Student Teaching begins in a month

Discussion in 'Student & Preservice Teachers' started by bros, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Do you believe behavior warrants more stick pulling (meaning the teachers are too lenient)? If so, do you feel comfortable pulling a stick/having students pull a stick while you are teaching?
     
  2. LouiseB

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    Nov 19, 2013

    If you feel that pulling sticks works for you, then you should do so. You should be in charge of the classroom in your student teaching experience so it should be how you would want your classroom to be.
     
  3. bros

    bros Phenom

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    I would probably do a mix of the two - as a stoplight system is an effective tool for behavior management when used properly. In the afternoon class, the behavior management system is more of a student centered system - the teacher will state the instructions for individual/small group work, then assess for understanding of the directions by saying "Deal?" and the students reply "Deal!"

    Sorry if that sounds too textbook?

    I think some behaviors have warranted more stick pulling that has occurred, although with some of the students, the gen ed teacher threatening to send home a note to their parent/guardian is enough to make them behave - at least for a little while. They're kindergarteners, they don't remember exactly what they did wrong three hours later.

    Today in the afternoon class, they had music after I taught a short lesson on Native Americans. There was a substitute for music who was not very good. He put on a DVD, then sat at my CTs desk (as she was in the supply room & talking to the principal about something) and was on his phone for the rest of the period, then ran out the door right when the period ended, before my CT was even back. So I had the students get up, because I knew their brains would be fried after 45 minutes straight of a video, so I had them stretch for a minute before going back to their seats to occupy them until my CT returned.
     
  4. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    This is what everyone is talking about when they state you're not getting an authentic experience. You shouldn't be "occupy[ing]" them until your CT returns. YOU should be managing the transition time from music to the next lesson/activity. That's what real teachers do. They don't just teach lessons from start to finish, with someone else managing the in between transition time all day long. Why is your CT still doing this instead of you?
     
  5. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Nov 19, 2013

    Your CT is dropping the ball (unless she feels uncomfortable with you taking the lead).
     
  6. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Because the CT was unsure as to what she wanted to have the class do after music. She decided right when she came in that she wanted to walk them down to the gym and have them do some games and dances (Hokey Pokey, Chicken Dance, etc.)

    I was handling them when they were transitioning from social studies to music, as my CT was out of the room and the music teacher was already on his phone at the teachers desk, so I quieted them down for the movie the sub put on. I also handled them when they went for their bathroom and drink break.
     
  7. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Nov 20, 2013

    The bolded makes it sound like you don't normally handle transitions...
     
  8. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    At this point, you should be the one making those decisions, not her.
     
  9. bros

    bros Phenom

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    The music teacher normally handles the transition from whatever is before it to music. She'll usually come in a minute or two early, then we'll wrap up whatever we're doing and have the students sit on the carpet for music.
     
  10. RadiantBerg

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    Again, sounds like picking from the ole' pumpkin patch of excuses.
     
  11. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    bros, have you or have you not directly asked yout CTs for a more authentic experience? I don't believe you should have to, but I think you should ask this TOMORROW if you haven't already. I don't think you can just walk into the classroom and take over (as it seems some people think you should, or they are at least being critical of the fact you're not in a position of more control), but I think you have to address it. Maybe they'll say they aren't comfortable giving you the reins or maybe they'll say that's not how it's done there...but you have to address it.
     
  12. bros

    bros Phenom

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    I don't think that's how its done here. There are two other student teachers here. One is on the other side of the school and from my school, I haven't seen her the entire year. The other is down the hall. She seems to be treated similarly to me.

    Today we had a fun day. A student who has been out all week due to "being sick" was found out to have lice (the parents neglected to tell the nurse), so today, a whole slew of kids had to be checked for lice, along with a bunch of teachers, including my afternoon CT, so I had to take over at the end of the day while she was waiting to get checked by the nurse. I handled the dismissal.
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 20, 2013

    Do you have student teaching seminar classes to attend at your college? At such classes, STs generally discuss their lessons, questions, concerns. It might be insightful for you to have such discourse with the other STs from your college.
     
  14. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    I teach 4th grade, officially a "first year" but interned/mid-year hire last for middle school last year--transferred to 4th in September after maternity leave.

    So I started with my group at the end of September. It's been 2 months and I've got them trained and I love it.

    Never, ever talk over them. Never. That's like, rule #1. I'm probably a witch but if I hear any mumbling, whispering, or anything while I'm talking, I stop and say in a very warning type of voice "Who's talking while I'm talking???!!!" and then I take their log and sign it. They do it again? Oh now, it's no recess. Again? Silent Lunch. Again? Goodbye--you go to so and so's room for a time out. It NEVER gets to silent lunch, ever. And it's so funny because now I do not need to broadcast "Okay everyone be quiet," to preface that I'm talking. Now I just start to speak and everyone stops talking immediately--you can hear a pin drop. It's a beautiful thing.

    I HATE talking while I'm talking. I HATE it. And they know it.

    And don't let me catch you looking out the window, staring at the wall, or playing in your desk because I will call you out and say "Johnny, am I out the window??!!! No, I am not! I'm up here!"

    Maybe I'm just mean, but darn it they will pay attention and they will not talk when I'm talking.
     
  15. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Nov 20, 2013

    Congratulations! It takes some teachers many years to realize that the key to classroom management is to consistently get and keep the kids attention.
     
  16. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I teach HS. When I have classes get too loud, I give a sharp, loudish "Hey!" Instantly the attention is on me. For whatever reason it really works with my kids.
     
  17. bros

    bros Phenom

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    I had that class tonight. It is a varied group of individuals.

    Most are not in Kindergarten. The class ranges from K-12 even though it is only supposed to be K-5, because some advisers put people in this class "because it is better"

    The people who are at schools that are right next to campus, which are the ones the college tries to place as many people as possible at (as they had a college supervisor at the school 2 1/2 days a week and they can just drop in at any time to observe), are the ones who get a more traditional experience.

    Even then, people at those schools get less than typical placements. One person is in a fourth grade classroom with a teacher who is getting a new job that starts after Winter Break, and the teacher literally does nothing the entire day, so the person has had to just take all the books and write the lessons from the get-go with nobody approving or looking over their lessons.

    Another person is in a resource room for a criminal law class where the majority of the students have a rap sheet.

    Another is at a vocational school's English resource room.

    The people in elementary, or at least early elementary, don't speak up, so I have not heard much from them, or if they are early elementary, they are in schools that are an out of district placement that are run for a bunch of students in northern NJ who have autism.
     
  18. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 21, 2013

    So your class I'd for K-5 STs and non of those people are discussing their experiences? Oh my.
     
  19. bros

    bros Phenom

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    It's a very odd situation. The class hasn't met that often because of professor absences. The past two sessions were set aside for office hours with the professors. Before that, we had like two sessions of class in October and 3-4 in September. Last night was the only session of the course this month. Next session is in December, when we start presenting our final presentations, which is worth 10% of our grade.
     
  20. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Why does this matter? You are all student teachers. Yes, it's nice to have people who are in the same grade, but honestly-it just shouldn't matter.

    I am completely lost as to why a "traditional" experience is so important. I student taught 75 miles from my college. So? How many "traditional" classrooms do you think are out there? And why on earth is there such a reliance on a college supervisor? Mine did the required number of visits, and while it was nice that she was there, to talk with, in my mind during the hour she was there I was thinking I really need to be doing x,y,z, right now, not sitting here with you!

    Perfect opportunity to take the reins, and prove that that student teacher deserves to be hired to replace this teacher. After practicing writing lesson after lesson for 4 years of college, that student SHOULD be ready to get after it. She's foolish if she doesn't. Think about it-you could potentially be HIRED and WORKING in a MONTH AND A HALF. Who will be approving lessons then?

    And...?

    And...?

    And...?


    If you (as in anyone involved) are sitting in a class and not engaging others, not speaking up, not talking about your classrooms, then you are wasting your time. Why even go?

    We cannot emphasize this enough-YOU GET ONE SHOT AT THIS. No more practice. No more support. No more observations, feedback, opportunities to improve. Principals who hire you, whether as a sub or as a teacher, don't want to hear excuses. They don't give a flyin' hoot that your placement was messed up, or your CT wasn't perfect, or your school didn't provide the right technology, or whatever laundry list of excuses we've endured for the past 70 pages. They only care that you are going to provide a quality education for their students.

    And if you can't...there's the door.
    :sorry:
     
  21. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Nov 21, 2013

    Here's a quote from a new member, from New Jersey:

    How are you going to compete against this person? Or the 2 "seasoned" teachers being interviewed? Do you have a brochure? Portfolio? Presentation of lessons?

    Do you think this superintendent is going to have time to listen to excuses about your student teaching placement that wasn't "traditional"?
     
  22. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Every district is different, especially the large ones like that member cited that has a vice principal in an elementary school.

    Why would i have a brochure? What would someone even put in one?

    I am required to put together a teacher work sample portfolio, which requires us to write and reflect on our placement.

    I have a bunch of lessons that I have done.

    I'll respond more later, double prep is almost over
     
  23. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    I'm in a tiny district, less than 1000 students grades K-12. If interviewed, you would be expected to have a brochure or website to reference (a teacher's work sample has too much info to be useful in an interview). Interview answers are expected to include concrete examples of lessons and techniques.

    A search on this forum will give you all kinds of info about what can go in a brochure. Think of it as a way to highlight your best reasons for hire.
     
  24. bros

    bros Phenom

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    I've never heard of a brochure being used in a teacher interview nad my professors talk about that stuff all the time
     
  25. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Bros, many people have talked about it on here. Do a search. Even if other candidates don't do it, you should think about it. It can really set you apart! Go above and beyond!
     
  26. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    How about a portfolio? Website? Anything to stand out?
     
  27. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Nov 21, 2013

    Even better for you, then!
     
  28. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I'm going to point out some matters of usage, bros, and make a recommendation for a technological fix.

    If I were to respond, "You're not even a new teacher yet," readers would probably find it dismissive, and they'd be right: that's a hazard of using the intensifier "even" in and after a question that challenges. Please be very careful about using "even" when you don't intend to signal that you plan to ignore a suggestion.

    As a followup to an answer to your question about brochures, this statement will succeed in conveying that whatever your professors don't mention, you don't need to know or act on. I hope you don't believe that that's so, and I hope you didn't intend that message.

    The fact that brochures aren't mentioned by your professors doesn't mean they're irrelevant to you: it just means that they're not mentioned by a particular set of professors - and their primary expertise is not in job hunting, I think.

    On the assumption that you simply don't recognize what's problematic, let me recommend that you find a good writer to help you develop a personal set of what contract lawyers call "boilerplate". Let me explain: In legal language, boilerplate is a pre-written paragraph or text into which specific names can be inserted: the legal language itself has meaning somewhat independent of what's put in it. The same is true with ordinary language, and also with pretty much any field's technical language.

    You need someone who writes well and can recognize the good things in your writerly voice to go through this thread with you, finding the places where a post of yours has evoked a different or stronger response than you expected, to explain what about your post evoked that response and to help you rewrite it in something like your voice (and on several different levels of formality).

    What will make this boilerplate is that you then need to save those phrasings, with slots into which you can later independently insert content words (nouns, verbs, and adjectives, primarily), so they're handy when you need to convey a meaning without raising more hackles than necessary. A database would be best - this is a collection to which you should expect to add and add and add - but even a Word doc would serve to begin with.
     
  29. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    bros, you need to understand that, while every teacher candidate needs to stand out, you need to do so far more to stand even a fighting chance of landing a job. Even ignoring the classroom management issues and the fact that your student teaching experience is effectively useless to you (sorry to be blunt about it, but it is... particularly from a SPED point of view), you are going to have major obstacles to overcome due to your disability. There is not a parent or principal on the face of the planet that will just accept that you need accommodations. You are going to have to prove that you are absolutely the best candidate for the job even though it is impossible for you to do a math problem on the board. You are going to have to show them that you have impressive "stage presence" despite your physical issues and your speech patterns.

    It's hard enough to break into teaching, but your disabilities will make it infinitely more difficult. I'm sorry to say that, but it's reality, particularly because it will be easier to just not hire somebody with disabilities to your extent than to fire somebody with disabilities... after all, you have no experience, so they always can say "well, Ms. Smith had five years experience, bros had none, Ms. Smith was the better candidate." Once they hire you, they're really "stuck" with you, unless they want to put themselves at risk for a potential ADA lawsuit.

    Absolutely ANYTHING that you can do to stand out, you not only should do, you should consider it to be imperative. Record your best lessons. Create a portfolio. Also, create a mini-portfolio that you can give out an interviews... two lesson plans, a unit outline, and a teaching statement would suffice here. Your portfolio will most likely sit unopened at most interviews, but if you give the interviewer something to look at, they can continue thinking about your strengths later. I had never heard of a brochure before, but if it isn't common in your area, then that's all the more reason to do it. You'll stand out.

    The key to you ever getting a teaching job is going to be absolutely wowing the interviewers with your preparation and dedication.
     
  30. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    When you reflect on your placement I would not say anything about having a less than traditional experience. Principals won't feel bad for you because of it, they just won't hire you
     
  31. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    What kind of school are you at that you aren't getting a "traditional" experience?

    I got my B.A. in history and went back for teaching certification (graduate certificate program) through a UNC campus, but my program was all distance ed. My classes met online at regular meeting times, I had to complete the electronic portfolio, and I student taught for a semester. It was as traditional as humanly possible while being inherently as non-traditional as can be.

    My internship was fairly traditional. I had my CT, I was in front of the class in the first week, took over all four cores over a period of a few weeks, and then had all four cores for a month before slowly tapering off again. I was hired at that school BEFORE my internship ended. I was also offered a job in a neighboring district BEFORE my internship ended. My university supervisor never saw me in person, everything was done via Facetime--she observed me live on facetime.

    But I still had a VERY VERY successful internship. My mentor tells me she feels silly mentoring me because I already have the abilities of a long-veteran teacher.

    My point is: it doesn't matter how much you university stinks, it doesn't matter how bad your CT is, it doesn't matter how much your supervisor visits you (mine never did, ours was always virtual), none of that matters. Either you have the teaching bone or you don't. I would imagine one knows if they don't have the teaching bone right away.

    I went straight from being an intern to a teacher, but the bottom line is I could've done it from day 1 of my internship. Internships just make you a more experienced teacher on day 1, they don't "create" teachers. A person doesn't become a good teacher because of a successful internship.
     
  32. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Please tell me the other 90% isn't your skin of your teeth barely passing by one point rating
    You should not be using your double prep here online. You should be preparing for your next lesson, hanging BBs, volunteering to make copies...making yourself seen

    And why would you make a brochure? Marketing. It's about selling yourself.

    When was the last time your profs looked for a job? You need to make yourself stand out...in a positive, compelling, we must hire this guy sort of way. How will you do that?
     
  33. bros

    bros Phenom

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    No. What would go in a portfolio?

    It's just odd. Whenever my professors mention job interviews and things like that, they just talk about it like we hope to get called for a interview, we meet with whoever if we get a call, probably go through a few rounds of interviews, do a sample lesson or two, then we get hired (ideally)

    I was not intending to dismiss that suggestion outright.

    Most of the professors have experience in such matters (My capstone professor is a former superintendent and is now a professional advocate. The other professor who teaches capstone advises districts throughout the state yearly on special education practices, including hiring practicies), along with my supervisor this semester (She was a principal from like 2005-2009, and the special education head from like 2009-2011, then she decided to begin teaching college).

    I understand what boilerplate means. I've made a few such documents. The one that has gotten the most mileage for me is the FERPA one I wrote in 2011.

    I am an excellent writer, but I tend to stick to more formal speech as that is where I am most comfortable. I dislike feeling exposed. Even reading topics on the internet where I make a post where I feel I made a misstep make me feel massive anxiety until I either click it and glance past the post, seeing there is no major fallout, or I never return to the topic out of avoidance of the anxiety. When I am on the Internet, I try to slowly let out my anxiety, rather than all at once. When I am in school, I do not exhibit signs of anxiety, other than issues with maintaining eye contact with adults and an occasional stutter. Most of my anxiety manifests at home.

    I know my placement is all but useless, especially since I will hopefully never teach Kindergarten again. Not because I don't love the kids and find them great, but because I know and understand completely that in order to teach Kindergarten, you need to have motor skills that are better than theirs.

    I am well aware of the... balancing act involved in the disclosure of my disabilities to a potential employer. My father likes to make me aware of such facts with his... antiquated views towards disabilities.

    So what you are saying is that I should assemble a packet with what I think are my two best lessons (while obviously keeping in mind whatever grade level position I am applying for), an outline of a sample unit (I haven't even been able to do a unit plan in my placement because I don't have full control of a classroom for an entire day. Only time i've done one was in a class where we planned a unit for a theoretical classroom.), and a copy of my teaching philosophy?

    If they asked what I thought of my placement during an interview, I would most likely state something along the lines of "It was an interesting and diverse experience that made me realize what grade levels were and weren't for me to teach.

    It's a regular public school that I am in, i'm at their kindergarten school. However, my placement is not typical because I have to be split between two classrooms (which goes against my college's requirements, but an exception was apparently approved judging from what my supervisor stated at the beginning of the semester), as my morning CT is a tenured certified special education teacher who is a part time employee. I have to leave halfway through my math lessons every day because I have to be out of the class by 12:15. My afternoon CT is a tenured certified general education (K-5) teacher who is a full time employee.

    My morning CT teaches Math. So I teach Math four days a week, and on Fridays, the gen ed teacher does Math Centers with the students.

    My afternoon CT teaches Social Studies & Science in the afternoon. I teach social studies a few times a week along with science. The rest of the days, the students usually have a special or they have centers in the afternoon.

    I will not be hired at this school. I know that for a fact. When I met with the principal at the beginning of the semester and we discussed my previous field experiences along with my disabilities. We all came to the consensus that my disabilities would be a severely limiting factor in being in a Kindergarten, as they are learning to do things that I cannot do, so I cannot help them if they require assistance. I know the principal and one of the Master Teachers at the school like me, but we realize that Kindergarten is not a good fit for me, whereas upper elementary would be a much better fit for me with my disabilities.

    I wouldn't agree with the statement that student teaching simply hones a person's teaching abilities. Thinking about how I was when I did my first observations back in 2009 versus how I am now, there is massive improvement. Even comparing last fall to now, there is improvement in many ways. I am not going to give up now. I will persevere.

    The other 90% of the grade is based on our Teacher Work Sample. The Final Presentation (10% of the grade) is our oral summary of our Teacher Work Sample.

    I already had done all of the prep I could do for my next lesson and next week, the only thing I will be doing in the morning class is running the morning meeting.

    There are no bulletin boards for me to hang - the para or the hall monitors hang up bulletin boards usually, and new bulletin boards were just hung up last week.

    Although there aren't bulletin boards outside the classrooms - only little cork strips running along the walls.

    I had already made the copies needed for the day when I got in in the morning.

    There was nothing for me to do - my CT was out at a store buying a gift for a family member and the gen ed teacher was troubleshooting an issue with a student's FM system, which she did not want assistance with.

    I don't know how I can make myself stand out.
     
  34. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    If you had nothing to do, then you definitely aren't getting a realistic picture. A teacher's job is never done. There's always more to do! Research new ideas, collaborate, contact parents with positive praise, work ahead on planning, etc...
     
  35. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Here's how you make yourself stand out:

    If you have nothing to plan or do during your prep you go visit other classrooms and observe how other teachers run their classrooms. You make yourself available....maybe another teacher is swamped and might need help getting their bulletin board up or something.

    You go to the office and ask if they have any chores you could do for them.

    You spend time researching lessons you will be presenting in the future and decide how you can present the lessons in a more engaging way and how you will challenge your higher students/assist your lower students.

    You take advantage of extra time in your day to soak up all possible experiences, staff meetings, parent meetings, grade group meetings, report cards, marking, supervision, after school stuff.

    While you are observing in other classrooms, you take copious notes...especially regarding classroom management, which seems to be your main issue.

    You work on the suggestions presented here...brochures, websites, portfolios, etc. that will make you a more successful candidate.

    Here's what you don't do:

    Spend time on this website while you are at work giving excuses for every single point raised about how you can't do this or that, or how someone else takes care of things you should be handling.
     
  36. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 22, 2013

    This.
     
  37. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Nov 22, 2013

    Ok, if your professors have never even mentioned PORTFOLIOS- either physical or online, then your school is... very very different from any I've ever encountered in any setting.

    I would seriously NOT depend on those teachings for a realistic idea of the hiring process. If you walk into an interview with nothing to show them about you, I wouldn't be shocked if it takes you a while to find a job.
     
  38. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Nov 22, 2013

    I am a person who has a disability that many would shy away from hiring. I have great coping strategies and can very well do more than most people initially assume. Having said that, I have been aware my entire life that not only do I have to find ways to cope with the actual situations, I have to find a way to go beyond that AND to persuade people I can. I have has people turn me down for whatever reason but I have been largely successful too. In recent endeavors, I managed to have several job offers and had to turn some down! The secret? I know I have to prove myself even more than others. I know I have to address their concerns but in a way that doesn't necessarily highlight my disabilities. I know I need to market myself as a strong capable person who gets results. The reality is that 70% of people with disabilities are without a job. I have to be fiercely competitive and make sure I stand out in not only a good way but a dang fantastic way.

    In the interview for my current position, I was originally selected as a sub because they did not have any other positions open and wanted me in the door. I declined it but kept the communication open, shared resources, etc. Soon, a grant had opened up and I had an interview for a position completely out of my depth as far as anything I've ever done but I studied their website, brought props, made charts, made a business card for myself, brought a networking portfolio, attended dress rehearsal seminars and had smart clothes with a attaché case, etc. I am now a director running two departments for a non-profit organization. One department they needed someone to fix and get it going in the right direction. I had to turn down another job that requested that I start up a brand new department. For the latter job, I had, on my own initiative, written a 10 page action plan AFTER I completed the interview and submitted it. I certainly wasn't told to do these things. I just know I have to make myself stand out as a go-getter who gets results and has lots of drive and ideas.

    My point is this. You are on display. You have to shine. Don't be on the computer. Find ways to stand out. Do market yourself. Go above what everyone else is doing. You do have extra obstacles to jump over. Don't just jump. Fly over them. Make people stand up and take notice.

    The ADA is a wonderful piece of legislation that has opened incredible number of doors but it only takes us so far. We have to get through people's perceptions and we have to think creatively about how to carry out the functions of jobs. Accommodating is a two way street.

    If I've written something like this before, please forgive me. On my private time, I'm not scrolling back on my phone. I save that extra mile for work.

    Even my mom said it to my husband recently. She is always going to have to work a little harder to prove herself. It also takes her longer to get through the communication aspect so she has to make up that time elsewhere.
     
  39. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 22, 2013

    Cut...your post sums up the intentions of more than 70 pages of advice in a powerful, meaningful, personal way..:thumb:
     
  40. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Nov 22, 2013

    My point is this:

    I have to go beyond the fact that I have what it takes despite my disability and I can make accommodations for that disability to...

    You'd be foolish not to hire me because I have something my competitors don't.
     

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