Teaching Reading Question in regards to interview

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by MsBee, Jul 2, 2009.

  1. MsBee

    MsBee Devotee

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    Jul 2, 2009

    I will be out of town this weekend but will be back to respond to the posts I get for this question.

    I did my ST in first grade. My dream grade to teach would also be first grade. My college and my ST did not prepare me AT ALL on how to teach reading. I have no clue. In ST I did a lot of shared reading and the students did independent reading and thats about all.
    When I go on my screening interviews I am good at basically lying and saying I know all about reading and guided reading but I don't. I basically just read up about it online.
    I am so afraid that when I go on my "real" interviews P are going to go more in depth with my experiences teaching reading and I have none but of course I do not want to tell them this. (and I know that reading is a HUGE part of early childhood and first grade)
    Any suggestions, advice or is anyone going through the same thing?

    I'm just afraid that a P will be able to see straight through me!!
     
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  3. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jul 2, 2009

    Well, I don't think I'd feel comfortable lying about what I know. My fear would be that they would hire me expecting alot.

    That being said, I teach reading by incorporating whole language and phonics. Students read faster and have more confidence when they can read those sight words quickly. Then you can give them strategies in what to do when they don't know a word (sounding it out, picture cues, context clues, etc). You've probably done this in your shared reading if you've modeled for them what you think about when reading and what you do as a reader in general. I also use post it notes so when students are reading independently they can mark words or areas they didn't understand and we can discuss that during conferences.
     
  4. Junebug

    Junebug Comrade

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    Jul 2, 2009

    Don't worry too much about not knowing "how to teach reading". I know where I am they tell you what, how, when, how long, what to say, what to do..., teaching is not that fun anymore. They train you and then watch to make sure you do it exactly. Well at least at Reading First schools anyway.
     
  5. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Jul 3, 2009

    Invest in these 2 books:

    Guided Reading: Good First Teaching for All Children (Paperback)
    by Gay Su Pinnell (Author), Irene C. Fountas

    It costs about $40 new, and about $15 used.

    The Continuum of Literacy Learning, Grades K-2 A Guide to Teaching (Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System) (Paperback)

    It costs about $30 new.

    If they don't have it in these two books, it probably isn't worth knowing. :)

    There are a lot of other wonderful books out there, but when it comes to teaching reading, Fountas and Pinnell are the "must haves."
     
  6. teacher112

    teacher112 Companion

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    Jul 3, 2009

    If you never taught guided reading, I would definitely read up because guided reading is EVERYTHING. I would also talk about balanced literacy.
     
  7. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    Jul 3, 2009

    I agree with RainStorm, Fountas and Pinnell are the key to teaching reading, especially guided reading.
     
  8. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Jul 3, 2009

    I agree with this completely! And I understand how you feel. When I graduated from college, I started teaching first grade. I had no idea if I was doing it right. Luckily the kids in my class did learn to read and write. I had some wonderful co-workers that helped me out along the way. It was a great situation. New teachers are usually given a mentor teacher, that teacher will be your go to person if you have questions or concerns. Happy reading! :hugs:

    Also, anything by Lucy Calkins and Shelly Harwayne is always amazing in the teaching of reading and writing. I highly recommend these authors as well as the above. There is a lot of professional literature out there that is amazing. These are great reads and easy reads. :)

    I don't think a post on this website would be long enough to teach the cueing systems for teaching reading in a systematic way. But after doing some professional reading, I think that you will find yourself feeling a lot more confident, and a whole lot more prepared. :blush:
     
  9. Katisop99

    Katisop99 Rookie

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    Jul 3, 2009

    I would be honest in your interview. They know that you just finished student teaching and they shouldn't be expecting you to be an expert. Hiring a new teacher is like an investment, they need to see good intent and enthusiasm.

    I would say that I would become familiar with the reading program at their school. I know that in CA most schools use Basal Reading programs (in LA its Open Court). Try to find the materials and look them over before the interview (perhaps call your Master Teacher about it).

    Don't think you need to know eveything and don't lie! Lieing always comes back to haunt you.
     
  10. MsBee

    MsBee Devotee

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    Jul 5, 2009

    Thanks everyone. I was not necessarily asking how to teach reading but what could I say to P to let them know that I do not have a great deal of background in this area. You know in a good way?
    I can't really explain what I am trying to say. I know on the first interview I went on and I told the P that I had little background in reading she looked at me like I was crazy and I never heard from them again!!

    Now I have another interview>>>>>>>>>>SO EXCITED for first grade and I want to do better.
    I will def pick up the books everyone mentioned.
     
  11. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Jul 5, 2009

    MsBee,
    I think I do understand what you are saying -- but... you don't want to say "I don't have a lot of experience" in reading. That is specifically what employers want to know about -- your ability to teach reading (for some reason, they think they can just teach you the other stuff...but they want you to know about reading instruction.) If you say that, you will knock yourself out of the consideration.

    Obviously, you don't want to lie -- so what is a person to do?

    Here is my suggestion. Find a dynamic, fabulous workshop to attend at the end of the summer (I know it costs -- but it will be worth it.) Sign up for it.

    That way, if a principal asks how much experience you have doing XYZ, you can honeslty say "Not as much as I'd like -- that's why I signed up for a workshop to really learn as much as possible about it. I know how important that is for a child's success."

    It makes a negative into a positive.
     
  12. MsBee

    MsBee Devotee

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    Jul 5, 2009

    Good idea. A workshop would be a great idea to attend.
    How would I go about finding a workshop though?
     
  13. MsBee

    MsBee Devotee

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    Jul 5, 2009

    BTW...I am applying to places out of state so...
     
  14. allisonbeth

    allisonbeth Comrade

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    Jul 5, 2009

    I would be sure I knew the school's reading philosophy before I answered that question. I teach reading and am amazed by how individually each school approaches it. My current school is very heavily phonics based...the school that is 5 miles down the road is in the process of getting rid of most of their phonics program. If you interviewed at my school, we would want to hear something totally different from another school.
     
  15. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Jul 5, 2009

    Search the internet. Start a thread on here "What is the best K-2 reading workshop you have ever gone to?" and get the names of the presenters or companies that present them. Dig. You'll find just what you need.

    And, if for some reason you don't have a job by then, just think of all the wonderful contacts you can make at a workshop. Almost everyone there will have been sent by a school district -- meaning they are actively working in the field you want to work in. They man even know of some last minute openings that happened so fast, there hasn't even been time to post them.

    :)
     
  16. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Jul 5, 2009

    That is so true. In our district, we are required to teach reading a certain way -- so come in talking about how much you love doing Reading Workshop -- and you have lowered yourself in the ranking. Talk about how much you love to do whole-group reaidng instruction, and you might as well kiss the job goodbye. Talk about how you do small group reading, and get to every group each week -- and the interviewers here will look at your like you are crazy! (We are required to meet with every single student every single day for a minimum of 20 minutes in small group guided reading.) In another district, they might think Reader's Workshop or small group weekly is wonderful.

    That is part of your required research when you interview for a job. You have to "know your audience."
     

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