Content-Specific Interview questions

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by PreKyay, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. PreKyay

    PreKyay Companion

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    Mar 30, 2009

    I have an interview this Friday. Should I expect content area-specific questions? math, science, ela? Or should I just prepare for questions such as: why do I want to teach, why do I want to teach in this district, my teaching philosophy, scenarios etc.? I'm interviewing for an elementary position. Should I focus on terms, concepts, and principles or do I need to brush up on the actual content?
     
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  3. emmakate218

    emmakate218 Connoisseur

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    Mar 30, 2009

    Well, you should definitely have knowledge of how to teach a particular content area. Be prepared to answer how to teach particular content areas.
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Mar 30, 2009

    I seem to remember a few interviews where they asked me very general questions about teaching foreign language--stuff like Total Physical Response and use of realia. I wasn't asked to translate Latin on any of my interviews (but I do know some Spanish teachers who had to have their interviews conducted in Spanish).

    Most questions, however, were about teaching and learning strategies. I would definitely recommend being intimately familiar with a variety of buzzwords and tried-and-true strategies, particularly cooperative learning, top-down versus bottom-up, authentic assessment, problem-based learning, collaborative inquiry, and improving literacy skills.

    You will also want to be prepared to answer scenario-type questions, especially regarding discipline, parent contact, grading, etc.

    Are you concerned that you're not up to snuff in your content area?
     
  5. PreKyay

    PreKyay Companion

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    Mar 30, 2009

    This will be my first interview for a teaching position. I am concerned about responding to questions about instruction of the content, because I do not have any classroom experience to draw from. I have subbed and observed in some classes, but I have not student taught. I am coming from an altern. cert. program. I feel extremely prepared to answer questions about classroom management, parent/teacher communication, diversity, and questions about my teaching philosophy. But the buzzwords do concern me a bit. I would love to throw around some, but I certainly want to use them in the correct context.

    Thanks for the list you gave; that will help.
     
  6. PreKyay

    PreKyay Companion

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    By the way...top-down vs. bottom-up?
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Mar 31, 2009

    The phrases top-down and bottom-up are used in at least two different ways.

    Top-down can refer to sort of lecture-style teaching, where a teacher tries to fill students with information. Sometimes this usage of the phrase has a negative connotation and seems old-fashioned.

    We use the phrases a lot when talking about reading comprehension. In that sense, top-down is more like "big picture" sort of learning where students read in order to get the main idea of a passage. The goal is for students to understand the text more deeply and in a more detailed sort of way. It is different from bottom-up processing where students focus more on specific words and phrases and less on main idea stuff. An ideal program would have elements of both sorts of processing, with a greater emphasis on top-down processing.
     

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