What do you say when you just don't know?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by Crystalsaurus, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. Crystalsaurus

    Crystalsaurus Rookie

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    Aug 9, 2013

    I had an interview last week and they completely stumped me on a couple of questions! Specifically, they gave me some data and asked me to interpret it. They asked me how I would alter my instruction based on the students' test scores. The data they gave me was a list of four of the common core standards for reading and writing and percentages of students who scored proficient for each standard, etc. I honestly had NO IDEA what to say. I JUST graduated and completed my student teaching. Honestly, had it actually been my students' scores, I would have taken it to my cooperating teacher or to another colleague on my teaching team to help me.

    So, my question is: what do you say when you really have no clue? Is it better to admit that you don't know?
     
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  3. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Aug 10, 2013

    I think a good answer would be "I'm not familiar with this presentation of data. If I were given this I would speak to my mentor teacher/department chair and have them help me interpret it and come to a good conclusion on what my next step should be."
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 10, 2013

    :thumb: awesome!
     
  5. AZALE

    AZALE Rookie

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    Aug 10, 2013

    Data driven instruction is just recently becoming a really popular trend. There is nothing wrong with not knowing or asking for help. I would have admitted that I didn't know, but I would ask ____ for help.
     
  6. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Aug 10, 2013

    This is a question you may encounter at other interviews, and it will impress the employer if you have a ready reply.

    I think this really comes down to differentiating instruction or tier II intervention, if you are familiar with RTI.

    Presumably, some students were proficient while others were not on the data they gave you. What they are asking is, how will you guide the students who are not proficient to proficiency?

    One answer might be: I will consult with my grade partners to discuss their approach to teaching these standards. I will assign those students who are proficient more advanced work, and will pull out small groups of those who are not proficient, working with them on the targeted standards, addressing different learning styles. I will then reassess the students on the standards.
     
  7. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Aug 10, 2013

    One thing I would recommend is to go the interview questions in this forum. Print out as many as you can, and write down how you would respond.

    You will find most questions that you will be asked in an interview in those threads. If you can't come up with an answer, post it here and we will help you.

    That way when you go to an interview, you can feel confident that you will be prepared for anything they throw your way. That confidence will enable you to be more relaxed and able to better field questions that you might not have prepared for.

    Good luck!
     
  8. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    Aug 10, 2013

    That's all great advice, but her question was what to say when you don't know the answer.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 10, 2013

    Crystalsaurus...the advice Lucybelle gave is great! You can always say that you are not familiar with a particular topic but that you're interested in learning more. You can't possibly know EVERYTHING...even experienced teachers don't!
    Schoolteacher's idea of looking at the threads here with interview questions is also good advice...might help you have fewer of those kinds of questions where you feel like you don't have an answer...just formulate your own responses instead of memorizing suggested answers to any question...schools want to know who YOU are as a teacher. Brush up on the kinds of questions you feel weak on, but be yourself.:)
    Good luck to you!
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 10, 2013

    It's also fair to ask a question for clarification, especially if you think you know where the question is going but aren't familiar with a given report format: "Just to clarify: Under "Substituting phonemes," does the 23% by student 123's name, for instance, mean that student 123 shows 23% proficiency or 23% errors?"

    Keep it brief, though.
     
  11. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    Aug 10, 2013

    :yeahthat: No matter how experienced, there is always going to be something you haven't personally experienced or don't know.
     

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