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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    Apr 11, 2008

    I would let the parent know that I appreciate their concern and understand them wanting the best for their child...then go on to explain that through hands on learning, their child is actively engaged in their learning....blah, blah, blah...I can't think tonight.
     
  2. each1teach1

    each1teach1 Cohort

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    Apr 11, 2008

    interview question: do you believe all students can learn?

    The obvious answer is yes, but how could you elaborate?
     
  3. Proteus

    Proteus Rookie

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    Apr 12, 2008

    I am finding this Q & A to be most useful as I am 2 hours away from an "appointment only" job fair here in highly competetive New York State. The city, where I currently work, is an entirely different matter.

    Interview Q: What would you do if a student wanted to discuss what just happened with Eliot Spitzer?

    (In case any of you don't know, he is the recently resigned NY governor who was exposed as a frequent and zealous patron of an "escort" service.)

    Answer: It depends. If the students wanted to catch me off guard and discuss the more salacious aspects of it, I would tell them that was inappropriate for class. If however, and I would definitely try to steer it in this direction, they were disillusioned with their state leader for his actions, it could provide a teachable moment, especially for an English teacher like me who can always capitalize on an authentic "Tragic Hero" to use as an example for ones that appear in literature.

    In no way was my nervous, rambling answer that well put together, but that is the gist.
     
  4. Proteus

    Proteus Rookie

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    Apr 12, 2008

    I would say, "There is always a point of challenge for a student, whether they are college bound or struggling mightily just to get a diploma. If I have done my job and pushed each student to their own point of challenge, and check in with them frequently enough to assess their progress, there is no question that each student can learn. The key to this is to have a highly interactive relationship with students as opposed to simply dumping work on them and expecting them to negotiate it in solitude."
     
  5. TexFW1

    TexFW1 Rookie

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    Apr 12, 2008

    I actually had this question a little differently asked at a recent interview. The question was "People say that some children just don't want to learn, do you agree?" I said, "Absolutely not. I think that maybe they have not had the material presented in a way they can understand. It is up to us as educators to find the way that works for the learner."


    Texfw1
     
  6. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Apr 12, 2008

    Yes, ALL students can learn. The key to ensuring this is to find what works best for the individual learner. Finding out how the student learns best: through movement, auditory, photographic memory, or writing it down. The next key is to find each students' interests and relate the concept being taught to their interests.
     
  7. jw13

    jw13 Groupie

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    Apr 12, 2008

    This actually happened to me. This is how I responded and I think it would work well in an interview, because the parent responded extremely well, once they understood that I was aware of their child's needs.

    I would ask the parent specifically, what areas do they feel their child excelling and what specific skills do they have (ex. if 1st grader are they doing multiplication). I would respond to the parent how they are performing with my assessments as evidence. I would also provide the parents with information on the enrichment activities provided within each lesson. I would tell the parent that I will be continuously assessing their child and adjusting the lessons to meet their needs. If they have any questions or suggestions that the line of communication is always open.
     
  8. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Apr 12, 2008

    Can I borrow this answer?!? :p
     
  9. jw13

    jw13 Groupie

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    Apr 12, 2008

    Absolutely...that is what this thread is for:p

    Incidentally, I found that if I can find a story to go with these interview questions, I remembered them better, and it was more like a conversation with the interviewer. It also showed that I was not just speaking theoretically or giving answers that I think they want to hear. For example, with the can every child learn, I have a great story about a child I taught with traumatic brain injury.

    Just more ideas to help:)
     
  10. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Apr 12, 2008

    Wow, and I know that when that P calls for an interview, you will get an offer based on the answers you give.
     
  11. jw13

    jw13 Groupie

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    Apr 12, 2008

    Fingers crossed...let's hope. If I don't go blank from shear "OMG...I want this so bad."
     
  12. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    Apr 12, 2008

    In the class I observed yesterday (3rd grade), there's a student that will be retain back. The teacher says that they've done all they can for this student but that the student doesn't seem to put alot of effort. She said that she's tried: keeping him after school for tutoring, she's brought in mentors, the school provided tutors during the day, parent-teacher-principal meetings, etc. Nothing seems to work. I asked her if it's possible that he can have a learning disability & she said they are in the process of having him evaluated. Side note, TX laws have change regarding recommending a student for SP ED, translation burden of proof falls on the teacher. (from what I was told by a teacher)

    So along the lines of the question, should we include something about exploring the resources available, in depth analysis, etc in instances where you have a challenge such as this particular case. What do you all think?
     
  13. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    Apr 12, 2008

    That is what I fear too. I don't like interviews & find them so painful at times. :blush:
     
  14. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Apr 12, 2008

    Teachling, I know that its getting harder to place students in SPED.
     
  15. each1teach1

    each1teach1 Cohort

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    Apr 12, 2008

    This was more or less my answer as well.

    Ok. I had about five interviews today (two separate job fairs). Here are some questions

    1. What is your teaching philosophy (You'd be surprised how many peope have no answer, including me up until about two weeks ago when a teacher recruitment magazine told me I needed one:blush: )

    My answer: First and foremost all students can learn. There is not a single student in my class that is not capable of learning. I just have to find the way that works best for them. Secondly, I'm am not the center of the classroom. I am simply a facilitator. I consider myself a life long learner and I want to my students to learn to love learning, not just Spanish but across the board.

    The interviewer: Wow. That was a nice text book answer and I'm sure the Gallup Teacher Interview Poll will love it. But what if you have Ray-Ray and Lil' Pookie in your classroom and they ain't trying to learn no Spanish. How do you motivate them?

    Me:...Have you been watching my classes? Lol. I know that Ray-Ray and Lil' Pookie may not be interested in Spanish, but I know they want the car and the clothes and the bling that they see in the movies. I would tell them, "You can get that. AND you can get it legally. You don't have to be a dope boy to live nice. Education can get you tings, and since it's legitimate, the government can't take it away. This is a means to an ends and that's why it's important."

    Interviewer: Nice. Would you like an interview?

    By the way this was an urban district if you hadn't guessed :p
     
  16. jw13

    jw13 Groupie

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    Apr 12, 2008



    This was a recommended response to how you motivate children? This floors me...
     
  17. each1teach1

    each1teach1 Cohort

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    Apr 12, 2008

    Other interview questions:

    What do you think your students' parents expect from you?

    Do you think relationships with other teachers are important and why?

    What do you do if you have a parent insist that they're child is gifted even though that child's performance in your class is average at best?

    What do you do if you feel like you've done all you can to motivate your students to learn and they still aren't responding? How do muster up what it takes to come back the next day and the next and the next?

    What is your dream position?

    What do you want your students to learn from you?

    How do you want your kids to see you as a teacher?

    Do you think a students' attitude is important in the learning process?

    What do you need to know about your students before you lesson plan?
     
  18. each1teach1

    each1teach1 Cohort

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    Apr 12, 2008

    Hey, I tried to give him the "right" answer. He didn't want it. I purposely wouldn't recommend using my answer, but it worked for me. I got the interview and was invited back for a second interview later this week.
     
  19. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    Apr 12, 2008

    Sounds like he wanted to be certain that you could be a potential fit for this type of environment, more importantly that you can connect with these kids.
     
  20. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Apr 12, 2008

    I'd cover these points:
    1. I want all kids in my class to be both engaged and challenged
    2. Ask: In what areas do you feel your child is not being challenged?
    3. Outline briefly what we are doing, what we must do and how we do it.
    4. Point out how I believe the child is being challenged
    5. Tell the family that, because of their concerns, I will be observing the child extra closely
    6. Depending on what I find I may change a few things such as grouping or possibly assign some higher level activities.
    7. If I feel the child is being challenged enough I may suggest some activities for at home

    I have no idea if this is right but it is what I would do.

    Lemon
     
  21. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Apr 12, 2008

    I agree with STG and Tex :)
     
  22. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Apr 12, 2008

    Hey that is kinda what I just posted but yours is much better. I guess I should have read the whole thread!
     
  23. newbie1234

    newbie1234 Companion

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    Apr 14, 2008

    Were you interviewing with TFA or NYC Teaching Fellows, athomp? I encountered a similar question, and as I recall my response was about two pages long.

    For a), we were assigned some articles to read so I incorporated ideas from the articles along with contacting the parents with an outline of my plan for the rest of the school year. For b), I said that I expected the students to perform at or above grade level.
     
  24. newbie1234

    newbie1234 Companion

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    I applied to the same school and I responded to four questions via email. This was one of them, the strict or caring question was another.

    For this one, I said that I would focus on academic achievement because higher self-esteem is a natural consequence greater academic excellence.

    For caring or strict, I said that I'm both, and it depends on the situation. I also said that I am strict because I care about students, and I realize that they need rules and they need structure in order to thrive academically.
     
  25. Green_eyed_gal

    Green_eyed_gal Comrade

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    Apr 15, 2008

    How do you respond to this???

    What area of the curriculum are you the strongest in?? What area of the curriculum do you need refinement in?? It's that annoying strengh and weakness question, but they specifically ask about subject matter.

    I told her I was strongest in math.. I explained that I like making math interactive for students by using manipulatives, technology, interactive websites and having students work cooperatively.

    Then I told her the area I needed refinement in was writing, which probably was not good.. :unsure: She asked me if I taught writing in my student teaching and I assured her that I did. We also did writer's workshop. I told her that I struggled with writing when I was in elementary school and that I could relate to those students who are also struggling. I then told her my plan of attending professional development classes and reading trade books (Lucy Calkins and Fountas & Pinnell) on my own, which I already am.

    How do you answer this question??? This was a screening interview and I may have messed up my chances of getting called back for a second interview.. :(
     
  26. am elisheva

    am elisheva Rookie

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    Question:

    What are your reason for wanting to teach in our district?

    My responses: location, TAKS scores, any other ideas? Basically, I want out of my current district due to insanity at the top!! But I know I can't say all that...
     
  27. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    If we could only tell the truth..:whistle:

    I've been thinking about how I would answer this question. And this is what I've come up with.."I want to teach in ABC district because the mission statement of the district matches my philosophy of teaching. I believe that students learn best when they are actively engaged in their own learning in a safe and positive atmosphere that fosters a lifelong love of learning.

    I also would like to teach in your district b/c as a member of the City community, my daughter will be attending school here.
     
  28. Grace

    Grace Companion

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    Apr 16, 2008

    Whew! I'm so glad that I found this forum! I have enjoyed reading all of your insightful answers to interview questions. I also noticed that a few of you are in Texas (like me), so maybe you can help me with a question I've gotten at two job fairs.

    How to you use the TEKS to plan your instruction for the year?

    I feel like I always babble on that question, but it's become such routine that I'm having trouble putting it into words. I'm not quite sure what they are looking for!
     
  29. Briana008

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    Grace, I'm not from Texas so I'm of little help, but I just wanted to say welcome to the forum and good luck in your job hunt!

    (I'm sure smalltowngal will be here soon to answer your question.) :)

    ~Briana~
     
  30. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Here I come to save the day!!!!! Ok, so not really, but I'll try.

    The TEKS allow me to see what my students should already know coming into my class, what needs to reviewed, introduced, and mastered at the end of the year. I use the TEKS to layout the concepts needed for the year.

    I'm sure lemon will be on later and can elaborate.
     
  31. volgirl

    volgirl Rookie

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    i just want to say this thread is awesome! it's really helped me a lot...let's hope i don't blank on my first interview :p

    a question i'm sure i'm going to get since i'm a school library media specialist, but some of you may have some ideas as well!

    how would you encourage reluctant readers?
     
  32. jw13

    jw13 Groupie

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    Encourage reluctant readers by having them seek out books in a genre that they are interested. Also, a variety of reading formats, books on tape, magazines, computer books, etc.
     
  33. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Find books that are of interest to them. Find what their interest is; music, sports, etc...then have those books available for students to read.
     
  34. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Yes. I + I = success. Interest + Independent Reading Level.
     
  35. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    Here's one that the HR from the Houston area school districts says, they may ask. How do you know if you met objectives, what if you didn’t? Would the answer be along the lines of test scores, informal & formal assessment. As far as not meeting objectives, other than modifying your lesson -- not sure how to elaborate on this one. Since I don't have the classroom experience, this one would be challenging. Ideas, anyone?
     
  36. jw13

    jw13 Groupie

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    I was asked both of these questions at a jobfair. I said essentially the same as you, teachling. Formal/Informal assessment and student portfolio. I said I would reteach the objective within a current lesson/theme.
     
  37. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I know objectives have been met through data collected through informal and formal assessments. Had the objectives not been met, I would reteach the objectives using a different approach.
     
  38. am elisheva

    am elisheva Rookie

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    okay, to answer a couple of the above questions...

    1. How do you use TEKS?? use them to plan out your lessons as they spell out the specifics, after testing, you see what TEKS were mastered and alter your plans from there

    2. How do you know if you met objectives? What if you did not? Every lesson I teach has closing in which I lead the class through a reflection of what was learned (journals, pair share, whatever, even though I don't really do any of this!) Formal and informal assessments are also utilized through data analysis and any objectives whose material was not met is spiraled back into the curriculum through the use of Warm-ups and Homework....

    ugh, never thought I use any of that stuff, sounds great in theory but putting all that into action, that's the reason most of my department is leaving this year!
     
  39. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    I'm so glad you address the TEKS question -- another common question addressing assessment requirements. Along those lines, I'm having a brain lapse, what TEKS are given to 3rd & 4th grades again? I know 3rd grade has reading but can't recall the rest.
     
  40. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Teachling, are you talking about what TAKS test each grade has?
     
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