Do all states require a demo lesson?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by MissB123, Jul 7, 2017.

  1. MissB123

    MissB123 Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2016
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    7

    Jul 7, 2017

    Hi there,
    I am just very curious. Does the state that you are from, require a demo lesson during/after an interview? I'm interested to know what state you are from also.

    I am from NJ and it seems that lately every interview requires a demo lesson. What do you think about it?
     
  2.  
  3. Sab

    Sab Companion

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2017
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    26

    Jul 7, 2017

    I think it more depends on the district. I'm in CA and haven't heard of them being particularly common here. None of my friends that got hired recently have done them.
    However, I have my first demo lesson next week, to a full summer school class of students for 45 minutes. On ANY science or math standard for the grade level. Soo, just hoping that there's not someone going right before me who chooses the same one! I'm nervous for it but kind of glad to be doing it also because I think it will help me get a better feel for the district and what the students would be like. I still have a lot of work to do to put mine together though and it's a bit stressful!
     
    Leaborb192 likes this.
  4. MissB123

    MissB123 Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2016
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    7

    Jul 7, 2017

    Thanks for sharing!! I feel that they are becoming so common, and it is so stressful. Somehow I've been able to avoid the demo lesson but I'm having trouble finding a job in general. I know I can teach and I'm a good teacher- I just don't know the students, or the people yet so it could be very awkward doing a lesson and not knowing what they think!
     
  5. Sab

    Sab Companion

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2017
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    26

    Jul 7, 2017

    Yeah, it's definitely stressful going into without knowing anything about the students or their ability level! I'm also worried about behavioral problems that may come up when I don't know the class policies and have no real authority. I have no idea how that works or who all is going to be watching my lesson!
     
  6. MissB123

    MissB123 Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2016
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    7

    Jul 7, 2017

    I totally agree with you. That is my fear! I know they will be watching to see how I handle the behaviors but what is my authority like legally can I use positive reinforcements etc. I actually got a call for a job and midway through she said also bring a lesson plan to the interview because you'll be doing a demo for the extended school year kids (disabilities class)
    I am actually thinking of canceling the interview because I am having anxiety over this demo lesson. It's becoming so tough to be a teacher anymore. I had a position in special education and they had budget cuts. I didn't have to do a demo lesson it was nice. The interview was relaxed (as it should be!!)
     
  7. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,136
    Likes Received:
    165

    Jul 8, 2017

    Depends. I've mostly had to do demos for each position I interviewed for. But I know people who haven't. I actually like the demo part vs the interview. I'm confident in my teaching skills, but with interviews sometimes they ask hard questions that trip me up.
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,958
    Likes Received:
    2,109

    Jul 8, 2017

    It's not a state requirement. Demos vary by district.
     
  9. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,682
    Likes Received:
    1,655

    Jul 8, 2017

    I agree that it varies by district/school, not by state. I've had to do them at some schools in both states where I've lived but not at all schools. Some schools were public; others were private.

    It can be nerve-racking, especially when you've never done one before. Since I've done a couple before, here are some tips:
    - Find out if you can contact the teacher whose classroom you will be doing the demo lesson in to find out how she manages her classroom (e.g. What is the attention signal?).
    - Ask the classroom teacher or principal what materials will be available to you and what you need to bring yourself (e.g. chart paper, markers, magnets, etc.). Don't plan to use technology. It's just too much trouble when you're unfamiliar with the classroom.
    - Ask what accommodations you might need to make for individual students in the classroom. Even if they tell you that there aren't any needed, it will show that you're thinking about that.
    - If your lesson requires any specific prerequisite knowledge, ask whether the students have been taught it before making the assumption that they have.
    - Ask how long your lesson should be, if you don't already know. Think ahead of time about what you might cut, if your lesson runs too long. Also, think about how you might extend it if things move more quickly than you've planned. Being prepared for these situations will reduce any anxiety you feel in the moment when you realize your timing is off.
    - Dress comfortably. If you wear a suit to the interview (which you should), be sure to wear a comfortable and professional shirt that can stand alone with the pants. Take off your suit jacket during the demo lesson.
    - Recognize that those observing you realize that you don't know the students, classroom procedures, or where to find materials. They aren't expecting you to manage severe behaviors, only the routine type. If something significant comes up with an individual student, they'll jump in to handle it. They also know that you are nervous. They get it. Just do the best you can in the situation.
    - When debriefing afterwards, don't make a big deal out of how nervous you were. Mention it briefly if you feel that you goofed something up because of it, but focus more on what went well/didn't go well instructionally or classroom management-wise.

    I wouldn't cancel simply due to anxiety over a demo lesson. I get major anxiety, and I've dreaded - dreaded! - every demo I've ever done. But, I've always come out feeling good - and relieved! - afterwards. The first time I did one, I got an offer that I eventually turned down. The last time I did one, I came in second place to someone who had experience in the grade-level (I didn't). So, good things can come from overcoming your anxiety!
     
    waterfall likes this.
  10. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    10,828
    Likes Received:
    2,671

    Jul 8, 2017

    The very things that worry the OP about demo lessons are the reasons so many districts use them. The demo lesson shows your organization, knowledge of content, and also your ability to go off script when something isn't working. That is thinking on your feet, and it is easy to appreciate, hard to evaluate without something like a demo lesson. Most important aspect of the demo lesson is to really know the content and what you want to see as an end result. Once you have that in place, you can start to see where you could modify for behavior, students who are struggling with the level of the lesson, etc. The demo lesson is not a bad thing - think of it as your chance to shine. If you really think you won't shine, work on some of these variables until you are pretty sure that you are bomb-proof. Good luck!
     
  11. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Messages:
    575
    Likes Received:
    109

    Jul 9, 2017

    Like others have said, it's not a state requirement but can vary by district and school. I've taught at 3 schools in my district and haven't done a demo, but this year my principal decided to do demos as part of the interview process. She said that it demonstrates flexibility, cooperation, assertiveness, and lots of other qualities she looks for. She said that when she sees a candidate who is anxious and nervous to do a demo, it makes her wonder how they'll deal interacting with difficult parents, classroom management, being a leader on their team, etc...
     
  12. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    4,257
    Likes Received:
    797

    Jul 9, 2017

    I've done 10 interviews in 4 different states, and have been offered jobs at 6 of them... I've never been asked to do a demo.
     
  13. kellzy

    kellzy Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2013
    Messages:
    324
    Likes Received:
    92

    Jul 9, 2017

    Never even heard of that in Utah, however, I know a friend of mine who was moving to New York City and she was required to give a demo lesson during the interview process.
     
  14. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    5,962
    Likes Received:
    834

    Jul 9, 2017

    I'm in CO and it varies by district. I actually liked doing demo lessons. I felt more secure in taking a position where I did a demo because the admin at the school had already seen my teaching and liked my style, which made me a whole lot less nervous for my first evaluation since I already knew they liked the way I taught. I just felt like there were less "surprises" that way. It also gave me more insight into the school because I could see how classrooms were set up, what the kids were like, and how admins gave feedback. In contrast to that, my current school generally makes offers after one 30 minute interview. I really, really hesitated on taking my current job because it felt too rushed and like both the interview team and I didn't get enough information in comparison to other districts that required 2nd and 3rd round interviews with demo lessons. I did end up accepting just because it was the best fit as far as location, salary, and job description, but I was a lot more nervous that first year than I would have been if I'd gone through a more rigorous interview process. I later learned that's just how things work in my district- districtwide people are hired after a 30 minute interview. We got a new P this year and even she only had to interview twice for her job!

    Bella gave you some good advice for doing the demo lesson. I would also add that you shouldn't try to do a "dog and pony show" lesson. One, admins will see right through that, and two, you want them to see an authentic picture of what your day to day teaching looks like. If they don't like your style, you don't want to work there anyway. Of course I always made sure my demos were really well thought out, but they were modeled after what a typical lesson in my clasroom normally looks like.
     
    bella84 likes this.
  15. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,747
    Likes Received:
    1,317

    Jul 11, 2017

    It's not a state thing. It depends on the district. In the case of my school, it depended on how many applicants there were. When I applied I didn't have to do a demo lesson but now it seems if there are a large number of candidates then if they pass the 1st round of interviews they have to do a demo lesson. I'm glad I didn't have to!
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Pi-R-Squared
Total: 463 (members: 3, guests: 444, robots: 16)
test