interview for 8th grade social studies/history

Discussion in 'Job Hunting & Interviews' started by munchkin, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

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    Feb 1, 2006

    Help. I have been asked to interview for a long term sub position (mim3-4weeks) with the possibility of finishing out the entire year in a 8th grade position teaching social studies and history.
    I like the district, it has tends to treat their staff members very well. It is not easy toget even an interview here, but I have been asked 2 times at this school for a mid year position. I like the staff there, or atleast the ones I had the privelege of working with as a sub. The administration is very supportive of their staff. The student's lean toward the rowdier, rougher grouping. Enough of the background.
    What can I do during the interview to help impress them enough to consider me seriously? What kind of lesson could I present so that they would want to give me a chance? Should I bring in a power point? What should I say about the reasons why I don't have my own classroom already?
    I know that they want to start the position on Monday, and it is my hope that I will be able to meet with the team and observe the teacher that I will be replacing(even if it only is 3 weeks)and get a good idea of what kind of plans they have, what management styles they have, what it will take for me to be able to fit in and make the transistion easy for all concerned.
    I have no doubt in my mind that I am willing and capable of working every last drop of creative energy out every day in the classroom that I work in.I have no doubt that I am a good teacher. That being said, I stiill don't have any consistent long term experience in a classroom. Doesn't mean I am not capable or willing to work, it just means that I am concerned about the learning curve its gonna take to get the job done to the level of excellence that I expect of myself.
    The last and probably the most important (although selfish) worry I ahave is: What is the pay? Is it worth the $65 a day pay to work for three weeks and then be let go, when I know I can go to another district and work every day , short term and get $150/day? I have 2 boys in college and a backbreaking load of bills to pay. I already gave that district 12 days of substituting as a certified fillin teacher for special ed in a preschool child development class with moderate to severe disabilities at $65/for 2 of the 12days I worked. Yes, I know that there is going to be additional compensation for those other ten days coming, but it won't be here until the end of next month if not later.
    Aww heck, what will be will be. If its meant to happen, the contract will be there and that's that.
    Here's to not tripping over my own feet and embarrasing myself:p
    So if any one has any hints to give me... Please help!:thanks:
    munchkin
     
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  3. awaxler

    awaxler Comrade

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    Feb 5, 2006

    Munchkin,

    I do believe you answered some of your own questions...You are right, just because you do not have long term experience does not mean you are not capable...That is the attitude you must go into your interview with. The trick is to convince your interviewers of this. How? Simple...answer EVERY question with a specific example from a lesson. DO NOT answer in generalizations.

    For example, here is a likely question: "Have you ever done any integrated or interdisciplinary teaching?"

    It doesn't matter whether you have or not, but that you explain how you WILL integrate social studies with other subject areas. But you MUST be specific. There is a big difference in generally explaining why and how you think integrating subject areas is important, and actually walking them through a lesson that integrates various subject areas. "In a lesson on the "home front" in WWII students are creating dialogues....In a lesson on Japanese Internemnt students are writing poetry... In a lesson on Jefferson vs. Hamilton students use art to show the differences between..."

    Imagine you answer every question with an example from a specifc lesson that you have either done or plan to do. When you walk out of the interview, they are confident that you can do the job.

    Good luck and let me know if you need any help. Also, you may want to check out my interview guide that Amanada sells on her web site: http://store.atozteacherstuff.com/download-now/eteach_interviewtips.html

    While it is geared to help teachers in all subjects and grade levels get a teaching job, my middle school social studies experience definitley shines through.

    Best Wishes,
    Adam
     
  4. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

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    Feb 5, 2006

    Thanks, Adam. I had read over your tips, and did use them in other interviews. This interview, was just a courtesy interview. Just as I feared, they have someone else in mind. Now, don't get me wrong, he did not tell me this outloud. He just said the standard, "we have other candidates that are interested and we will get back with you by next Friday...."/
    Here's why I feel that this was just a courtesy one: 1] This district is known for screening their applicants very thoroughly for all background checks, references, college transcripts etc.. My information has been filed 3 years running b] the questions he asked me were so general, that the answers he needed would of been something that he could of gotten from my resume and cover letter that I had sent over earlier. 2]At no time did he ask me anytype of question that could of been applied to a public school classroom. BUT I have a multitude of years of training all kinds of people from scouting, to summer camp situations, to leader training to motivation seminars, to special ed training sessions for parents and teachers. And I applied all of those to the generalistic questions he asked me. Such as: " What kind of classroom teaching have you done with middle schoolers?" I outlined lessons that I had done with scouts in south carolina history and genealogy,and American History and how they were corroelated to state standards, special ed. classes: 6th-8th grade social study lessons that I was a shadow/aide for 8 monthes, a 6th grade science class I taught for 2 weeks while that particular school administration peeled the regular teacher from the mental hospital ward walls. In that particular classroom I set up the classroom for a teacher to begin a school year. There was nothing done. no supplies ordered, no desk layout, no rollbooks, no lesson plans , etc. I organized the classroom from ground up. I set up his stuff and made his room a working classroom with set rules and organization. Finally, I outlined the science classes that I had taught in a parochial school for 6th-8th graders.
    I went over in general terms the renewal classes and seminars that I have taken that pertained to social studies and how I would use those ideas in my classroom.
    #2] reason why this was not a real interviewwas, there no team interviewing. This district team interviews all serious candidates. It is an unwritten rule.#3] He did not have my file from the district that would of given him all my background information. #4] He hadn't even known that I had taught as a sub in his school for 3 years. #5] He didn't even ask the team of teacher's I would of worked with about me or if they would help interview me. Afterall, I would have to work with them to make this classroom work directly, not him. These teachers know me from continuing education courses that the district has , if nothing else. They know me from my subbing. There aren't that many of us that are willing to sub for middle schoolers in that district, or that school.#6 THe STUDENTS know me and my reputation. I am tough. I am not a push over. I write kids up when they horse around too much. I make them work up to their potential even if I am only there for one day. They WILL get the work done, or they will be at the principal's office explaining why . NEvertheless, I will send a thankyou letter to him for taking the time to see me and leave it open.
    I did state that I wanted to meet the teachers I'd work with, see the classroom, look at the plans, observe a class in action. For this, I'd be willing to take a day or two off of work and go to that school. I'd do this only if they were serious about giving me a chance for the remainder of the year, or first shot at the next opening for the new school year. I will not play patsie for 3 weeks only to have another teacher walk in and take the class.
    Thanks again, for helping me think this through, Adam. I will let you know if it goes any further.
     

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