How do you react to frustrating situations? This is a question principals always have in the back of their head as they interview teacher candidates. Is this a person who can accept the "downsides" of teaching and grow into a better teacher or is this a person who is unwilling to accept the inevitable frustrations of classroom work? The question below often surfaces in interviews - it's one which offers you a unique opportunity to share some valuable information.
Tell me about a situation that frustrated you during student teaching
A: I was frustrated when my college supervisor made me write out my lesson plans for the first ten weeks of student teaching. Many of my friends only had to write complete lesson plans for the first four weeks and then they went to “block plans.” However, in talking with my supervisor I learned that it is always advisable to over-plan – that is, write lesson plans that are more detailed and more involved early in the teaching process. I discovered the advantage of that on two occasions – once when an assembly had to be cancelled and another when a teacher on our social studies team called in sick at the last minute. I sure was glad to have those extended and expanded lessons – they really came in handy. I understand now why I was asked to do a lot of over-planning early in my student teaching experience.
Are you someone who blames everyone else when things don’t go right? Or, are you someone who takes advice and uses it in a positive way to become a better teacher? This is a grand opportunity for you to show how you turned a negative into a positive.