Interview Advice/Feeling Overwhelmed

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by bakingfunmom, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. bakingfunmom

    bakingfunmom Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 30, 2014

    Hello, would love any advice from this fabulous community of educators/professionals. :help: I am in a sort of a dilemma and would love any advice. I recently graduated with my degree in education (K-6). To try to make a long story short..I took 7 years to get my degree. This time was filled with a great deal of stress including ending a 20 yr. marriage, raising a teenage son, becoming a single mother and going through major surgery and recovery to combat a brain tumor. The point is that I was in survival mode during my education; I managed to finish with honors but there were MANY gaps in my learning that have made me feel unprepared for teaching and interviewing (these mainly have to do with stress and my final student teaching) that I am now having to try to fix. I also often question if I should try another field. I am almost 45 but feel like I need to try teaching because I worked so hard and feel that I have a great deal to offer. I suppose this is a two question post...I'd love advice about interviewing and what you feel would be my best next step towards becoming the teacher I need to and towards getting a job.

    During my final internship I had limited hearing and some vocal cord issues that made it more challenging for me to get though. It would be safe to say that my student teaching did not go well. I had some trouble managing the class which left me deflated. Also, I didn't teach reading so I feel unprepared for teaching and talking about this important subject during interviews. I know I need a great deal of practice with managing the classroom and I realize that I will get better once I have my own classroom. The problem is that I know that I will be asked about my student teaching experiences during interviews. I also know Principals want to know if you can manage a class and how well you teach. I don't feel particularly confident in either. If it were up to me, I'd like to be somewhat truthful and say that my student teaching was not as good as I wanted but I would learn from the experiences that didn't go as I wanted but I KNOW that would not be the way to go. I realize that I have to stretch the truth and act like I had positive teaching experiences that helped me grow and prepare me. I just don't know how to do this. I know Principals can see if you are not telling the truth or exaggerating so I'm having some issues with answering these types of questions. I had some positive teaching experiences throughout my schooling which I know I will need to draw from but I am concerned that with further probing they will see my lack of knowledge and confidence. I am also stumped on answering reading questions and common core type questions because I did not teach reading and feel like I have many gaps there. I should mention that I want to teach K-2 and my final was in 5th. I have been doing some self-study online courses for reading to try to become more knowledgeable on this topic. I'm not sure how to answer questions about how I would set up my reading block, etc. I'd love any advice on what you feel may be my best next step. Right now I have to work in a restaurant to support my family but I plan on subbing 2 days a week for more experience. I honestly feel like I need more teaching under my belt. Was wondering if teaching in a pre-school is a good option? Or volunteering in a tutoring situation or something where I am immersed with students? I honestly don't think subbing gives me the experience I need;only good thing is that it does make me practice classroom mgmnt. skills and the principals can get to know me. I've also spend time in classrooms viewing and learning from teachers. I feel like more of that is a good idea. Looking back, I probably should not have done my final so soon after my surgery but I can't look back, only forward. Would really appreciate any advice. I know I just need to find a way to get though an interview to get my first classroom so that I can see if teaching is still a possibility with my voice issue and lack of skills. I'm feeling like I didn't get what I needed in my education and classroom experiences to make me the teacher I wanted. On some days, I think its too much struggle to try recapture what I feel I should have gotten from all that schooling. Mostly though, I feel that I need to try to learn and work harder to reach the goal I planned which is teaching. It that fails then plan B...Thanks for all you time. If you've read this far, thank you, thank you thank you. I really appreciate it. Enjoy your day. :blush:
     
  2.  
  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,505
    Likes Received:
    1,417

    Jul 30, 2014

    First...I'm glad those horrible experiences are behind you forever!

    I agree with you that you need more classroom experiences to build up your resume and confidence. Can you sub full time and work in the restaurant part time?

    Or, could you take a para job during the day?

    I think a paying job in the school would be more advantageous for you than volunteering. Plus, you need the income.
     
  4. Teacher Gii

    Teacher Gii Companion

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 30, 2014

    I am glad you are feeling much better now and are ready to get out there and teach, in whatever capacity you choose.

    Honestly, I feel the same way in regards to education and the classroom experiences I have had. You spend all this money for something to prepare you for teaching, but I don't feel prepared at all. Even a teacher of 30 years told me that the university and observations and the like only prepare you for not even a quarter of what actual classroom experience will teach you.

    Do not lose faith. In my own personal struggles, I have learned very quickly what is meant to be, will be. Some times we have to struggle in order to learn the greatest lessons. I agree with swansong. Definitely try to immerse yourself more in the classroom, even if it is just subbing. Pre-school or maybe daycare could work too..I'm not 100% sure about them because in my area, even though I have a master's PK-6, there are still special certifications needed for early childhood.
     
  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    9,790
    Likes Received:
    2,431

    Jul 30, 2014

    OK, bear with me here for a bit. I can tell that you have a CEAS. Great. You want more experience, and you are now healthy, even better. Any chance of going back to school for a post grad degree, or at least some courses? If not, I am not familiar with the laws in Florida, but are there programs for alternate route teachers connected to a university or other instruction, that would bolster your skill sets and confidence? Alternate route teachers get hired all the time in NJ. Granted, elementary ed is not the typical cert, since most alternate route here are the harder to fill science, math, languages, and some special ed. Are you interested in any of those as a specialty? I see ads for Teach America, which provides additional training if you have never taught. I have found that the online courses with PBS Teacherline have some great and inexpensive courses dealing with literacy in the lower grades, including phonics, reading, fluency, and vocabulary, and you can end up with a great jump start on accumulating graduate credits without busting the bank. Perhaps some of these will help you think somewhat outside the box, to fix the holes that exist and give you the career you desire.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
  6. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    Messages:
    2,468
    Likes Received:
    12

    Jul 30, 2014

    I'm sorry to hear about your many struggles but it sounds like you made it! You now have your degree and you can move forward to the next step! Congratulations! May I ask, what is your voice issue you keep referring to?
     
  7. bridgetbordeaux

    bridgetbordeaux Companion

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 30, 2014

    I did not feel prepared when I graduated, and so I subbed and worked as a special ed para. The year I graduated was also one of the worst for finding a teaching job in my county, so me not being hired right away was not a bad thing.
    I did several long term sub jobs and they really helped me hone my skills, especially in classroom management.
    good luck!!
     
  8. hep223

    hep223 Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 30, 2014

    I am sorry that you had all of those issues, but good for you for pushing through! That is a strength to mention in your interviews.

    Also, remember we are all inexperienced as new teachers! First year teachers get hired all the time and if you don't, like I haven't, then find a way to sub so you can get your name out there and get some more experience. It is hard and we don't always want to do it, but sometimes we have no choice. (I speak to you from my own personal experience.)
     
  9. bakingfunmom

    bakingfunmom Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 31, 2014

    Thank you all for your insightful responses. I really appreciate hearing advice from this community. It's nice to hear advice from people who understand the challenges. Thanks again. :)
     
  10. bakingfunmom

    bakingfunmom Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 31, 2014

    Dear Windycitygal606, the voice issue I refer to is that I have a paralyzed vocal cord from the tumor. My voice is very low. It's a challenge to project my voice so I will have to use an amplification system in the classroom and use a portable one for walking students to and from places if needed. This can create its own set of challenges but doesn't make it impossible. My concern is that my voice does get tired sometimes, but there are things I can do to help with this.
     
  11. MissPapa

    MissPapa Comrade

    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    Messages:
    375
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 31, 2014

    I would definitely try to get paid education experience. Start out as a sub if you have to, or even a para. I didn't get a job right away after I graduated, but being able to have some valuable experience in the classroom is great, especially if you score a long term assignment because you're with the same kids every day for a length of time. You get to build relationships with students, parents, and staff, and that is important. My last long-term assignment experience got me a job. Plus, become friendly with the principal if you can, it does wonders!

    Best of luck, I hope things end up working out with you in the long run :D
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Missy
Total: 351 (members: 2, guests: 329, robots: 20)
test