I have two interviews this week; Clinton(1st grade) and Avon( a
On 5/26/08, Jenn wrote:
> Not that you need one more idea now, but if you really want to
> impress them, ask how their school is implementing RTI
> (Response to Intervention): have they begun to yet; what is
> their timeline; what are they anticipating it to look like
> within their building; what types of training will be provided
> for the elementary teachers (primarily K, 1, and 2). A little
> background: RTI is a federal mandate coming from both NCLB and
> the 2004 reauthorization of IDEA. Many states, notably
> Washington and Oregon and a few I can't remember, have been
> implementing it since then with impressive results. CT is
> just getting on board. The state is holding workshops this
> spring that districts can voluntarily go to. The state hasnt'
> released any timelines yet; some think that they want the
> individual districts to make those decisions for themselves.
> Regardless, if implemented correctly, this WILL affect your
> teaching and classroom over the foreseeable future. Google
> Responst to Intervention to learn more. It WILL impress them
> to have a new teacher coming in knowing about it when many
> administrators are still in the dark and confused about it.
> It has begun to be implemented in some of the districts that
> haven't made AYP, such as Waterbury, Bridgeport, and Hartford,
> so if your interview is in one of those places expect them to
> know a great deal about it.
> Good luck!
> On 5/25/08, Jenn wrote:
>> How do you teach beginning reading? How do you assess
>> beginning reading, both formally and informally? How would
>> you help the struggling reader? How would you teach
>> writing? How would you integrate the two? How would you
>> teach sight words? How would you combine teaching decoding,
>> so they CAN read, with comprehension, so the understand what
>> they read? What would someone see walking into your
>> classroom? What type of classroom management system would
>> you use? What types of centers would you use? How would
>> your ideal day be structured? Have you ever worked with
>> remedial/special education staff? How would that look? How
>> would you teach and assess math? What types of
>> developmentally appropriate activities do you include/use in
>> your teaching/day-to-day work with the kids? How would you
>> include parents? What types of technology have you used/are
>> you comfortable with? How would you integrate technology
>> into your classroom? How would you collaborate with the
>> other teachers in your grade/other team members (special ed,
>> speech, remedial teachers, etc.)? How would you assess
>> students at the beginning of the year? What would you do
>> with a student who obviously isn't ready for 1st grade but
>> is in your room anyway? What about the student who is ready
>> for 2nd grade but in your room? How would you
>> teach/integrate science/social studies? What about a 6 year
>> old's social/emotional development ~ how would you
>> teach/ensure that?
>> The last question we always end with is: "What questions do
>> you have for us?". It always amazes me when the person we
>> are interviewing says, "Oh, I think I have all the
>> information I need." Ask about the school's professional
>> development; technology training; support system for
>> beginning teachers; community support for the school;
>> parental involvement in the school; types of services
>> available for students struggling or for those who need
>> enrichment; report cards - what is their grading system
>> like? Are the report cards done by hand or on a computer?
>> How many times a year are they done(3/4)? What about the
>> process when you have concerns about a student, either
>> academic or emotional? In most schools it's either the
>> Student Support Team or Child Study Team, but you need to
>> know how to make a referral and what happens when you do.
>> What is the pre-refferal process for special education? Are
>> there support personnel on staff - social worker, school
>> psychologist? There is ALWAYS more than what they're
>> telling you. This is your chance to (very nicely and
>> professionally) interview them.
>> Knowing it's Sunday evening ~ if you have time Monday or
>> Tuesday before the interview drive around the town and get a
>> feel for the neighborhood around the school; study the web
>> site in detail - you might be able to come up with questions
>> from there.
>> Few more thoughts . . . if you haven't taught in CT before,
>> the state is moving towards full inclusion of all special
>> ed. students. Some districts are there and have been doing
>> that for a long time; others are getting there. That said,
>> assume you will have special ed. students in your class.
>> Assume that there will be a special ed. teacher and/or an
>> instructional assistant coming into your room at least once
>> a day or more to work with that student and some of the
>> others. Assume that you will need to discuss things with
>> that person daily and collaborate at least weekly on what
>> you will be doing the following week. The same goes for
>> remedial students. Many schools in CT are using a co-
>> teaching model - so the special ed. teacher may be actually
>> working with you to teach the class. On the other hand, you
>> may have a special ed. or remedial teacher who walks into
>> your room 3x/week and wants you to tell him/her what you
>> are doing and how they can help. ASK what their school's
>> model is for working with special ed. and remedial students.
>> I've seen too many 1st year teachers shocked that they have
>> special ed. students in their class and are responsible for
>> them. Find out at the interview so you are not shocked.
>> Ask what types of training the school would provide if you
>> were hired. I'm sorry if I sound intense, but this is life
>> in CT's public schools, and the local colleges/universities
>> are doing a poor job preparing the elementary students for
>> the reality of teaching in today's world.
>> Good luck! What town/school are you interviewing in?