# Let's start some interview practice:

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by Aliceacc, May 3, 2006.

1. ### MissFrizzleVirtuoso

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Jun 17, 2006

I would spend it on books...

2. ### AliceaccMultitudinous

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Jun 18, 2006

OK, we're due for some new questions for interviews:

Can you give me an example of something you could explain 2 different ways, to accomodate a student who had trouble with the first explanation?

(I got this one at an interview on Friday...I'm math, so in that context it especially makes sense!)

3. ### nyteacher01Companion

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Jun 18, 2006

Miss Frizzle - NYC uses Balanced Literacy and in it there is a witer's workshop. I know that it is popular on the island as well and more school's are starting to incorporate all of it's componets.

Writer's workshop has three parts -
Modeled Writing
Shared Writing
Independent Writing

4. ### MissFrizzleVirtuoso

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Jun 18, 2006

NY TEACHER- that's what writer's workshop is???? LOL, I guess I've been confusing it with Balanced Literay and the componenets.

5. ### MissRanaRookie

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Jun 18, 2006

The two ways that come to my mind for teaching a topic are presenting the rule and giving examples and giving examples and letting the students figure out the rule (or hypothesize about it). I personally prefer the latter because it involves more active participation on behalf of the students (inductive versus deductive reasoning). I also would try to find connections to things that students already understand or can related to and attack it that way.

6. ### AliceaccMultitudinous

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Jun 18, 2006

The example I gave in the interview was a very concrete one: proportions. So if I'm trying to find 75% of 80, I can either multiply 80 by 0.75, or use the "is over of" rule. The outgoing principal kind of nodded blankly, but both the math chair and the incoming principal (who taught math) nodded and smiled.

7. ### MissRanaRookie

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Jun 19, 2006

Okay, this is a genuine question/concern I have, but I'm sure it could be an interview question too. I wanted to post it here instead of with another thread because I know that you all have great insight on these things, and I respect your opinions.

I'm currently working with some students (7th graders) who wanted to take an enrichment language class with me (since they don't offer foreign language at their school). The problem is, I'm used to secondary ed, and these students really lack the sense of focus that most older kids seem to have. Even when we do games and such their focus dwindles. I've even gone so far as to ask them what makes it hard for them to concentrate or what I could do to make the lesson more fun/pertinent to their lives, but I really got nothing (one student said that he gets distracted by things he sees-- which I could have guessed!). I'm guessing some of the students come form more difficult backgrounds and that might have something to do with it. But my question is: how do you get students motivated to pay attention when they are at that age?!

8. ### munchkinCohort

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Jun 19, 2006

Miss Rana:
Nail their tails to their chairs, put blinders on their heads, and glue their hands to the seat under ther bottoms!!
Just kidding. That age is typically loww attention span. Heck, Harvard studies say a typical intelligent ADULT can ony pay full attention/focus for 8-10 minutes before a break must occur. The attention span goes down dramatically for every minute after this. Something like 20% each minute. Now take the average teen bopper, and you got...... zilch!
YOu got to switch frequently.
Demand accountability.
Good luck

9. ### wanateachCompanion

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Jun 19, 2006

Okay,
I just got back from an interview, and I felt caught off guard, by the questions, it was for a fourth grade class within a class, and I am still reeling, it went so fast, I can't even remember the actual questions-some words or terms that came up that I hadn't heard were, ged for Missouri? and comm. arts? and something to do with scoring something that is like rubericks? Does anyone know what these things are? I just drew a blank, and was real honest and said I just didn't know what they were. They were kind in explaining to me, but I can't help thinking that one went in the dumper-oh well? I tried to make up for it by telling them how willing I was to work with the regular teacher in collaboration-and I loved the principal, she was very kind and easy to get along with-but it was like I was on another planet-call me alien. Lori

10. ### AliceaccMultitudinous

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Jun 20, 2006

Not knowing the actual questions, I'll just define the terms.. forgive me if that's not what you wanted.

A ged is a "General Equivalence Diploma"... when kids drop out of HS and want to go back and get a diploma, they need a test to take to qualify them. It's the G.E.D.

A scoring Rubric is an outline of how you'll score a particular assignment. On the annual research paper I assign to the math honors kids, I pass it out ahead of time. Format is worth so many points, and here's what I'm looking for. Likewise with mathematical accuracy, and so on. It's much clearer than just putting a "95%" on a paper, and keeps me grading all the papers more or less the same.

You may have done better than you think. They can always fill you in on what they want you to know; it's important that they liked y ou, and it sounds like they did.

11. ### JaimeMarieModerator

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Jun 20, 2006

is modeled writing or shared writing the same thing as interactive writing?

I'm thinking it's not. But that is just a guess.
Modeled writing is when you show students a sentence and than show them how to expand the sentence like School is good. Instead of having that they could write something like I enjoy school because I like learning about......

Shared writing would be when they share what they have written?

Interactive writing is more of those steam sentence things that you use in kindergarten?

Do I have that right?

12. ### YankeegirlRookie

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Jun 20, 2006

Hi
I am a new member and just wanted to say thank you to everyone on this site. I have been reading all of your advice regarding interview tips and it has been a real help. I went on my first interview and 20 minutes before I had to leave, I re read all of your interview tips, it actually calmed me down! So I just wanted to say hi

13. ### wanateachCompanion

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Jun 20, 2006

I just got a call out of the blue-from a school district 30 or 40 minutes away-didn't send them anything, didn't even know about them-they want to interview me-set it up for next week-what is going on here!!!I was going to give this quest up and just wait and be a para or something, now they are calling from everywhere-Looked on their website, they have several openings for special ed teachers-so have to get ready for that plus my one today, thanks. Thanks aliceacc for your help on those questions, being new to this whole thing-here is something to think about -Guess I am going to be caught off guard by many things-things have changed since the days I taught-It can't be that different can it-do most schools go with the basal readers for reading or do they use a literature based program? And that GED-I could swear that is what she said, but that is what I thought it was-the equivalent of a diploma, but that wouldn't make sense for 4th grade? Would it mean General education-like goals, or objectives, it was something to do with what they should know at each level-I am in the dark about that. thanks for all of your help> Lori

14. ### AliceaccMultitudinous

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Jun 20, 2006

Hi Lori,
What great news!!! What probably happened is that they realized they needed someone, and either called a neighboring district asking for any resumes they had on hand, or someone knew someone who was impressed by what you had, even if they personally didn't need it. How great is that!!!

As to the rest, I'm out of my league here. I'm HS (and now apparently also middle school) math. I'll let someone else field those questions!

15. ### AliceaccMultitudinous

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Jun 20, 2006

Hi, and welcome!
There are several of us here from LI. I'm in Hicksville, returning to teaching math after 6 years home with the kids.

What do you (hope to) teach?

16. ### MissFrizzleVirtuoso

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Jun 20, 2006

Hi Yankee girl.... another Long Islander is good to see. How did that interview go?

17. ### DizneeTeachRVirtuoso

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Jun 20, 2006

I have a question that we were asked in mock interviews during student teaching....What Disney (or cartoon character are you like/want to be). My gut reaction was Jasmine because I love Aladdin & who wouldn't want to be a princess. As far as teaching Snow white because she has to deal with all the different characteristics of the 7 dwarfs. They loved my answer!!!

18. ### Sarah5483Companion

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Jun 20, 2006

Is that how you got the name "DizneeTeachR" ?? or did they know beforehand that you are a Disney fan?
That's cute! I'd love to be asked questions like that rather than the formal questions

19. ### YankeegirlRookie

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Jun 20, 2006

I am hoping to teach ANY grade K-6th...I have just graduated St. Joe's in May and am now hunting....it is so tuff...there are so many of us who want to be teachers. I am hoping to get a job for september....

20. ### YankeegirlRookie

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Jun 20, 2006

Hi....The interview I thought went well.... It lasted about 15 minutes with 8 principals asking questions but I heard that they are taking the people who already have classroom experience first...I was told that everyone did excellent and it was a hard decision....

21. ### YankeegirlRookie

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any grade!! I just want to teach!! I am from West Islip and have 4 children. I just graduated St. Joseph's in May and am now applying all over... This is great to be able to have people to talk to and ask for advice...it helps alot...

22. ### DizneeTeachRVirtuoso

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Jun 20, 2006

I don't think they knew...The mock interviewers were the teachers in the upper el w/ student teachers.

23. ### wanateachCompanion

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Jun 20, 2006

Hi,
I am back from my interview on cloud nine!!It went so well, I am afraid to ask or think-just hope I get it. I loved these bunch of gals, it was a cwc class and we just started off kind of bantering back and forth and I really felt comfortable and at home with these people. The principal said, "okay I have to ask a hard one" what are your strengths and weaknesses-as I sat there thinking, she said, I already know one of your strengths.....I said, Oh really, what is it? They all laughed-she said "researching what these things are" I guess Alice, and thanks for your help, it was not GED it was GLE, because I looked it up today-and the way she asked, it was like she didn't expect me to know-but then I told her I thought it was core subjects and how teachers plan their curriculum-it was each subject, each grade broken down into skills that should be mastered each year. They were impressed I guess. After last nights awful interview, I decided to come prepared-and at least learn the things I didn't know from the other one-it is the same district, just a different school-but I just felt good with them right away-we'll see, I was the first one out of 3 I think today, she said they will let me know by the first of next week. Good luck to the rest of you.....waiting is so hard.................Lori

24. ### Proud2BATeacherPhenom

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Jun 20, 2006

Congratulations wanateach! I hope you get the job! I'll keep my fingers crossed.

25. ### sofiluvRookie

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Jun 20, 2006

Well I have my demo lesson tomorrow at 2:00 it's for a first grade bilingual class at a charter school. Wish me luck ladies and thank you all for the great questions and information that have boosted my confidence! I'll let you all know how it goes!

BTW, congrats wanateach it sounds like it went great!

26. ### hopefulteacherRookie

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Jun 20, 2006

Hi you all, these pages are great! I have 2 interviews coming up for elementary school (1st and 3rd grade). How would you answer these questions: (I've been asked these before and stumbled):

1) What is your teaching style?

2. How would you handle students with special needs? (very vague, I know)

3. Anyone an alternative route teacher, like me? (Did not major in Elementary Education?) I just feel like I have to explain myself, like why I didn't go that route. I really only considered teaching during my last semester of college. I graduated 18 months ago, and have been getting classes for my certification, etc).

4. How would you teach reading?

TIA ahh so nervewracking!

27. ### AliceaccMultitudinous

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Jun 21, 2006

I'm HS math, so I don't have answers for most of those questions. But use #3 as a strength. Find some things you DID that most of us didn't, and find ways to apply them to the classroom.

Welcome, and good luck!

28. ### YankeegirlRookie

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Jun 21, 2006

Congratulations! I hope you get it!

29. ### JaimeMarieModerator

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Jun 21, 2006

1) What is your teaching style? when I am teaching I set up classroom rules with the students. Once these rules are established with consequences I would make sure to follow them. As for teaching the material I tend to be flexible. I have been in many teachers classrooms. I have observed a variety of teaching styles. When I have my own classroom I will be able to pull from those best teaching practices. My personality is caring, and fun but firm. If you are not firm or do not set up a proper routine the students will walk all over you. (ok not sure if that is what they would be looking for. But that is what I have said in the past.

2. How would you handle students with special needs? I would adapt lesson plans so the students feel comfortable in the classroom. I make sure the other students (if special needs students has CP or Down syndrome, or something like that) understand the needs and accept the student into our classroom community.

3. Anyone an alternative route teacher, like me? (Did not major in Elementary Education?) No

4. How would you teach reading? I start with a whole group meeting at morning meeting. We would go over topics I would like to teach for the day. Than break into reading groups. I would have no more than 6 students per group. While I am meeting with one group the other groups should be working independently from their writers workshop/reading folders.

Ps:I hope this make sense I didn't proof read. I need to run.

30. ### MissBCompanion

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Jun 21, 2006

Writers workshop is when the teacher does a mini lesson, focusing on the strategy she is teaching (could be some part of 6-traits or other...), then the teacher takes the "status of the class", so she know who is working on what (first draft, revision, illustrating, editing, publishing...)-- and who is ready for conferencing. Then the class spends time writing while the teacher confers with individual students at that stage. The last stage is the authors chair for students who are published. Hope this helps a little.

31. ### MissFrizzleVirtuoso

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Jun 21, 2006

Thank you Miss B!

I am rooting for you sofiluv!

As far as the teaching of reading, my (honest) answer would be to create a print rich environment, where the children are reading, whether words or full sentences at all times. I am a big advocate and fan of doing a morning message for two reasons; 1) It brings the children together as a group; thereby setting a positivie tone for the day. Secondly, children are conversing and this is an excellent impetus for a writing prompt. The teacher can use this as a way of taking on writing. It's important to teach children that what we write we can say. What better way to do that than by using authentic work.

Now, I know they are probably looking for more methods,etc but I really beleive that as teachers we try and try so hard to get those reluctant readers to read, when all we should really do is encourage and support them. We do this by showing them how reading is relevant to thier lives. As far as literature goes, I like to use alot of genres. I love nursery rhymes.... So many kids today don't know them. It's such a shame.

Sorry, I went way off on a tangent here.

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Jun 23, 2006

1. I try and set up an environment that is conductive to learning. I think that if I portray an excitement in learning that the students will follow suit for the most part. Classroom management is very important, and I think that having children help set up the rules is a good idea. They will often think of things I might not have. That's a tip I picked up from a textbook in college.

I also believe in themes. I try an incorporate my theme into each lesson.

I don't believe in teaching for the SOL testing. I think that the overall curriculum must meet the objectives during the year so that simple review of materials is all that is needed to meet state testing requirements.

I have also found that the use of response cards are a good way to keep the children interacting with me and with the lessons I'm teaching.

2. As I'm applying for special needs, I think that the teacher must work with the student at their level, while still challenging them. It's important that a sped have high expectations for the students as well. Children can and do accomplish more than they are often given credit for being able to accomplish. In the gen ed room, the teachers should be willing to gear lessons based on the IEP objectives.

3. While I'm going to be a new teacher with your school, I think that this can be an advantage. I'm learning the latest proven strategies for my room, as well as the latest research information. (I try and say this next part lightly) Also, I haven't had time to learn bad habits. I'm more than willing to incorporate the policies of the district and school into my learning environment.

33. ### norogoRookie

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Jun 26, 2006

I didn't see where anyone answered the question

What are your weaknesses? I am stuck on that one myself.

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Jun 26, 2006

"My weakness is organization. I've strived to be organized all my life, as I learned early that one can never be too organized. Being organized is the foundation for every aspect of properly running a classroom. Appearance, assignments, instruction, grading, testing: without being well-organized, even the best of all these will acomplish nothing."

That's been my answer. Honestly, I've been a packrat, and I NEVER feel as organized as other teachers seem to be.

35. ### MissBCompanion

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Jun 26, 2006

I'm having trouble with that one as well. Previously there was some talk on this thread regarding weaknesses. Someone mentioned they use technology as their weakness, but they also mentioned how they turn it into a positive. I think you have to be honest, and find a way to turn it into a positive. For example I've also heard time management mentioned, then the person talked about how they always plan too much in one day. Obviously it's better to have too much planned than too little, so the person turned it into a positive.

I'm not sure yet what my weakness is. I was thinking that technology in the classroom might be a weakness in that I haven't used it much with students, but (the positive) I've created my own website, and offer links to students and parents through a Portaportal site. I am also proficient with computers for research, word processing etc..

So the point is regardless of your weakness, find a way to turn it into a positive.

There is always the far too used "I'm a perfectionist."

36. ### GhostHabitué

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Jun 26, 2006

My weakness was I overplan because I get so excited and have so many things I want to get accomplished. The team seemed to like it.

37. ### AliceaccMultitudinous

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Jun 26, 2006

I'm probably the technology person you meant. As a Precalc teacher, I've never used a graphing calculator, although all the kids I tutor have.

Honestly, I'm returning back to my old school, where the kids aren't asked to buy the \$100 graphing calculators. But, had I hit this at an interview, I was prepared to hire my teenage babysitters as tutors, to show me how to use the thing!!

I agree with what you said, Miss B. Your weakness should be honest and something that you can either turn around or remedy.

38. ### norogoRookie

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Jun 26, 2006

I just read somewhere, can't remember where, that you should not use that cause it is overused-like you said.

I am not sure how to word this into an answer but what about this-

having a hard time giving 100% to my teaching job and 100% to being a mother/wife and getting a balance so that I don't feel that I am doing an awful job.
How do I say that?

39. ### MissBCompanion

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Jun 26, 2006

I was kidding! Definitly DON'T use perfectionist!

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