Post # 1
So I graduated back in May 2012 with a bachelor’s in Elementary Education. Andddd I’ve been subbing for the past year. I tried and tried to get a job for this school year, but had no luck. School has now been back in session for 4 days. BUTTTTT, I just got a call for an interview as an interventionist at one of the elementary schools this Friday. I’m SUPER excited, but so nervous. Out of all the positions I’ve applied for, I’ve only landed 1 interview and it didn’t go to well. I really want this job and I KNOW that I’ll do a great job. How can I convince them of that during the interview? I always freak out and get so nervous – I have social anxiety, so I can’t just relax. I prepared for difficult questions for my last interview and he didn’t ask ANY of those questions. He wanted to know if I was familiar with the reading books that they used, and if I had any experience using an online writing program. He didn’t ask about my teaching style, wouldn’t even look at my porfolio that I slaved over to prepare, didn’t ask about how I designed lessons or anything. So what questions were you asked during your interview that you were unprepared for? Any tips at all would be greatly appreciated. =)
Post # 3
@dayl20: All the best. I don’t have any advice yet because I am in similar predicament. What I try to do is take a few minutes to calm down before interview. Confidence counts a lot! ETA: If you have time, look at what would be expected in that position so you can be prepared for related questions. Will you actually be teaching or just intervention?
Post # 4
@dayl20: I graduated in 2009 and still do not have a job. I’ve had plenty of interviews, but they’ve always gone with someone with more experience. I’m social studies, so it’s a little different as well. Anyway…
The several interviews I have had focused more on my personal experiences. Basically, they want to know mostly how you HAVE handled something in the past more than they want to know how you WOULD handle it in the future. If you can possibly speak to anything from your student teaching or subbing that relates to the question, do it. Even if it was something that went wrong that you learned from, use your past experiences as much as possible. In the instance you don’t have a past experience to pull from, you can talk about how you would handle a situation, or possibly how you witnessed another teacher handle a situation (again, could be good or bad) and how you might do it differently because of how things turned out. It’s hard to know exactly what they will ask, but try to give them as much evidence as possible as to why you are the best candidate for the job.
Also, avoid using “I” too much, and talk more about the students. For example, instead of answering a question “I once had to deal with a student…” you could instead say, “The student in question/my students have responded well to…” You’re not really saying anything different, but you’re coming from the classroom perspective rather than your own. Again, it makes you sound more experienced than you actually are. Good luck!
Post # 5
What type of interventionist position are you going for? Math, Reading, Behavioral? Research the school district and what their educational goals and philosophy are, as well as the types of materials they use (ex: Everyday Math, CMP, Fountas and Pinnell, etc.). Especially as an interventionist, I’m sure they’d want to know that you had a basic understanding of the types of materials you’d be using – and even if you haven’t used them before, if you have done your research you can at least talk with some knowledge about them.
Also, as an interventionist, you’ll be working with kids who really need some extra attention, so I’d be ready to give examples of how I build strong relationships with kids, how I am able to differentiate for struggling learners, etc.
Good luck! Interviewing is stressful for sure, but so worth it!
Post # 6
I’m confused. What is the intervention position for?? You don’t need a SPED endorsement? If it does relate to special needs, focus on your experience with assessments including FBAs, BSPs, IEPs, think of situations working with this population where you had to think outside the box, etc. As an interventionalist you often will work on teams and help direct other staff members so mention examples of doing this previously, hoto you work with parents, etc.
Post # 7
@LemonJack: This interventionist position is mainly for reading, although the description does say that it may include helping students some with math and other subjects. I’d help test the students, progress monitor, and then design lesson plans for those students who didn’t meet benchmark.
@theshannondee: No, this intervention position does not require a special ed endorsement. It is a position that is often given to beginning teachers. I talked to two interventionists last year – one had been hired straight out of college with a degree in elementary education, the other had subbed for a year. The job description said that reading specialists were preferred, although the only requirement was endorsement in elementary education. This position doesn’t even offer benefits and doesn’t last the entire school year. I would mainly be testing students (Acuity, DIBELS), progress monitoring, and designing small group/individual lessons for those who are struggling.
Post # 8
The interview is a job in its self!!!
I would say after they ask you a question it’s ok to stop and think for as long as you need to. And smile!
Post # 9
Since it’s a reading position, I would look at the school’s website and do some digging. Find out what type of reading curriculum that they use, become familiar with their benchmarks (Aimsweb, Tungsten, etc.). Draw on a lot of your reading experience, and think about ways you could help struggling readers.
A lot of times, schools will now hire interventionists as almost a year-long interview for a classroom position. Be prepared to talk about how you would handle problems. Chances are, you will probably have recess/lunch duty. Talk about how you would handle conflicts. If you aren’t sure, talk about how you would ask someone on your team for advice on how to handle the situation. Talk about how you will communicate with teachers over how their kids are doing in the class. I know my principal really likes the interventionists who take that extra step and not drop everything at the principal’s door. Now, if it’s something major, of course, you have to, but they like people who can problem solve on their own.
Good luck! I also would get nervous, too. The one interview that ended up going incredibly well for me was the one where I faked that I wasn’t nervous (and I’m still at that school today :-)).
Post # 10
- Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY
@dayl20: Can you go on their school’s curriculum maps and see what they’re up to? Or neighboring schools/county’s maps? Our school uses Atlas Rubicon and it has all the standards and pacing and stuff.
And RELAX!!! You have to seem confident in the interiew! They don’t want someone who looks terrified! You’ll do great!
Post # 11
@keepsmiling19: @lealorali: I agree with both these ladies. You need to know about the school you are interviewing at. You need to know what they teach, how they teach it, how they use the position you are applying for. Then you need to be able to connect your experience with what they do.
For exampe I was applying for a job at a STEM school (they focus on science, technology, engineering, and math) all of their curriculum is focused on these 4 areas. So the questions they asked were if I knew what STEM was and how my experience makes me a good teacher to deal with that curriculum.
(sorry if this is full of typos – typing this on my phone was hard).
Post # 12
How did the interview go?
Post # 13
I live in NY so we are obsessed with the modules that are being released and common core. I would say the most important thing to do is research the school. Look at the website- what programs do they use? research them. How did they do on their state tests? is their school particularly bad at ELA? how could you improve the school?
I am on the interview committee at my school and we are looking for people who SELL themselves. What are YOU going to do for US?
Post # 14
@LemonJack: Ugh, it didn’t go well. I was SOOO prepared – I spent hours upon hours preparing for this. And when I went in for the interview, I froze like I always do. I KNEW appropriate answers for the questions (they only asked 5 questions that were printed out on a sheet), but I couldn’t get that information into coherent words. I have social anxiety, and although I’ve come a LONG way, the interviewing thing still sucks for me.
I have some bids in on last minute jobs in some surrounding districts, so hopefully I will hear something soon and can use this horrible interview (okay, it wasn’t horrible – I was just unimpressive and notably nervous) as a lesson to improve.