I have an interview on Thursday.

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by bros, Oct 7, 2014.

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  1. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Nov 1, 2014

    You might want to ask about some sort of mentor. I used to ask about PD opportunities. I also liked to ask what their goals as a school are if they didn't have a clear mission statement. Just some ideas. Think of something you can ask them!
     
  2. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

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    Then you need to come up with a question that the website doesn't address. An example may be professional development for paras or something along that line. They may tell you in the interview what you will be doing as a para but if not, that may be a question to ask. You need to think through what the school wants to know about you as well as whether it is a good fit for everyone. Be as personable as possible. Make them have no choice but to hire you!
     
  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    bros, we've talked at length in your other threads about the fact that you must come up with questions to ask during interviews. I know that you've said that you remember everything you read. Surely you can recall the tips you've been given about these sorts of questions. What are some of those tips? How can you use those tips to compose some appropriate questions?
     
  4. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Hmmm.

    PD opportunities is good, but I don't think there'd be many for TAs.

    So I was just looking on the site of the district to see if I could find anything about a TA job description, anything, really.

    Found this:
    The Board will employ paraprofessional school aides and/or classroom aides to assist in the supervision of student activities under the direction of a Principal, teacher, or other designated certified professional personnel. Aides will serve the needs of students by performing nonprofessional duties and may work only under the direct supervision of a teaching staff member(s).

    So if they don't tell me what the duties of the position would be, say something like "I am unfamiliar with exactly what my duties as a Teacher's Assistant would be - could you give me an example of a typical day for a TA in the district?"

    I know we have, but those were all teaching jobs. I could ask when they would have me start, but they already say in the posting that they are looking for someone to start as soon as possible.

    So far:
    1. "What is a typical day like for a TA in <district>?"
    2. "What will the next step in the interview process be?"
    3. ?
     
  5. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Even if you think that there might not be much in the way of professional development offered for TAs, asking about it in such a manner that you are coming off as someone who wants to continually learn and grow as an educator, and to take on additional responsibilities, will look good. Think of the questions you are asking as another opportunity to highlight your qualities as a professional and educator.
     
  6. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

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    I think you should state that in a conversational way instead of a textbook. Maybe ask what level you would be working in or what does an average day look like for this position. Show your love for kids.

    I have to admit I'm about ready to give up.
     
  7. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Bros, I want you to google "teaching assistant interview" and post 10 questions you think you might be asked on Monday. Then start planning answers.

    Next, think of that third question you will ask. Post it.
     
  8. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    Here are some questions I asked at my interview:

    1. How does the "team" system work, how many teams are there per grade level, and are there ability differences between them?
    2. What kind of technology resources are available on a limited, "must sign it out" basis?
    3. What apps/tools/etc does the school have for math teachers on the students' 1-to-1 iPads?

    Maybe these will give you a springboard.
     
  9. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Nov 2, 2014

    It'll come out more organically than I type it on here, as I will always have a modicum of nervousness in the background during an interview.

    There's some interesting questions I found online, including:
    1. "If the classroom teacher asked you to do something you felt was wrong, what would you do?"
    2. "Describe a situation when you felt particularly proud of something that you did that involved helping children."
    3. "What are the advantages and disadvantages of integrating students with special needs into general education classrooms?"
    4. "To what extent should the curriculum be modified to accommodate students with special needs?"
    5. "If you were working with a student with ADHD who could not sit still for more than five minutes, what would you do?"

    There's some other good ones, but i'm getting tired - daylight savings time is tripping me up.

    Third question I could ask could be "What kind of continuing education or professional development is offered to Teacher's Assistants?"

    District doesn't have a 1:1, but they do have a BYOD policy, so that might be something to ask about.
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 2, 2014

    I've never had to do cpr or God forbid protect a classroom of students from major harm...but a teacher DOES have to think on their feet every day, adjust teaching and plans quickly as dictated by student needs, communicate clearly in writing and speaking...often extemporaneously. While all the interview tips and practice questions may help a candidate anticipate what may be asked, the simple fact is there are certain 'unquantifiables' that those who make hiring decisions are looking for....and truthfully there are just so many questions about self sufficiency, confidence, passion and physical limitations that may leave an administrator questioning whether their students would be best served by a candidate lacking in these areas.


    Bros, that description seems to have been prepared by a law firm in Toms River NJ and adopted as employment policy by quite a few NJ districts including Mullica, Fair Haven, and Franklin Township as well as others....fits the description of a para in my district so you might be safe to figure that the job responsibilities would be similar to any other sped para position.

    Are you thinking they are considering your ST placement as the sped experience they are requiring for this position? Wasn't your experience as a ST incredibly limited in terms of you not taking on too many responsibilities?
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 2, 2014

    A little late to shop for tomorrow, but....

    15 miles isn't far to drive. In addition, that mall sounds like you could find different options.. Lord and Taylor carries quality merchandise.

    In case you need it, here's a list of all the NJ Burlingtons...are NONE of these closer to you than NY?

    Burlington Coat Factory - BRICK, NJ 55 Brick Boulevard (732) 255-8926
    Burlington Coat Factory - STORE 1 1250 Route 130 North (609) 386-3314
    Burlington Coat Factory - CINNAMINSON, NJ 155 Route 130 South Suite K (856) 303-2834
    Burlington Coat Factory - EGG HARBOR TWP, NJ 6725 Black Horse Pike (609) 645-7800
    Burlington Coat Factory - ELIZABETH, NJ 651 Kapkowski Street (908) 354-6775
    Burlington Coat Factory - FLEMINGTON, NJ 325 Rte 202 And Church Street (908) 237-0760
    Burlington Coat Factory - FREEHOLD, NJ 3684 Route 9 North (732) 761-1153
    Burlington Coat Factory - EAST WINDSOR, NJ in Hightstown 370 Route 130 South (609) 918-9599
    Burlington Coat Factory - HOBOKEN, NJ 1514 Willow Avenue (201) 659-0044
    Burlington Coat Factory - LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ 2495 Us Route 1 Suite 1 (609) 882-3393
    Burlington Coat Factory - MARLTON, NJ 229 Route 73 South (856) 988-7310
    Burlington Coat Factory - NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ 989 Route 1 South (732) 246-4484
    Burlington Coat Factory - OCEAN, NJ 2351 State Route 66 (732) 922-1015
    Burlington Coat Factory - PARAMUS, NJ 651 Route 17 South (201) 444-2224
    Burlington Coat Factory - PINEBROOK, NJ 40 Route 46 West (973) 227-6040
    Burlington Coat Factory - SECAUCUS, NJ 275 Hartz Way (201) 866-1665
    Burlington Coat Factory - SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ 6940 Hadley Road (908) 755-2737
    Burlington Coat Factory - TURNERSVILLE, NJ 5901 Route 42 South (856) 401-4060
    Burlington Coat Factory - VINELAND, NJ 3849 S Delsea Drive (856) 825-0272
    Burlington Coat Factory - WAYNE, NJ 24 Wayne Hills Mall (973) 305-6680


    If not a suit, a blazer is a nice option.:2cents:

    You might consider reframing this response. I've said it before...this isn't about you...it's about the students....why do you want this job? How about something along the lines of you having a unique perspective on and empathy for learners who struggle and that you want to use your experiences and education to make a difference in the learning of such students.
     
  12. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

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    Nov 2, 2014

    You don't need to say that you have no experience except for college. Your resume will already say that. I really like the suggestion made by czacza. Make it about students and keep it in a conversation style would be my advice. Yes, you want to let them know that you have the "buzz" words but it is important to say what you would do for students not necessarily how it is stated in textbooks.
     
  13. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Nov 2, 2014

    Good luck.
     
  14. bros

    bros Phenom

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    We decided not to go out for a suit jacket today - it would've just been too hectic, and my dad didn't want to go to the mall 40 minutes away. But next weekend he wants to go to the mall ~25-30 minutes away and see if they have anything (But they have much less in terms of clothing stores), then find a tailor to alter it if need be.

    "I believe this would be a valuable experience for me professionally, as I would be a great asset to the students and the school due to my unique perspective and great deal of empathy for students with learning difficulties or differences. I want to use my education and unique life experiences to help make a difference in the lives and learning of each and every student who I may help."

    Thanks. Should probably get to sleep soon.
     
  15. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    Nov 3, 2014

    So what are you wearing to your interview tomorrow?
     
  16. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Good luck today, bros.
     
  17. comaba

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    Good Luck!
     
  18. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Good luck today, bros. Despite the sometimes harsh criticisms, we are pulling for you.
     
  19. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Dress shirt, dress pants, clip on tie.
     
  20. happybat4

    happybat4 Rookie

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    Good luck!
     
  21. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Since someone is already buttoning your shirt, is there a way for dad or bro (or mom- I'm really good at ties!) to tie a real tie for you and leave loose for you to pull over your head and tighten by pulling back tail?
     
  22. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Good luck today!
     
  23. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Nov 3, 2014

    I don't have any real ties - and my mom can't really help with things like that at the moment.

    I'm back from the interview.

    It lasted about 10 minutes. The interviewer said it would be a short interview as they are interviewing through Wednesday, as this is a short week (NJ Teachers Convention Thursday & Friday).

    They asked me the following questions:
    1. Tell me a bit about yourself.
    I examples that I am from a town somewhat nearby and talked a bit about my student teaching.

    2. What would make you a good fit for this position?
    "I would be a good fit for this position because I know what it is like for students with learning differences and difficulties because I myself went through the special education system."

    3. This position is with a sixth grade student who is partially mainstreamed, but I see your student teaching was mostly in Kindergarten. Are the lower grades your primary interest or?

    "I am much more comfortable with the upper elementary grades - 4th-6th grade - than the lower grades, despite my student teaching being in an inclusion K class in the morning and a general education K class in the afternoon, as my disabilities would prevent me from working with the youngest grades."

    4. How would your disabilities prevent you from working with Kindergartners?

    "Well, I have dysgraphia, fine and gross motor dysfunction, and mild cerebral palsy, which causes upper body weakness, which would make it a bit difficult for me to educate the youngest students, not to say that I wouldn't want to, because Kindergartners are just... adorable."

    5. So, obviously from your resume, you've figured out ways around these limitations.

    "Yes, I am very skilled in the use of laptops, tablets, and other forms of educational technology, such as the SMART Board, as there are many different ways to help keep a student engaged in lessons through technology."

    6. What makes you qualified to work with a sixth grade student?

    (this one tripped me up a bit)

    "...Well, I remember what it was like being in sixth grade? ...Also, as you can see on my resume, most of my field experience outside of student teaching has been in the upper elementary grades, so I have experience with fifth graders and some experience with sixth graders."

    7. Do you have any questions?
    "No, you answered all of my questions throughout the course of the interview."

    Then they told me they had a short window for the interview process - the board will be approving someone the week before Thanksgiving and they will contact all applicants.
     
  24. happybat4

    happybat4 Rookie

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    You should always have a question. In this situation I would have asked more about the student. What type of learning disability does he have, what is his reading level etc. I wish you luck.
     
  25. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    You could have talked abut PAARC, CCSS...6th is a testing year and a sped para with teaching cert could be instrumental in facilitating understanding and utilizing strategies so as to perform better on the standardized tests

    The question shouldn't have thrown you. This is an example of needing to think on your feet and promote yourself.
     
  26. bros

    bros Phenom

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    They had described the student a good deal already, including category of classification. Anything further could've potentially violated confidentiality.

    I just didn't know how to answer the question. It threw me for a loop for a few seconds.
     
  27. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    Hey bros, if you ever need a question that fits almost any interview, ask them something like, "Are any new initiatives/programs being implemented soon?" I've always found a question that gives them a chance to talk about their school is helpful because a) it gives you more info about the school for possible future interviews and b) it gives you a chance to conversationally connect your experience to their institution.
     
  28. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    bros, it sounds like you did what could be expected. Now fingers crossed for a phone call!

    What's next? What are you doing with the rest of the day? The week? Hopefully somewhere on your list is to get a suit. :)
     
  29. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Going to do what I do every day - look for jobs and sit around the house doing nothing. See my therapist on Thursday after not being able to see him last week. Probably go somewhere to get a suit jacket on Saturday/Sunday.
     
  30. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Well, alrighty then! Best wishes to ya!
     
  31. kaytea1203

    kaytea1203 Rookie

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    "Sit around the house doing nothing"
    ?????????

    What about catch up on your reading? Make this your full time job.
     
  32. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Good god, bros!

    Send a thank you email
    Do some professional reading...online or in one of the suggested books
    Do some pre-shopping for that suit online
    Order a real tie
    Take a walk around the block....get some fresh air
    Start a workout regimen
    Find a healthy recipe and offer to help make it
    Research CCSS and PAARC so that you can speak to these in an interview
    Make another round of calls about subbing
    Look into that medical transcription idea
     
  33. Ms.Blank

    Ms.Blank Companion

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    I feel like I read in another one of your interview threads that you failed to ask the interviewer a question at the end...and you got told by multiple people that you NEEDED to find a last resort question to ask, IF IN THE EVENT YOU ABSOLUTELY COULD NOT FIND ANYTHING TO ASK THEM.

    I see you ignored that advice.

    I know that you are a very literal person, and I know that you tend to focus too much on the smaller task at hand, rather than taking things all in and making a decision with all of the information available. So I'm going to repeat- YOU ALWAYS ASK THE INTERVIEWER A QUESTION. The point ISN'T because you have questions. Bros, it's pretty evident that you think you know everything. By not asking a question, this is the exact impression you are giving the employer. You don't want that. The point is to make it look like you're interested...very interested...in the position. You ALWAYS ask a question. Or two. Or more. So, even if you don't have any "real" questions, take some default questions with you. Someone posted a pretty good suggestion. Use that. Come up with your own. Use both of those. Regardless of how pointless you think it is, you need to do it.

    Bros, if you don't change how you're doing things, the outcome is not going to change. It's just not. You haven't been hired so far for a reason. MAKE THEM NEED YOU. MAKE A LASTING IMPRESSION...A GOOD IMPRESSION.

    I'm going back to ignoring this thread now. It's things like this- blatant opposition to the help that you have been given- that is frustrating all of the members here.
     
  34. bros

    bros Phenom

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    That too, but reading is a side task I can accomplish while doing 1-2 other things at the same time (Usually reading things online, like message boards and listening to music or watching a TV show/movie).

    I called about subs last week (Did I forget to post about this? They said the same thing as last time - that I am at the top of the list to be interviewed when they start sub interviews - no approximation was given as to when they would begin).

    I've already looked online at suit jackets - nothing I saw in my size and I don't know anything about style/fashion.

    My dad and I make fish for lunch every Sunday. I usually look for a recipe on Saturday when we know what fish is on sale on Sunday. This past sunday we made maple glazed salmon. The week before that we made Cod with a Lemon-Thyme Breadcrumb topping.

    I know quite a bit about CCSS already, I should do some more research about PAARC, however.

    I froze and I couldn't think of anything to ask. So I phrased my lack of a question in a cordial way. It's not like I went "Nope. No questions from me."

    I do not think asking questions is pointless. How have I indicated this?
     
  35. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    bros, what exactly do you think kaytea meant by "your reading"?
     
  36. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    You seem to find the advice given to you pointless as you have failed to take it on numerous occasions. I feel as if this was 40 pages of nothing.
     
  37. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Bros, You claim to know about a lot of things having read about them in a college class or seen them in an observation, but you haven't really implemented these things. Trust me, you don't know CCSS until you teach CCSS. Even having taught it for two years, my colleagues and I are still learning, still tweaking our instruction, still researching better ways to deliver the standards to facilitate learning.
    You could have easily asked a question regarding materials and resources being used to teach the standards, whether there are RTI materials for differentiating learning of the standards for students such as the one in question, how the school will be implementing PAARC for special ed students. But you didn't. Because you think you know already so you don't ask the question.
    My comment isn't about CCSS or PAARC...it's about not thinking on your toes, not being flexible, not using what you know to extend a conversation...these are all skills that one needs in a classroom, not just an interview.

    Unfortunately this is a case of second verse same as the first. :|:banghead:
     
  38. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Read the books suggested by people in the topic. along with the other things suggested that I brush up on.

    So now I know how the district is implementing PAARC for special ed students? When was this implanted in my brain without my knowledge?
     
  39. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    ...If you didn't already know, why didn't you ask during your interview?
     
  40. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    :confused:
     
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