New Teacher Advocate Summer 2013 : Page 3

www.kdp.org A Instruction Community Interviewing for a Teaching Position: 3 Key Questions BY WIllIAm STERRETT As a teacher, you are poised to make a difference in the lives of many. However, you have to get the job first! Take a deep breath. Dress professionally. When you enter the room, make eye contact and extend your hand to each member of the hiring panel, greeting them with a confident smile. Focus on understanding the question (remember, wait time works for adults too) before sharing your thoughts. Don’t fumble through a portfolio binder; instead, share your insights and action steps. Three key areas an administrator or panel will likely want to explore with you are instruction, community, and innovation. The questions may be phrased different-ly, but you should consider how to frame your answer. Rather than talking about your “rules” and “consequences,” focus on ensuring that students have a voice, encouraging them to cooperate, and affirming each student. How will you communicate with parents? Describe the classroom structure that will enable consistency, transparency, and student accountability within a continual focus on learning. For a complete top ten list of teacher inter-view questions, view Dr. Sterrett’s recent webinar Interviewing: Common and Uncom-mon Questions and How to Answer at http://bit. ly/Yfi4GD Plan to attend KAPPA DELTA PI CONVO Innovation Describe a conference you attended (such as KDP’s Biennial Convocation) or a professional book you read. What did you learn and how can you apply it? What actual steps are you taking to change, grow, and innovate in your role as an educator? You don’t just teach lifelong learners, you should be one! As the times change, teachers must adapt as well. In this fast-paced world of innovation and change, you must ensure that you can keep up with the evolv-ing demands of the teaching role. Your interview is your chance to share how you are the best person for the best job. There are no magical “right an-swers”; however, avoid lengthy or recited answers filled with quotes and theory. Focus on how you will apply all that you have learned. Dallas, TX, Oct. 24–26 Network. Learn teach-ing and classroom management strate-gies. Learn more and register at http://bit. ly/10RlCxM 2013 What does an effective lesson look like? As you plan and deliver your instruction, consider the most impor-tant components of the lesson. Your answer shows what you value most about teaching and learning. How do you define student engagement and success? Your “typical” lesson will likely have a common (though not necessarily fixed) format that enables effective teaching and learning. What curriculum will you be using and what will your objectives be? Share a bit about your knowledge of your content area. How do you plan to assess what students are learning? What strategies will allow them to get there? How willing are you to change course to maximize student learning? How will you establish and maintain a safe, student-focused learning environment? Safety is para-mount and the role of the classroom teacher is critical. Principals want to know that you can establish a safe and effective classroom community that is focused on learning rather than punitive consequences. Describe how each student will be supported yet challenged in a safe learning environment that enables his or her long-term success. Dr. Sterrett is a former teacher and principal who has interviewed countless candidates for K–12 teaching positions—from graduating university students to veter-ans nearing retirement, and from pre-K to high school biology. He is now an Assis-tant Professor and Program Coordinator of Curriculum, Instruction, and Supervision at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. New Teacher Advocate • Summer 2013 • 3

Interviewing For A Teaching Position: 3 Key Questions

William Sterrett

As a teacher, you are poised to make a difference in the lives of many. However, you have to get the job first! Take a deep breath. Dress professionally. When you enter the room, make eye contact and extend your hand to each member of the hiring panel, greeting them with a confident smile. Focus on understanding the question (remember, wait time works for adults too) before sharing your thoughts. Don’t fumble through a portfolio binder; instead, share your insights and action steps. Three key areas an administrator or panel will likely want to explore with you are instruction, community, and innovation. The questions may be phrased differently, but you should consider how to frame your answer.

Instruction

What does an effective lesson look like? As you plan and deliver your instruction, consider the most important components of the lesson. Your answer shows what you value most about teaching and learning. How do you define student engagement and success?

Your “typical” lesson will likely have a common (though not necessarily fixed) format that enables effective teaching and learning. What curriculum will you be using and what will your objectives be? Share a bit about your knowledge of your content area. How do you plan to assess what students are learning? What strategies will allow them to get there? How willing are you to change course to maximize student learning?

Community

How will you establish and maintain a safe, student-focused learning environment? Safety is paramount and the role of the classroom teacher is critical. Principals want to know that you can establish a safe and effective classroom community that is focused on learning rather than punitive consequences. Describe how each student will be supported yet challenged in a safe learning environment that enables his or her long-term success.

Rather than talking about your “rules” and “consequences,” focus on ensuring that students have a voice, encouraging them to cooperate, and affirming each student. How will you communicate with parents? Describe the classroom structure that will enable consistency, transparency, and student accountability within a continual focus on learning.

Innovation

Describe a conference you attended (such as KDP’s Biennial Convocation) or a professional book you read. What did you learn and how can you apply it? What actual steps are you taking to change, grow, and innovate in your role as an educator?

You don’t just teach lifelong learners, you should be one! As the times change, teachers must adapt as well. In this fast-paced world of innovation and change, you must ensure that you can keep up with the evolving demands of the teaching role.

Your interview is your chance to share how you are the best person for the best job. There are no magical “right answers”; however, avoid lengthy or recited answers filled with quotes and theory. Focus on how you will apply all that you have learned.

For a complete top ten list of teacher interview questions, view Dr. Sterrett’s recent webinar Interviewing: Common and Uncommon Questions and How to Answer at http://bit.Ly/Yfi4GD

Dallas, TX, Oct. 24–26 Network. Learn teaching and classroom management strategies. Learn more and register at http://bit.Ly/10RlCxM

Dr. Sterrett is a former teacher and principal who has interviewed countless candidates for K–12 teaching positions—from graduating university students to veterans nearing retirement, and from pre-K to high school biology. He is now an Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator of Curriculum, Instruction, and Supervision at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Read the full article at http://digital.watkinsprinting.com/article/Interviewing+For+A+Teaching+Position%3A+3+Key+Questions/1371829/154389/article.html.

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