Interview questions (2008)

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by lemonhead, Mar 5, 2008.

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  1. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Mar 5, 2008

    Hi

    I was thinking we could start a new thread where people could post challenging interview questions. It would be nice to have them all in one place.

    Please list your new question like this so that it stands out:

    INTERVIEW QUESTION: with your question right here

    I will start

    INTERVIEW QUESTION: List and describe two (2) core teaching strategies you most utilized in your classroom.

    How about something like flexible grouping or jigsaw to show cooperative learning and then whole group to show modeling and think aloud?

    What would you say?
     
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  3. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    guess not. Anyone have a better answer?
     
  4. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Mar 5, 2008

    "I use the Pair and Share and the All Write strategies most in my classroom." And then go on to explain what each of those encompass.


    Here's one I was asked that came out of nowhere: How would you deal with an uncooperative coworker?
     
  5. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Mar 7, 2008

    I wouldn't use these words but...

    First off I would make sure I was out of earshot of any students. I would hope that we would be able to sit down and talk about both sides. I would be open minded enough to just do it his/her way if it was something minor. I would also maybe want to talk with someone else to see if maybe I was the one that was off base. Then I would probably talk about how much I value positive relationships with my collegues.
     
  6. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Mar 8, 2008

    What kind of students do you like to work with?

    This is a loaded question. I like the ones who always participate and are all excited, with their hands up, but I am afraid I need to answer it another way. Anyone have anything?
     
  7. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I like working with all kinds of students. The challenging student keeps me on my toes and trying new teaching styles to meet the needs of all students.
     
  8. MissWull

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    Mar 11, 2008

    I like this thread, I think it's a good idea. :)

    My university has repeatedly reminded us to be prepared for a question about literacy. Possibly something about having a balanced literacy program, or how would your classroom be set up to incorporate literacy, etc. I'm going to have to review my answers to this question, seeing as how I have an interview tomorrow! :unsure:

    Or any suggestions would be lovely! ;)
     
  9. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Mar 11, 2008

    Make a format for readability

    INTERVIEW QUESTION: followed by a question. Then everything else is answers.

    Also ask for a sticky note for this thread.
     
  10. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Mar 11, 2008

    Do I have to ask since I started it?
     
  11. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    yes
     
  12. LangArtsGuy

    LangArtsGuy Rookie

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    Mar 11, 2008

    "List and describe two (2) core teaching strategies you most utilized in your classroom."

    I'm interested to hear how more people answer this
     
  13. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    "List and describe two (2) core teaching strategies you most utilized in your classroom."

    Think-Pair-Share is a core strategy I use. By asking students to think about their answer (or experience, or advice), then discuss it briefly with their "elbow buddy" in the circle, and then share with the whole class, they have the opportunity to organize their thoughts, practice communication, and learn from their peers.

    Literacy across the curriculum is another strategy I use. Starting with a print-rich classroom, I use reading, writing, or literature - fiction, non-fiction, every genre - to deepen understanding of any subject. For example, when teaching children how to group and regroup numbers, we will do and then write our own word problems based on the interests of the class.
     
  14. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    INTERVIEW QUESTION: How would you plan a unit?
    Answer:
    I think about my students and what they know. I start by finding out their existing knowledge of the subject, in the process perhaps uncovering some misunderstandings, and make notes to help me meet the students where they are in the learning process. I would use a KWL chart to introduce the subject and to find out what they know and want to learn. I think about what kinds of subjects I'll weave together for the unit. Math, literature, reading, writing, social studies, arts, science - how I'll incorporate these subjects into the unit. I'll think about what kinds of literature I'll use - fiction, non-fiction, fables, tall tales, research texts. I'll think about the different learning styles and different ability levels and interests in the class. I'll build the unit in a way that each student can build on his or her prior knowledge and expand into multiple subject areas. I'll use technology to bring information into the classroom, as well as possibly bringing in experts or going on a field trip. I'll think about how to introduce the unit (a field trip might be a kick-off event, or a culminating event), how to pace the unit, how to assess progress along the way. I'll use every resource available to me to make the unit interesting and fun - talking with teachers, researching local resources, using multiple modes of delivery (hands-on, experimentation, reading, going out of the classroom). I'll use both formal and informal assessments to identify areas where more instruction is needed. And of course I'll want to check the content standards - but with diffferentiation and integration, the standards are likely to be met and exceeded.
     
  15. Briana008

    Briana008 Companion

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    Mar 12, 2008

    INTERVIEW QUESTION: What hot-button issue in education really sets you off?

    Answer:

    (Let's hope I didn't blow my chances by saying this to an administrator.)

    I hate that the current standardized testing system is encouraging teachers to simply "teach to the test." Science should be a fun subject to learn, but too often inquiry-based lessons are shelved because they take too long or don't cover enough of the standards. The purpose of science isn't to memorize facts and processes but to think critically about a problem or your environment. Standardized tests don't always measure that ability but that is how I measure the success of my students.

    ~Briana~
     
  16. MissWull

    MissWull Cohort

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    Mar 12, 2008

    Interview Questions:

    I just came back from a prelim interview with a district, I just thought I'd throw out what they asked me.

    1. Tell me about yourself as well as the education you have received.
    2. If I were to walk into your classroom, what kind of classroom management would I see?
    3. How would you get subject matter across to the English Language Learning students, what strategies would you use?
    4. How do you check for understanding?
    5. How would you communicate with parents of the students in your class?
     
  17. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Mar 12, 2008

    The only thing that sticks out here is that it seems you are saying- "If I teach inquiry based lessons I can't possibly cover what needs to be covered for standardize tests." Maybe that is what you mean but I think you need to soften the tone.
     
  18. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Mar 12, 2008

    My answer:

    I think that good communication starts from day one. At meet the teacher night, I will let each family know that I want their child to have their best year ever and that I look forward to working together with them to make it happen. I will, of course, send a note home to each family welcoming their child and the family to my class and include my contact information, conference time, and stress open two-way communication once again. Throughout the year, I will send a weekly news email to families keeping them abreast of the classroom activities. Each student will have a daily take home folder where parents can see how their child did that day and where we can communicate to each other on paper. I will strive for a comfortable communication with my parents where we are free to communicate, positive or negative, about their child. Being a parent myself, I’ve been very lucky that my children have had teachers who value communication with parents and I can’t imagine not having it in my own classroom
     
  19. athomp

    athomp Rookie

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    Mar 12, 2008

    "How will you teach to the standards?

    I wasn't really sure how to answer this. I told the interviewer that I would follow the district's pacing guide and the state's standards and that it will be incorporated into the lesson.

    In hindsight, I should have given an example from my student teaching, but I was quite nervous.

    Any ideas on answering this one?
     
  20. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I would say something along the lines of I would look over the standards and review the district curriculum guide. Than develop my lessons to meet the standards with guidance from the curriculum guide.
     
  21. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Where I'm interviewing on Friday, I was told by the teachers that they won't hire anyone who says they plan lessons by looking in the teacher's manual or looking up standards. They want "original thinkers." That's what they want to hear in the interview, anyway.
     
  22. Briana008

    Briana008 Companion

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    Hmmm, that's not what I was intending to say (but upon rereading what I wrote, I realize I wasn't clear). I don't like the fact that pressure to do well on standardized tests makes some teachers shy away from inquiry-based lessons because I think students get so much more out of them. Furthermore, what they get out of inquiry lessons is more than what can be measured on a standardized test.

    I'm hoping that I wasn't confusing when I answered this question in my interview. Obviously when I posted my answer here I was paraphrasing because I don't remember my exact words!

    Thanks for the input!

    ~Briana~
     
  23. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Mar 12, 2008

    Interview Question: Name three reasons why you became a teacher.


    I still struggle with this question. I know that I really enjoy working with kids. I love seeing the light bulbs go off. Adults bug me. :D
     
  24. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I would love it if someone asked me that question. I not only have 3 reasons but I have a long passionate story to go with it.
     
  25. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    That is weird. Why have standards and curriculum guides if they don't want you to use them. Here if you don't meet standards it is a huge thing!
     
  26. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    They probably want them to use them Jamie, but that they want them to be able to think outside of the box and not always use them. Sometimes they can be a crutch too. They are just looking to see how well you are able to think on your toes too.
     
  27. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    I am sure you did fine in person -- I knew what you meant. I was thinking you maybe were going to type that in somewhere.
     
  28. jw13

    jw13 Groupie

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    I think maybe they want to hear that although you would use district curriculum and state standards, this would not limit the direction you may take with the class.
     
  29. jw13

    jw13 Groupie

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    By far the worst question for me was,
    "Tell me about your experience teaching 1st grade."

    How do you answer that? What are they looking for? It just seems so broad. I had two P's ask me this question. I sort of just recited what was on my resume...techniques, collaborations, committees.
     
  30. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Yeah, that's a tricky one. I'm trying to think what if they asked me what my experience was in Kinder or fifth grade. How should I start? Everytime I think of an answer, it comes off stiff and rehersed. I just want to say it like it is. "It was wonderful. I loved teaching both extremes. While kindergartners were always fascinated by what I had to teach them and I saw so much growth, I was able to help my fifth graders love to read and write again." Hmm, does that last part sound snooty?
     
  31. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Wow! That's such a broad question. It would be more helpful to know what you are looking for. (Pause a sec to see if they will clarify/in the meantime look as if you are thinking....if not...). But in general I loved it because....
     
  32. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    For tell me about your teaching experience in 1st grade?

    I think I would have messed that up because I think I would have talked about what I learned.

    I would have rambled out something like:

    I absolutely loved teaching X. I found that in the beginning of the year the children come in ....blah blah .. And during their time in my classroom they learned so much...blah blah...It was truly amazing. I found that I really have to be diligent about putting procedures in place, allowing choices and setting boundries. I also realized how critical it is to differentiate instruction and build on prior knowledge at this level so that a good foundation can be set.

    BLAHG
     
  33. alrober2

    alrober2 Rookie

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    Interview Question

    I am currently applying for a temporary certificate in Florida. I am graduating this May with a degree in English and hope to get a job teaching English 6-12. My question is: How would they expect a non-education major to be able to answer these questions sufficiently enough to obtain a job teaching? I know there are a lot of teachers who are getting a certificate and teaching this way but how did they do this and how did they answer the questions?

    I spoke with a principal and said she is not optimistic that I will actually get a job teaching English since they have cut back on the number of English teachers in the county. She then encouraged me to take the K-6 subject area test since they are hiring more elementary school teachers. This is very discouraging. Any advice?
    :confused:
     
  34. Briana008

    Briana008 Companion

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    Alrober2, the people doing the interview will most likely have already reviewed your resume/application materials and be aware of the fact that you don't have actual classroom experience yet. I would imagine in that situation they would ask more questions about why you want to teach, what sort of classroom experience do you have, why do you think you are qualified, etc.

    You didn't mention whether or not you have spent time in a classroom as a volunteer/observer, or if you tutor students, but I would think those would all be good things to do (if you haven't) or talk up in an interview (if you have done them). Also, you may want to consider subbing, both for the experience and a possible foot in the door for some districts.

    ~Briana~
     
  35. sumnerfan

    sumnerfan Comrade

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    Mar 14, 2008


    June, July, and August


    just kidding
     
  36. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Mar 15, 2008

    Interview Question: Name three reasons why you became a teacher.

    Answer:
    1. Just like some kids dreamed of being a firefighter or nurse, I dreamed of being a teacher because I feel it is the most important profession.

    2. I truly have a passion for learning myself and would like to pass that on to others.

    3. I adore children and that fact combined with my skills, attributes and personality make teaching the perfect profession for me.

    I am going to research this and see if I can find out what they really want to hear..not that I would change my answer much but it does seem that everyone's answer would be similar.
     
  37. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I'm a creative person and teaching is like one big puzzle to put together and solve. The fact that it directly contributes to the well being and education of another is an added bonus.
     
  38. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I've never been asked canned questions like that. It makes me want to say "If you are going to ask a canned question, be prepared for a gooey canned answer." Of course I would never say that. I've always been asked questions I'm not really prepared for. They are good thoughtful questions. I usually say, "Wow, that's a good question (complete with the facial surprise). I've never been asked that before. Let me think for a second..."
     
  39. Kangaroo22

    Kangaroo22 Virtuoso

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    For the reasons I became a teacher I think I would say something like this:

    -One reason I became a teacher is that I love children and enjoy working with children. I feel that every one who goes into teaching needs to love children.

    -I also really enjoy challenges and and everyday as a teacher there are different challenges to face and decisions that need to made. As a teacher I really feel as if every day is a different day, whereas in other jobs every day is pretty much same.

    -My third reason is that I love to learn and help others to learn and teachers are constantly learning and helping their students to learn and see the "light bulb" go off in their heads as they finally understand something that they have been trying to understand for a while.
     
  40. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Mar 15, 2008

    INTERVIEW QUESTION: What would you never want to do as a teacher, and why?

    The first thing that popped in my head was yell! The next thing was become complacent or lazy.

    What does everyone else think?
     
  41. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I agree. As a teacher, I would never yell at my students if they were misbehaving. I would only lose their respect.
     
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