So, why do you think you got hired?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by SweetHomeAlabam, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. SweetHomeAlabam

    SweetHomeAlabam Companion

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    Jul 26, 2009

    What made you a stand out teacher?
    What are your best qualities?
    What makes you different as a teacher?
    At your interview, were your honest about your goals and philosophy or did you spout out what you thought was just a good answer?

    What has made you successful in changes student lives?

    Do not think about anything that is negative, only positive!:thumb:

    Just answer what you want, you get the jist of the question.
     
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  3. MathManTim

    MathManTim Companion

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    Jul 26, 2009

    I wonder this myself given that I've just landed my first teaching position without having gone through the traditional education course sequence. In subsequent conversation with the principal, here's what I've gleaned. For what it's worth, I was very honest and open about my goals and philosophies in the interview.

    1) The fact that I want to teach math, and my bachelor's is in math helps tremendously. She was also greatly encouraged, she said, by how well I did on my Praxis exams.

    2) From what I've read of the school's teaching philosophy, and from what I've seen work, and not work, as a student, I think the school is on the right track. I specifically told them that I was going to teach math this way, anyway, so it was good to see that we were all on the same page.

    3) I am passionate about my subject field, which comes through anytime I start explaining some type of mathematical topic.

    4) This issue was danced around a little bit, as if it were a bit of an unspoken truth that we all recognized: I'm not afraid of the neighborhood. The school is definitely classified as "inner city", yet it's only half a mile from the house where my dad and my uncle were raised, and where my grandfather lived until I was 10 years old. Some people fear the inner city in general, thinking that muggers and drug dealers armed with machine guns are lurking behind every door. The truth, however, is that while there are very dangerous pockets here and there, most of the people who live here are normal, decent, hard-working people like yourself who are being forced to put up with a more open and brazen criminal element than you see elsewhere.

    MathManTim
     
  4. ambritlit

    ambritlit Companion

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    I think that played a part in my new job, too, not the neighborhood but the kids themselves. I used to work with troubled teens, and the principal was excited about that.
     
  5. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    I was lucky that the P that hired me had seen me sub for a teacher who had heart surgery, so she was out almost the entire year. I was in that class from October through June. So he knew he wanted to hire me during the interview.

    My best qualities are my ability to relate to my students and my classroom management. My class is always smooth running with little to no behavior issues. We have a great time learning and my classes seem to enjoy my personality.

    I think I have been successful with my students because I don't take excuses where a lot of teachers at my school do. The kids believe that they are just not good at math, or their EL student so they will just be lower. BULL. I tell them all that they can be just as successful as anyone else and I work with them until they are.
     
  6. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I think the reason I got my current job is that I totally believed in the mission and vision of the school. My school is designed for students who are mostly 17 and older but a least a year behind in credits. We try to keep them in school so that they can earn their diploma rather than dropping out and getting a GED. It's exactly the type of school we need for drop out prevention, and I was so excited that it was opening in our community that I think my enthusiasm came across loud and clear. :D
     
  7. SweetHomeAlabam

    SweetHomeAlabam Companion

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    What type of classroom management do you use? Is you group of students typically disruptive in other classes?
     
  8. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    I am still elementary, not middle school like most 6th grades, but yes they were disruptive in 5th grade. I don't use a specific management style (although I have been interested in trying WBT lately). I just have high expectations for their behavior and success and they always rise to those expectations. I am strict with the rules but fun if they can follow them.
     
  9. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    I'll be honest, I was hired just because I was a fully certified teacher and they had many vacancies that needed to be filled in the middle of the school year. I would like to believe that they thought I was an awesome teacher! :)
     
  10. SweetHomeAlabam

    SweetHomeAlabam Companion

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    Not sure what WBT is?

    Sorry....what is WBT?
     
  11. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Desperation -- seriously. I was hired 5 days before school started. My school district had hired a first year teacher in June and I guess she spent most of June crying and freaking out over having to teach special education (she had no training) and to have to teach 6 grades at the same time on top of that, so in August they transferred her to a regular ed. program. When they interviewed me they kept telling me that they need to hire someone who won't be scared of the students and their behaviors:lol: I work in a site school for students with severe emotional/behaviorial disabilities and it is one of two school's of last resort for these students in the public school system.
     
  12. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I was hired, after the school year had started, solely on the basis of a strong recommendation from the VP at the school where I had completed 2 long term positions. He set up the interview for me, then called me and told me about it; I would never have applied on my own because it was primarily working with grades 7 and 8, grades which I didn't think I would enjoy.
     
  13. **Mrs.A**

    **Mrs.A** Comrade

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    When I graduated I was put into a permanent sub position at the school where I was hired. I believe that helped tremendously because the principal got to know me and see me in action. He was also friends with the principal at the school where I did my student teaching. I had an awesome student teaching experience and got a great letter of recommendation from the P.

    I think my age helped..I'm a career changer and thank my lucky stars that I graduated (2007) when I did..The class behind me hasn't been so lucky.
     
  14. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    I know that this is why I was hired for the second of my two music positions. I was the ONLY teacher hired by this one -first year principal (a fact that would haunt me when she was replaced the next year). But she was desperate to fill the position. Perhaps I was the one to walk in the door...I don't know. But it was to my advantage.

    I know that I didn't want the position and that she was talking to me as if I was established in the job. I recently had an interview for a major high school in the area..and I hoped I was going to get THAT. She asked me to get back to her...and I knew I had to. I had an aching question for her...but knew if I called to ask that I would HAVE to give my answer about the job (the question: They HAD being teaching jr high music back to back with gym classes...so it ended up being all girls together and all boys together. there was NO WAY I wanted to teach 7th or 8th grade BOYS ONLY general music classes. So I wanted to ask if they would change those to co-ed classes...but I KNEW this would mean them either changing their established gym classes to co-ed, or disrupting the entire school's scheduling, IF I were to get my way.).

    I ended up calling. Believing that anything less than a "Of Course we will change the ENTIRE school for YOU" would give me an out. I NEVER expected HER desperation. Her "YES! so can we count on you??" I agreed, and felt that the hand-cuffs were firmly locked down.

    1 week before school started. A room that looked like an abandoned musty old attic. A student population that was over 6 times what I had come from, and a principal would WANTED a jazz band...oh, but they didn't have ANY band program...YET! (BTW..the principal said i didn't have to meet with any classes for two weeks. While the rest of the faculty was busy starting school and get their classes, procedures and routines established...I was slowly setting up shop in the "attic" without being too rushed.) I'm sure more than one teacher looked at me as a prima-donna before they even met me.

    Ended up being a dream job (Incredible kids and teachers..a growing band department, the room-a dream, and I was...well..they thought I could do no wrong-being the only music teacher, there was no one to tell them I was winging as much as I was) ...and if IT were available now, I'd gnaw off my left arm to get it again!
     
  15. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I was hired because I've worked as an aide for the for 4 years. They had several openings they needed to fill. I heard some of the interviews were bad. Because I haven't finished my training yet and don't have a certificate, I attacked the interview process like I do everything else, with lots of energy, zeal and research. I didn't take it for granted even though I knew I had a good chance just based on my history with them. I don't feel quite ready for this position but I know if I attack it with half the resourcefulness and energy as I've put forth my job in the past, I will come out fine. What I find amazing is that most teachers at my school feel like they didn't have support those first few years. I have already had 4-5 people, including admin tell me I have full support so make sure I ask questions and use it. I'm hoping that's true! I'm taking a college class under our reading specialist right now. Great timing!
     
  16. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    Jul 26, 2009

    Oh sorry Whole Brain Teaching
     
  17. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I think it was my passion for teaching and for wanting to try all the strategies that I've been learning in my masters program. I think my best qualities are that I'm compassionate, flexible, and I know my stuff. I am always honest about my goals and philosophies in the interview. Most of the time what I believe and the mission of the school align pretty closely.
     
  18. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    My attitude is what got me hired. I didn't have much experience and I didn't have any connections to the school. I will do what it takes to get the job done and I'm a very dedicated person. When I commit to something, I make sure I do it to the best of my ability and that I finish it. I made sure that I portrayed that about myself and that is why I got the job. My school is made up of a bunch of go-getters so I definitely fit in!
     
  19. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    I think the biggest factor overall was my specific degree and the huge number of content area credits. Everyone seemed very impressed with my content preparation, and I know that is something sorely needed in my area. When I was applying for jobs, my graduate advisors told me to push that and sell that with everything I had because it would be my strongest asset.

    The job I took, I think the P really liked my ideas and philosophy about teaching Earth Science. The interview sorted of evolved almost into a back and forth conversation and less of a structured interview, so I am really excited because I think I will fit in well at the school.

    Also, about 15 minutes into the interview, I think I really KNEW that I wanted THAT job and it was almost as if something clicked on in me and I was determined that I would get THAT job. I sort of let go and went with my instincts instead of trying to second guess myself or make perfect answers. At that interview, more than any other, I was just myself. I got the offer on the spot, so I think it paid off. I would have no idea how to duplicate that sort of approach though, sadly.

    Some of the other jobs I was offered, I honestly thing the biggest factor was 1) degree and 2) lack of more compelling candidates for a variety of reasons including crapp(ier) area, getting later in the hiring season so more and more of the few ES candidates already hired, etc. I actually started applying a bit late and missed out on at least 3-4 districts that had already closed out the positions. A few more had taken the listings down between the time I started my app and time I went back a day or two later to finalize.

    Reading all the posts on here, I really thank my lucky stars that I was looking for a job in a critical need area! I found a job relatively quickly, but I got a small taste for how insanely stressful it is.

    * Oh. Almost everyone commented on how organized I was. (I am not, but I can pretend if I must) I had copies of my resume to pass out and I had my plan for full certification firmly mapped out along with every conceivable test score needed. I figured there were all no-brainer things, but apparently not. Twice I was thanked for being punctual (!!!).
     
  20. fuzed_fizzion

    fuzed_fizzion Comrade

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    What made you a stand out teacher?
    I am not sure what made me stand out as a teacher. May be it was because we had to play phone tag for awhile. My school is on the west coast, but I was on the east coast at a brain research conference. (I thought at the time I would not get the job because the interview was over the phone. I did it while walking on the waterfront in Boston.) I think it might have been that I had been successful with a similar population of students across town. My principal and I never talked about it.

    What are your best qualities?
    I work well with others. I know that sounds strange as a best quality, but I am able to get the teacher who no one likes and does not want to work with anyone to work with me.
    I am a good communicator which makes people feel like I am trustworthy. I am honest without being mean about it.
    I love kids and teaching and put a great deal of thought into it.

    What makes you different as a teacher?
    This is tough for me to say because I think I just do what I think is the good and right thing for kids. I will always listen to what people have to say and make the time to do so. I get bored easily as a teacher, so my lessons need to be engaging for me as well.

    At your interview, were your honest about your goals and philosophy or did you spout out what you thought was just a good answer?
    I was never asked this question, so I was honest!

    What has made you successful in changes student lives?
    see above answer about making me a different teacher
     
  21. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    My biggest asset in the eyes of my principal is that my thinking and background is "outside the box." I came to education after a decade in the finance / banking sector, so I could give reluctant learners a broad understanding of life outside of the classroom. Also, because I had subbed in every socioeconomic level in the county, I could understand students from every area in the state. Finally, despite having a limited background working with students of my own, I made it clear that once I have students, they become my KIDS. Principal understood that I was happy to track down a student and get him or her engaged even if it meant showing up at their front door. That was what put me over the top.
     
  22. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    This has been an interesting read - I sent it to a friend of mine who is desperately looking for a job for the fall.

    I honestly have no idea why I was hired :confused: . They hired 4 teachers for our grade level and we were all very different. I stood out in my first teaching experience only because the other teachers I worked with didn't do anything. I really don't think if myself as a stand-out teacher---yet, always trying to learn new strategies.

    I'm very professional, which is sometimes hard to maintain when dealing with cross parents or immature co-workers. People know that I am there early and stay late. I really believe in challenging the kids (which can be very difficult in Kinder because they lack a lot of basic skills) and integrate a lot of higher level strategies, even before they started giving me the GT kids.

    I was pretty honest in the interview. There were a couple of times when I stopped and thought there's a specific answer they are looking for here, but just said what I believed. I truly believe I just got lucky and I was meant to be there for some reason.
     
  23. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Well, currently I'm still awaiting a job, however my first teaching job, I was hired for a few reasons. I had just completed my student teaching at the school with the VP as my cooperating teacher the previous year. It went really well. So I was asked to apply for a maternity leave position as a Resource & Methods teacher. I was able to speak to the person who I would be replacing, and she gave me a rundown of all the questions that would likely be asked of me, and particularly what the learning specialist for Student Services at the district office was big on. I found out from my principal that my supervisor from District Office was particularly impressed by the way I was able to break down the various types of SEPs (New Brunswick version of IEPs) as well as how I described assistive technology.

    The next year (this past year), my principal wanted to keep me around, and a new program called "Connections" was invented at the end of the school year. It was similar to Behaviour Intervention. During the last few weeks, I had completed all my testing and year-end reports as the Resource and Methods Teacher to go with my SEPs, and was looking for something that I could do in the school that would be helpful. I noticed one of my students was starting to really wear on his teachers (and his TA's) nerves. He had some real anger management issues, and so I took him for the day. We did a whole days worth of talking about interviewing people (how to do it, and what to say, what questions to ask) then I had him interview teachers about how they deal with anger. He put together a poster, along with some of HIS ideas for anger management. This was before I knew anything about Connections, but it was the big thing that tipped the scales in my favour when my principal was looking for someone who would be a good Connections teacher.
     
  24. allisonbeth

    allisonbeth Comrade

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    I think I was hired for a few reasons-
    1. I was very excited about the job. I researched the job/ school/ community. I looked at all the programs the school used, info from the census, read and searched the local weekly paper, etc. I found out who might interview me and then looked at their classroom websites and googled their names. I prepared questions that I knew would show that we had some similar interests. I also made comments during the interview that made me seem like the perfect fit (ex. made comments about how much I liked their specific reading program, showed pictures in my portfolio that indicated that I had used similar programs, etc).
    2. I have the certification they wanted (n-6 elementary ed, reading n-6, English 7-12).
    3. I made sure my references were very strong AND that they were available during the summer. Luckily everyone was kind enough to give me their cell numbers in addition to their normal contact numbers. I was told that there was another teacher in the running for the position they offered me however they could not reach her references.
     
  25. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    I believe I was hired because I was so well prepared for the interview. I studied every possible question I thought might be asked, and prepared an answer for it. I was ready and confident with answers, and when I was asked questions I wasn't prepared for, the fact that I had aced the other questions gave me some momentum to come up with decent answers.
     
  26. Lionteacher

    Lionteacher Companion

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    I know I interviewed well and was told so however it came down to references.

    My new principal flat out told me that what made me stand out was the reference from my old principal. He said it was an amazing reference and made it a no contest.
     
  27. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    I immediately clicked with the interview team (Sup, P and VP).
     
  28. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    I have no idea why I was originally hired. I showed up to the first interview very, very sick, and I don't remember half of what I told the two people who interviewed me that day. I remember just saying whatever came to my head, trying to get the interview over as soon as possible, so I could go back home and go to bed. I was positive they would not call me back.

    They called me back for a second interview a few weeks later, and got to see a more animated Sam. Funny part is that in that second interview, I started backing down, stating that I wanted to observe a classroom first, because I was worried that I didn't know what I was getting myself into, and if that happened, and it turned out that i hated the position (working with ED kids), "I will be miserable, and the kids will be miserable, and the people who work with me will be miserable." They let me sit in a class for a few hours, and I went home. They called me and offered me a position the next day.

    Interestingly, I really didn't want the position. During my observation, I simply wanted to be a fly on the wall, but the teacher of the classroom introduced me as a visitor who was "thinking about working here," which irritated me quite a bit. During my observation, I sat with a child, who eventually asked me if I was going to stay, or if I was "going to leave like the others." It kinda broke my heart, and that conversation with that kid (7 years old at the time) was really what made me say yes. I've been there for 13 years now, long enough to watch that initial kid, along with the others from that first class, grow up and graduate from high school. I've been there a long time, and have done a lot of growing up myself while there (I was a horrible instructor when I first started). I still don't know why they hired me that first year, but they obviously saw something in me that I didn't know was there, and for that I am grateful. I am going to be sad when I finally leave that place next year, to move on to bigger and better things.
     
  29. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Hmm...I don't know what made me stand out. I actually went into it thinking, another interview, well, good practice for the school that I really want to be at, which I was to interview at two days later...When the P was giving me a tour, I remember saying, "now,this would be different, but something similar at my last district....things like that. I was offered the position at the end of the interview. I know I was honest about my future goals. I know saying that I wanted to get an ASD certificate certainly helped my cause. I think I was honest about my philosophy to an extent, but I also knew what not to say,I suppose.
    My best qualities are that I am hard working and creative. I think that what makes me different is that I believe that my students are capable of learning in a traditional sense. I teach in an alternative program and there are teachers who believe that our students cannot do whole group learning or be a part of a group in that sense. I say this is not true. I think what has made me successful is just being there for the student when he or she needs a trusted adult.
     
  30. nothermanda

    nothermanda Companion

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    Jul 26, 2009

    Passion seems to make a huge difference!

    My principal and teaching team were looking for some sort of revolutionary idealist with a passion for teaching, and my resume included an entire page of volunteer work from high school and college.

    It worked for them!
     
  31. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Jul 26, 2009

    I believe I was hired because I had a very strong resume with great references who could vouch for my teaching abilities. I made sure to work at daycares all through college so I would have teaching experience to put on that first resume. I also had a high GPA (3.9) and I was endorsed in many areas including English as a Second Language. I put myself through college as a single mother of an 10 year old and a 2 year old. They were 15 and 7 when I graduated. (You'd better believe I mentioned that during the "Tell us about yourself" part of the interview. I wanted them to know I work hard and I do what needs to get done.

    I was very enthusiastic and honest during my interview. There were times I drew blanks because I was nervous and I would stop and tell them I had drawn a blank and they would tell me that was fine because they'd rather I be honest and ask for the question to be repeated rather than just ramble off a crazy response.

    I also have a slight case of naivety which tends to make me oblivious to feelings of insecurity. Does that make sense? In other words, while others may freak out and worry they won't be good enough to be hired, I've always thought that I'm just as good if not better than the other candidates so why wouldn't they hire me? It's good to be clueless sometimes.

    I've never really felt in competition with others. I have lots of self-confidence. I think it comes from losing my mom as a young child, having a neglectful father, and having to go it alone in life. I developed an life attitude of "Of course I can. If I don't, who else will?"
     
  32. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Jul 26, 2009

    I was hired in early July because the teacher they had hired for the position I eventually got rescinded on her contract. The P interviewing me had to fill about 5 positions quickly and was new to the school herself, so I know she was just trying to get things in place as quickly as possible. I think what sealed the deal for me was when I told her I knew the kids (going into 5th) in that class well. I had done a ton of subbing for the 4th grade teacher the year before and had a pretty good handle on what to expect from the kids in terms of behavior and abilities. They in turn knew me pretty well as far as my expectations and management style. I could see the relief on her face when she heard this. She immediately took me on a tour of the building although I could have guided it myself.
     
  33. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Jul 27, 2009

    I worked as a sub in day-to-day and long-term positions at the high school where I worked originally, and then I did a one-year leave position at the middle school where I work currently.

    Essentially I had year-long interviews. Everyone knew that I was after a permanent position, and they got to see me work over time, so there weren't any surprises.

    It also helped that they were the same schools I had attended, with people who had been my teachers. They knew me as a student and person, too. That's a plus in my area because we're very rural with a high-poverty population that's just not a fit for most people who come to us from other areas. All of our long-term teachers are either native to the area, from a surrounding county, or had made a permanent relocation to the area before starting teaching here. We have NO teachers from other areas who ever stay more than a couple of years. They always want to go "back home" to work or get tired of the commute.
     

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