reading. I hope this helps.
     
  4. Carebear05

    Carebear05 Comrade

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    Jun 18, 2007

    Yes, 1st grade is all about reading. Luckily at the interview I had they didnt ask me about reading, but some places will. If you can, try to research the reading curriculum that is used in the district. Also, try to find out if they use reading groups or whole group. At my interview they just described to me about the program. I'm guessing it's because that's how it's done and we have to follow it. One district that I interviewed for had a woman who worked in the central office that had created the reading curr. for the district and had written a book on it. Just try to find out as much as possible. They may ask you about assessing students as well. Be prepared for that.
     
  5. Erin Elizabeth

    Erin Elizabeth Groupie

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    Jun 19, 2007

    Don't forget your classroom management. In 1st you really need to have routines and procedures for every little thing! They need to be trained how to be students.
     
  6. girlblue16

    girlblue16 Rookie

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    Jun 20, 2007

    Thanks for all your advice. I had the interview today and I think it went really well. Balanced Literacy was one of the major questions, and thankfully I felt pretty prepared to answer it to the best of my knowledge.

    It's between me and 6 or so other candidates. I'm a big believer in signs and coincidences, and there were several things that occurred in the past day or two that are helping me think positively about position. I am looking forward to coming back here in a week and posting "I GOT THE JOB!!!!"

    So, keep your fingers crossed for me...even though none of you know me ;)
    But we're all here for each other so....many thanks!
     
  7. S Dubb

    S Dubb Comrade

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    Jun 20, 2007

    Good luck to you! Hopefully the wait won't be too suspenseful. :) When you say that balanced literacy was one of the major questions, what did they ask about it?
     
  8. Teach in Tampa

    Teach in Tampa Rookie

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    Jun 20, 2007

    Congrats on the interview. It's usually a good sign when you walk away from the interview feeling positive. I would love to know if you have any words of advice for me. I have a first grade interview tomorrow. I would also like to know how balanced literacy was addressed in the interview. Where there any other main focus points? I wish you the best of luck in getting the position. Any help is most appreciated. Thanks!
     
  9. girlblue16

    girlblue16 Rookie

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    Jun 20, 2007

    Thanks to all for your well wishes!!

    I kept a copy of the list of questions. Here are a few (is this legal???):

    1.Describe your understanding of balanced literacy and also describe a guided reading lesson in your classroom (ooops..I just realized I didnt address this part in the interview :( ). Please add how you will form guided reading groups and how you will work with those groups as we progress through the school year.

    2.The XXX district is deeply committed to academic success for all students. Given that all students have differing needs, what will a climate and culture of academic success look like and feel like in your room?

    3.What can you tell us about inquiry-based teaching and learning and how would those understanding and/or beliefs make themselves known in your classroom. (I didnt know what inquiry-based teaching was and the principal was awesome. He said at the beginning of the interview that this isnt a game, he's not trying to trick me, etc. and that if I didnt understand a question, just ask him and he would clarify it). Looking back, I have no idea what I answered for this one and couldnt tell you what inquiry-based teaching is...I have short term memory ;)

    4.What does the term 'at-risk' mean to you and what are the potential causes of a student being 'at-risk?'

    Hope this helps you guys!!!
     
  10. njeledteacher

    njeledteacher Cohort

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    They seem a lot nicer in CO. Maybe I should move there??? They actually gave you a list of the questions?
     
  11. girlblue16

    girlblue16 Rookie

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    Jun 20, 2007


    I've had several interviews where they gave me a list of the questions. I NEVER look at them though bc I'll spend the whole time trying to figure out the answer to #7 when we're only on #2.

    Actually though, at one interview I was given the questions about 15 minutes before they brought me in. So at that point I did look them over and jotted down notes. That was a god send. Still didnt get the job ;)....come to think of it, they called a month or two later and the person who they hired didnt work out and they wanted to offer it to me...but I had already taken a position.
     
  12. Teach in Tampa

    Teach in Tampa Rookie

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    Jun 21, 2007

    Thanks for the help girlblue16! I interviewed today and the principal and asst. offered me the job on the spot. I am so excited!
     
  13. girlblue16

    girlblue16 Rookie

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    Jun 21, 2007


    i'm jealous!!!
    Congrats!!!
     
  14. Teach in Tampa

    Teach in Tampa Rookie

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    Jun 22, 2007

    Thanks so much girlblue16! I think the market is forgiving here in Florida. We currently have about 250 positions available in elementary schools right now (in my district alone). It's also a temporary half year position so I will be doing this again in December! I figured it's a great start for me though, since I don't have any prior teaching experience. I feel that it will be a great learning experience for me. Don't be too jealous, you'll be the one getting a full year, permanant position... then I'll be the jealous one :) Best of luck to you!
     
  15. girlblue16

    girlblue16 Rookie

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    Jun 22, 2007

    Tampa: thank you!

    I actually grew up in Miami and people tell me all the time I should move back bc anyone can get a job there. I know a guy who was disbarred from law (or however you say it) for stealing over $200,000 dollars from his firm...and literally months later he was able to get a high school teaching position. Crazy.
    I would do it, but I think the humidity and the people in South Florida are horrible. Not a place I want to be.

    Again, congrats. I think that's awesome. Hopefully it'll be an easier process for you once you've already proved that you can do the job!!!

    I'll keep you posted on my situation. ;)
     
  16. girlblue16

    girlblue16 Rookie

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    Jun 26, 2007

    I didnt get the job :(

    Now I feel like "what's the point going back to grad school if I can't get a job in the field???" Just seems a waste of time.


    Bad day. :(
     
  17. Teach in Tampa

    Teach in Tampa Rookie

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    Jun 26, 2007

    I'm so sorry to hear that. Stay positive; good things come to good people. Don't give up yet, it's still so early. You are in a tough market so keep that in mind. Many people don't get jobs until right before school starts or even once school has already begun. I wish you the best of luck!!! Keep us posted.
     
  18. teach101

    teach101 Companion

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    Jun 26, 2007

    At least you got some interviewing practice. I can't even get that...boohoo!
     
  19. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Jun 26, 2007

    It wasn't meant to be, that's all. You'll get one you were meant for soon!
     
  20. girlblue16

    girlblue16 Rookie

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    Jun 26, 2007

    I know. I do believe in all that 'meant to be' stuff. I just thought this was the one that was 'meant to be.' I heart first grade. It's my favorite.

    All good things in all good time....as Jerry says ;)
     
  21. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Myself, I really want Kindergarten. :) I teach Head Start preschool right now. Hopefully we will get what we want for the fall.

    another Jerry quote:
    Let there be songs to fill the air.
     
  22. girlblue16

    girlblue16 Rookie

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    Jun 26, 2007

    and one last one before I take a nap

    "If you get confused listen to the music play."

    Nice to know there are other dead fans on here. :love:
     
  23. girlblue16

    girlblue16 Rookie

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    Jun 27, 2007

    I just spoke with the principal (who didnt hire me) bc I wanted to get feedback about the interview from him (which I've never done before but figured what the hell, may as well get some constructive info from a specialist). And he was very open and honest (and kind too!!) about what I was lacking. So, just some advice for lower elementary job seekers...it's ALL ABOUT LITERACY. I was able to regurgitate the basics I knew about Balanced Literacy but I couldnt really show it in action, if that makes sense.

    It was good to hear the feedback. I also asked him if he thought Linguistically Diverse Education (which I've already been admitted to for the fall) or Reading Literacy would be a better Masters Program for me. He said for sure if I want to teach the younger ones, the Reading Program would be more beneficial. Before I even spoke with him about that I called my University to see if it was too late to change, which it's not. So, thinking about switching programs...but still not sure.

    Anyways, just wanted to offer any help I could to future interviewees. Hopefully knowing this I can go into the next interview (if there is one ;))with a better understanding of Balanced Literacy.
     
  24. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Jun 27, 2007

    Thanks! I don't know anything about balanced literacy yet, I am just beginning cred. program, so I will try and learn. It's good (and brave!) that you called him and asked!. Otherwise you would never know.
     
  25. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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