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Geography PGCE Interview. Tips/Affirmations needed!

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by emma192, Jul 2, 2015.

  1. Hi. I got invited to an interview for a PGCE and a school direct programme at Sheffield (same university so 1 interview for them both). I'm so so nervous, I only received the email 5 days before the interview date. There's a written task, a face to face interview and a subject knowledge based task.

    I also have 15 minutes to teach a group of Y7's about Geography in the News. They're looking at how I interact with the kids but I've never actually taught before. Is it normal for all the geographical knowledge I've ever gained to hop, skip and jump from my brain? Because it sure feels like that. I was thinking about talking about the recent 'heatwave', what caused it and what are the consequences of it. Good idea/bad idea? Should I make a handout sheet or just make a powerpoint and talk off that?

    And does anyone have any tips on the other aspects of the interview? Seriously, anything to calm my nerves is greatly appreciated. I really want to crack this, Sheffield is far and away my first choice.
  2. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    The heatwave is a good idea - it's certainly very topical, and because it's something they have personal experience of, it will be interesting for the children to learn about. You mustn't just stand and talk at the children, though; they need to be discussing/doing/discovering. For a 15 minute 'teach' you want no more than 5 minutes to introduce the topic, then 7-8 minutes for the children to do something themselves, and 2-3 minutes at the end to come back together and discuss what they've learned. Don't try and fit too much in because the time goes very quickly, and if you overrun they may well stop you (because they've got lots of interviews to fit in).

    For the rest of the interview, there's not much you can do to prepare. It might be a good idea to think about an answer to the following questions: "Why do you want to be a teacher?", "Why do you want to teach geography?" and "Tell me a bit about yourself." If you get one of them as the opening question in your face to face interview (and you might well do, because they're the obvious ones to ask!) and can answer confidently, it will boost your confidence for the rest of the interview. Try to talk about specific examples from your school experience when you're answering questions; "I was interested in teaching as a career, so I spent two weeks in school X and especially enjoyed doing..." tells the interviewer a lot more about you than "I like working with children."

    If you haven't already, make sure you're up to date with current hot topics in education - although you may not be asked anything about it (I wasn't at my PGCE interview, but I was still glad I'd prepared, just in case).

    Good luck, and let us know how you get on!
  3. Oh thankyou! I feel a lot better about that. I'm going to make a slide show and I'll also make a little activity they can do in pairs or something. And thanks for the question examples, I'll start practising my answers!

    Do you think they will ask me about my dissertation or anything I studied at uni? I didn't get a great mark on it because I was starting to burn out and I had a personal issue too. (I graduated last year). Everything else, I think I'm okay on. Touch wood...

    Thanks again!
  4. rachelpaula008

    rachelpaula008 Star commenter

    Hello emma. You graduated and that's that! You clearly have the necessary qualifications to have gained your interview. If asked about your dissertation my advice would be to stick to its topic - consider how you approached the subject and the research methods you used. I might be wrong but I think they'll be more interested in you in the 'here and now'. If they do ask about the mark you could discuss how you could have improved your time management and how you could have set yourself clear and realistic targets. A big issue in teaching is how to develop skills of self-reflection and your answers should show you are aware of this. Hope that makes sense.

    I gained QTS through the GTP about 10 years ago. During my interview I was asked in detail about classroom management - in particular class control. The question that stumped me was along the lines of "How are you going to deal with a group of Year 10 boys who don't want to learn?" As I stumbled through the answer I vaguely remember discussing the importance of boundaries and also building relations with students. Giving them a clean slate after sanctions and trying not to take poor behaviour personally.

    The best of luck... let us know how you get on : )
  5. rachelpaula008

    rachelpaula008 Star commenter

    I forgot to add!! You are probably aware of 'Equality and Diversity' and 'Safeguarding' which are both major issues in schools nowadays. You might be asked questions to check your understanding of these. E and D should be demonstrated during every lesson. With safeguarding, every school will have a clear policy and you will have to attend a training course to be aware of procedures.

    By the way - if you get stumped on a question you should be honest and let the interviewer know you are unsure. If you make it clear you are willing to ask for help and support in your school it'll show you're a team player and are willing to learn, etc etc.

    Good luck!
  6. Oh thank you for the help!! My only worry is about E and D; like "how would you handle a class with mixed races/disabilities" I don't know how I would answer that to be honest.

    And do you, or anyone, have any websites/books/webpages to recommend I read?

  7. rachelpaula008

    rachelpaula008 Star commenter

    I think the thing about E and D is just to recognise you have a group of individuals and you value their differences. I'm white British and have taught a diverse range of students with regards to their ethnicity and backgrounds. So if I create a powerpoint I wouldn't just use the names 'emma' or 'rachel'. I'd use names and images to reflect the diversity of people in my town.

    Handling a class with different races and abilities or disabilities will show when you differentiate for students.

    Good luck x
  8. Hey, thanks everyone for your help! Interview was okay, I stumbled through some of the questions but my presentation went really well! I was offered a place! Happy happy happy ^_^ Just need to pass my skills tests. I just failed my numeracy (by 1 sodding mark) but I've got my literacy in a few hours. Done 2 practice tests and I passed both so... fingers crossed!
  9. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    I'm really pleased to hear you were offered a place! That's great news. Thank you for the update and good luck with your skills tests!

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