I have an interview on Thursday.

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

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  1. bros

    bros Phenom

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    It's for a teaching assistant position, not a para position - although I did also apply for a para position in this district.

    If the student who is unmotivated is having difficulty understanding the content, I can help break it down into easier-to-digest language without talking down to them - I am good with rephrasing things. To build rapport initially, I can ask them how their weekend was, how their day was yesterday after school, things like that. If the student is involved in any school activities, i.e. band - going to a concert or something of that nature can go a long way to help establishing rapport with a student.

    First, i'm going to try to translate this:
    "And what are some ways you are going to exhibit a passion for this? Keep in mind there we be other candidates with experience who know ??? or may have connections in the district. In an interview, you always need to stand out in a good way."

    Well, they already know i'm disabled - that's was in the accommodations section of the application. I put that I have cerebral palsy that causes me to have upper body weakness.

    How do I exhibit a passion? I presume with my voice - but my affect is rather flat from what I have been told. My therapist says my affect is not flat, however. I suppose I can exhibit my passion through the knowledge I possess.

    If they ask any special education questions - I can certain wow them with that.
     
  2. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Bros, the first part of that answer was pretty good! You're getting better. But not perfect yet. I found this technique on an interview site. Use it to phrase all answers:

    Use the SAR technique to answer questions

    S – Situation: Describe the situation you were in – this should be a specific example and can either involve work with children or can draw on other aspects of your experience, either previous roles, your family life or even your hobbies. It’s a good idea to draw on a wide variety of experiences if possible.

    A – Action: Describe what you did in the situation. You should be very specific in outlining exactly what you did, not what you might do, or what eg a team as a whole did, but what you did.

    R – Result: Describe the results you achieved – what was the effect of your action, why was it successful, what might you do differently next time if anything.

    Now practice that one again:

    "What would you do to work with an unmotivated student?"
     
  3. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

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    Sorry but a teacher assistant and paraprofessional are the same thing in my area.
     
  4. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    ^^^ Mine too. There are no TAs in my district, only Paras.
     
  5. bros

    bros Phenom

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    "During one of my field experiences, I observed and eventually developed a rapport with a fourth grade student who had an IEP for an Emotional Disability. The student was very unmotivated to anything but their favorite task - drawing, which they were in all honesty, rather good at. The student had most of their difficulties with reading - they would sometimes skip words or have difficulty pronouncing a word, so I would teach them techniques that I myself used when I was young and techniques that I learned throughout the pursuit of my Bachelors. I had the student use their finger as a guide when reading to make sure they didn't skip any words, and when they would get to a word they didn't know how to pronounce, I taught them how to stretch out the word - then I would praise them on their excellent effort. It was usually successful, unless the day had a modified schedule for some reason, such as a half day or a fire drill, or if it was before a day off from school, such as Rosh Hashanah. I would also offer the student the opportunity to work at the back table in the classroom with only me sitting there (as the students were sat in groups) with them - as they sometimes needed some time to calm down - these independent working sessions would help the student calm down and be ready to join their group again for the next activity."

    Yeah. Depends on the district around here.

    This district is in a semi well-to-do area, so they can afford a few TAs.
     
  6. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Yes bros! You're getting better! That's the kind of answers you need. Try this one:

    "Tell me about a time you worked effectively with a team."

    Remember-SAR.
     
  7. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    If you can't figure out transportation or a suit, I pray to God you are never responsible for any child and their education.

    The fact of the matter is, you're a grown man, you shouldn't need us to give you advice on how to get a suit or how to get transportation then you are in no way capable of managing a classroom.

    We can practice interview questions until you're blue in the face, but when push comes to shove are you really capable of handling all those kids?

    I hate to even ask this because I hope to God it never happens, but are you even physically capable of protecting those kids from danger should it occur? If you are the only thing between a gunman and those students, are you capable of keeping them safe? Because a teacher doesn't just need to educate their students. They need to know--the students need to know and the parents need to know that the student is well protected by that teacher.
     
  8. eternalsaudade

    eternalsaudade Companion

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    Can you explain the difference between paras and TAs? I have always assumed them to be the same thing so I am curious. :)
     
  9. LouiseB

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    That's just what I was going to ask. At my school a paraprofessional would be considered a teacher assistant.
     
  10. bros

    bros Phenom

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    "During my education at [UNIVERSITY], I had to take a class on Social Studies Instruction in Elementary Education. Our only project the entire semester was, in groups of four, to develop and design a unit plan; where each of us had to write three lessons and have a write-up on how everything tied into the standards, highlighting the cross-curricular aspects of it. During the project, the mantle of leadership fell upon my shoulders as I was the one handling putting together the actual project - so I worked with my classmates as to how to effectively and sanely format and put together the over-100 page project, which in the end, we got an A on."

    Transportation is a difficult thing for a person who lives in the suburbs and is unable to drive - so if something is able to be pushed to the weekend, then I have to wait until the weekend. I do not have the freedom to go anywhere I want whenever I want.

    Oh no, I don't know about clothes, it is the end of the world.

    If you are asking from a physical standpoint, no, I would not be able to protect students - but then again, neither would any other teacher against a machine designed for killing that fires projectiles at a thousand feet per second.

    If you are asking if my anxiety would take hold and render me unable to do anything, you are wrong.

    There was a TA in one of the schools I did field experience in - they would be in the classroom with a teacher all day (usually a teacher with a few mainstreamed IEP students) and they would help the teacher with things in the classroom (small group instruction, sometimes) and also with things such as making copies.
     
  11. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Bros, teachers can and have protected children from gunmen. There was a teacher who pulled an injured student into his classroom and administered first aid help. He is credited with saving that student's life because he was able to keep consistent pressure on the wound.

    I have been through training that teaches us how to tackle active shooters or distract them by throwing things. This has been proven effective!
     
  12. Go Blue!

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    What is the difference between a TA and a Para?

    Here, if you have a teaching license, you are a teacher. If you have a degree but no license/can't pass the PRAXIS, you are a para. Everyone else is a sub. What makes a TA different?
     
  13. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    This is a Para here - same exact thing. Except at my school, Paras only work with the life skills kids because our gen ed teachers don't get any in-class help regardless of how many IEP kids they have.
     
  14. sue35

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    Would you be able to do CPR on a student? I think that would be more of a concern and I assume you can do that
     
  15. LouiseB

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    Same here about paras. Our paras do the exact thing you say a TA would do. Must be a regional thing.
     
  16. LouiseB

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    Yes bros, you have the freedom to go where you want. It just means that you have to pay a taxi to go where you want.
     
  17. bros

    bros Phenom

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    I believe my laptop battery would be quite the effective tool for bludgeoning. Or for throwing. I know some basic first aid. We were taught CPR/first aid in eighth grade health.

    I am unsure if I would have the endurance to do so - at least with rescue breathing (I have a reduced lung capacity).
     
  18. gr3teacher

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    Going the "protect against a gunman" angle against bros is kind of unfair here. First of all, that's a rare situation, and secondly, I think all of us can think of multiple wonderful teachers in our own building who would be completely, physically helpless against a gunman. As an example, our reading teacher is a wonderful woman with an undeniable love of children. She is extremely skilled at what she does, and I would be truly honored to have her work with my daughter. She's also pushing 70 and moves pretty slowly. I'm reasonably certain that she'd lose a fist fight to an average first grader. Should she be taken out of the classroom because of the incredibly unlikely scenario where she potentially had the opportunity to stop a gunman but was physically unable to do so?
     
  19. hbcaligirl1985

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    Really? Because at this point in the game, I really don't think it's unfair question or statement to judge on. Look at all the school shootings that have happened since Newtown. It USED to be a rare thing. Now? Not so much. And while she might not physically be able to ward off a gunmen (hell, I couldn't either) she could probably do CPR, apply pressure to a wound etc. Bros has just stated he doesn't even have the endurance to do CPR. So what happens to the children in his care in a real emergency when he is the only thing standing between them and danger. And fine, let's say it isn't a gunmen. Let's say it's an earthquake and a heavy piece of furniture as fallen on a child that a teacher of normal strength could get off. Then what? What if admin can't get to his classroom right away? How is he going to help that student if he can't lift more than 5 pounds?

    But yes, let's just say that is a lightening strikes while winning the lotto scenario here and is unlikely to happen. The fact that he can't figure out transportation or clothes BY HIMSELF--a GROWN MAN--leaves me even more concerned with trusting him with the education of children.
     
  20. Linguist92021

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    I think it's still unfair to question if he could ward off a gunman, or even if he could pull off a large piece of furniture off of a child.
    What about a teacher who teaches while 8 months pregnant or a teacher in wheelchair? They could pull off a heavy bookcase or other heavy furniture either.
     
  21. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Thank you.
     
  22. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    The fact of the matter is that teachers DO face emergencies. Probably more often than is thought. Just this week we had to call a squad twice. Once for a seizure and once for a kid who hit his head (skull fracture). I've had a student have a seizure in my room before. We also have severe allergies and diabetics where injections may be necessary.
     
  23. gr3teacher

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    Which of those emergency situations would bros have been physically unable to do what was needed for the student?
     
  24. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    To be honest, I would never tackle an active shooter. I doubt I would be able to administer first aid to a student. Does this make me a bad teacher?
     
  25. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I agree that the gunman scenario is unfair. It's hard to speculate as to what any of us would do in that situation.

    All teachers do need to be good problem-solvers. Unexpected events always happen in the classroom and school. Successful teachers are the ones who can come up with a good plan on the spot.
     
  26. Pi-R-Squared

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    Friendly reminder: This thread is about bros and his upcoming interview.

    :D
     
  27. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Exactly, Pi. He has an interview. Let's allow the administrators he interviews with judge his ability to protect students.

    Bros can only do the most on his side to prepare. Hence asking interview questions. Bros, I think you are doing ok. I am still not getting "you" from your answers. Lighten up a little. Who are you as a teacher?

    "Why do you want to be a teaching assistant?"

    Be careful with this one.
     
  28. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Can he move furniture out of the way of a seizing student? Can he apply continuous pressure to a wound? Is he able to uncap and administer an injection?

    I was not the one who brought up the topic of active shooters. I just find the whole thing about emergencies to be an intriguing question. If I had a son with a seizure disorder, I would expect his teacher to be able to clear furniture away while he's having a seizure. There's so many expectations we have for teachers that we never even think about. Teachers are the first stop for emergencies in the classroom though. It can take precious minutes for office staff to arrive.
     
  29. Linguist92021

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    I could not administer an injection. I just couldn't. No way.
     
  30. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    I feel like this is what frustrates people bros. You immediately come up with an excuse for why you can't do something and it is because of one of your disabilities. You can do rescue breathing. When I was a teacher we had to get certified every year and I did rescue breathing. Your lung capacity is much better than mine trust me. So you can do it. This makes me think you can do a lot of things you say you can't do
     
  31. sue35

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    And if you can't do CPR or run to get an AED, you really shouldn't be in a classroom alone. I thought all teachers had to be certified in CPR?

    As for the possible shooting, I would not go that far at all. I don't think anyone knows what they can do in that situation and being strong means nothing. I think it was great that you thought of other ways you could fight against a gunmen
     
  32. comaba

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    Our teachers aren't certified in CPR. Must be a district-by-district requirement.
     
  33. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    We need to have a minimum of two staff trained in first aid/CPR. I think we have 8 on our current staff.
     
  34. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    I'm not certified in CPR, and I was involved in an accident April 5th. I was off for a few weeks, and was released to go back to the classroom on crutches and a knee brace. I was able to teach, but no I couldn't stop a gunman, throw anything, or bend down and inject a child or move furniture. It never occurred to me to tell my Dr he was wrong in releasing me. As for being able to dress myself there was a couple of weeks I needed help. I think the scenario s being presented are silly. Bros I hope you are taking all the positive advice on interviewing skills. As for the clothes my ex was colorblind ...just saying. But, is it possible you have some learned helplessness? Think about it. GOOD LUCK.
     
  35. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Ok really. Job descriptions or JAQ's are written for a reason. If bros applied for a job and got an email back, someone on the other end judged him worthy enough to grant an interview.

    Bros frustrates the hell out of me most of the time, but I think saying he couldn't stop an active shooter so he can't be a teacher is reaching.

    Show me a job description for a classroom teacher that says you must ALREADY have active shooter training, CPR certification, be able to lift furniture off a student, administer injections, etc etc etc, and I'll shut up.
     
  36. sue35

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    I assumed all schools had to get CPR training. I never knew. Well then, I am wrong. I guess I can't imagine having to run down three flights of stairs to get the one or two people who know CPR but maybe I am paranoid. Heck, I renewed mine when my twins were born and made my husband take a class. So yes, clearly worry too much.

    But my comment about bros thinking he can't do all these things because of this disability or that still stands. I really think you would surprise yourself bros, if you really tried. I bet you could become a lot more self-sufficient if you didn't assume you can't do things. But I do know how scary and difficult it can be to try things you have always assumed you can't do.
     
  37. kcjo13

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    I agree with you sue, I think he has been conditioned (by himself or others, I don't know), to use his disabilities as excuses. Until he makes up his mind to stop that, he's not going to get anywhere. We have spent 36 pages here trying to convince him about taxi alternatives and where to buy a suit. Not to mention the many pages in other threads.

    I just feel like he has enough issues, without other people bringing up that he couldn't tackle a shooter, so he shouldn't teach. Everyone, raise your hand, how many of you COULD and WOULD tackle someone who had a rifle to your head?

    Not me. Not now at 35, not when I was a 24-year old fresh-face, definitely not when I was teaching 2 days before I gave birth, not ever. I don't have the strength (or the testicular fortitude), I'll tell you that.

    Bros has enough problems. Plenty of things that are going to stand in his way of getting a job. Let's stick to those we can help him with?
     
  38. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Very good point and I agree

    I wouldn't and couldn't tackle a shooter. I think no one can say they definitely would unless faced with that situation
     
  39. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I don't believe anyone can know what they would do. Situations vary so much. Students also will dictate how you react. I'd hazard a guess my reaction may even vary depending on which class was in my room. A class of three is different than a class of 20. They will all react differently. However, I do believe in doing all I can to prepare myself for any situation that may or may not arise, which is why I love that more districts are doing ALICE training.

    We are not required to be CPR certified, but I do know CPR. We are all required to know how the defibrillator works and where it's located. My last school required us to learn how to use an epi-pen.

    Edit: to get this thread back on track... Bros, have you thought of questions you might ask of them during your interview?
     
  40. bros

    bros Phenom

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    An earthquake with the strength to knock down a bookshelf in NJ would be rather unusual.

    The chance of that is probably higher than getting struck by lightning.

    So are you saying that because of my gender, I should be better suited to protect students in the classroom?

    I know how to handle seizures. I am quite familiar with the recovery position.

    "I believe it would be a valuable experience to get some real-world experience in the classroom, as I have none outside of my carefully structured university-monitored experiences."

    I can uncap an epi-pen. I have had to do it for my mother. The cap is wide enough for me to manipulate.

    I can move desks out of the way - I just have to do it a bit... awkwardly (I can walk into it and push it with my body)

    I'm just saying from my experience doing it in eighth grade on a practice dummy - I wasn't able to do it for very long.

    I could probably run for an AED. When I enter a school for the first time, I tend to notice things like fire drill routes/evacuation routes/location of fire extinguishers/AEDs/the nurse's office. In the school I student taught in, I could've ran to the AED in probably 15 seconds, then after I got it open (probably 5-10 seconds), depending on the weight of the thing, it'd probably take me 15-20 seconds to get back to the classroom.

    I am taking the interviewing advice.

    I only know of one elementary school in my general area that has two floors. All of the elementary schools around here are one floor.

    The thing about trying new things if I know where my limit is on things, but instead of my limit being a flat line, there could be specific areas within an activity that I could do well at. The only way I can think of to describe this is like one of those pin-point impression toys that were popular in the 90s - where if you pressed your hand on it it would show your hand, etc.

    This may be the wrong way to phrase it - forgive me if it is, but I don't think I have been conditioned to use my disabilities as an excuse or crutch, but rather that I simply just have no sense of self-worth, which leads to me doubting and doublechecking every one of my actions before doing anything.

    I can't think of anything that I might ask them during the interview. I've reviewed the district site and it answered any questions I had thought of.
     
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