scared out of my gourd!

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by munchkin, May 13, 2007.

  1. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

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    May 13, 2007

    Finally got the nerve up (again) to try and go out and interview for a teaching position. A family friend recommended I call the school which her grandchildren attend, and promised to back it up with a follow up call as a reference. Well, I did, and much to my suprise, I actually got to speak with the principal and was invited to interview Tomorrow for a third grade position! I have always wanted to teach third or fourth grade!:)
    Since I have been out of teaching for more than 18 years, I recertified in 2002 and have been a substitute teacher in both LTS and daily assignments for the past 5 years in about 7 districts/ 2 counties.I have tried many different "jobs", but none fulfill the burning need to be a teacher that I believe I have. Recently, I have been working outside of teaching for about 6 months, so I am very very very nervous about returning.:eek:
    I believe I am a teacher at heart, and I think that given time, I'd be a great teacher. I love being in a classroom, although classroom managment isn't my real strong forte. I definitely could use help in that area. But as far as I have seen, the only way that skill becomes good, is with sheer practice! I've read up on theories and books and talked to dozens of people, but have yet to actually get to practice in on my own, other than in substituting, which I have usually gotten great reviews.
    I got the Adam Waxler book,(among others) and am totally confused.
    Right now, I have worked myself up to being sick to my stomach with nerves! I will be thumbing through the interview questions on this site, and re reading Adam's book, again. Any other suggestions?
    let you know how it goes, after the interview.
    munchkin
     
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  3. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    May 13, 2007

    I'm happy for you munchkin!!!!! you can do it. BTW, Adam's book is wonderful and right on the mark. You will do great. Just think of all the life experience you can relate to teaching. That is a big plus. You have a chance, which many don't have, and with a good recomendation, you have won half the battle.

    I'm wishing you luck.. Please keep us posted.
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    May 13, 2007

    If you can sub for 5 years and still want to teach, you are more than ready. What exactly are you afraid of? Losing control of the class? Not being creative enough? Resources? Planning?
     
  5. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

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    May 13, 2007

    Okay. Thanks for the encouraging words, MissFrizzle. I am working on my cover letter, and thank you letter as we speak, since it takes me forever to put words on paper without runon sentences.(can you tell???:O
    Upsadaisy: What am I afraid of? welll, how long do you have(snicker) Yes, losing control of a classroom has been a reoccurring nightmare of mine for years.
    Creativity? NO, if anything I have been accused of being too creative!! I tend to be obsessive on details, and demand alot from myself and my victims, oops I mean students.
    Resources? wellll, from my time of working in that particular district, they have an excellent website from the district that is available to those who have a contract therefore the accessibility to those sites. I also have other districts and resources that I have access to because of my five years of subbing in ALOT of schools.
    Planning? yes. that does tend to scare me. Why? because each school is soo different as to how they want their plans done. And so far, noone has been open enough to show me what they want. I HATE the idea of failing or not being good enough.
    Interview? yes. I got this interview out of the goodness of a referral, just like Adam Waxler said in his book. And the process of me getting my tongue tied has happened sooo many times, its not funny.
    I'd love it if I had someone I could bounce questions off of face to face, and get honest answers as to where I need to improve on and what I am good at. Being a substitute, while the schools are mostly grateful for the work I have done, has also made me into a type of pariah.... Someone to fear, because I ask a ton of questions, and may be a threat to their own jobs or sanity. OR so it seems.
    This web site has been a godsend, and has given me courage to move forward on more than one occasion. So I am very very grateful that you all are here. Thank you.
    I guess I need to take a real deep breathe and remind myself that they are human too, and they won't bite. At worse, they'll tell me no, they aren't interested. At least the principal did tell me he wanted to make an offer by the end of this month, AND he IS giving me a chance to talk to him, even after interviewing others for the same positions. PS, anyone out there interested in 1st grade?? He's interviewing also for first grade teacher. The district is also looking for a elementary gifted teacher....
    Sorry for getting off the subject.
    munchkin
     
  6. goopp

    goopp Devotee

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    May 13, 2007

    Just be yourself. That is what the principal will be wanting to see, how you act and react. Go over the interview thread so you have answers to many of the questions that will be asked, but make sure they are your answers, not someone else's. I was out of teaching for 21 years (I taught for 2.5 years before that). I didn't even sub or anything, decided that I really wanted to go back into teaching, took my Praxis II tests last April and got a job in August. I think it was because I was open and honest about why I wanted to teach, what I expected to happen in my classroom, and I could relate my work experience back to teaching. (I was in advertising, nothing kid related). I got some feedback from a principal I didn't get an offer from. He hired someone because he was impressed with her portfolio. I didn't even know what a portfolio was, much less have one of my own. I created a mini-portfolio that I could take with me and leave with the principal and assistant principal I met with on my next interview. That's where I'm teaching now, so I must have done something right.

    Good luck. Get some rest tonight. Try not to stress!!! You'll do fine. And if you don't get the position, any interview is good experience!
     
  7. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

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    May 13, 2007

    thanks, goopp! I dont really know what a portfolio is either. I have started several notebooks of notes, pictures and resources that I have gathered over my subbing experience. Is that considered a portfolio??
    How did you get the feedback from the principal that didn't hire you?? Was it helpful? What part of Georgia are you in? I have a sister and brother who live in Georgia.
    Thanks for the imput.
    Munchkin
     
  8. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    May 13, 2007

    Relax! Go take a hot bath, or have a drink, or go get a pedicure, manicure. Anything to help you relax.
     
  9. SoReady2Teach

    SoReady2Teach Comrade

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    May 13, 2007

    You will do great! It's easy to see that you really have a passion for teaching and that will shine strong on your interview. Good luck and keep us posted.
     
  10. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    May 13, 2007

    When they ask a question, take a little time to think before you respond, or even ask them to clarify if you need to. That may help you from becoming tongue-tied.

    Good luck; you can do it!!
     
  11. Pixiewannabe

    Pixiewannabe Comrade

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    May 13, 2007

    Wishing you luck at your interview!
     
  12. munchkin

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    May 13, 2007

    thanks everyone. I have drilled myself into a stupor, and now I am going to go to bed. I really hope I will be able to sleep the whole night, as I have to go back to my "nonteaching" assignment that will be ending this Friday, tomorrow until 3 pm, rush out the door and drive to my interview. I will update when I get back from the interview. Atleast, he said he was going to make a decision quickly.
    Not being able to find out much info on him or the school has me worried, but I think I can fake it, afterall I Have been married to the ultimate salesman for 25 years.... (heh heh heh)
     
  13. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    May 13, 2007

    Munchkin, Adam's book is the reason I was hired. Here is the nitty gritty on how to make it work for you. You answer every single question with a way you would appy it to the classroom. For example, if asked what is your classroom management style you say your style is to keep the kids engaged in the lesson so their are no problems, you would use kagan cooperative learning, meet the mulitple intellegencies of the students (etc) then give an PERCISE expample. With Such and such lesson I did I was able to prevent behavior problems by doing such and such. Got it?

    Also answer from your heart, if you are asked about making mistakes, say yes you will, but you will do what you need to do to make up for those mistakes (that I was told recently is the #1 answer that got me hired)

    It is important that if asked about a weakeness you can give an actual weakness, like weak in spanish skills, but YOU MUST give them a concrete plan you are CURRENTLY using to get rid of that weakness.

    Oh, and smile nicely to everyone while waiting and pray in the car so calm your nerves.

    GOOD LUCK
     
  14. goopp

    goopp Devotee

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    May 14, 2007

    I'm sorry I didn't get back on last night to answer your questions. The Survivor Finale kept me away from the computer.

    This is what I had in my "mini-portfolio" last year. My resume, copy of my credentials, old evaluations (21 yr old, but since I didn't have letters of recommendation from teacher sources, I included them). That info was all in the binder part of a colored folder. In the pockets I included: my class rules, a classroom newsletter (I made it up), information about my behavior management plan, some examples of activities I planned for the 1st day of school (a glyph, a getting to know me bingo game, etc.). There may have been a few other things, but those are what I remember.

    My portfolio I created this year while teaching has all of that, plus examples of student work, lesson plans, pictures, etc. and is in a 3 ring binder.

    To get feedback from the principal, I just called him. I figured I ddn't get the job, what did I have to lose? I asked him what I could have done differently that might have gotten me the position. I also asked him what the teacher who got the positon did to impress him enough to hire her.

    I live in Cherokee County, but I teach in Cobb County. That's just north of Atlanta.

    Good luck!!! Let us know how it goes!
     
  15. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

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    May 14, 2007

    Goop:
    I hear that Cobb county is oneof the better counties to work for, according to my sister. Her daughter attended schools there and is now slated to graduate from UGA fall of 2008.
    About your portfolio... so that's what one is... in that case, yes. I have one. Would of loved to have included some of the kids work, especially the last LTS job I had, but the school required us to put them in the individual childs personal portfolio. (boy was that a chore to keep up with , with Kindergarteners!!) I never really paid much attention to the sheer amount of papers, artwork etc that they did a day!!
    Munchkin
    looks like I'll be doing the same thing as you did to get your feedback. That interview, just didn't feel right.:eek: I did the one thing I was afraid I'd do, I ran off at the mouth. Forgot a pen to write down ideas... had all my notes from Adam Waxler's book typed out, though.:rolleyes:
    I should know something within 10 days. This position is for a teacher that hasn't definitely decided to leave. She's leaving to teach closer to home, which makes sense. School lets out a week from this Friday. Rejects will get a letter, the hired one will get a phone call, and will immediately go to the district office and begin the paperwork trail.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2007
  16. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

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    May 14, 2007

    got the keep them involved down pat. Gave examples on how I'd stop misbehaviours too. Think he like it. He definitely like my answer about peer tutoring and expectations of student responsible for their own behaviors... Wish I could of given a more concrete examples with pictures, but I just couldn't find any last night...:(
     
  17. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    May 14, 2007

    Wishing you the best. I am so excited for you.
     
  18. Pixiewannabe

    Pixiewannabe Comrade

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    May 14, 2007

    Crossing my fingers that you get a phone call!
     
  19. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

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    May 15, 2007

    any ideas on a follow up letter??? can it be an email? or should it be a handwritten one? Should the hand written one come after the formal notification of yes/no???
     
  20. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Good luck!!!!!!! What kinds of questions did you get asked?
     
  21. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

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    First, he did most of the talking,/lecturing. (didn't like that aspect)
    "why do you want to teach here at xyz?
    "Tell me about yourself as a teacher, ?
    "Knowing that I have an ample source of qualified teachers, why should I hire you?"
    "how would you handle students that are more "divergent learners" a.k.a. OCD, LD, ADD, etc.?"
    "how would you handle a student that refuses to do work?"
    ""We are no longer departmentalized, you will be required to teach as a "self contained" classroom for the core 4 classes. some teachers feel this is to much and have balked. How do you feel about this?"
    "we expect our teachers to continue taking classes, where do you see yourself in 5 years?
    What is your experience with integrating curriculum? Can you give me an example of how you used it?
    He was very open to me calling back and answering any further questions that I might have... I am thinking about emailing him and seeing if I can get some answers that way.
    In general, he did more talking and answered most of my questions that I would of asked, but I am just not sure... I didn't leave there feeling real confident that I'd get a positive response. He was rushed, tired and obviously wanted to end the interview, seeing it was about 5pm, I don't blame him, I wanted to go home too!!

    I hope I am not reading too much into this, I will try to remain positive and hopeful for the next 10 days.

    munchkin
     
  22. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    sounds good Munchkin!
     
  23. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

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    well, I finally got my answer. Another rejection. BUt atleast this one acknowledged my emailed letter. HE stated that he had 15 candidates, and he felt that I was in the top couple, but he hired someone else.:(
    I guess know I will follow up with another email asking for a critique, to do better. Or should I ask to meet with them face to face. Email is easier, less embarrassing... but you can't "read" their faces. What do you all think?

    Munckin
     
  24. Research_Parent

    Research_Parent Cohort

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    May 28, 2007

    Send an email or make a phone call, face to face meetings tend not to get very good critique feedback.
     

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