Re: First Grade Interview - one more thought

    I have two interviews this week; Clinton(1st grade) and Avon( a
    classroom position).Jen

    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!
    > Jenn
    > 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?
    >> Jenn