Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Interview Themes

4.  Student Orientation
            Several years ago I was part of a team of people interviewing several candidates for a teaching position.  I distinctly remember one young man who spent the entire 45-minute interview talking about his accomplishments, his resume, his background, and his prowess in writing exciting lesson plans.  After he left, I remarked to my colleagues that not once, in those 45 minutes, did he ever refer to students.  Not once did he ever use the word “students.”  It was apparent that he was more interested in presenting himself than he was in teaching students.  Candidates without a strong student orientation are candidates that don’t make it any further in the hiring process.  Without that orientation, without that commitment to student life, and without that desire to work hand-in-hand with youngsters nobody ever gets hired as a classroom teacher.
            How do you motivate an unmotivated student?  How do you assess students?  Tell us about your toughest student – how did you handle him/her?  How do you address cultural diversity in your classroom?  What do you enjoy most about working with kids?  What are some challenges you’ve had in working with kids?  Besides student teaching, what other work have you done with youngsters?  Come to an interview with a strong and sincere student orientation and you may well walk away with a job offer.