Interview and demo lesson

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by nyteach89, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. nyteach89

    nyteach89 Companion

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    Oct 20, 2013

    Hi everyone! I am new to this website and would love your input. I went on a job interview this past Friday for a 3rd grade special education position at a school in Brooklyn. The assistant principal interviewed me for about 30 minutes and then threw me into a classroom for an hour to see how I interacted with the kids (even though she left and didn't observe me). After an hour she came back for me and told me she would like me to come back for a demo interview on Tuesday (in two days!). I am nervous for a few reasons: a) this was my first interview and will be my first demo b) I didn't fall in love with the school c) if I were to get the job, I feel that I would be extremely overwhelmed.

    Has anyone felt the same way?
     
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  3. nyteacher29

    nyteacher29 Comrade

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    Oct 20, 2013

    I think it is normal to feel overwhelmed. I would suggest going on the interview and seeing what happens. Ask what resources you'll be provided, about a mentor, etc. what didn't you fall in love with? I think that is important to like the school you are in, were there are red flags?
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 21, 2013

    The first thing that jumped out at me was "b) I didn't fall in love with the school "

    Can you be a bit more specific? What about the school did you not "love"?

    Keep in mind, it's the middle of October; school has been in session for a good 6 weeks. It's in incredibly competitive enviornment... the odds are pretty decent that this will be your one remaining shot at a full time job this academic year.

    I think you need to separate your anxiety about the school itself (again, what didn't you like? Was this a legit worry about something specific?) from the anxiety about jumping in 6 weeks into the school year. Because, assuming you're offered and you choose to accept the job, YES, you're going to be overwhelmed. Any first year teacher tends to be overwhelmed, and jumping into a school year is guaranteed to add to that feeling. In my humble opinon, that's not a good reason to opt out of a full time elementary job in NY, but perhaps you feel it is.. at the end of the day, you're the only one whose opinion matters.

    During that time when she didn't observe you, I bet you a dollar she was at the door, peeking in, listening, and that she spoke to the teachers. She has a very good idea of how things went. Remember how very competitive the job market is here-- if she's offering you a job, it's because you've beaten out hundreds (at least!!!) of other qualified candidates.

    If she believes you can do the job, I think I would take her word for it. Prepare for a long, hard couple of months. But this could be your entry into the impossible-to-break-into full time job you've been dreaming of!!

    Tell us about the demo: what do you have planned???

    Good luck!!!
     
  5. nyteach89

    nyteach89 Companion

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    Oct 21, 2013

    Let me explain my interview day. I live on L.I and lucked out on the drive to Brooklyn- barely any traffic on the belt, score! (but that was probably due to the fact that I went a little later than typical rush hour). When I get to the school, there was no parking- not a big deal since I didn't mind parking a few blocks away- the only problem was that this area had alternate side parking for every single street around the school (I don't know if this is typical for Brooklyn?) so it took 20 minutes to find a spot. When I got into the school the security guards were so friendly and helpful in telling me where to go- awesome! When I got to the office however, the secretary was kind of rude- didn't greet me or anything but just looked up at me. I told her why I was there and who I was waiting to see and she just replied have a seat (maybe I caught her at a bad time? maybe she was having a bad day? who knows). I waited to be seen by the assistant principal for over 40 minutes (my interview was at 930, I got there early at around 9:10, I wasn't seen until 10:10) and wasn't told if she was held up or what the deal was, (I didn't really care but I was getting nervous that maybe she forgot about me haha).

    When I finally met with the a.p she was really friendly and the interview went great, there are just a few things she said that made me think. 1) the a.p said they were looking for teachers who weren't strict with the UFT contract, saying she expects teachers to stay til 7 everyday- (everyone I have mentioned this too said she may have been doing this to scare me or test me to see if I would be dedicated). 2) the a.p said i would need to get 30 credits in ESL (the school has a large hispanic population) but after going to school for my masters and having student debt that will follow me until I am 70, I am afraid that I won't be financially ready to go back for these classes any time soon 3) the a.p said they require their teachers to have full out 3 page lesson plans for every lesson of the day (not a big deal, but very different from what my other teacher friends are required to do- maybe it is due to the fact the school has a D rating?)

    I randomly cannot remember anything else from the interview but those are some of the things that stuck out to me. My fears/nerves probably stem from the fact that this would be my first real full time job.
     
  6. nyteach89

    nyteach89 Companion

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    Oct 21, 2013

    Oh and for my demo interview, I have to do a lesson on text features in non fiction. I had another post going and received some great suggestions. I am typing up/putting the finishing touched on the lesson plan and will post it when I am done!
     
  7. nyteach89

    nyteach89 Companion

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    Oct 21, 2013

    Oh and thank you nyteacher29 and Aliceacc for responding to my post! =)
     
  8. nyteacher29

    nyteacher29 Comrade

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    Oct 21, 2013

    I too travel into the city from LI but thankfully don't have to deal with alterate side parking.i won't lie, it stinks (the drive) but i LOVE my school so it makes up for it. We too are turning to the 3 page lesson plans but I the stuff we write in them makes sense to write so I don't mind it that much. (We don't have to submit them like other schools I know). I think this is to also fit the danielson framework for"points".

    The staying until 7 comment somewhat worries me. My ap mentioned not being too union but of course that's none or her business and I make sure to not throw it in her face if I do anything for the union, which is basically nothing except give them money every month. BUT my ap or p has never said we need to stay late (I come in early and do stay a little late but not bc it's required but bc I want to and can).

    Either way, I still suggest going on the interview for practice. Ask questions when you go back. I won't lie, the first year is hard, but if you find the right niche it's an amazing ride. Inquire about mentors (I had an official mentor but found an "unofficial" one in a teammate and we work great together so that helps a lot!)

    Ok enough of my rambling! Have a great nights rest and you'll be great tomorrow!!! Let us know how it goes
     
  9. nyteach89

    nyteach89 Companion

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    Oct 22, 2013

    Good to know! Thank you nyteacher29!

    I had my demo today and I am not sure how it went- of course I thought it went great, but I am a little confused. Since this was my first demo, I would love insight as I am not familiar with the process.

    When I got to the school today, I waited for the a.p to bring me to the classroom so I could begin. When we got to the classroom, the teacher was not expecting us- in fact, the students were in the middle of testing! Thankfully, the classroom teacher is amazing and let me teach my lesson.

    As I began to settle in, the a.p tells me to make it as quick since the students need to finish their test. I don't know why, but this kind of threw me off and I started getting nervous and fumbling for my materials. Anyways, I had the kids sit on the carpet for the beginning of the lesson- since the students learned about text features, I decided to focus my lesson on the purpose/importance of text features and how they help us as readers. I made a nonfiction big book about pandas and held it up- I covered some of the text features and asked the students what they noticed and how the lack of text features can impact our reading. The students were AMAZING and raised their hands for every question I asked- they were extremely well behaved and respectful throughout the lesson.

    After the whole class instruction, I had the students go back to their desks for partner work- I gave each pair a nonfiction book (I had 15 nonfiction books that I rented from the library-SO HEAVY haha) and gave them a worksheet that had them located text features and write the purpose/what they tell you as a reader. Just as the students started this activity, the a.p told me she had to go and interview someone- I was a little thrown off by this as I expected her to stay the whole time (maybe because she saw me teach the whole class? she probably only observed me for 12 minutes). As she was leaving, I asked her if she wanted my lesson plan and a copy of the worksheet but she told me to give it to her later (she instructed me to wait for her in the office after my lesson).

    After she left I had the students do the partner activity for another 5 minutes before turning the page to the independent activity- I wanted students to describe/explain three ways in which text features have helped them in the past when reading a nonfiction book. I had students do this for 5 minutes before I stopped them.

    The teacher gave me some feedback/suggestions for the future- she told me that the students responded really well to me and they enjoyed working with a partner. I had voiced a concern to her over the different worksheets I made (for the students that had trouble writing/reading, I had a worksheet that was partially filled in)- I felt I didn't explain what the students had to do with the partially filled in worksheet. The teacher gave a great suggestion-that in the future I could always pull a small group to the carpet (I was kicking myself for not doing this as I have done this many times when I was student teaching).

    After the lesson was over, I went to the office and waited 40 (boo) minutes for the a.p, only to tell me that the principal would come out to talk to me. The principal said that they spoke to the teacher and she mentioned how she was impressed that I was able to pick up where the teacher left off and how I brought all my own materials in, and how I was able to connect to the students etc. I spoke to her for about 2 minutes before she thanked me for coming and told me they were finishing interviewing people this week and I would hear back next week.

    I am just confused because I didn't have a chance to talk with the person who observed me (which I thought usually happens). And to top it off, later on in the day I realized the a.p did not have any of the resources I brought- lesson plan, worksheets, and sample student work.

    Oh well. At least I have experience of a demo and interview!
     
  10. nyteacher29

    nyteacher29 Comrade

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    Oct 23, 2013

    It sounds like a great lesson!! But I too would be a little thrown off with the aps behavior
     
  11. nyteach89

    nyteach89 Companion

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    Oct 24, 2013

    yes it was very strange!
     

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