Help! Fourth Grade Interview Tomorrow!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by pwhatley, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Okay, breathe.... breathe again....

    I have an interview tomorrow for a fourth grade teacher position. I have no idea if it is departmentalized or not. I have e-mailed an acquaintance who works at the school, but I have no way of knowing if she will actually read the email any time soon. So... Help! Please post ANY tidbits of information you think might help. All of my experience has been 3rd grade or below, but I have always thought that I would actually "fit" better as a 4th-5th grade teacher, because I want to "really talk" to them about books. I would love to do literature circles! Of course, I have to discover the school culture (admin) and assess the students in my class(es)... All of a sudden, I'm overwhelmed! Any help would be gladly, even greatly appreciated!
     
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  3. jw13

    jw13 Groupie

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    I have no suggestions because I taught first grade, but good luck!!! Show them that excitement you have about working in the upper elementary. :)
     
  4. runnerss

    runnerss Comrade

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    Congrats on your interview! I know how scary it can be to not know what you are exactly interviewing for. In April I thought I was interviewing for 6th grade math. Then after talking to someone I thought it was 6th grade science. When I got to the actual interview it was 8th grade science!!! Talk about being caught off guard for a gal who teaches 5th grade math.
    Be ready to discuss your discipline plan. Tell them that about your strong desire to teach 4th grade. Stay POSITIVE! I helped interview our 5th grade science position. The teacher who got the job was the teacher who was positive and willing to learn new things. 4th grade isn't that big of a jump from 3rd grade so you are in good shape there. I have to go to the doctor so I need to leave. I am sure while I am sitting there I will think of something. I will be on later today.

    Oh one more thing before I leave. DRESS PROFESSIONAL. I am amazed at how many teachers I see go to interviews in khakis. My rule of thumb is wear a skirt. It makes you look so much more professional. Spend some extra time getting ready. That is just my opinion.
     
  5. teach_each1

    teach_each1 Comrade

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    First of all congrats on the interview and good luck.

    Here's the theme of all of the professional training I'm going to this summer in a nut shell...

    structure...structure...structure and procedures so you can have an inquiry based classroom where students are engaged and involved in reciprocal teaching.
     
  6. Kangaroo22

    Kangaroo22 Virtuoso

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    Good luck with your interview! I would say that having a good idea of you would teach literacy in fourth grade and manage the class would be important.
     
  7. buck8teacher

    buck8teacher Devotee

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    One of the best pieces of advice I recieved about interviewing was treating it like a conversation about education. Once I looked at it this way, my interviews were SO much better. I'm passionate about education, and love to talk about it. So just treat it as such! :) Good luck, and let us know!
     
  8. runnerss

    runnerss Comrade

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    Great Advice!!!
     
  9. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    You are going to do great. Just be yourself and you will knock them over with your talents.
     
  10. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Fourth grade is awesome!
    They love more responsibility and they love working in groups. I would have some ideas for handling group/partner work and keeping it under control. The gaps in academics are huge in many classes; be ready to discuss how you will catch some up and keep others moving so they all learn in your room.
    Make sure you know what state tests fourth graders take.

    Good luck!!
     
  11. jw13

    jw13 Groupie

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    Ahhhh...Pwhatley I am going to be piggybacking onto your thread. I just got a phone call for a 4th grade interview too!
     
  12. runnerss

    runnerss Comrade

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    CONGRATS!!!! I get so excited when I hear about interviews! When is your interview?
     
  13. jw13

    jw13 Groupie

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    Thanks :). It's for next Thursday, week from tomorrow.
     
  14. runnerss

    runnerss Comrade

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    Good Luck!!! Do you have any experience with 4th grade?
     
  15. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Clean your finger nails.
    Dress professional.
    Go to the school site on the internet and read what they have put on the school site. Read what other fourth grade teachers have posted.
    Can you call your friend on the phone?
    Wishing you both the best.
     
  16. WannaTeach

    WannaTeach Companion

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    writing

    Hi! Good luck with your interview. The fourth grade interviews I have had focused on writing. There were 4 teachers plus the principal at the last one I had. One did ask me what I would do if I walked to my room and the class was in chaos. Students running around, sitting on desks, throwing things, loud.... First thing, I don't leave my students in the classroom alone at least not without letting the next door teacher know to pop in and listen. :eek: Anyway, I didn't get that job. But, I am sure you'll do great. Best of luck!
     
  17. jw13

    jw13 Groupie

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    Like pwhately, I would love to hear what is unique to 4th grade. I taught first for 6 yrs, so I have only sub experience with the upper elementary.
     
  18. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Here's a sign of my inexperience: Do fourth grade classes still use a line leader, door holder(s), and caboose? Are they too old for that kind of classroom job? I don't want to insult my students, but know that they still like that little bit of "specialness" that comes with a title.
     
  19. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I just got an email from the school's Reading Content Coach - she's really not sure for what grade I will be interviewing! I'm just gonna take all of my 1st grade stuff to "wow" her with!
     
  20. buck8teacher

    buck8teacher Devotee

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    In the fourth grade class I ST in, they lined up number order. They did have classroom jobs, like paper managers, lunch count, etc. I have a first and second helper, called the president and vice president. President is first in line, and vice president is at the end and turns off the lights. If you word it right, it works. But I think line leadera nd caboose is borderline for most fourth graders I know.
     
  21. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    That means that I am thinking correctly. Thanks, buck8teacher! I'm busy gathering the different VistaPrint "gems" I have made - I'm gonna lay them out for the P to see!
     
  22. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    May I make a suggestion. This past April I was on an interviewing committee for 2 elementary teachers. Both women dressed in suits and this made a big impression on the committee. One person presented us with a large portfolio and asked us to look through it. This was a turnoff to us as we did not want to be looking through a portfolio as questions were being posed and answered. We wanted to listen to the answers. If you have a portfolio you wish someone to look at you may want to leave it. The person who was hired answered the questions without going into lots and lots of details and did not give alot of personal experience answers. But then each school has their own way of conducting interviews. Good luck.
     
  23. buck8teacher

    buck8teacher Devotee

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    I have a portfolio that I refer to when answering questions, and then I left a "highlights" portfolio for the committee/principal to look through at their leisure. This seemed to be a good balance.
     
  24. Teacherella

    Teacherella Habitué

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    I made a tri-fold "about me" brochure that I hand out to the interviewers. It's pretty detailed so they tend to look at quickly when I hand it out, but I'm assuming (hopefully) they look at it in more detail after the interview is over. I think it's a great way to leave an impression and stand out...just an idea. Good luck on your interview! I'm interviewing for a 4th grade position next week and I'm so excited! Good luck to both of us! :)
     
  25. jw13

    jw13 Groupie

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    Good Luck Teacherella!

    I agree with janlee that just giving a portfolio to a committee is overwhelming and time consuming. But, when I was on interview teams, the candidates who incorporated their portfolio into the interview impressed us.
     
  26. Go 4th

    Go 4th Habitué

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    Ditto! By 4th they should know the routine. Those who are starting to exhibit behavior issues and haven't in the past, are probably struggling somewhere academically. "I'd rather be bad than stupid"--mention that classroom management is positive (great time to show VP stuff!) and always proactive instead of reactive and that you try to look for the underlying cause of the behavior, instead of just the surface features.

    Content wise--at least in GA--you start working with fractions (adding/subtracting), division, decimals, percentages. It is a great time to work with lots of hands-on activities and use lots of manipulatives.

    Students are now reading to learn, instead of learing to read (for the most part)--with things like science and social studies, so it is a great way to integrate curriculum. Also, students can do deeper studies--learning from projects and technology (web quests, making power points, etc).

    I don't have jobs like line leader --I have the "Transportation Director and Postal Service Employees, Librarian, Administrative Assistant, Sanitation Department, etc. Tried to link jobs to real life jobs.

    I'm so happy you have an interview! You are on a roll!! You will be a working girl soon! :clap:
     
  27. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Okay, it turns out that we (the Reading Content Coach and I) don't know for what grade I will be interviewing tomorrow. She said it could be first or third or fourth - apparently, the teachers are moving around a bit!

    From the Great Schools ratings, they need to - the test scores actually went down this year! Don't throw things - I don't think test scores are the be-all and end-all - just making an observation. It's the only thing I was able to find about the school online.

    Should I just disregard it or express my eagerness to raise scores?
     
  28. etcetera83

    etcetera83 Cohort

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    I agree with Missy that you need to have an idea of how you will differentiate to meet the various levels of your kids. Oh, and I know you asked for advise on what to say about how you would teach reading, and the advise was right on IMHO. Good luck . . . I'm so proud of you!!
     
  29. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    I wouldn't dwell on test scores; if they bring it up, then answer. Scores do go up and down - the staff may stay the same, but we have new kids each year!

    Another thing fourth graders like - pen pals!
     
  30. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I'm considering "MOOSE" folders. Any thoughts?
     
  31. Go 4th

    Go 4th Habitué

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    I think that would be great! I wanted to, but our school has agenda's in place, and they work really well, depending on the teacher.
    Maybe that is a question you could ask--what system they have in place for parent/teacher communication. :)
     
  32. etcetera83

    etcetera83 Cohort

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    :whistle:
     
  33. SnoopyTeacher

    SnoopyTeacher Companion

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    Best of luck!! You both will do terrific...let us know how it goes.
     
  34. buck8teacher

    buck8teacher Devotee

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    http://www.teacherweb.com/mi/centralelementaryschool/mrsbainbridge/ap10.stm

    This teacher uses folders for organization of her students and I really like it! :) I does depend if the school has agendas or not, we do and I'm going to try so hard to get a more effective routine down with them! I miss writing in our assignments together on our homework logs! We just had a piece of paper for the whole week!
     
  35. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Totally talk about moose folders! One of the principals I talked to loved the idea so much she wrote it down to give to her teachers. She didn't hire me. Sometimes I think maybe principals hold interviews to collect good ideas...
     

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