Applying for positions - wonder how some of my answers sound?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by bros, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Basically all of the districts around here use AppliTrack, which has generic questions for you to answer.

    One I don't know what to put down is where it asks "For the subject areas below in which you meet the federal highly qualified standard, select the method used to meet the standard. Only select a method for those subjects in which you meet the federal highly qualified standard."

    With the options being:
    State Content Test/Praxis/NTE
    Undergraduate Major
    Undergraduate Credits Equivalent to Major (30)
    Graduate Degree
    State Advanced Certification

    I took 36 credits of History as my content area. What would I put? I'm guessing Undergrad credits?

    Another one, where I am unsure if my answer is too long winded or not is where it asks "List any additional information which will help in determining your professional qualifications for a position." where I put:
    I have extensive knowledge of the appropriate and proper application of special education law from both of the point of view of the student and that of the district - as there must be a delicate balance with regards to services rendered, due to the resources available to both parties.

    As part of my student teaching, I took online professional development courses:
    Bullying, Harassment, and Intimidation
    Recognizing Child Abuse and Neglect
    Identifying Drug and Alcohol Abuse
    Recognizing Cyberbullying
    Youth Suicide Awareness & Prevention

    I'm thinking of ditching the first bit, just listing the PD.

    Then there is "Can you perform all the essential job function(s) of the position(s) for which you are applying, with or without reasonable accommodation?" Yes/No.

    I'm thinking of putting Yes, then "I need access to technology in the classroom as I have a disability which impairs my ability to write legibly." As that seems like a good way to state my disabilities without giving them my whole life story in an application.

    Any opinions before I submit these applications would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
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  3. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Don't put the last part where you mention a disability. You should never mention beforehand that you have a disability. If you feel you can honestly put "yes" to the question about performing the job then that's all you put. The idea is to wow them first so they won't mind giving you special accommodations. I would even take out the part about knowing special Ed from the point of view of a student.
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Bros, have you decided how you will handle the written questions that many schools give you to fill out while you are waiting for your interview?
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    List the PD on your resume...for the question about additional info that qualifies you, you could offer a short anecdote about how you were flexible in working two ST placements concurrently, your technology expertise, any other applicable skills and talents that you would bring to the classroom.
    The PDs you took are typical for NJ schools and are generally required yearly under HIB law...we take bullying training and suicide prevention as well as blood borne pathogens (the last not HIB required) every fall so an incoming candidate who already had those trainings would be retaking them anyway.

    For the question "Can you perform all the essential job function(s) of the position(s) for which you are applying, with or without reasonable accommodation?" you should simply answer yes without further explanation. Your needs will be something you'll want to share on an interview, but the AppliTrak is a method of screening candidates. You want to be honest without putting too much that could tip the balance to being screened out of the interview round.
     
  6. bros

    bros Phenom

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  7. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    Just took a quick look at your resume. My first suggestion would be to feet rid of most of the helping verbs. For instance, change

    instruction was heavily differentiated and individualized per student needs

    to
    Differentiated and individualized instruction per student needs

    Also, look at how often you employed to phrase 'was gained'.

    HTH. Good luck!
     
  8. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    I agree.

    I would also omit "...on final competency assessment." I think it opens the door to wondering about mid-assessments.
     
  9. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    Also, "lessons taught were creative and engaging..." is frowned upon, I believe.

    I would say something like, "Lessons were designed to address multiple intelligences and included (stations, centers, hands-on activities, whatever)
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Agree with the resume advice above.
    Also, think about respacing your resume so you don't have to go onto a second page..you don't have enough experience to warrant 2 pages..

    Maybe your name centered at top with contact info in smaller font in one or two lines centered below name? You really don't need to take up 5 lines with contact info....
     
  11. chasisaac

    chasisaac Comrade

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    I am hoping someone is answering this question.
    I look at this and say it does not matter on the undergrad major, or the equivalent, or the grad degree. The only way to be certified is to have the Praxis (or other state) test. You might need Praxis and 18 credits. Or if you are in MN a major and state test. So this whole question seems to be a junk question.

    And I have no clue what State Advanced Cert. is or what it requires.
     
  12. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Got rid of the second page - it was a spacing error with Microsoft Word.

    Thinking of getting rid of "Further experience was gained with differentiating instruction for students with disabilities"

    changing the first bullet point to

    "Lessons were designed to address multiple intelligences, included a variety of activities to fit the needs of the students, while differentiating per student needs."

    For the first pre-professional field, changed it to "Gained knowledge of the proper implementation of READ180."
     
  13. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    Did you run groups using READ 180? If so, I would say something like, "Implemented READ 180 instruction with small groups."

    Actually, for anything you DID, I would say that, rather than "Further experience was gained...". Employers want to know what you can do, so if you taught math with Everyday Math, then IMO just say that. I think the way it's worded sounds a bit like you helped out or observed lessons, rather than led them.
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Agree:thumb: your verbs should be more assertively active ( while honest at the same time)
     
  15. bros

    bros Phenom

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    With READ 180 all I did was observe the computer portion being implemented, and I did small group twice, before my college told me I couldn't do any lessons in the resource room.

    So change it to "Taught lessons with the Everyday Math Curriculum"?
     
  16. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    Or maybe, "Delivered instruction using Everyday Math Curriculum"
     
  17. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    For the READ 180 part, I think you could say, "Delivered small group instruction using the READ 180 program." It's technically true, but maybe wait to see what others think.
     
  18. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    For the SMART board part, would it be fair to say, "Integrated technology into lessons, including the SMART board..." and include any other tech you used?
     
  19. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I'm in NJ...my district doesn't use this program (nor do I know what it is, truthfully). Teaching two lessons in a particular program doesn't impress. Knowing best practices and having real experience in the teaching of literacy, math, other content does.
    Leave it off as written. If you have real experience with planning and teaching lit lessons, include that.
     
  20. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    Good point. In my district, it wouldn't help to have that on the resume without a reading specialist endorsement. It's a reading intervention program.
     
  21. ready2learn

    ready2learn Comrade

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    I know some people have already stated something similar but start each line of your resume (especially under experience) with an action verb (such as taught, implemented, differentiated, planned, etc...) This will help a lot.
     
  22. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I think this sounds redundant.

    In general, I think that most of your wording just sounds really awkward. You're using too many words, too. Try to make everything much more succinct. Also, you're using too many passive verbs.
     
  23. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Only had a smart board in the class. Obviously a projector, but yeah.

    Yeah. I'm just trying try to make sure I get the point across.
     
  24. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    succinct still 'gets the point across', bros.

    Designed lessons using multiple intelligences to engage students
    Integrated SmartBoard technology to complement content area lessons
    Utilized Everyday Math curriculum in delivery of instruction
    Differentiated instruction for collaborative classroom


    Keep in mind that your resume will be used to gather more information during your potential interviews. Be prepared to talk about how you differentiated instruction, what kinds of lessons were integrated with SB, what would math instruction/literacy instruction look like in your classroom

    Did you teach or mostly just observe/help out in your pre ST experiences? How many hours were those placements? What was your role?
     
  25. bros

    bros Phenom

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    In my first pre-experience, I taught 9 lessons over 13 weeks (2 weeks cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy). I taught a fourth grade classroom, taught four social studies lessons, one math lesson, three LAL lessons, one LAL/Science lesson.

    In my second pre-experience, I taught 6 lessons over about 12 or so weeks (A few weeks were missed because my cooperating teacher broke her hip rather badly). I taught two resource room literacy lessons and four fifth grade social studies lessons.

    For both of them, I went in once a week.
     
  26. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Maybe combine both of these pre-experiences as one with just a few generic bullets about observing in both rooms and maybe something about your lessons, although less than one lesson per week doesn't translate well...maybe wording along the lines of 'observed differentiated lessons including Read 180', 'assisted classroom teacher with xyz' , 'planned and taught several lessons in xyz content'?
     
  27. bros

    bros Phenom

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    "o Observed differentiated lessons including the implementation of READ180
    o Planned and taught several fifth grade social studies and language arts resource room lessons

    o Observed differentiating instruction for English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities.
    o Planned and taught lessons in all areas of the fourth grade curriculum."

    Should I mark next to the pre-experiences when I was at the school? i.e. 01/13-05/13 and 09/12-12/12
     
  28. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I personally don't think that you should bother putting "observed..." points on your resume. I think that you should stick to things you've done yourself.
     
  29. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    I second the cutting of the "observe" portions. It doesn't tell them enough about you, as really anyone (metaphorically) could go in and observe instruction.

    Also, I'd suggest two other changes:
    1.) Make sure you are varying the initial verbs. For example, writing "planned and taught" could be changed to "Developed and implemented", or some other synonyms/similar words.
    2.) The "in all areas of the fourth grade curriculum"/"taught...social studies and language arts...lessons" sounds too vague. What specifically? What could you highlight from each? Perhaps connecting material cross-subject? Differentiating that teaching based on the different levels?
     
  30. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I agree with this to a point, however the pre-experience seems to have been a very limited actual teaching experience (15 lessons in 7 months) so to bullet only the 'teaching experiences' seems disingenuous.
     
  31. bros

    bros Phenom

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  32. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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  33. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Bros, I just got to look at your resume...you realize, right, that you are going to need more experience-something of substance-before you start getting interviews, especially in Jersey, right?
     
  34. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Hahahaha. I love when I miss little errors like that.

    Fixed.

    I have no experience. Never worked a day in my life. Trying to get on the sub list in the town I live in, but haven't heard anything.

    I know a member of the board of ed who said he'd try to get me an interview after I apply for the job. One of the jobs is at the school where I went to elementary school and the same principal still works there - she recognizes me to this day.
     
  35. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    :thumb:
     
  36. bros

    bros Phenom

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    I most likely missed some experience due to it, but it was not possible for me to work during HS - my seizures were very very active then. Then when I entered college, the state informed me about Supplemental Security Income, which I currently receive ($524 a month, which I am using to pay off student loans), which I applied for. They reviewed my medical history + age + academic history/skills and determined that there was no job in the economy that I could perform and have it constitute substantial gainful employment. My anxiety was very very very bad even two years ago. It was at the point where I couldn't go outside except to go to classes, doctors appointments, or the occasional family party (which was maybe two times a year). Since then, I have had maybe two decompensatory events in the past four years. One in 2012, which was major and probably caused a minor depression for a few months, then a minor decompensatory event last month which resulted in a big anxiety spike and a bit of a setback.

    I filled out the paperwork for my town to get on the sub list. Then I had my wisdom teeth out, which took a while to recover from. Then some other stuff happened and now it is March. Haven't heard anything from the district (though I did fax them copies of my certificates because they told me to do that when I called a week ago and asked). I wasn't on the most recent BoE meeting minutes. Didn't get fingerprinted because the sub application said you didn't need to get fingerprinted until they told you to, or something like that. Like after you get approved as a sub or you get your sub cert or something.

    It is the same board member I wrote about in my ST thread. A bit of a foot in the door is better than nothing at all. I could market myself as a candidate who grew up in the community these kids grew up in and went through the same school district they are going to. I am as immersed in technology as the students are while being very skilled with computers. I am also a unique candidate because despite my accommodations - despite my shortfalls - I have overcome my disabilities and I can empathize with a student who is disabled or feels like they are being belittled or not listened to, because I know what that is like. I know how the quieter students feel. I was in their shoes once.

    Also, one of the towns is asking for a letter of introduction to be uploaded with the application. What does that look like? I'm guessing it is something like a cover letter, but then again, I have no idea how to write one of those either.

    They also want a photocopy or electronic transmission of my transcripts, but they say anything not uploaded can just be provided at an interview, if called for one.

    So I guess I should request transcripts from the CC and the University I attended. How many should I request? I think I have an official transcript sitting around somewhere from the CC. Though I can get an unofficial transcript online.
     
  37. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    My district wants unopened transcripts mailed directly to them....different district have different requirements...


    Recheck that fingerprint requirement...you're going to need it anyway so you might as well get it done


    How do 'decompensatory events' weigh into your hire ability and stability as an employee if hired?
     
  38. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Yeah. I had an official transcript from my university sent to the district already for my sub application.

    I'll call on wednesday about the fingerprint requirement.

    The decompensatory events are rare and only occur when I am under a lot of stress. They typically caused by a big event i.e. death or illness in the family. Usually, I just have to see my therapist to help with it.
     
  39. comaba

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    Bros, with your background and knowledge, I think you would make a great special ed advocate.

    I'm not suggesting that you should abandon teaching. If that's your dream, then you should go for it.

    However, based on your postings throughout the years, advocacy seems like something you feel passionate about. Have you ever considered it?
     
  40. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Advocacy is actually what the Social Security Administrative Law Judge told me I should pursue if Teaching doesn't work out for me - she chatted with me for like two minutes after my hearing - as I was more prepared for my hearing than most lawyers who represent clients during hearings and I was quoting the law from memory.

    My neuropsychologist said elementary education might bore me after a few years unless I have something else to also occupy my areas of strength.

    My first special education teacher said that she hopes that elementary education works out for me, but if it doesn't, she said I should never give up and that I should see if I might do better at a higher level, like high school, as less activities involving motor skills are required when teaching a high school class (as you only teach a single content area in HS).
     
  41. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    None of that answered the question. Who cares what those people think, what do you think? Would being an advocate be something that interested you, maybe even more than teaching?
     

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