Special ed interview questions

Discussion in 'Job Hunting & Interviews' started by wanateach, Apr 22, 2006.

  1. wanateach

    wanateach Companion

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    Apr 22, 2006

    Hi,
    I am pretty new to the boards, I haven't posted too much, but I have learned a lot from you all, you have great advice and experience which to me is extremely valuable. I sent out resumes and cover letters, I have 4 yrs experience, but way back in the dark ages, so I am wondering how interviews for a special ed position would differ from say a regular teaching interview-in terms of what kinds of questions will they concentrate on-discipline issues, or classroom management, routines, philosophy, I am just curious as to how to prepare, reading teacher books get me really inspired to just tell how I can make a good class into a great class of kids-I really want to teach, but I gotta get through this awful stage first, any help is greatly appreciated.:eek: Lori
     
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  3. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    May 4, 2006

    well right now inclusion is the buzz word- so I would read up on inclusion strategies. Also, there are more schools that use team teaching. You should also be able to tell how to modify work for students, write and assess IEP goals, and manage behavior.
     
  4. wanateach

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    May 11, 2006

    THanks Miss F.
    I have no way to judge how I did on my interview, but I appreciate the advice-and the practice I had-had to be worth a lot. It is just changing all the time, huh? What kind of role do you have in the IEP meetings, do you just say report on this child, or do you run the meeting, organizing the agenda, etc....?
     
  5. jhamm57

    jhamm57 Rookie

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    May 11, 2006

    I don't mean to but in, but I might be able to help.
    I usually introduce everyone, and more or less decide the order each person contributes to the meeting. If it is an initial or re-eval, I will let the Pupil Appraisal person more or less run the meeting. If it is a review, I usually ask the regular classroom teacher to go first, since she has only a limited amount of time before she must return to her class. Then, any other service personnel are asked to contribute their information - that is, OT, PT, APE, Speech, etc. I usually wait and do the academic part of the IEP last and make sure there is time to explain each part of the IEP thoroughly to the parent. That way, I know they understand everything about the IEP before they sign. There have been times (for a review conference) when the parent is a "no show". When this happens, we have a form that documents at least 3 contacts with the parent prior to the meeting date. Then, since it is a review, we can hold the meeting without the parent.
     
  6. wanateach

    wanateach Companion

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    May 12, 2006

    Wow that is really helpful, jhamm.
    I wasn't really sure of my role in the meeting, I think someone else always initiated it, I think my principal when I taught at the high school-Do you call the parents before the meeting, or does the director do that, and what role does the director have-does he/she attend your iep meetings? thanks so much.
     
  7. jhamm57

    jhamm57 Rookie

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    May 12, 2006

    After the child's evaluation is completed, you have 30 days form the date of dissemination to hold the initial (first) IEP. After the initial IEP, there is an anniversary date each year for each review IEP. The review IEP MUST be held ON or BEFORE the anniversary date. You send out Prior Notice forms (parent letter) informing the parent of the day and time of the IEP. The parents (as well as related service personnel) have to be notified at LEAST 10 days prior to the IEP date. I count back two weeks (14 days) from that date, and send out all the notifications then. That usually provides extra time, in case I have to reschedule the IEP for some reason. I usually try to schedule the meeting at a time when I know the regular classroom teacher can attend, such as when she has a break--P.E., Music, Art, Library, etc. I also notify anyone else involved in the meeting - Speech, OT, PT, etc. the same day I send home the Parent Letter.

    If there are some special concerns......such as a child with severe behavioral or medical issues........then your supervisor or principal may schedule a meeting......It is usually advised that someone in the upper "chain of command" attend any meetings that you anticipate there may be some problems of some sort. It always helps to have someone on your side if things get "sticky". I have sometimes requested that my Special Education (or one of her "right-hand" ladies) attend any IEP meeting when I feel there may be a problem of some kind. They are usually accommodating, if you give them ample prior notice. I would just notify them when you send out the Prior Notice forms to the parents. Usually a phone call will suffice.
     
  8. readytoteach!

    readytoteach! Rookie

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    May 13, 2006

    first special ed interview

    I am going on my first special ed. interview, and am extremely nervous about it. I would appreciate if if you would be able to share some of the questions that you received on your interview?
    Thanks so much!!!
     
  9. wanateach

    wanateach Companion

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    May 14, 2006

    Ready to teach,
    I would be happy to share with you what I remember, I had two separate interviews-so forgive me if they run together-I had all of the typical questions-One was "How do you handle behavior in your classroom" They got that one right off the bat. They asked me about how I feel about failing a special ed student, how would I handle the documentation and all of the paperwork that comes with the job as far as goals for the ieps. One of the questions -I was interviewed for special ed preschool-was what are the components that you remember of an iep-OH-One was how do you feel about parent(s) always hanging around your classroom? How do you handle a difficult parent? How do you communicate with the parents? How do you schedule activities and structure the day? How are you at working with other professionals? I think this is a broad overview, let me think, it has been a week now, and I was relieved to get them over with. When is your interview? I just logged on now, so I hope I wasn't too late for you, I would love to know how you do on your interview. I am going back and forth, will I get it, or not-how important is that right now, so let me know how you are doing. Lori
     
  10. readytoteach!

    readytoteach! Rookie

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    May 15, 2006

    thanks

    Thanks! that helps so much! I have not had my first interview yet, I have one Friday over the phone. I am so nervous, and trying to read and go over everything in my path. good luck to you!!

     
  11. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    May 16, 2006

    wannateach- How did you answer the question abouT handling the paperwork? I would think my answer would be to be very organized, keep documentation regularly, etc. Help!
     
  12. wanateach

    wanateach Companion

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    May 16, 2006

    I just said that I would incorporate the goals into my daily routine, and supplement for example if the objective was identifying initial consonants in certain words, then I would have those particular games or file folder activities in my classroom and document when they correctly identified the letters in the words, or something like that, so you are documenting and teaching using those goals as your plan. Hope that helps, but I said nothing about my organization methods. Someone on these boards said, and I would defiinitely use this-to put your goals for students in a prominent place and mark them right away when they accomplish it. Sort of a tick off sheet. I can use all the help I can get on that. thanks for asking. L
     
  13. JHarrison

    JHarrison New Member

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    May 16, 2006

    I have been teaching for 4 1/2 years, of which two have been in Self-Contained Special Ed. settings. I have been on a dozen plus interviews. It is important not to be surprise or caught off guard by an interview question. This one got me. It is cleaned up.

    One of your students comes up to you and says, "Get out of my way, you ******* *****!" What do you do?

    Be prepared for curveballs, and do what I did. Hit them out of the park.
     
  14. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    May 16, 2006

    so how did you respond? How do you like your job after 41/2 years? I am hoping to teach SPED. Any advice?
     
  15. JHarrison

    JHarrison New Member

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    May 17, 2006

    I responded the wrong way. The interviewing principal's come backs are in red.

    You know that is inappropriate language.

    **** you! You stupid *** ****! Get out of my way, before I knock the **** out of you.

    We're about to go to the office.

    You and what army? The principal then does a wave off. Welcome to Middle School.

    I did not get that job.

    I love teaching SPED. I actually get aggrevated with the non-SPED students during this time of the year. They tend to get wild when they get a little free time or go to field trips.

    All of the students that I teach will not receive diplomas, they will receive certificates of achievement or certificates of accomplishment. We have to teach tem skills they will prepare them for living day to day. I am personally against some of the federal and state guidelines for this population. Teach them how to read using the sixth grade textbook, when their reading level may be at preK. Yes, right! I put my opinions on all state EOY assessments that I proctor or administer, telling them these tests do not show accurate assessment to students with these particular exceptionalities.
     
  16. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    May 17, 2006

    jHarrison- I would have been caught way off guard, and would have probably responded similar as you. Honestly, I don't think that was a fair question for an interview. I would have been heading for the door...LOL

    I have 13 years working in various capacites with DD populations. As you can guess, I have done direct care, to case management. I like it, but I think I am slowly getting worn out. I would like to get into an inclusion classroom at the elementary level or maybe resource room.
    Good Luck to you! I don't know how you do it... sounds rough. How many students are in your class?
     
  17. wanateach

    wanateach Companion

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    May 17, 2006

    J Harrison,
    Thanks for that eye opener, that is why I want the lower grades, not that they can't cuss like a sailor, but I think you still have a little clout-or they want to please you-I need that in my corner. That is good, when I taught I had a child continually call me B**** when he saw me, we had some time in the hallway-but I know I didn't handle it correctly-had I to do it over again and I do hope I get the chance-I would be alerted early on to it, I would find what he is interested in-what he likes to do, or what he can succeed at, and give him opportunities to do well-on whatever it is-see if he could either help some of the other kids or have a responsibility of some kind. I think when they say that they just want shock value and also attention, don't you? Even if it is for the wrong thing. I would look at what his day is like-what happens just before he calls me that, and what happens after, I would find ways to encourage his good behavior even if it is very small-ways like nods, winks, some approval gesture-there is so much you can do to prevent this- I think-I would get on it at the beginning of the year.

    How about anybody else, how would you handle this situation?
     
  18. Starting_Over

    Starting_Over Rookie

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    May 17, 2006

    Do SpEd students receive grades/report cards?? How is their progress measured :confused:
     
  19. wanateach

    wanateach Companion

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    May 23, 2006

    Hi,
    Just sort of bummed today-came to the conclusion they are not going to call me for the job. It is so depressing, I feel like I am a crack in the sidewalk, not really here nor there- I have experience, but it is too long ago to feel like they will get fresh meat-and yet I have it-it should be worth something-so I think I look good on paper-but can't seem to get the edge I need over the "Just out of student teaching-choicer morsels-you know? Anybody have a good experience to relate? It is darn discouraging-you know. thanks ahead of time for letting me vent.
     
  20. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    May 24, 2006

    wanna teach - I wish I did have some thing to say, but please don't give up. You will get a job that is right for you and that will make you happy. It will work out.hang in there.
     
  21. wanateach

    wanateach Companion

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    May 24, 2006

    Thanks Miss Frizzle,
    How about you, any interviews coming your way? I just keep checking the reap site and think there must be something-somewhere. I can get sharpened up I guess-thanks. L.
     
  22. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    I'm hoping to hear something soon... but I do have an interview on June 6 for the Catholic Schools. Thanks for asking.
     
  23. wanateach

    wanateach Companion

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    May 26, 2006

    Good for you Miss F. It helps to know you aren't going through this alone. Waiting is so hard, between not having any clue as to how they decide these things-I know I am not the first choice-already a given, so I try to get interviews at places that aren't really attractive to the new teachers-you know. I thought special ed would be wide open, but it doesn't seem to be-I thought the paperwork turned people off-but maybe everyone is just jobhungry? I don't know the reason, but waiting is the hardest part. Let me know how your interview goes-wanateach.
     
  24. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    May 26, 2006

    I will wannateach! Good luck in your search
     
  25. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    May 26, 2006

    This is all great info, which I'll be reading thoroughly since I'm starting to look for a special ed position.

    Does anyone happen to know who or what company sells instructional videotapes/DVDs regarding special ed procedures, teaching strategies, IEP process/meetings, inclusion/mainstreaming, & any other things that has to do with special ed? (There's instructional videos about other things in teaching)
     
  26. wanateach

    wanateach Companion

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    May 27, 2006

    Ms. I.
    I don't know if this will help, but I checked out a bunch of stuff from our local library-through the web-search site-you can borrow from many different libraries, I got one on iep meetings, and just took notes on it. I have an excellent book by Susan Winebrenner, and one I picked up at Barnes and Noble on Teaching Special education -that one is more for classroom-regular teachers-because of inclusion more of the teachers don't know what to do with them. There are lots of resources-just put a subject search in your library search engine and see what you come up with-let me know if I can help you any more. Lori
     
  27. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    May 27, 2006

    Ms I,

    I have been doing the same thing as wannateach. The library has excellent information. I just take out a few books at a time, and make notes... I have so much info now. I picked up a few books at Barnes and Noble also. Ones that I thought I could use as a reference. There is a good book about special ed strategies, I don't know the exact name, but if you check out the book store there are plenty.

    I am trying to keep notes in a binder. I just don't have a good system right now.

    I didn't realize there were instructional videos too.. If you find any let me know.

    Good Luck!
     
  28. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    May 28, 2006

    Thanks so much Lori & MissFrizzle & thanks for your offer of additional help! So far, I'll just be subbing & working my other part-time job until I get hired, so I'm sure I'll have a good amount of time on my hands to browse all my local bookstores & libraries! If I find out any good books/videos, I'll let you know.
     
  29. Miss Mae

    Miss Mae Rookie

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    Hello, I am very new here and this is actually my first post/response, etc. I am in the process of getting my credential and am currently in the middle of a Special Ed class. We are talking about behavior management. What are some ways that you have been able to manage behavior, most specifically related to LD, ADHD and GATE students. Do you have any techniques that you can share?
     
  30. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    May 28, 2006

    Miss Mae-

    There are some excellent threads on behavior management on the forum. If you do a search you will find a lot of info. By the way, Welcome to A to Z. You will love it here:)
     
  31. Miss Mae

    Miss Mae Rookie

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    Thank you... I am really new here and not sure how everything really works. So far, I've found some interesting stuff. Very helpful.
     
  32. wanateach

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    May 29, 2006

    Good luck to you Miss Mae,
    I would love to pick your brain as to what you are learning in your class. What kinds of strategies are they teaching you? I would love to pick up a psychology class too-it would help me with what is "behind" the behavior? And picking up information on patterns of behavior-how do they handle stress, etc.... I love listening to Dr. Phil because he has a sort of tough love attitude which I think can be very effective if it is used with much caring and compassion. Hope you are finding answers to your questions. Lori
     
  33. wanateach

    wanateach Companion

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    May 29, 2006

    I wish you luck Miss I. I subbed too for awhile at the high school level, where I was more less a babysitter for the kids, so I sort of technically got paid to study-I took notes on some of the printouts I got from LD online-they have lots of good stuff-I think I was able to pick up some good experience subbing too-you have to be really tough, but it is over in a few hours-I loved/hated it, but I got to know some of the kids really well that way. Yes, you can check out videos which I did on whatever I could find-and take notes on them. I got really good ideas from them. good luck to you-hope this helps in some small way, I would love to help you anytime at all. Wanateach:) :)
     
  34. Miss Mae

    Miss Mae Rookie

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    May 29, 2006

    We have been learning about the different disabilities... learning about how one gets into a special ed class (born or tested) and learning about various laws, etc. there are a lot of interesting things in regards to special ed that i did not know about. For me not knowing anything, really, this class has been a major eye opener. One of the most important things that have been stressed to us however, is that we should NEVER try to diagnose a student. but really, it's a brief overview as our class is only four weeks long.
     
  35. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    May 29, 2006

    wannateach- what videos have you seen? I can't find any
     
  36. wanateach

    wanateach Companion

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    May 29, 2006

    Miss Frizzle,
    I found a couple of them, that was back in Illinois, and now we are in Missouri-I cannot remember the particular names of them-one was just like talking about the specific behaviors-some man teacher telling about how he created a community by teaching them-knitting? NOt sure-and acted out books on stage complete with costumes-really good stuff. Another one was on iep meetings, of course it was cheesy and overacted-dramatic, but it gave the different roles of the different people involved in them, and how conflicts came up-the regular teachers were made out to be very defensive and like the hardest ones to get along with-can't remember the name Just do a subject search, I will try here and let you know if I findanything-Lori
     
  37. wanateach

    wanateach Companion

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    May 29, 2006

    Miss Mae,
    Thanks for that, I remember general classes like that, we learned about all of the really rare diseases-you needed a strong stomach-I think I had some psychology but not too much, and truthfully I had nothing that really helped me in the classroom it was all vague. But I am curious as to what they teach about managing behaviors.
     
  38. wanateach

    wanateach Companion

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    May 29, 2006

    Miss Frizzle,
    I just ordered one!!!I was successful, I just put in the subject line Special education teaching, and I ordered a DVD with collaboration, and general methodology-should be here in a few days-need more info? Let me know or pm me, I can send you my link. L.
     
  39. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    May 31, 2006

    Thanks wanateach for your good wishes & your info!
     
  40. wanateach

    wanateach Companion

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    May 31, 2006

    you are welcome, I feel like, we are all in this together!! I hope you get a job soon. any time I can help, I am here. Lori
     
  41. maebowler

    maebowler Comrade

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    Jun 14, 2006

    Thank You

    I read through this post before going on a job interview. Sure enough some of the questions that were on the forum were asked at the interview. Thank you so much for helping me prepare for my interview. I don't know if I will be offered the job, but it made me feel more confident with my interview.
     

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