Help, I have an interview as a teacher assistant for special Education

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by ljd003, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. ljd003

    ljd003 Rookie

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    Sep 25, 2011

    I have an interview on Tuesday for the potential opportunity to be a teacher assistant for special education. I recently graduated and relocated to a new area and have had the hardest time even getting an interview and I FINALLY got one :) Now I am extremely nervous and would like any advice/help.

    What sort of questions should I expect to get? What is the general role or a teacher assistant for special education? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!! I am so excited and nervous at the same time.
     
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  3. ljd003

    ljd003 Rookie

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    Sep 26, 2011

    Any advice ? :/
     
  4. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Sep 26, 2011

    I don't have TA's normally, but I worked in a cognitive needs program for summer school so I had several then. Since you have an actual special education degree (I'm assuming?), if I were interviewing you one thing I might wonder about would be your ability to act in the role of TA rather than taking over in the role of teacher- I'd be wondering if you would be okay with following all instructions from the teacher and things like that. In your interview, make sure you mention at some point that you know your role and would be okay with someone else being in charge in the classroom. One of my friends interviewed with our sped department to be my TA this summer, and they asked what she thought she'd be doing in the classroom. Her answer was that I would be doing the plans and she'd follow through with whatever I asked her to do- she was the first one that had actually said that and they gave her the job.

    I'm assuming you'll also be working with students with more severe disabilities since it's a room that has TAs in the first place, so be prepared to answer questions about how you would work with students with more serious disabilities.

    That's all the advice I can offer- good luck!
     
  5. ljd003

    ljd003 Rookie

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    Sep 26, 2011

    Thank you for your advice. A former classmate of mine started out being an assistant before having her own classroom and her advice was confidentiality and not only teaching the students, but helping them reach their goals. Do you have any advice about the goals for each student. I imagine this will depend a lot on the individual student and their disability but any advice ?
     
  6. teacher girl

    teacher girl Comrade

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    Sep 26, 2011

    I am currently a teacher's assistant ( for general education) But I use to be a teacher's assistant for special education. I think it depends on the type of class. ( Like the class I was in was a mixture of kids-- the students had ld (learning disability) , ASD ( Autism Spectrum Disorder), ED ( Emotional Disorder),SD ( severe disability) and MR ( mental retardation)--- If I was you I brush up on a few of those terms and get to know a little about each disability, like ways to accomodate them or to help that particular child. And always refer to your students as " students with disabilities" never say things like special ed students, or "retard" ( it's extremely offensive)- It will impress your principal. Also, it will also be impressive to gain some knowledge about special education in general, and express that you have a passion to help students with disabilities achieve their full potential. She may ask you questions about whether you've worked with students with disabilities before and are you comfortable working with ??? etc-- If I was you, I would try to gain some experience or monitor student's with disabilities at different schools as a volunteer before my interview. Or like I said before get to know a little bit about each disability. She may ask you about classroom management skills- so I would google some effective strategies and practices. Make sure they are positive- (like no yelling screming at the kids) she may want to know your classroom management abilities because you may work with students with behavioral disorders and emotional disorders. She may ask you about your interactions with parents, because they are an integral part of special education-- If a parent asks you a question about their child-- always tell them to talk to the teacher or that you don't know-- do not give them your opinion some parents are psychos and want to go against your teacher.

    For the most part, Special education teacher's assistants folllow the student with disabilities around school all day and help them when they are in the classroom with general education students ( this is called inclusion). In my position I had to sit with the children all day during their lunch time and help them eat because some of them couldn't eat on their own or stay in their seat. I also had to follow them around all day and make sure they were well behaved in their general education classes/ resource classes. So I followed a very up and down schedule. Because you will be working with different grade levels and different disabilities. SO it is importnat that your are flexible, and that you don't stress out easily in high stress situations.

    For the most part, It depends on the disability--- like if you have a student with cerebral palsey-- you may have to help them write, or eat. Or if you have a student that has adhd-- you might hover over them to make sure they stay in their seat through the entire lesson. Or a student who can't write may need help writing stuff down, so you'll be writing everything (lol) it depends entirely on the situation.

    Your special education teacher will let you know what accomodations to make for each child.... so your principal will not expect you to know all that. And when you are not following the students around you are doing typical every day- general education teacher assistant stuff- like making copies, lunch count, checking papers, stuffing envelops, working with the children in small groups-- it depends on the situation. Just appear very warm and helpful and enthusiastic to learn. I hope this helps, and good luck on your interview :)
     
  7. ljd003

    ljd003 Rookie

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    Sep 26, 2011

    Wow! Thank you so much for all the advice :)
     
  8. ljd003

    ljd003 Rookie

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    Sep 27, 2011

    Just an update on my interview:

    I thought the interview went extremely well! The principal kept nodding her head and saying "very good answer" and such which gave me a good vibe. The person that I would be assisting was also present and she was asking me questions pertaining to behavior which led me to believe that I would be working with children with behavior problems (or that there is at least one student with a behavior problem). At least twice during the interview she mentioned some C word like cac or cas cade or something.. I truly wish I remembered what the word was (I couldn't really understand her) because I wanted to google it to figure out what it was, because I have a feeling that that word was a description of what type of room I would be in or what I would be doing.. but other than that it went well.
     
  9. teacher girl

    teacher girl Comrade

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    Sep 28, 2011

    I am totally glad to hear that things went well on the interview. I hope you get the job : ) and good luck to you in the profession.
     

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