Let's start some interview practice:

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

  1. Lindzee82

    Lindzee82 Companion

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    Hi everyone! New member, here! This thread is awesome! I am on page 10 so far and am taking notes as I read. I have my very first interviews on Monday and Tuesday. They are in the district that I have been subbing in. I am very nervous because I have never had an interview before. These questions are all great and I am learning so many new things!

    I got a 4-page list of possible interview questions online and one thing that is tripping me up is that it says sometimes they ask you for definitions/about educational terms. I graduated 3 years ago and have been a SAHM ever since (until I started subbing in January) so I am a little out of the loop. Did anyone get any of these types of questions? Here is the list of terms I have:


    Respond to the following education terms (usually they have 4-6 of these):
    1. Constructivism--Piaget
    2. Cooperative learning
    3. At-risk students
    4. Assertive Discipline
    5. Madeline Hunter
    6. State regulated questions (for VA teachers, see #2!)
    7. Grouping practices (tracking)
    8. Site-base management
    9. schools of choice
    10. national standards (curriculum/assessment)
    11. ungraded/non-graded
    12. middle level
    13. higher level thinking
    14. gifted education (Talented and Gifted program)
    15. authentic assessment
    16. whole language
    17. peer coaching
    18. parent involvement
    19. restructuring
    20. National goals
    21. interdisciplinary curriculum
    22. learning to learn
    23. portfolios
    24. developmental appropriateness
    25. learning styles
    26. special education (mainstreaming and inclusion)
    27. outcome-based education
    28. Home bound
    29. home-schooling vs. public schooling
    30. home-schooling vs. private schooling
    31. Lee Canter


    Thanks!
     
  2. 2ndGradeSub

    2ndGradeSub Rookie

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    Well, I graduated from ______ in 2006 with a major in sociology and a certification in elementary edu. Upon graduation I was offered a postion as a long-term substitue in the same school in which i completed my student teaching in. During this long-term substitute postion i taught a 2nd grade inclusion class. Following that, I was offered another long-term teaching position in a 3rd grade general class beginning the following year. I completed that position until the teacher returned from her maternity leave. Finally, i was offered yet another long-term teaching position in different 3rd grade general class, and taught in that class until the end of the year. Due to the teachers return, I am now currently looking for a permament position in my own classroom.


    How would this sound?? to much, to little???
     
  3. 2ndGradeSub

    2ndGradeSub Rookie

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    Jun 24, 2007

    Regarding my last post

    This response is regarding the interviewing question: So tell me a little about yourself?
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think it sounds too much like your resume.

    They're asking about you! Think more match.com, less interview.

    OK, maybe that's a little extreme.

    But what do you do outside of school? Why are you interested in teaching? Have you traveled much? Do you have any hobbies?
     
  5. #1 Mrs. H

    #1 Mrs. H Companion

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    Okay, I have had 3 interviews, and only a couple of these questions have come up. The one about parental involvement....how important do you think it is, and how would you foster it? Easy enough. The other one was whole language, and actually, that was something I used in response to the question "How would approach reading and writing in your classroom?" I said something to the effect of a balanced literacy program with incorporating phonics based instuction and whole language approaches. I don't know that I'd fret too much about the other names or specific theories. Maybe just choose one theory you most subscribe to as an educator.
     
  6. lillebe

    lillebe Rookie

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    Jun 24, 2007

    aliceacc I had to laugh at the "think more match.com than interview"
    You are 100% right. I used to start off my interviews stating well I graduated from___ in __ and received a BA in elementary ed and sociology. I plan on attending ___ for a Master's Degree in Special education blah blah blah. Then I realized then can see all that on my resume and I'm probably boring them to death. So now I say something along these lines:
    Since I graduated I have been substituting in several districts including ______. The best part about subbing is____ and I found the hardest part to be____. When I am not teaching I enjoy traveling. While I was in college I did a study abroad program where I spent a month in Italy and studied art history. (I talk a little about that experience). I would love to travel to _____. I also enjoy scrapbooking, cooking, and knitting. I try to incorporate all of my hobbies in the classroom at different points throughout the year.

    How does that sound??
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 24, 2007

    Much better!
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jun 24, 2007


    What would I see if I stopped by your classroom?
     
  9. lillebe

    lillebe Rookie

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    Upon entering my classroom, you would see the desks clustered in groups to facilitate cooperative learning. The walls would be covered with the children's writing samples and art work. I would have motivational, and educational quotes around the room. I would display a word wall which also including math vocabulary. I would have a library area set up where there would be a large carpet and pillows to make the area comfortable and inviting. My library would be arranged by subject area, then within the subject area I would arrange the books by reading level in order to ease students' frustration when trying to find a book.
    I would also have math and literacy centers set up throughout the room with different activities at each center. An example of a literacy center I would set up for primary grades would be word families. I would have index cards with the different word families (_at, _it, etc.) and the students would have a timer, they would work with a partner to see how many words they can make in a certain amount of time.


    Is that a little too much?
     
  10. 2ndGradeSub

    2ndGradeSub Rookie

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    Jun 24, 2007

    Ok, lol. Thanks...so how about this? (lillebe i kinda borrowed your first two sentences)...sorry.
    Since I graduated from _____________, I have been substituting in the ____________ district as a long term subsitute. The best part of the long term positions I have held has been the experience and knowledge i have gained in the classroom. When I am not teaching, I enjoy drawing, traveling, and spending time with my family. I also would also like to pursue a Masters degree in School Counseling.

    IS this any better?? Or am i hopeless?

    Any better?
     
  11. lillebe

    lillebe Rookie

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    That is better, but you should definitely give some examples of the experience and knowledge you gained. Have you learned anything about your classroom management techniques? Or state something great that you have done with the class during you long term subbing- maybe a lesson or unit that you have taught, or since you like drawing talk about an art project or lesson you did with the class (if any) These things will help you stand out from other candidates.
     
  12. 2ndGradeSub

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    I wasn't sure if I should have mentioned more. But here it is.

    Since I graduated from _____________, I have been substituting in the ____________ district as a long term subsitute. The best part of the long term positions I have held has been the experience and knowledge i have gained in the classroom. For example, during my time spent in this district, i have gained much insight in developing a better classroom management plan. I have tightened my classroom magagement skills by remaining consistent with the classroom rules and implementing MUCH positive reinforcement. I praise students often and reward good behavior. A reward for good behavior may be as simple as a sticker or may be a coupon stating "caught you being good" in which student can turn in for several things such as: lunch with teacher or with another class, free computer time, or a homework pass.
    When I am not teaching, I enjoy drawing, traveling, and spending time with my family. I also would also like to pursue a Masters degree in School Counseling.
     
  13. #1 Mrs. H

    #1 Mrs. H Companion

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    Okay, but...

    In response to lillebe post #849

    Your ideas are great, but, I think there is to much "I would"...the point is to sell yourself without sounding egocenteric, it's a tough balance. Admins want your thoughts to be student centered.

    Instead of "I would have a literacy center", you could say "students would be enjoying a literacy center teaching fluency using word families". Do you see the difference? I always throw in something about students and teachers interacting to master new material and reinforce previously learned concepts. What do you think?
     
  14. lillebe

    lillebe Rookie

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    #1 Mrs. H thank you so much for your input. I was thinking that there were definitely too many "I would's" also but I wasn't quite sure how to re-word it. I love how you rephrased the part with the literacy centers. I definitely have to remember that one for my next interview!
    thanks again =)
     
  15. Lindzee82

    Lindzee82 Companion

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    Jun 25, 2007

    My first interview is this evening at 5:30. I am freaking out!!! *eeeek*
     
  16. #1 Mrs. H

    #1 Mrs. H Companion

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    Good Luck to you!! I have an interview for my dream job in my dream district in less than 2 hours. Pray for me!!
     
  17. teach123

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    Prayers for both of you.
     
  18. njeledteacher

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    Students would be working in small, heterogeneous groups, while I walk around and facilitate whatever project they are working on. There would be interactive bulletin boards on the walls that students could use throughout the day. For example, there might be one on New Jersey, where students could practice their geography skills by placing counties/cities in the correct spots. There would also be samples of student work hanging in the classroom. Students would have a reading corner to find books for independent reading with comfortable pillows or beanbags. There would be a computer station where students could work on independent projects.
     
  19. njeledteacher

    njeledteacher Cohort

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    How did it go???
     
  20. njeledteacher

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    I still have a question about remediation. I don't usually hear this word, but was asked about it at an interview recently. How would you remediate in the classroom, esp. in reading and math? Isn't that the same thing as differentiate instruction? Provide tiered assignments, flexible grouping? So for reading, students would read on their level and taught specific strategies such as decoding, comprehension? Math??? That one is hard to answer. It depends on the grade I suppose.
     
  21. goopp

    goopp Devotee

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    Remediation is more reteaching a concept or skill to those who didn't get it the 1st time. I think what they were asking is: If they didn't get it the 1st time, how would you reteach it differently? For math you could talk about using various manipulatives and strategies, making it more hands on for those who are having a hard time grasping the concept.
     
  22. njeledteacher

    njeledteacher Cohort

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    Hmmm, I'm pretty sure I said that. Also, I have done one on one instruction for students who didn't get it. I've used color coding to differentiate. These are all part of it I think.

    Thanks!
     
  23. njeledteacher

    njeledteacher Cohort

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    Another question...What grades do you do centers in? I was told only up through 3rd grade, but not sure.
     
  24. 2ndGradeSub

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    Upon walking into my classroom, there would be desks arranged in heterogenous groups as to facilitate cooperative learning. I would also have an interdisciplinary word wall connecting the learning across the curriculum. The word wall would have Tier 2 content words and Tier 3 words as to enrich my students vocabulary and writing, as well as to help my struggling readers. There would also be a classroom library which would be organized according by DRA levels, genres, and themes. This would assist the students in chosing a "just right book" during their Self-Selected Reading period. Displayed around the room would be educational posters as well as motivational quotes. Also, in my classroom I would have a math center, literacy center, and a technology center. In the math center would be many math manipulatives and flash cards. In the literacy center i would have file folder games, and writing prompts. The technology center would have computers in which the students could use during group projects and free time.

    How does this sound?
     
  25. goopp

    goopp Devotee

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    I used centers some last year in 5th grade. I'm moving to 4th grade this year, and I plan to use them this year. I'll have literacy centers for use during Readers and Writers Workshop and I'm going to try to set up Science and Social Studies centers, too.
     
  26. teach123

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    I think it depends on the teacher. Some teachers have centers through fifth grade. This year a colleague of mine decided not to have centers at all in her second grade classroom. She used Reading Workshop instead and had the kids read several books and then fill out graphic organizers to go along with those books.
     
  27. teach123

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    I have a question. How do you feel about cooperative learning?
     
  28. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    First, tell me how YOU define it.
     
  29. teach123

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    When I think of cooperative learning, I think of students working together on a project. The kids are given a group grade. Each person's participation affects the grade the whole group will get.
     
  30. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think it depends on what you're trying to accomplish and the age of the kids.

    If you're talking about, say, the emergence of democracy in the 13 colonies, I think it's a great idea. You can talk about how each person plays a different role in the process, about a majority vs a unanimous vote, about protecting the rights of the minority while going with the wishes of the majority. The style of teaching teaches as much as whatever they eventually accomplish.

    If you're doing a unit on Mexico and want the kids to work as a group-- they have to produce a tourism booklet, a powerpoint presentation and whatever-- I think it's great. They learn to access their strenghts and weaknesses and to work together.

    But if you're doing a vocab unit, one kid is going to do all the work and the others will get the credit.

    I have one Monster Math project I do when I teach geometry. It's one problem with 26 parts. I give them one day. They work as a class-- the following day I ask for a concensus of the 26 answers. They can use any material in the room-- textbooks, notebooks, whatever.

    Aside from the fact that they realize they CAN do this, it's also good to see that even the bright kids can get stuck, and that sometimes the not-so-bright kid contributes the right answer.
     
  31. #1 Mrs. H

    #1 Mrs. H Companion

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    Well, it's out of my hands now! Interview is over, and I think it went well. I felt very confident and relaxed, which is shocking because I was panicking all last week. They said they hope to have a decision by the end of next week, maybe before that, depending on the need for a second interview or an interview with the superintendent (sounds scary).

    They did have a writing piece to address 2 questions before the actual interview. I thought you might find them helpful as examples.

    1. A student in your class had money stolen from their desk, you have a suspect; what do you do?

    2. Explain your thoughts and views on the future of education.
     
  32. teach123

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    Glad to hear it went well. Do you mind sharing what you wrote, especially for #2?
     
  33. teach123

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    I like your ideas, Alice.
     
  34. njeledteacher

    njeledteacher Cohort

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    Yikes...2 prompts? I remember the last writing sample I did and it turned out to be about a full page written. I don't know how long it would take me to write 2 of them, especially #2. How would you respond to the stolen money question?
     
  35. #1 Mrs. H

    #1 Mrs. H Companion

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    I got to the school about 45 minutes early because she advised me there were 2 writing prompts to complete before the interview. I finished right at the time of the interview. Question #1 used the fron and half the back of a piece of paper. Question #2 used about the same. The fist one took longer, because I really had to think careully b/c it dealt with dealing w/ a specific student situation. I thought the second one was mainly to see if you could follow direction (In essay form,) and from there it was just my opinion.

    Well, my immediate thoughts were that this was a bad question to ask a teacher from Michigan when there is only one job in the whole county that's open! "I don't know, crash and burn sound familiar???"
    But I figured that would sound cynical.

    It actually said to answer in essay form, so I put a title (Education: The Everchanging Profession) used a thesis that basically said that education has been a constantly evolving entity throughout history, changing to meet the needs of society and students.
    Then, I discussed how changes have also been driven by technological advances and the economy.
    I said I think the biggest challege in education today is funding. It seems that schools and teachers are being expected to do more and more to prepare students on less and less funding.
    I wrapped it up with something like "education will continue to change into the future. Philosophies will come and go, technology will continue to advance at such a pace that it is difficult for schools to keep up. The one thing however, that has remained the same throughout the history of education will continue to hold fast: the ultimate goal of offering our students a brighter future.

    As for question #1 about stealing, I went with something like having a class dicussion on respecting others' property...the trust we've build among classmates....someone made a bad choice today...took some money....offer immunity if the money turns up on the corner of my desk by the end of recess. Capped it off with a reminder to students to not bring valuables to school. Also a reminder about how we deal with lunch money each morning.

    What do you think?
     
  36. 2ndGradeSub

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    What would I see if I walked into your classroom? response.

    Upon walking into my classroom, there would be desks arranged in heterogenous groups as to facilitate cooperative learning. I would also have an interdisciplinary word wall connecting the learning across the curriculum. The word wall would have Tier 2 content words and Tier 3 words as to enrich my students vocabulary and writing, as well as to help my struggling readers. There would also be a classroom library which would be organized according by DRA levels, genres, and themes. This would assist the students in chosing a "just right book" during their Self-Selected Reading period. Displayed around the room would be educational posters as well as motivational quotes. Also, in my classroom I would have a math center, literacy center, and a technology center. In the math center would be many math manipulatives and flash cards. In the literacy center i would have file folder games, and writing prompts. The technology center would have computers in which the students could use during group projects and free time.

    How does this sound?
     
  37. #1 Mrs. H

    #1 Mrs. H Companion

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    I think your ideas are great. As I stated in another post, admins like to hear that it's about the students. I would recommend considering "people first" language when you share those good ideas. I think they want to know what students will be doing in you classroom...not just how it looks. For example, you would find teachers and students interacting to learn new material while reinforcing previously learned concepts. You may see students enjoying the classroom library which is leveled according to DRA...you may see students eagerly moving from center to center to enforce literacy skills and math concepts. Mention how the students will be using all of these things you talked about. Does that make sense. Admins are looking for teachers that are very student centered. (or at least that's what I hear!)
     
  38. 2ndGradeSub

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    Thank You very much for that great advice!! I am def. gonna take some time to think about how i could change my response to incorporate that. Thank You!!
     
  39. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I think this sounds great! I would also add something about the students seeing a teacher who is truly excited to see them. Teachers establish a positive classroom atmosphere of mutual respect and set the stage for learning by modeling respectful behavior and showing enthusiasm.
     
  40. 2ndGradeSub

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    Jun 26, 2007

    Another good question

    Briefly describe your teaching style?

    I figured i throw another question out there.
     

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