Must share my story!!!!!

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by teachertime, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. teachertime

    teachertime Companion

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    Aug 15, 2008

    I've just finished writing and be forewarned, it's long--but worth the read. Enjoy!

    After sending out application after application, I began to think that maybe teaching (this year) was out of the question. So I started filling out the substitute applications.

    This past Monday, I looked on REAP and noticed a fresh posting (that day) for a part-time Language Arts position. I knew I had to act quickly because my field is a saturated one and many applicants would apply, if they hadn't already through the summer.

    I changed up my cover letter from the usual "I am interested in the _______ position in your school district" as my first line in the letter to giving them examples for why I'm the best candidate, revised my resume (I'm starting my M.Ed. this fall and included this informatin in the resume), and included in the "packet" (certification, transcripts, resume, cover letter) my references, and my professional statement.

    The very next morning I had the packet at the school district office by 8:30 a.m. and received a phone call before 3 pm the same day. (I have never had a response this quick before so WOW!!! Was I surprised!!!) The personnel lady called to tell me that she had emailed me a request to take a TeacherInsight survey (I DO NOT like taking these) that if I wouldn't mind taking it ASAP because she wanted to forward my information to the school immediately and oh, by the way, am I under contract with another school right now? Can you guess how excited I was at that question?

    That night, I went to town getting things ready for my portfolio. When I graduated from my college about 14 years ago, they didn't require or even suggest such a thing. Since I've been out of college and especially on this board, I've discovered you must have one. And I did have one sorta. But I wanted to make this one shine. So I added more lesson plans, my revised resume, and professional statement.

    I also began an indepth search for any and all informatin on the school district and school I would be interviewing with. I discovered two things in my search--the grades the position is open for (9th and 11th), and that today was the first day of school-half days with Wednesday being the first full day. BTW, the school district is one of those that is "hard" to get into.

    Also on Tuesday, I called a teacher friend of mine (who teaches the same subject--and grades I will be teaching should I get the job-- and who is now the department chair for her school). She shared with me her first week plans for the students and her "syllabus". I haven't taught high school in about 10 years (and who knows where my stuff is by now???) and got back into teaching last year teaching elementary school at a private school grades 3-6 Language Arts.

    So, then on Wednesday, I woke up early, got dressed for the interview because I just knew the school would call me and I wanted to be prepared. Can you tell I'm rather excited? I also poured through an interview question book and reviewed my answers, read the thread from this forum on interview questions and the responses to those. NO CALL all day. BUT I thought it out and realized the school principal was probably way too busy to look at any applications on the first FULL day of school.

    I rationalized that I might not hear from the school until Friday (today) so yesterday, I spent the day going through interview questions and possible answers. When I was in college, my intern teacher (who allowed me to take over her class for a short season) gave me her collection of Ideas Plus and Notes Plus material--the ideas in these books are priceless. I poured through those and found a bunch of ideas that I converted to lesson plans. Remember this was yesterday. About 2 pm, the school secretary called and my interview is today at 1 pm. with the principal.

    I feel I'm more ready for this interview than I have EVER been, that this position is mine, and next week, I'll be in the classroom. All day yesterday, I've had this feeling (a real sense of peace) that the job was mine--I know I just repeated that statement, but it's like a surreal experience almost--like this is my home and it's been prepared for me.

    I know this has been a long story, but I had to share my experience with you all. This forum is a great one with awesome teachers and plenty of people who are there to encourage all along the way. I'll keep you posted on how the interview goes this afternoon.

    And an oh, BTW--I usually get the REAP openings in my email when there is teacher opening and I haven't yet received that email yet--remember the position opened up 4 days ago on the internet.
     
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  3. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    Aug 15, 2008

    :2up: Break a leg on your interview today!!!!!!!! Sounds like you ready and prepared for the interview. Please let us know how it goes. Fingers are crossed for you!!!:D
     
  4. Exclaimation Po

    Exclaimation Po Habitué

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    Wow. Best of luck!
     
  5. SciTeacherNY

    SciTeacherNY Companion

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    Aug 15, 2008

    Good Luck!!
     
  6. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    GOOD LUCK TODAY!!:2up:
     
  7. MATgrad

    MATgrad Groupie

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    Your so ready! Good Luck :)
     
  8. ~mrs.m~

    ~mrs.m~ Comrade

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    :up:Wow! Hope it goes great! We can't wait to hear!
     
  9. teachtech

    teachtech Rookie

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    Good luck! Will be watching for an update!
     
  10. ArtFullMom

    ArtFullMom New Member

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    God bless you today!
     
  11. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Aug 15, 2008

    Good luck today! And let us know how it goes.
     
  12. daysy_may

    daysy_may Groupie

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    I'll be crossing my fingers for you!
     
  13. LMath85

    LMath85 Companion

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    Aug 15, 2008

    i wonder how it went.....


    hoping for the best :)
     
  14. Kangaroo22

    Kangaroo22 Virtuoso

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    I hope that it went well for you!
     
  15. teachertime

    teachertime Companion

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    Aug 16, 2008

    I'm sorry I didn't write anything tonight. After the interview I had to help a friend so I didn't get home until just now. Wow!! What a day it's been.

    Thank you to all of you who have responded. It really amazes me how much encouragement one can receive from this forum.


    IMO--I don't think it's gonna turn out as well as I had hoped. The interview lasted 30 minutes and they asked stocked questions from a questionaire. I know I answered them better than any other interview I've been on before and I know I even nailed at least half of them, if not more. BUT at the end of the questions the asst. principal and department chair had asked, the asst. principal says that he doesn't know when he will be making his decision, that there other candidates who still had to be interviewed, but that I would definitely be hearing from the district office once a decision has been made, that I won't be hanging around and not knowing what happened with the position. (Why say district office IF he really wanted me?)

    I'm thinking that response is more of a way of him saying to me that thanks for coming in for the interview, but we're not choosing you. So then he asks if I had any questions for them. I asked about three, then asked him one more...Where would he like to see me, if I were hired, six months from now?

    His response was very quick. He said that I would have a challenge because it's been ten years since I've been in a classroom (not really if you count me teaching elementary school children at a private school last year, but he I think he was referring to public school), that A LOT has changed in those then years--the No Child Left Behind issue, today's schools have a strict format they must adhere to so there isn't the freedom to just teach anything you want (I didn't say anything about being creative in the classroom during the interview--just gave scenarios of how to bring interest to the students to bring the topic of discussion to their personal real life experiences), that the student of today is much different than just 10 years ago--really?--and finally, he said once again, that that would be the challenge I would have to overcome.

    I responded--not disrespectfully--"then it's good that I would have only 3 classes with not as many students cause then I would have a better chance at success and for catching up to speed (not exactly the word speed, but you get the idea), that I learn quick, and would make a marked improvement given the opportunity.

    The department chair lady looked like she liked that response, but the asst. principal didn't look too happy. He did thank me for coming in for the interview and we said our goodbyes.

    Mind you, he wasn't rude, but I got the distinct impression he had either been burned by "passion to teach" teachers in the past or else he would rather have the kind of teacher with loads of teaching experience to do the same oh, same oh--don't rock any boat. I don't rock any boats and I don't mean to "slam" any of the veteran teachers who read the boards (I think you are the seasoned one who have been invaluable and helpful to the people who frequent these boards). I'm just trying to convey that I think I wasn't what the asst. principal has in mind for the kind of teacher he wants to hire for this school. (I do so hope I'm wrong in my impression, but I'm not holding my breath).

    Overall, I gave positive, thorough answers to the questions they asked and did my best. If I don't get this position, there will be something out there for me that I will excel in and do a super job for the school and more important, the students. I'm not going to give up hope.

    And just as an FYI, I still have in my quiet spirit, the feeling that I will be at this school--if not now, then sometime in the future. It feels like that's my home.

    I'm also going to send them a sincere thank you note for the interview and have it in the school office bright and early on Monday morning. Anyone have a suggestion of how I could write a really, good thank you note without sounding like I'm begging for a job? hehe:blush: I've written something and tomorrow morning when I get up, I'll post what I've got so far.

    Again, a huge thanks to EVERYONE who has been so very helpful and encouraging. This is the best forum for any kind of help.
    You all are the best!!!!!
     
  16. teachertime

    teachertime Companion

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    Aug 16, 2008

    thank you note

    Dear _______,

    Thank you for the opportunity to interview for the part-time Language Arts position.

    Though I may not have a lot of practical experience, I'm quick to adapt to new challenges and exceed expectations in areas that would push me to futher growth. I believe I have the energy, the enthusiasm, and the skills needed to be successful with both the students and school directives.

    I also believe that given the opportunity, you will gain a teacher who has the work ethic and deisre to see student achievement, who knows the importance of working as a team, and who understands the necessity of meeting each student where they are.

    I would be pleased to be a part of your school community. Thank you for your consideration and time.

    Sincerely,


    Any thoughts on this???

    I'm next going to post the questions that were asked.
     
  17. Budaka

    Budaka Cohort

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    Aug 16, 2008

    I would not put "I don't have a lot of practical experience." Yes, you do! I hate it when administration thinks that teaching at a private school is not experience. They are kids just like everywhere else. I have taught at a private school and public schools and the private was the most challenging by far!

    If they don't hire you, it is their loss! I am sure you would put so much effort into doing that job well!
     
  18. teachertime

    teachertime Companion

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    Aug 16, 2008

    The questions-
    They had a paper that sat in front of me and I took it home with me

    Communication Arts Teacher Inteview Questions​


    1. Tell us about your prior training and experience that qualifiies you for this position.

    2. What qualities do you feel make you an excellent teacher? What are your strengths in your content area?

    3. How do you manage the classroom in terms of discipline? Tell us about a student discipline problem you faced and how you handled it. What would you do in a case in which your best efforts failed to bring about positive change in a student's behavior?

    4. How do you detrmine what is essential to teach in your courses? What processs do you use to plan a unit?

    5.What is the purpose of an assessment? Describe an effective assessment.

    6. Explain how you use differentiation in your instruction in the classroom.

    7.What elements are important to embed in your writing assignments?

    8. How do you evaluate your student's writing?

    9. How important is parent communication? What systems do you facilitate to accomplish successful parent communication?

    10.How do you hande an angry parent who disagrees with your instructional stategies? How do you effectively handle a parent complaint?

    11 We use a teacher collaboration model that invovles weekly collaboration. How you encourage consistent effective collaboration with teachers?

    12. How will you go about establishing positive relationships with other faculty members?

    13. How do you the needs of all learners in your classroom including those students with IEP? What intervention strategies do yo uuse to motivate an unmotivated learner?

    14. What author or piece of literature do yo love to work with and why? What you have you been or are currently reading?

    15. How do you choose the literature you place in your curriculum? How do you handle a student or parent complaint about one of your title selections?

    16. How do you teach reading in your literature class? How do you support your students during their reading? (they didn't ask these questions because I covered that answer with the previous one)

    17. How have you or how do you intend to remain current in your field? What type of professional development would like to receive? What would be most beneficial?

    18. What activities might you be interested in sponsoring? Would you be willing to sponsor those activities at _________School if the opportunity became available? (they didn't ask this one either...they began to, then said that because the position I was applying for was part-time that this question didn't need to be asked.)

    19. Why are you the best person for this job?
     
  19. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Aug 16, 2008

    They may never find that ideal candidate that they're looking for and you may get a call yet so don't give up. I had a lot of bad interviews while trying to return to teaching where my years of experience were dismissed and I felt very undervalued. The perfect school for me found me. I hope the same happens for you. Keep your chin up!
     
  20. teachertime

    teachertime Companion

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    Aug 17, 2008

    Thank you #2

    Dear _,

    Thank you for the opportunity to be interviewed for the Language Arts position at your school. The information we exhanged from our conversation plus my research on your school’s website confirm my belief our goals and priorities are a perfect match.

    My educational background combined with a continued desire to learn and a love for teaching would make me a great asset to your team. I have experience teaching multi-level students both in elementary and high school and enjoy teaching those students who need me the most.

    In addition, with the No Child Left Behind issue, I would strive to assist all students to reach their best potental. My enthusiasm for teaching and my interesting research techniques would foster a great learning environment and each student would achieve success. I believe the most important thing is to keep learning fun and revelent.

    Thank you again for the interview and allowing me the experience of learning more about your school. I would welcome the opportunity to work for ___. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Thoughts, anyone?
     
  21. Budaka

    Budaka Cohort

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    Aug 17, 2008

    Excellent! :)
     

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