Interview Questions (2009)

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by AnonyMS, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Mar 17, 2009

    I currently use a traffic light system, so I would discuss that along with my "Behavior Traffic Ticket". I would also talk about how that doesn't always work for every single child and some need individual beh mod plans and charts.
     
  2. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Mar 25, 2009

    Could someone answer these questions?

    *What would your language arts program look like?
    *Talk about Balanced Literacy
    *How will you incorporate social studies and science?
    *How will you address the standards in your lessons?
    *How will you adapt grade level standards in your class?
    *How will you teach writing?
    *Explain the term "subject integration"
    *Describe your planning process for a major project or unit.
     
  3. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Mar 25, 2009

    I'll attempt a few questions :) See my answers in blue above!
     
  4. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Mar 26, 2009

    Thank you so much leigh!:thanks:
     
  5. newteacher08

    newteacher08 Companion

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    Mar 26, 2009

    ** What are some ways you would provide differentiated instruction to your students of various learning styles and levels?
     
  6. lindydish

    lindydish Rookie

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    Mar 26, 2009

    My lessons usually involve a couple of activities that incorporate various learning styles/levels. I use kinesthetic activities for vocabulary lessons and some of my lessons about society. Intra- and Inter-personal activities are some consistent tools that I use. Examples include journals and think/pair/share. I use music constantly in my lessons, it's a great way to introduce a new unit in history or geography. Linguistic and spatial skills are a must when we are reading primary source material or studying pictures representing the time period of study. I challenge my logical/mathematical kids by asking them to think critically about the material and think from new perspectives than what they are used to.
     
  7. lindydish

    lindydish Rookie

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    Mar 26, 2009

    INTERVIEW QUESTION: How do you show flexibility with your students?

    I demonstrate flexibility by including current events in my lessons. History often repeats itself so it's invaluable to have a current event to relate what we're studying to. I also strive to include student's interests/skills into the lessons.

    INTERVIEW QUESTION: What is your relationship like with parents/students/coworkers (students really threw me off)


    I believe everyone wants to be treated like an adult and be given respect. It doesn't matter if I'm interacting with a parent or a student, I will make sure that I am treating them with respect and actively listening to their thoughts and/or concerns. The same goes for my co-workers. I know that my co-workers are the shoulders that I can lean on and I want to be an active team-member who is considered dependable.

    INTERVIEW QUESTION: What's an innovative idea you've introduced in your school?

    (This one stumps me.) When I was student teaching the school was having a difficult time getting parents involved. During a parent-teacher conference with one family, I learned that the father was an organizer for a neighborhood outreach program for families. I asked if the organization would be willing to work with the school to come up with ways to involve the neighborhood families and parents. I got the ball rolling by introducing the parent to the administration and giving an overview of how they could help each other.

    INTERVIEW QUESTION: What are some strategies you would use with struggling readers?

    There are a couple of strategies that I would use, while I continued to research other strategies in case mine weren't working. First I would make sure that the reading groups in class were heterogenous so the struggling readers had peers that could help them. Second I would incorporate "mini-lessons" into my lesson plans to demonstrate how to break down documents for easier understanding and note-taking. I would also talk with the students and see if they had any strategies from the past that had worked for them and incorporate those into my lessons as well.

    INTERVIEW QUESTION: Describe your behavior management plan, specifically with a student who is repeatedly disruptive in your class.

    I subscribe to the Love & Logic system of classroom management. Basically, the students are responsible for their actions (or choices) and what I do is in response to each specific choice. I let the students know that they are causing a problem for someone in the classroom and they need to find a way to solve the problem. If, after time has passed, they haven't figured out a solution and the problem still persists I give them two options. The options vary depending on each special situation and special individual. The student then chooses an option with the understanding that their previous choices are what put them in this position. If a student thinks the options are unfair, they can tell me quietly and we'll have a conference to figure out what would be a fair option.
    If a student is repeatedly disruptive I follow these guidelines, but create a signal (only known to the individual student and myself) to let them know they need to think about their actions. I would work with the student to come up with some strategies to get their behavior under control.
     
  8. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Mar 27, 2009

     
  9. jjackson224

    jjackson224 Rookie

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    Mar 30, 2009

    Interview Questions

    Why do you desire a position in the School District?



    Why should the School District hire you?
     
  10. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Mar 30, 2009

    This is a question where you should have done your research on the school/district. Tie in their mission statement with what you can do for the school.
     
  11. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    Mar 30, 2009

    Just a thought to the moderators if they are reading this: Is there a way that there could be a sub forum under job seekers for interview questions? Then each question could be a separate topic to be commented on. I know a lot of people love these threads, but searching through them or just reading all these pages get very time consuming. It would be great to have all the questions you want advice on listed as their own question.
     
  12. roseteacher12

    roseteacher12 Habitué

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    Apr 1, 2009

    ooooh this sounds like a good idea actually...slthough it might have TOO many posts in it lol
     
  13. lizdecember

    lizdecember New Member

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    Apr 2, 2009

    INTERVIEW QUESTION: Define teacher effectiveness.

    This one stumped me...I wasn't sure to answer it in terms of "what is an effective teacher" or "how can we measure the effectiveness of a teacher."
    How would you answer?
     
  14. roseteacher12

    roseteacher12 Habitué

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    Apr 3, 2009

    The main problem I usually have with interview questions is that they are soooooo broad. I never know what they are looking for or what kind of answer I should give.

    For example: Tell me about your subbing experiences.

    Welllllll what do you want to know about them? I got asked this and just kind of babbled about the things Ive subbed for and what Ive learned from it etc etc. I just feel like this could have a million answers and it totally trips me up when I'm asked something like that.
     
  15. puff5655

    puff5655 Cohort

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    Apr 5, 2009

    2 More..

    Describe the skills or attributes you believe are necessary to be an outstanding teacher.

    How would you address a wide range of skills in your classroom?


    These are on an application. I'm having a hard time with the first one. Do I say something like, "I believe I'm outstanding teacher because I.." or "I believe an outstanding teacher is someone who.." The first sounds like I'm full of myself, the second sounds like I'm saying I don't have these qualities.

    I want to include things like:
    -solid background in developmentally appropriate practice and emergent reading and writing education
    -creativity, organization, patience and understanding
    -willing to act silly to hold children's attention (not sure how to put this, but it seems like this is lacking with primary teachers!)
    -focus on classroom community and including families

    am I forgetting anything extremely important? (the assessment/differentiation part goes in the next question)
     
  16. puff5655

    puff5655 Cohort

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    Apr 5, 2009

    OK- heres the answer ive got so far:

    Describe the skills or attributes you believe are necessary to be an outstanding teacher:

    An outstanding teacher is organized, prepared, flexible, and creative. A solid knowledge of developmentally appropriate practice and early literacy education is a must, as well as a willingness to include families and build a caring classroom community. An outstanding teacher sets clear expectations, encourages children to make choices and ask questions, and fosters a love of learning and literature.

    How will you meet the needs of children with many different skills?

    I would address a wide range of skills in my classroom through assessment and intentional planning. Throughout the year, I would observe closely, take notes and collect documentation, and use both formative and summative assessments. I would use this information to determine strengths, needs, and interests of each child, and plan curriculum based on these findings.
     
  17. lindydish

    lindydish Rookie

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    Apr 6, 2009

    I'll cut and paste my answers later, but here's the gist for now. When I get the "What constitutes an outstanding teacher?" question I alternate my responses. I'll state one quality that makes an outstanding teacher and then provide an example of how I meet that quality. Then I'll state the next quality and provide more examples from my personal experience. That way, I'm answering the question literally but keeping *me* in the limelight.

    (Which I hate, but is a must on these stupid applications.)
     
  18. puff5655

    puff5655 Cohort

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    Apr 6, 2009

    ugh. I already submitted my application. That's a great way to answer it!
     
  19. lindydish

    lindydish Rookie

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    Apr 6, 2009

    1. Describe the skills or attributes you believe are necessary to be an outstanding teacher.
    I believe outstanding teachers are known for their adaptability. I have learned from my student teaching and experience as a reserve teacher that no two days are ever alike, so my "plans" are constantly shifted, even though my expectations for the students are consistent. Outstanding teachers are overly organized, which is a great trait to have when teaching a number of different classes. Effective teachers must have a passion for the subject if they expect to have motivated students. I adore history and finding ways to make history relevant to today's students. The final attribute that makes an outstanding teacher is the ability to look upon your subject with perspective and teach the students to be objective when confronted with new information. I understand that everyone who enters my classroom enters it with a specific viewpoint that is different from everyone else. This variety of background knowledge enhances the classroom. I believe one of my strengths is to have the students participate equally and bring their past experiences into the classroom with them.

    2. How would you address a wide range of skills and abilities in your classroom?
    Addressing the wide range of skills and abilities in the classroom is the toughest part of teaching. I have found that I often differentiate far more than I think I do just by making sure that my lessons are varied and exciting for the students. I refer to the multiple intelligence seminars that I have attended in order to make sure that all my students are receiving a specialized lesson a couple of times a week. If a student seems to be struggling, I would take them aside and have a quick conference to see if there were any strategies that had worked in the past that I could use. Students are very eager to help out a teacher when it comes to giving information about what types of lessons they enjoyed before they came into your classroom. For any of my advanced students I challenge their thinking by asking questions about the answers they provide. I also am willing to have students work on alternative assignments if they have already mastered what we are covering in class. This teaches them independence and the joy of in-depth research.
     
  20. tripletsteacher

    tripletsteacher Companion

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    Apr 7, 2009

    I was just asked this last Wednesday. This is how I answered it:
    According to Harry Wong's book, The First Days of School, an effective teacher
    1. Has Excellent Classroom Management Skills
    2. Has Positive/High Expectations
    3. Teaches for Lesson Mastery
    Harry Wong's whole book is set up with these three qualities as the Chapters-explaining each in depth throughout the book.
    The principal asked me what I meant by lesson mastery and I explained -teaches for understanding.comprehension. (he actually gave me this book at my first teacher mentor meeting)
    If you do not have this book-get it. This is handed out to many new teachers. I received a copy this year when I was hired as a reading teacher. I interviewed last Wednesday at the school I work at for a K, 1, or 2 job but will not find out until towards the end of the month. I will try to post the 11 or 12 questions I was asked on the interview questions forum. This was the the 2nd question I was asked.
     
  21. lindydish

    lindydish Rookie

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    Apr 7, 2009

    I'd be kind of wary of regurgitating from books. I think employers would be looking for people who have been educated, but put a lot of themselves into their teaching.

    But that's just my opinion and I'm still unemployed. :)
     
  22. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS SpEd Para! BASE room aide! RTI Facilitator!

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    Apr 7, 2009

    Here's a question I had at a screening interview: What would you do if you witnessed a student, parent, or co-worker doing something unethical?

    Like, hello... that is WAY TOO broad. I repeated the question out loud and emphasized "student, parent, OR co-worker" to indicate that it was a really broad question! Then, I answered it and one of the interviewers (there was a team of 3) said he was going to "probe" me (I thought... woo-hoo! NO, just kidding). I had no idea what he was talking about. Well, he was going to give me an example!! So his example was, "What would you do if you walked by a classroom and heard a teacher that you didn't know cursing a kid?"

    I sat there and I said that I know what the RIGHT answer is supposed to be and then I hemmed and hawed and said, "Oh, you guys are KILLING me here!" and the guy said, "I don't want to hear the right answer, I want to hear what YOU would do."

    So, I told them!
     
  23. tripletsteacher

    tripletsteacher Companion

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    Apr 8, 2009

    Well, I agree with not overusing it. However, in a book on How to Get the Teaching JOb You Want, these are the Fabulous Four Responses to use in an interview
    1. tell an ancedote
    2.Refer to your portfolio of list of accomplishemnts
    3. Cite a website,"best practices used by master teachers, or research used from a college course, journal, or BOOK
    4. state your philosophical belief, then substantiate it by showing how you translate that position into successful work in the classroom
    I believe I got high points with that answer because he is the one that gave me the book when I was hired in August. It shows I actually took time to read it and it must be important to him if he handed it out. I interviewed against 12 people and will find out next week. Regardless, I am lucky because I will still have my current job at this school even if I do not get this job--and I will go from half time to full time next year. I learned so much from this board when looking for a job. Thank you!
     
  24. puff5655

    puff5655 Cohort

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    Apr 8, 2009

    So, how DID you answer both of those questions?? (the ethics question)

    I really don't know what I would say. :confused:
     
  25. cMcD

    cMcD Groupie

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    Apr 8, 2009

    Define teacher effectiveness.
    Students are learning (as shown by formal and informal data).
    Teacher actively teaches, moves around the room.
    Differentiates instruction to appeal to all the learners in the classroom.
    Students understand and demonstrate classroom rules and procedures.
    Communicates well with parents.
    Teacher is organized, utilizes "best practices", and is creative in his/her approach to teaching.
     
  26. tripletsteacher

    tripletsteacher Companion

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    Apr 9, 2009

    I agree with differeniate instruction but our principal hates when candidates answer with that because it is to broad. I suppose by giving examples of how to differentiate is better than just saying it. Every principal is different though. I know many including ours will not hire someone if they start talking about their specific discipline plan-stoplight etc when asked about discipline--unless they back it up with being pro-active through the use of excellent management skills.
    Effective teachers Manage a classroom
    Ineffective teachers Discipline
    That is also from Harry Wong's book
     
  27. cjven

    cjven Rookie

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    Apr 10, 2009

    This was a question that I had to write on before the actual interview. I'm hoping they just wanted to see if I could write a paragraph and communicate on paper, but I thought it was a vague question.

    Describe a golden teaching moment.
     
  28. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    Apr 11, 2009

    I agree with Alice.

    This question would be a great time to emphasize you plan on using a teaching style that does not include teacher directed/lecture style lessons. Projects, investigations, and other more authentic learning lessons with a constructivist approach might be a good idea to mention.
     
  29. MsBee

    MsBee Devotee

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    Apr 11, 2009

    Didn't know if this would help anyone but I was given sample interview questions from a teacher(K-4 dept head) who does some interviews.

    Here were the questions she asked:

    1. Describe the teaching techniques or strategies that are most effective for you.

    2. How would you individualize instruction for students? (slow learners/advanced?)

    3. What procedures do or would you use to evaluate student progress?

    4. Who should be responsible for discipline in the school? Why?

    5. Describe your classroom discipline plan.

    6.How would you integrate technology into the curriculum you teach?

    7. Describe the process you use for developing a lesson plan?

    8. Tell us about your teaching strengths and challenges?

    9.What do you feel is the most effective way to communicate with parents? How have you used this technique?

    10. What qualities do you have that would enhance our teaching staff?

    I also have a list of sample answers that were given by one person she interviewed if anyone is interested.
     
  30. newteacher08

    newteacher08 Companion

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    Apr 13, 2009

    Here is a question I had at a job fair.....Elementary Position!

    ** How do you do your grading? **
     
  31. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 13, 2009

    I think I would use this one to show my personality- have fun with questions like these...
     
  32. MissH225

    MissH225 Comrade

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    Apr 13, 2009

    Ms.Bee I'd be interested in the answers you have to those questions b/c I have a few similar ones that I was just about to post :)

    Interview Question:How do you want students to view you?

    Interview Question
    : Is it ever justifiable to force a student to learn?
    Interview Question: What new ideas would like to initiate in your classroom?

    Interview Question:
    How do you get students excited for learning?
    Interview Question What are your three most important reasons for wanting to be a teacher?
    Interview Question: How much do you want to know about your students in order to be most helpful to them? What three things do you most want to know about your students
    Interview Question: What four key components do you believe you must include in a lesson plan?
    Interview Question: When you think about your students, in what major ways do you most want to influence their lives?
    Interview Question: What 2 core teaching strategies do you most use to achieve this result (from question above)?
     
  33. lindydish

    lindydish Rookie

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    Apr 13, 2009

    Interview Question:How do you want students to view you?
    I want the students to see me as a firm but caring teacher. My students will know that I care about them and want them to be successful, but I have boundaries that are enforced.

    Interview Question: Is it ever justifiable to force a student to learn?
    I don't think it's possible to "force" a student to learn. We can give them the tools but ultimately it is up to them to learn. I will continuously provide materials that may motivate the struggling student to learn and give the student unending support, but they have to be accountable for their own learning.

    Interview Question: What new ideas would like to initiate in your classroom?
    I really like the theory behind Authentic Experiences. It's a mode of learning where the students activate their prior knowledge, learn about a cause or problem within the community or their lives and discover ways to solve the problem. The learning is self-directed and the students have an endless amount of topics to choose from. They also have the opportunity to cause change and discover how much one person can accomplish if they have passion and a good work ethic.

    Interview Question: How do you get students excited for learning?
    I get students excited for learning by being excited for the lessons myself. Excitement is contagious and the students will pick up on my enthusiasm quickly. I also use the students' life experiences throughout my lessons so the students see a personal connection, thus becoming excited to learn more.

    Interview Question What are your three most important reasons for wanting to be a teacher?
    I love being around tweens/teenagers.
    I crave the high you get from a well-done lesson where the students take off running in, sometimes unplanned, directions.
    Teachers filled in as parents for me during the rough patches of my childhood, I want to be able to repay that by being a support system for my students.

    Interview Question: How much do you want to know about your students in order to be most helpful to them? What three things do you most want to know about your students
    I want to know what their interests are, what their ethnicity may be and any extraneous circumstances that may affect their learning. All three play a huge part in the students' learning and are intertwined within my curriculum.

    Interview Question: What four key components do you believe you must include in a lesson plan?
    bellwork, Activation of prior knowledge/Hook, Steps of the lesson which includes activities, assessment

    Interview Question: When you think about your students, in what major ways do you most want to influence their lives?
    I'm not sure that I want to be a major influence in their lives. I hope that my students will go on to have productive and successful lives after having my class. I do hope that the students remember the activities done in class fondly and remember that the boundaries that I set for them were demonstrative of how much I cared about them.

    Interview Question: What 2 core teaching strategies do you most use to achieve this result (from question above)?
    I use Representing to Learn as a way for the students to use their creativity to demonstrate their understanding of a topic and I use Responsive Classroom as a way to have the students be accountable for their actions and learn how to make changes in their behavior.
     
  34. heatherl

    heatherl Rookie

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    Apr 22, 2009

    Had my first interview yesterday. I think it went well, but now in my first waiting rut...it stinks.

    Most of the questions were run of the mill, but one that caught me off guard was:

    INTERVIEW QUESTION:Put these in order of importance, Planning, Evaluation, Methods, Discipline.

    I answered with, Planning, Discipline, Methods, Evaluation.

    She went on to ask "why?" I won't get into my answer for that as it was very long-winded, but what do you all think of that order?
     
  35. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Apr 22, 2009

    Discipline-because without this, learning will suffer.
    Evaluation-because a teacher has to know what their students know in order to be effective
    Methods-because you have to know how your students learn best, and what works for one class might not work for another.
    Planning-teachers need to be prepared for what they're teaching that day, but without the first three, the best planning will go by the wayside.
     
  36. jjackson224

    jjackson224 Rookie

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    Apr 24, 2009

    questions

    What do you most want to accomplish in your career?

    What are the three(3) most important traits, characteristics or attributes a teacher should possess and why?

    What ideas do you have about the parent's involvement in the education of their child?

    How would you help your students develop good attitudes towards learning?
     
  37. roseteacher12

    roseteacher12 Habitué

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    May 1, 2009

    I've gotten this question before and I usually say:

    flexibility-because you often have to adapt lesson plans, make last minute changes to suit the needs of your students and be prepared for many othersituations that can arise
    creativity-you need to be able to ceate lessons that reach each learner based on ability, interests etc and also that capture their attention and make them want to learn as well as find way to make those lessons intertwine with their own lives and experiences
    passion-becasue you need to love what you are teaching, be committed to it and be enthusiastic about it and be genuine with those feelings becasue children are very in tune with adults feelings and thoughts and can tell when you are truly excited and can pick up on those vibes.
     
  38. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    May 2, 2009

    At my interview today I was asked the following ?'s. by an interview panel of two:

    1. Tell us about your education and teaching experience.
    2. What does 100% engagement look like?
    3. If a lesson went wrong, what would you do?
    4. Describe how you use assessment in your classroom.
    5. What would you do with a student who was a
    continuous problem?
    6. Explain your behavior policy.
    7. Describe a lesson that went well.
    8. How would you differentiate a lesson?
    9. What would you do if a student's parents gave him or her
    no support at all at home?
    10. How do you enlist parent support for the students in your
    class?
    11. What are the last three books you have read?
    12. Do you have any questions for us?

    That's it!
     
  39. AMB

    AMB Rookie

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    May 4, 2009

    Like or respect?

    I've been asked this question several times and haven't seen it posted yet....

    "Would you rather have students like you or respect you?" (Or "is it more important for students to like you or respect you?")

    My answer was: Respect, I realize not all students will like me...(blah blah blah)...WRONG ANSWER! (This is for middle school-high school.)

    My friend had her one and only interview last year(she got it) where she was asked this and answered respect and the principal actually stopped her, stopped writing, and explained that the correct answer was that they like you. You want kids to like you. (Yeah, I get that.But what about respect? )

    I really want to say BOTH! I want them to like me and respect me. It's important to build caring relationships with students, blah blah blah. (Sorry, I've been interview prepping for about 4 hours tonight so I'm a bit burnt out.) HOWEVER, I don't want it to seem like I don't listen/follow directions, because the question is asking "would you rather" or "which is more important"...so saying both does seem like a bit of a cop out.

    At my most recent interview (didn't get it again, I'm pretty sure I'm the queen of rejection.) I was asked this and said both and explained (even mentioning that I realize this is a bit of a cop out but I think both are important.) The P seemed satisfied with that and even nodded. (Actually she nodded a lot, I think I was pretty close to getting it.)

    I have an interview on Wednesday at the same district that my friend works at. (Different building/principal. And she has a middle school job, this interview is for high school.) She really stressed saying "likes"...my gut is saying (and I really believe) both. I know the principal flat out told her say "like"...but it feels phony.

    Which do you say? And how do you explain?
     
  40. roseteacher12

    roseteacher12 Habitué

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    May 5, 2009


    i'm not really sure why a principal would prefer the students to like a teacher rather than respect a teacher...i agree with you it that both are important and go hand in hand...i think i would say exactly that and go on to explain that to me respect is more important to me and with that comes the student "liking" you. it could go the other way though, you can say liking a teacher is more important because then the student will respect you but i believe its more important to have their respect first. if you like a teacher it doesnt always mean you will treat them like a teacher and more often than not a student will instead treat you like a friend and thats not really what any teacher wants...

    ok im rambling now but yeah you get the basic point i would make when answering this question lol
     

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