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Interview questions for a Catholic School! - Please help, I'm really stuck :(

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by pink1985, Jun 28, 2009.

  1. Hello,
    I thought I'd put a post on here as I'm getting a bit stressed at the moment as I've got an interview for a catholic school on Tuesday for Music Teacher and I'm really stumped on what to say if they ask me questions regarding teaching within the catholic faith.
    Just wondering if anyone knows what sort of questions might come up and the best responses to give. I went for an interview at a catholic school a while ago and really screwed up the faith questions.
    Two I had which I really stumbled on were:
    What would you do if a student asked you a question on the bible? -Would you answer it yourself or pass it on - who to?
    How would you teach catholic values within your every day teaching?
    Thanks to anyone who can help, I really appreciate it.
  2. mpc


    Hello Pink,
    Try not to worry too much. Catholic schools are just schools with a faith bent. Most schools want the best teacher for the job rather than the best Catholic (if you see what I mean). That said, you're right to try and anticipate answers to potential questions.
    Question on the bible - refer student to RS teacher or chaplain if the school has one. TBH, that's a really daft question. Why would you be expected to know about the bible?
    Catholic values are really just Christian values in the main. I'd be saying something along the lines of setting high standards for behaviour whilst promoting tolerance, goodwill and mutual respect, being a positive role model for students.
    As a music teacher, I would anticipate you might be asked how you would feel about contributing to school liturgical events etc.
    Best wishes,
    mpc [​IMG]

    deirdrehurley92 likes this.
  3. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    I think for most people, Catholic, Christian or atheist, that would have to depend on the question. Maybe a good response is something like "It would depend on the question. If it's something to which I know the answer, I'd answer. But if I'm not sure, I'd be honest and suggest asking the chaplain." The other question is what to do if it's a matter of interpretation: I think in this case, if I knew that my interpretation was at odds with the Catholic church, I'd be inclined to go along the lines of "the church says that...", or say "that's a question that theologians have debated: why don't you ask the chaplain about that one, because he will know far more than me"

    (Check out in the prospectus whether they have a chaplain or some other job-title, but there's probably somebody of that sort.)
    Catholic values in music lessons - I'm not a music teacher, but:
    You might find yourself using more "sacred" music in your teaching, I guess - partly because you might be contributing towards the worship, and partly because if the pupils and their parents want the Catholic ethos, then you're more free to do so. If you're using a piece of sacred music, you've got an easy opportunity to relate the music to the context or words. For an interview, it's good to have a concrete example, but I don't know enough about what you might use in a music lesson. A simple song of praise which could be used as a vocal starter?
  4. I am an atheist and taught in a Catholic school for a number of years. All my dept (science) knew and the RS dept found out when one RS teacher mentioned it at a meeting - in a good way, as it was a planning meeting for our day when we held a whole school mass that everyone contributed to and I offered to get involved in the organisation. I was happy to carryout the ethos of the school in my role as teacher, saying prayers and joining in everything in masses except taking communion (a line over I felt it dishonest and disrespectful to cross). Some pupils eventually worked out I probably wasn't Catholic but didn't guess that I was an atheist.
    On my application form I left blank the question of my religion. I was asked in the interview, considering I had left this blank, was I prepared to carry out the ethos of the school. I happen to believe that the 'rules' by which christians live (and I don't want to start a discussion about one religion verses another as I am more familiar with christianity as I grew up with it around me, if not in it) are a decent set of 'rules' to live by in general. Whether or not one believes in a god is a different matter.
    In science lessons the question of science vs religion was sometimes brought up whe certain topics were covered eg Big bang theory. I put forward the idea that these were scientific theories that fit the evidence and any other discussion was best done with their RS teacher. When asked what my views were, I said that a lot of scientists believed in God, or a discussion of my personal views was not appropriate to the lesson. Gets you out of a lot of questions.
  5. Sorry didn't finish this paragraph......I said yes, I would be happy to carryout the ethos of the school. And it was left at that.
  6. Thanks to you all for all your help. Judging from your answers, I think that the catholic school that I was interviewed at a while ago perhaps wasn't the right school to work for if the main questions asked were about catholism? Perhaps a good thing I didn't get it n:D
    Thanks again, Pink
  7. mpc


    Good luck tomorrow!
    I would anticipate you will be asked at least one question about it being a faith school in much the same way as if you went for a job at a specialist college, you'd be asked about that. I would agree that it shouldn't be the main focus of the interview.

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