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Applying for NQT in a Special Needs School

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by bki5224, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. Hi, Can anyone give me some top tips for an interview at a Special Needs School? I have just completed my QTS in a mainstream school but would love to work in a Special Needs School as I feel it would be more rewarding. However, my only experience is one day placement and one day volunteering! I think such lack of experience will hinder my chances. I also would appreciate a heads up to what they may be looking for at interview. All opinions very very gratefully received!
     
  2. Hi, Can anyone give me some top tips for an interview at a Special Needs School? I have just completed my QTS in a mainstream school but would love to work in a Special Needs School as I feel it would be more rewarding. However, my only experience is one day placement and one day volunteering! I think such lack of experience will hinder my chances. I also would appreciate a heads up to what they may be looking for at interview. All opinions very very gratefully received!
     
  3. Riv

    Riv New commenter

    run a quick search on this forum. This is a question that is asked frequently about this time of year and there has been a lot of good advice posted in the past.
     
  4. Thanks for the top tip Riv! I have had a search through but was hoping for a teacher at a SEN school to give me some more specific pointers for interview.
     
  5. Riv

    Riv New commenter

    The interview depends very much on the school and the type of SEN teaching you are applying for. I would expect a lesson obs. some informal interview / chat with a group of pupils and a formal interview with a panel of head and governor as minimum. The sort of questons are likely to be around experience of the pupils, statements, IEPs, integration, P levels, AAC. Assessment etc. Enthusiasm for special learners and a willingness to learn adapt and be flexible are usually the most important qualities for working in special. You should also be asked about your knowledge as a teacher, curricual interests and strengths etc plus mybe how you'd adapt the NC for special learners.
    There have been quite a few posts recently about more specific questions people have been asked recently in special school interviews. Check them out if you haven't already. I got my job as a teacher in special far too long ago for the questions I had to be of any use to you.
     
  6. Thank you so much for your helpful reply.
    One question though - do you enjoy your job in special needs?
     
  7. Riv

    Riv New commenter

    Yes. most days!
     
  8. Hi,
    I work in a special school with a class of children with ASD, i had a year experience of children on the spectrum but much higher functioning than im with now so had absolutely no confidence that i would get the job i have.
    In my interview they asked about the triad, how i work with parents, managing staff and how i deal with behaviour (tip: no raised voices, calm and controlled workd for most schools praise not sanctions) they also talked about sensory integration, pecs and teacch, how i would deal with physical attacks from children and what i thought i could bring to the school that no one else could. They also talked about what helps in a classroom and i talked about visual queues, all my children use them a red spot for stop and picrtures of where they are going to help reduce anxiety which was also a big thing they talked about, anxiety in children.
    For part of the interview I had to do a lesson but this was very simple, it was with 3 children but it was literally just singing a numeracy song that the teacher had previously sorted for me as you can't plan for the type of children i teach unless you klnow them its too hard.
    I talked loads about how it was what i always wanted to do , because it is i am very passionate about autism and talked about how willing i was to train.
    When i got the job, on a years contract, they said they loved how enthusiastic i was and how happy smiley and bubbly with the children, also that i recognised one child who was a lot quieter than the other 2 and lowered my voice accordingly. I had no idea i had dont this think its just natural.
    I have just been made permanent at this school and could not be happier i absolutely love my job, the worst day in this job is the best day in the majority of other jobs including mainstream, I know this is just me though as some people come in and are like nooooo couldnt do it :)
    Good luck!
     
  9. Hi,
    Having been on both sides of the fence, interviewer and interviewee I think the most important thing is to focus on the education of the pupils and not to get too caught up in the care aspect.
    Working as part of team is also very important as often you could have a team of TA's and many different professionals to work alongside.
    As has already been said it's about enthusiam don't worry about what you don't know yet, show what you have done and that you have sought out experience through your voluntary work.
    I'd also visit the school and check out any info that you can find about it. It's always good to show that you've picked up already some of the good things that the school is doing.
    Good Luck!!!

     
  10. Hi,
    As an HT in a Small School where all our pupils have additional needs of one description or another I would say that there is a lot of good advice in this thread. Being calm and softly spoken and never confrontational are the keys to behaviour management. In terms of tasks, making allowance for lack of confidence, short concentration spans and anxiety is all best dealt with by cutting tasks up into small amounts and making sure that the student is aware of exactly what they have to do, right down to the important line "and when you are finished let the teacher know and hand them your work".
    On a more caring type note achild is an individual not a diagnosis and what works with one ADHD or ASD child will not work with another. You need to find out what makes them tick, and reading up on Kinesthetic learning won't hurt you either.
    Good Luck
     
  11. Thank you so much - this has been so helpful.
     
  12. Thanks for all your top tips - brilliant!
     
  13. Thank you so so so much for your kindness in this detailed reply. I am in mainstream and not enjoying it because of the behaviour management issues. One day in the special needs school made me see everything so differently. Just hope I get the job now!
     
  14. My school are very hot on data, so asked me alot of assessment questions during my interview. They also asked about strategies relating to children with ASD, (their anxieties, de-escalation strategies etc).

    Good luck!
     
  15. jessed

    jessed New commenter

    HI,

    I was in your position last year. I applied for a job (in my NQT year) in a special needs school despite only having limited experience through a special needs playscheme and the odd day supply. Good news is I got the job and have LOVED my NQT year. I have put a lot into my job as there has been so much to learn.

    My interview consisted of a tour of the school, writing a lesson plan, teaching a lesson and an interview. I really didn't think I had got the job (nothing seem to go right in the lesson) at the time, but I think they look to see how you deal with difficulties, work with others etc! Also, I would suggest you have a bit of knowledge of what aspects of special needs the school specialise in. I was asked how I would plan a lesson for an autistic class/PMLD class.

    Good Luck!

    Jessed
     
  16. Hi I'm hoping you were successful at interview. I'm a deputy in a SEN school and also started out as an NQT and have never gone to mainstream. The advice you've been given on here is very good and I haven't much more to add to it, except to suggest you think about progress and assessment for a learner with SEN - you'd definitely get asked that if my school interviewed you. I suggest you also try to visit any SEN school you intend being interviewed for and if possible a few more besides.
    Best of luck and I hope I'm not being 'previous' in saying "welcome to the SEN teaching profession".

     
  17. Hi!
    Just came across this forum as I was looking for tips for my NQT year. I will also be joining you as an NQT in special. All very exciting times :)
     
  18. Hi
    Sorry only just picked up your message! Hope you are enjoying your NQT in SEN! I am still trying to get my head around P Levels and APP as well as the new subjects I have never taught before eg Science and Numeracy!! Despite the workload and feeling like a headless chicken I can honestly say it was the best choice I ever made!
    Hope you are enjoying your half term!
    Aileen


     

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