Interview questions (2008)

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

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  1. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jun 10, 2008

    I had this question during my first round of interviews when I first started out. I asked my AP where I was student teaching and he said, "vocal, visual, flexible"
     
  2. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

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    :whistle:I k-n-o-w- w-h--a-t- you Mean!!! I am a parent of two children with learning disabilities,myself. One that is severely dyslexic and the other has 22 of 24 areas of LD moderate to severe. I was that parent that all teachers dreaded having conferences with, UNTIL I tried being a self contained LD teacher in my own classroom after a 20+ year absence of teaching professionally. <<ouch>> :eek: Needless to say, I told the interviewer that I sent an sincere(albeit late!) apology letter to his former LD teachers !! THEN I told them:
    Seriously, 1]let the parent vent. They are already upset, and trying to reason with a person in a "ticked-off" mode will get you no where. Try to let them know that you "empathize" with their feelings as a parent yourself-if you are one, and offer to get a neutral third party in to listen and evaluate how the school, the teacher and parent can come up with a solution.Keep your voice low and soothing. Restate their "viewpoint", ... :hugs:]
    " okay Ms. Cuckoo, do I understand that you're saying, that your lil' ole' pork chop, Oinker isn't capable of throwing a CPU and monitor across the room at another student? Let's take a look at the survelliance cameras that were running that afternoon..." OR " Here are the record log of our communication notebook. Let's take a look and see if we can trace how many times we have spoken or written about this matter. See, here are the notes, and this is where I requested your signature. Are these indeed your signatures?"]

    The part in brackets really DID happen in a classroom I was in, but ISNT what I told the interviewers on Monday.

    **Start the conference off with at least three compliments about the student in question. Be sure to start your year off with a positive phone call to each and every child in your class. Take 15 minutes every day for the first two weeks of the school year and call each student's house just to let the parent know how glad their kid is in your class. Then floor them by telling them some little positive compliment on their child, and hang up. Takes no more than 5 minutes for this kind of call. OR send welcoming post cards to each and every student BEFORE school to let them know how excited you are that they will be in your class.
    I know my son, Josh STILL has his, and it has been 12 years since he got that post card!! He still goes by that teacher's classroom when he comes back for weekend visits from college.:wub:

    The main thing is keep the parent calm as you can. Call in reiforcements/ support if you sense that things could get ugly/out of hand. Document HOW you've supported/taught the child and your communication log is a MUST, at all conferences. :2cents:

    Well, that's how I answered it. The two interviewing were writing stuff down rapidly. I think it went okay. What do ya'll think?
     
  3. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

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    Jun 10, 2008

    thank you letter for after an interview

    Any ideas? I am not sure where to begin, other than it has to be within the next two days! Since they will either be on vacation or attending statewide conference for administrators at the beach!

    Had an interview at a beautiful new (very rural) elementary school. I think it went okay. It lasted 1hr and 20 minutes. I just couldn't think of any questions to ask the principal other than the day to day class stuff, like what publishers do you use, how often does the administration/district come in to observe? Will you provide a written review and go over the observation with me if and when you come in? How much extracurricular activities do you want a new teacher to be involved in? Do you expect your teachers to write grants to get the needed technology in their classrooms? How much is technology used in the individual classrooms. (Lap tops are provided per teacher for school research only . can be taken home. Smart boards per grade level, but not in every classroom. It was implied that these teachers had written their own grants to get these) when do you want lesson plans turned in (not necessary, as the administration sits in on the weekly planning) Expected duties, seem to be exceedingly light considering its a school of 700+ students.
    It's difficult to get a grip on what it'd be like to be on this team of teachers, IF they are brand new school (1 year) the curriculum is pre-written for the teachers down to the strand to be covered in each quarter. They do seem to offer quite a bit of district and in-house support and training to their teachers.
    I'd almost rather have been interviewed by a panel of my peers. That way I could get a better idea of the personalities there and see if I felt the connection that would enable me to be a contributing member of that school community.:blush:
    My husband and I went out and scouted around the area and interviewed alot of different parents/ community businesses and basically asked a bunch of "dumb-nosey" questions to complete strangers about where the best place to live was, opinions of local schools, good and bad things about the community at large. PRices of homes, apartments, traffic patterns, things to do within the area, etc. WE did this the weekend before, and after the interview. In fact, I think we found where we'd like to make our new home!!:woot:
     
  4. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jun 10, 2008

    I would just keep it short and sweet. Thank them for the time they took to interview you. Why you would be an asset to their school, what you can bring to the school. And then mention something specific to your interview so that they can be reminded of who you are.

    I think it was a great idea to go scout out the area. I dont think I would have thought to ask the locals. Good luck!
     
  5. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

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    Jun 10, 2008

    Thanks, smalltowngal. Sometimes I get so wound up I just forget to KISS-keep- it- simple-stupid/silly!)
    The idea of interviewing the locals is my husband, the consumate promotional ad salesman!:whistle:
    I will think of something that I can add from the interview, I hope it will be a positive in my favor. I was THE first interview, and there are multiple afterme. Decision may take as long as 2-3 weeks. or as short as this THursday/Friday after their district meetings on Thursday and Friday!:woot:
     
  6. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jun 10, 2008

    Well good luck and keep us updated!
     
  7. Tolentine Grad

    Tolentine Grad Rookie

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    Jun 10, 2008

    The HR Director and principal loved when I said, MOTIVATED, ENTHUSIASTIC AND PASSIONATE.:D
     
  8. Old Joe

    Old Joe Rookie

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    Jun 11, 2008

    Confessions of a stubborn husband.

    My wife wanted me to download the "How to ace an interview" book from this site. I didn't want to. She did it for me. :mad:

    Interview Question (for Special Ed):
    What's your experience in giving assessments?
    Old Answer
    I've done the Woodcock Johnson Cognitive and Achievement, the Key Math, the QRI. I did a full scale eval for one student during my student teaching.
    This was greeted with grim looks, and followed, a few days later, with a letter that they had hired a candidate with extensive experience in the field.:crosseyed
    New Answer
    "This is how I do assessments [blah blah blah] For instance, I gave a Woodcock-Johnson cognitive test to one boy, and it showed a borderline low IQ. I told his parents that, given class observation and work samples, we could dismiss that as a factor of his attention deficit, not an accurate measure of his intelligence.
    "I prefer assessments such as the QRI that give more direction as to how to remediate a problem..."

    This answer is greeted by smiles and nods, some timed precisely for when I said "For instance, I gave a WJ cog."
    It's too early to say what sort of letter will follow this answer, but I like the smiles. What a wonderful change for a new teacher with little experience, simply by listing the tests he has administered under the heading "for instance."

    Thanks, meddling wife! :blush:
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2008
  9. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Jun 11, 2008

    Way to go Meddling WIFE! Glad this forum as been helpful to you!
     
  10. scooter503

    scooter503 Comrade

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    Jun 11, 2008

    Questions from multi-age interview

    I had an interview last fall for a 5/6 multi-age class, which I was asked to apply for. Didn't get the job, but I do have copies of all the questions I was asked. It was a 2 part interview...first with teachers, then with administration. Some questions were similar to both. I'm curious how some of you might have answered these.

    Teacher group:
    1. Tell us about yourself - personal and academic preparation.
    2. Describe what a multi-age classroom might look like.
    3. Describe a typical lesson you would teach in a multi-age classroom and an assignment you might give.
    4. How do you establish rapport and discipline with students?
    5. In what ways would you establish and maintain communication with parents?
    6. What subject is most exciting for you to teach and why?
    7. What is your technology experience and how will you incorporate it in the classroom? (I found this question funny, since it's a very rural small school and they don't have any technology...it takes the whole computer time to get the kids logged onto the computers cause they're so old).


    Administrative group:
    1. Same as teacher group.
    2. How familiar are you with multi-age instruction?
    3. Explain how a multi-age classroom is designed and explain how instruction in this setting is different than a traditional classroom.
    4. How do you individualize learning and what techniques do you use to motivate students?
    5. Please describe your knowledge of best instructional practices in math. (Please someone help me out with this one...I totally blanked)
    6. What methods will you use to communicate with parents?
    7. What strengths will you bring to the district and how will you make a contribution to the district and school? (the super followed this up by saying specifically athletic related...I'm pretty sure that's why I didn't get hired...I'm not coaching material)
    8. List 2-3 best qualities you bring to the classroom.


    I know this is long, but thought this might help some. I would be interested to know what your suggestions might be.
     
  11. luguash

    luguash Rookie

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    reply

    What would you say?

    I would say differentiated instruction--GLAD,shelter instruction

    and Time Management
     
  12. Newbie in Tampa

    Newbie in Tampa Rookie

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    Jun 12, 2008

    HELP!! Interview tomorrow morning at 11AM!! These are a few of the questions my GF got asked by the same principal. I have to say too, I have no teaching experience, so trying to go in with my research done to sound like I know what I am talking about!!

    Question: How do you determine a childs reading level?

    Question: If a child was having difficulty writing, what method of teaching would you use?

    Question: What do you think are the most important things during your first days of school?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated! I will let you know how I do :)
     
  13. jw13

    jw13 Groupie

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    Jun 12, 2008

    :)
     
  14. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Jun 12, 2008

    That was just too funny Old Joe!:lol:
     
  15. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Jun 12, 2008

    Great answers JW!

    Newbie in Tampa: not to be nosey but (lol) are you and your girlfriend competing for the same job?
     
  16. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Now wouldn't that be something!!! :eek:
     
  17. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jun 12, 2008

    Good luck!
     
  18. Newbie in Tampa

    Newbie in Tampa Rookie

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    Yeah, my best friend and I are both pursuing a teaching career in the same county. We are being supportive of each other though, no competition. Even going to the job fair next next week together :)
     
  19. buck8teacher

    buck8teacher Devotee

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    That's great! I have a friend in the area with the same license, and I would always freak out if there was a possibility we would interview for the same job. Ironically we always applied in districts the other one did, so it was never an issue!
     
  20. missy21

    missy21 Rookie

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    I've always struggled a bit when asked How would your classroom look?
     
  21. missy21

    missy21 Rookie

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    Also what new ideas will you bring to the classroom?
     
  22. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Any programs that you have worked with that the district doesn't already have, passion for teaching and a love for learning that will be passed on to my students, collaborative work environment with teachers, parents, community.
     
  23. teachin4ever

    teachin4ever Cohort

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    I got asked this question at my job interview and I mentioned things like there would be student work hanging on the walls, classroom rules and consequences posted, desks would be in rows (or groups - however you plan on having it), etc. In addition to telling them how the classroom will look, tell them what they will notice the students doing - busy students engaged in some sort of learning activity.

    This is what I said in my last interview and I ended up getting the job, so it must have been the answer they were looking for! Hope this helps a bit!
     
  24. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    ^^This is what I always say.
     
  25. scooter503

    scooter503 Comrade

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    interview question

    I had this question at an interview and didn't know what they were looking for. Any suggestions for how you'd answer it?

    Question: Describe your knowledge of best instructional practices in math.
     
  26. jw13

    jw13 Groupie

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    Best practices is such a new term that's thrown around alot now by schools. It generally means the most current practices, whatever is new and researched. The best practices have "real world" applications, use of manipulatives, incorporate technology, and differentiate instruction. I am not sure of what other practices there are, specific to mathematics.
     
  27. alrober2

    alrober2 Rookie

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    I first said I would try to explain that they really understand it this way and could we please continue with the project. She said what if I still said no. I said I would stop but ask if we could at least finish this one that we were doing and in the future I would make sure not to do those kinds of projects so that we could focus on the FCAT. She then asked what would you say to the students that just heard the conversation. I would tell them the truth that this is much more important and we need to focus on the important things, but I would encourage them to continue working at home on these types of creative projects and that I would be more than happy to take a look at them if they brought them in.

    P.S. I got offered the position.
     
  28. kermy

    kermy Companion

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    Congrat alrober!
     
  29. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    What's the difference between a good teacher and a great teacher?

    This question is asked at every interview in my building- the responses are interesting...
     
  30. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    Congrats alrober!!
     
  31. canadateach

    canadateach New Member

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    How would you incorporate catholicity into your classroom?
    This question is for those applying to the Catholic schools. What other types of Catholicity questions have you heard of during interviews or practice interviews?
     
  32. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Worked for 2 Catholic schools- never asked that one...did teach religion though. Actually have never heard the word 'catholicity':) Think I would frame my answer around religious ed integrated into the curriculum where it makes sense: history, some science, social studies (holidays), character ed as well as 'religion' lessons/curriculum, daily prayer, modeling....
     
  33. Newbie in Tampa

    Newbie in Tampa Rookie

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    Yeah, much better answer than mine. Congrats on the position! Thats awesome. I have another interview tomorrow then I am going to the Pasco Job Fair on the 24th. I am going to go for a Assistant Position as well, it seems they want me to have more classroom experience, which I probably would agree on. So gain experience for a year, then jump in. We'll see.....
     
  34. girlblue16

    girlblue16 Rookie

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    Just had an interview today for either a Kinder position or 1st grade. I'm 99% sure I won't get the job as the director let me know she had several highly qualified teachers from the same school applying for these positions. I'm ok with it. Just more practice for me I suppose.

    Anyways...two questions that I knew were coming but struggled with were:

    1.Something about differentiated instruction: how do I do it. I can't remember the answer. Blech...I can barely remember the question ;)!!

    2.What is your experience working with ELL kids? Again, not sure what I answered. My mind goes blank after these interviews.

    Hope this helps others should these questions come up for you.
     
  35. jw13

    jw13 Groupie

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    :) I would like to hear some more answers about ELL.
     
  36. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Passion?
     
  37. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Haven't heard that one but it would stump me if given to me on the spot. I heard its cousin: What do you think you can bring to our school.
    Being a new teacher, I usually said freshness, an open mind, passion and sort of hit on the things that are my strengths.
     
  38. Ghost

    Ghost Habitué

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    Before I forget them all, from my interview yesterday:

    Walk us through your resume. I started with college and described some of the best things I did at each school
    Why do you want to work with under-served students? My first teaching job was with under-served students and I find that I miss the challenge it offers and the rewards I get from seeing them succeed
    Are you trained in restraints? Yes, three different methods: TEAM, CPI and Crisis Management.
    What are some strategies you use? Keep in mind I'm sped. I find that teaching expectations and routines, as well as having them posted helps the students reduce their anxiety. I also use picture schedules and post the objectives daily.
    If another teacher gave your student a consequence that wasn't sensitive to his disability or he couldn't do, what would you do? Talk to the other teacher, explain the situation/disability/etc. and then collaborate to come up with a different consequence
    Give three specific traits you would like to see in a peer and why. Honesty, dependability, and openess. I want to work with someone who won't say one thing to you and another behind your back. I want to work with someone who does their share of the work, does what they say they will, and follows through. I want someone who will talk to me if I'm doing something wrong instead of letting it simmer, but who is also open to suggestions
    If you were in conflict with another teacher, how would you handle it? I'd talk to them and if that wasn't working, I'd find someone neutral to mediate
    What is the worse behavior you've ever seen in class and how did you handle it? I had a student throw his desk because he didn't want to take a paper and pass the rest on. I had to evacuate the classroom and then I performed an FBA on him.
    Why do you want to work for us? I really like that Lighthouse Academy's mission is so close to my personal philosophy of teaching: that all children can learn and that it's important to treat the whole child (academics, life skills, and social skills). And I meant it.
    Give two strengths and two areas of growth for next year and how it applies to teaching. Strengths: problem-solving & dependability Weaknesses: hate to be on the spot (ie talk in front of groups of adults) & I tend to take my work home
    What was the best book you've read in the past 2 years and why or how did it impact you? Ideas? I think I handled it well. I gave them two, a fiction one that I just enjoy and a nonfiction one that shows that I am on top of the current trends (Youre Going to Love this Kid by Paula Kluth--about autism in the inclusion class. Great book)
    And then there were a couple of situational questions; Kaneisha was acting out and you'd threatened to take her field trip away even though only administrators can do that, and you caught her misbehaving....and took the field trip away and she shoved her desk and said, "Why are you always getting me in trouble?" Was this handled well, why or why not. I said I'd known the policy so taking the field trip would never have been done. I also said that I wouldn't threaten, but I'd know Kaneisha's behaviors, so I would have a preventative behavior plan in place
    When and why have you administered an FBA? What did you learn from it? After Dusty threw his desk I administered one and found that he often acted out when it was a writing assignment and he was a poor writer, so it was avoidance. I also found out that I was the only teacher to try and figure out why as well as being the only teacher who made him do it anyway.
    What assessments do you use? I use formal and informal assessments. Standardized tests, teacher made assessments, chapter tests, and a work portfolio for each student. I also mentioned specific special ed. assessments I've administered too
    And then some questions about the technology--do you know ICAN? Have you had ISTART7 training? Yes to the first, no to the second but I'm a quick learner and I picked up ICAN quickly so I should be able to pick up ISTART7 quickly as well.

    Hope these help someone. :soapbox:
     
  39. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I find passion and energy/enthusiasm so appealing in the candidates we interview/new teachers I work with/seasoned teachers I know...
     
  40. lilmisses1014

    lilmisses1014 Comrade

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    Here are some interview questions I remember from an interview I had a couple of weeks ago:

    Tell me what I would see in your classroom during guided reading?

    What do you think your former principal would say about you? As a parent, what do you think she would say about you as her child's teacher? (yes, my principal's kid was in my class)

    This particular school is really big on collaboration, so they wanted to know what I have to add, what I can bring, to the team.


    I was also asked about technology, parental involvement, vocabulary development (oy... I think I butchered that one since I completely blanked on my answer. They said I gave them the answer they were looking for, but I can't even remember what I said!).


    :D
     
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