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Dear Theo - interview lesson and the general job vibe ideas?

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by orlando_shakespeare, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. Dear Theo,

    I've applied for a job at a local primary for KS2 teacher post and got shortlisted - really happy about it, as the school is just down the road and I've lived in the local area for quite a while, so I know more or less what the kids/parents are like.

    Must say, I was pretty amazed they decided to give me the interview, because I'm an EU-trained teacher (QTS, but no NQT induction required, and still cheap as haven't been employed on mainscale yet) and I had the feeling that primary jobs are restricted to those with PGCEs in Primary Education! I've got loads of experience working with the KS2 age group and I specialise in EAL teaching, which is something the local community needs at the moment....

    I have to teach a 20-minute SEAL activity around getting on and falling out - no Maths, English or Literacy! This was a bit of a surprise, very nice as the prep won't be as hard as for other subjects, but I'm wondering how can I make myself stand out and sell my other skills. I've just finished a PhD in Shakespeare and performance but don't want to go into academia after what I've experienced working in deprived schools - I have much more enthusiasm for breaking the barriers to learning than lecturing bored undergraduates. I've used SEAL before in teaching vulnerable Y7s and I've supported EAL kids in SEAL lessons, but I'm worried that I'd either keep it too simple or too "flimsy" without touching upon other skills - but in 20 minutes, I can't really incorporate writing/literacy. Or is SEAL supposed to be only about circle-time, constructive discussion, exchaning opinions and talking about feelings? A simple thing, but I'm mightily confused!

    The good thing is that I'm definitely going to have a formal interview afterwards, so no post-lesson selection - does that imply there's not that many candidates, or the governors have only picked people they're really interested in?

    I know I'm speculating and perhaps reading too much into the situation, but I thought I'd share my concerns here to get a second opinion!
     
  2. Dear Theo,

    I've applied for a job at a local primary for KS2 teacher post and got shortlisted - really happy about it, as the school is just down the road and I've lived in the local area for quite a while, so I know more or less what the kids/parents are like.

    Must say, I was pretty amazed they decided to give me the interview, because I'm an EU-trained teacher (QTS, but no NQT induction required, and still cheap as haven't been employed on mainscale yet) and I had the feeling that primary jobs are restricted to those with PGCEs in Primary Education! I've got loads of experience working with the KS2 age group and I specialise in EAL teaching, which is something the local community needs at the moment....

    I have to teach a 20-minute SEAL activity around getting on and falling out - no Maths, English or Literacy! This was a bit of a surprise, very nice as the prep won't be as hard as for other subjects, but I'm wondering how can I make myself stand out and sell my other skills. I've just finished a PhD in Shakespeare and performance but don't want to go into academia after what I've experienced working in deprived schools - I have much more enthusiasm for breaking the barriers to learning than lecturing bored undergraduates. I've used SEAL before in teaching vulnerable Y7s and I've supported EAL kids in SEAL lessons, but I'm worried that I'd either keep it too simple or too "flimsy" without touching upon other skills - but in 20 minutes, I can't really incorporate writing/literacy. Or is SEAL supposed to be only about circle-time, constructive discussion, exchaning opinions and talking about feelings? A simple thing, but I'm mightily confused!

    The good thing is that I'm definitely going to have a formal interview afterwards, so no post-lesson selection - does that imply there's not that many candidates, or the governors have only picked people they're really interested in?

    I know I'm speculating and perhaps reading too much into the situation, but I thought I'd share my concerns here to get a second opinion!
     
  3. modgepodge

    modgepodge Occasional commenter

    Don't worry that you won't do any writing. Circle time for 20mins shouldn't involve any writing - it should be as you describe. Start with a very quick (3mins) "getting to know you" game, then in to whatever you want to talk about, then finish with either another game or something like "pass the smile" (you smile at child on your left, they pass it on til it comes back to you) or saying something nice to the person on your left or something like that, so that after a heavy discussion the kids leave feeling happy!
    I've experienced a mix of shortlisting after a lesson and allowing candidates to do both. Personally I prefer the latter, and I would say it probably does mean there are less of you invited. I had one interview where 7 people taught a lesson, they then cut back to 3 or 4 to interview. My lesson wasn't great as I set the level too low - I knew exactly where I went wrong and had they interviewed me I could have made this clear. As it was, they just thought I didn't know what Y3s could do. Another interview I got invited to (but didnt attend as I had a job by then) they didn't say how many would teach a lesson, but after the lesson 6 would be interviewed - so I reckon they must have had at least 10 doing a lesson! The job I got there were 4 of us invited to do the whole thing. I much prefer it that way :)
     
  4. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Well done on getting that interview! Great news.
    Some schools cut down after the lesson, some schools interview everybody. Often it's a question of logistics - they find it tricky to pack all the lessons into one morning to cut down for the afternoon, so have lessons and interviews going on all day.
    In such circumstances, you need a Plan B - an alternative level up or down, that you can adjust to immediately during the lesson. Nothing is worse than an applicant grimly carrying on with a planned lesson when it's clear to everyone that it's the wrong level. You should aim to make the change of level there and then, on the spot, not explain it away leter in the interview. Think about that for next time, Modge - this could be what helps you through!
    As for those of you who haven't yet got through it like Modge, remember to open the interview clickables in the Welcome thread, to get tips and ideas to allow you to start a new thread: Dear Theo - I got that job!
    Best wishes
    __________________________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Seminars. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
    www.tes.co.uk/careerseminars
    Edit
     
  5. modgepodge

    modgepodge Occasional commenter

    You're right....problem was I didn't become aware of how easy they found it until they started working, and it was on co-ordinates so I'd already printed the grids to a certain (too small) size etc. Short of getting them to draw out bigger grids or something I couldn't really make it harder there and then. In a 30 min lesson it's hard to adjust like that. Since then I've always set the lessons I've done a bit too hard with the ability to drop the level if necessary, as the feedback I got was that observers would prefer to see high expectations than low ones.
    I'd based it on a lesson I'd done with Y3 chn at the same point of Y3 the previous year. This school obviously were just a brainy bunch!
     
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Yes, the thing is to have had something harder/easier already prepared and brought along with you!
    Spot on!
    You can sometimes get an idea by looking at their SATS results . . . generally does the school get good results? If so, standards and levels will be higher.
    Best wishes
    ___________________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Seminars. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
    www.tes.co.uk/careerseminars
     
  7. Thanks for commenting, although my original post got a bit lost :) I'm definitely going to have a plan B in case there is no response to what I've planned...
     

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