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Dear Theo - or anyone who can help!!! - interview crisis

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by princesstulip, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. princesstulip

    princesstulip New commenter

    I'm panic-stricken!
    Last week I was invited to an interview, which is tomorrow. First ever school interview (primary).
    The head only provided very minimal info which I couldn't use to prepare anything, until late last night. So I have 1 day to do everything now. And it is A LOT!
    I won't go into detail as I don't want there to be a chance of someone identifying the school. Never know who is reading! But I've got 3 - yes 3 - interview lessons to teach, each one in a different year group. That alone would be manageable. What is stressing me out so much is that 2 of these lessons are in immediate succession and another is immediately after a different part of the interview process, with literally 0 minutes in between each session to pack away, get to another classroom and set up the next lesson. Seriously, 0 minutes. Apparently the schedule is very tight due to the number of candidates and we must stick to it.
    How is that possibly going to work?! I was already worried about differentiation for classes I don't know and now that worry is much worse as I'm going to have absolutely no time to even quickly ask the class teacher or TA or whoever which children need support and which need higher level work. I can hardly ask the children! So I can't really do it and this will reflect very badly on my teaching.
    The lessons are only a part of the expectation for the day as well. My mentor from last year and other teachers she works with were shocked. It's a temporary class teacher position and one teacher commented that it looks like I'm going for a headship!
    I don't expect answers but it might make me feel better if someone has heard of this happening before or simply agrees that it's crazy and I'm not just being stupid!

  2. Just wanted to chip in my two cents and say that I don't think you're being unreasonable - I'm sure if you'd been given the info you could have done the work, but it seems like they're trying to test you for stamina or toughness or something!
    I think the only way to do this is to plan a lesson you've done lots of times before, using the information you have, take it steady and plan your time today before you start working. That way you know you won't miss anything, and you can quickly differentiate on-the-spot if needs be. Don't let yourself panic - and if you don't get it it's all valuable experience anyway!
    All the best.
  3. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    What a marathon. I'm experienced and I would find that quite a tall order to teach 3 unknown classes under interview conditions- even Ofsted don't do that!
    First tip I will suggest, is come up with a quick starter to give the children whilst you're 'setting up' and use as your initial assessment of who in particular needs extra support (TA sat by or hovering near will be a clue).
    Keep your 'materials' down to an absolute minimum to save time handing out/in. Ask one child to collect work at the end of each lesson and put xxxxx, where you will collect it later (and make sure you do).
    If I think of anything else I'll post again.
  4. welshchocoholic1

    welshchocoholic1 Senior commenter

    That's what I was going to say.At least then you'll have <u>some </u>time to sort your self out!
    Good Luck with it all PrincessTulip! x
  5. princesstulip

    princesstulip New commenter

    Thank you so much everyone! I've been beavering away on the first lesson plan, taken hours but at least I'm getting somewhere.
    It's a relief to know I'm not panicking over nothing and that others would find this a challenge too!
    That idea about the starter is really good. I'll have to think how to organise that, as I've been given explicit instructions to keep input before independent work to a minimum!
  6. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    But the starter can be an example of independant work!
  7. Sounds like a real challenge. Just be sure that this is the type of school you want to work in. There will be plenty more jobs before summer and its important that a school matches the type of personality you have.

    If they are giving you information like this last minute think how challenging it will be for you to get data, organise extra-curricular activities etc once you're settled. My point is, be wary of any school that seems unorganised from the outset, that is unless this is a challenge of course, but even then I think this would be an unreasonable one and should potentially be a warning sign for you.

    Sorry to be a kill-joy!

  8. So much so that I can't believe it!

    I'm sure you've checked, and that the three lessons aren't going to be taught one by each of the candidates...? if you've been sent a timetable of the day...

  9. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Wow, what a marathon!
    And what good ideas people are giving you. The only tip that I shall add is not to panic on the day.
    So make sure that you don't have too much in any one session so that you aren't panicked trying to squeeze it all in. However long you've been allocated, you cannot move from one room to another in 0 seconds, so allow for less time.
    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.
  10. Just a quick thought - could you put your lesson materials in the various classrooms before you get there? Boxed maybe - some of those box file things would be helpful. Then you won't actually have to carry the stuff from one lesson to the next. Likewise materials that are collected in could be put in there at the end of the lesson. Also a prompt sheet for a TA (assuming there might be a TA in there to help) - with instructions on it. "Please could you give out worksheet A just before I arrive in the room" ? "Please make sure everyone has a pen/pencil/ruler/ gluestick"
    Maybe you will have time to deliver these materials before the marathon starts!
  11. welshchocoholic1

    welshchocoholic1 Senior commenter

    I used to teach in 5 different classrooms in one day all over the school, and like pastychucker has suggested I used to have a box in each room at the start of the morning, obviously asking the teachers before hand labelled with the class I was going to teach. In this book was all my resources/textbooks etc for the lesson. I think I would have fallen down the stairs if I had to carry everything with me al, at once! You could put your resources with labels/polypockets etc. I f you ask beforehand, I'm sure they wouldn't mind , and as Theo says you can't move from one foom to another in 0 seconds! Good luck[​IMG] x
  12. princesstulip

    princesstulip New commenter

    I didn't get the job.
    But the interview went well, I feel that I did my best and the head teacher was very complementary when he gave me the news, saying he had no real advice for future interviews because I did well. He might say that to everyone! But it was nice anyway.
    On with more applications!

  13. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Sorry to hear that.
    On the other hand you know you did your best, the head was complementary and you can build on that next time.
    Pop along to see what's just been posted for you on Flowers . . . thread.

  14. princesstulip

    princesstulip New commenter

    Aw thank you Lara!

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