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Learning support interview

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by 123Vanilla, Oct 14, 2017.

  1. 123Vanilla

    123Vanilla New commenter

    No I don't Pickles. P.G.C.E. Taught secondary mainstream for 10 years. Left the profession a decade ago now. Worked from home for 4 years, primary LSA one year and currently volunteer for the CAB. Sporadic employment history.
  2. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    Vanilla I've sent you a private message.
  3. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    When is your interview Vanilla?
  4. 123Vanilla

    123Vanilla New commenter

    Hi Pickles

    Not long back from the interview. It was a fairly relaxed process, in that there were 6 of us together in one room and we were asked to brainstorm what we knew about the college and the role of a learning mentor. Then it was time for 'speed dating'! So, the Head of Learning Mentors, Director of Student Services and the CEO were spread across the room and we all in turn, went round to be asked questions. Next came, "ask us any question you like" and finally, over to us, "WHY DO YOU WANT THIS JOB, WHY SHOULD BE HIRE YOU?"

    Main questions which were asked during speed dating:
    1. What experience of learning disability do you have?
    2. What are your training needs?
    3. How would you deal with an incident which had arisen?
    4. What skills can you bring to the job?
    5. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

    I am very guilty of going off at a tangent, so would be surprised to be offered the job. However, what a great way to conduct interviews. Makes candidates feel very relaxed and at ease. I know this is not always the case with school based interviews, but maybe this is the way forward now!

    How are you feeling about your forthcoming interview Pickles?
  5. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    Speed dating? For an interview? Did they bring Paddy McGuiness in too? Lol. I would have said hold up. Is this a college or a singles event?! Very strange.

    Well i feel apprehensive actually. I've had that many rejections that i keep hearing the words in my head. I'm going to a lot of trouble for my activity all the while thinking to myself 'am i wasting my time here?'. 'Is this going to be good enough?'

    It's a whole day thing aswell.
  6. 123Vanilla

    123Vanilla New commenter

    Yes I am sure you do feel apprehensive, it's a nightmare the whole job hunting process, I detest it!

    You can only give it your best shot Pickles, that's all any of us job hunters can do. Are there any other areas of work you are looking at, besides education? I am currently applying for an adviser role for the CAB. After that, library assistant.
  7. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    Hi there. Yes ive applied to a shed load. Level 2 jobs as well. Admin/receptionist jobs although not been hearing back from anything in tbat particular field. Also looking at university and library jobs.

    A friend if mine just recently went for a TA job interview. Interview went ok. Activity went down the pan. Children weren't engaged. Learning wasn't reinforced.

    This has now totally scared me because the two words screaming out to me is engagement and reinforcement.

    I could talk through the ideas I've got for my activity with you. Think I'm looking for reassurance. I'm scared that it will detail, kids will think I've got a screw loose or will find it boring or too difficult.
  8. 123Vanilla

    123Vanilla New commenter

    Feel free to talk through your ideas, or even if you just want to gain some reassurance, I don't mind. It must be tricky having to do an activity because surely there are 101 factors to consider. Do you know how many children you are working with? Special Needs? Time of day? Is there opportunity for children to stand at the front to speak, role play? Not a primary expert, but don't be put off by your friend's experience.. relax, breath, down rescue remedy and enjoy the experience. Maybe offer rewards/stickers for good participation, sitting nicely, lovely manners etc?
  9. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    I know. This is going to be pot luck in my opinion. As to the time of day im assuming morning or mid afternoon. Before or after lunchtime is unknown.

    I will have 8 reception children. Ability is unknown. No idea if there are any SEN or EA L children. The book is Dear Zoo. It's a very simple book. The zookeeper asks the zoo to send them a pet. They send a range of animals hidden behind flap boxes. You have to pull the flap down to reveal.

    The challenge is to work out what the animal is and why the animal isn't right. Why the animal must be sent back.

    There are 8 animals in the story. Likewise there are 8 children. So my thinking was- get every child to be an animal. They put the mask on before we start and think about their animal.

    We go through the story pausing on each page. I will say ooh look this is a very odd looking box. Its says danger danger. Ooh look this is a very looking and tall box. I can see a head piling out the too. What could it be?

    Hmm.. What kind of animal could be in the box? A very scary animal. Ooh look we can see a furry tail. What could it be?

    If you think you are the animal hiding behind the box come up to the front! If you get it right you get a sticker!!

    Potential pitfalls: Every child comes up to the front. There could be squabbling. It could go mental.

    Obviously my role is to supervise and monitor this. If children struggle encourage peer work. Friends can give clues or i give a further clue.
  10. 123Vanilla

    123Vanilla New commenter

    Dear Zoo is a lovely book or You choose and I like Room on the Broom? You could even explore the word 'pet' at the beginning and ask the children if any of them have pets, what kind of pet, what does it look like, what their pet eats etc? Or a feely bag containing toy animals so that the children have to come up to the front and pick a toy and describe?

    Maybe a song too? Love the idea of each child coming to the front if they are the correct animal. Then you could end with "can you name/describe an animal in the story?" Or, if before lunch or break, "if you are a monkey, go and wash your hands for lunch/play"

    I am sure it will be fine Pickles. Just keep sight of engagement and learning at all times. Keep asking yourself, "what do I want these children to have learnt by the time they leave this session with me?"
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
  11. olunchick

    olunchick Occasional commenter

    Pickles your idea sounds lovely, remember it’s not just about having a perfect activity it’s also about being able to handle the situation if things go wrong which in real life teaching/ta jobs they often do.
    pickles124 and 123Vanilla like this.
  12. olunchick

    olunchick Occasional commenter

    Fingers crossed for you Vanilla, I had an interview on Monday and still waiting for the call with an outcome:-(
  13. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    Well im running through every potential pitfall. So I'm controlling the timing and if children find it too easy or hard will adapt. Olunchick let's hope they get to you by tomorrow. How nerve wracking!!

    But we are doing good though. Honestly getting an interview in these times means we are doing something right!
    123Vanilla likes this.
  14. 123Vanilla

    123Vanilla New commenter

    Totally agree pickles! It's tough out there, no doubt about that!
    Olunchick, you must be living by your phone! Fingers crossed for the both of you x
    pickles124 likes this.
  15. olunchick

    olunchick Occasional commenter

    I did on Monday and Tuesday but not anymore.

    Have you heard back yet Vanilla?
  16. 123Vanilla

    123Vanilla New commenter

    No olunchick and I've decided the role probably isn't me after all. Is that bad after all the interview preparation? I just found out a few more things about the job which I think I would struggle with. But nevertheless a great interview process on their part. I came away thinking I do have transferable skills after all.
    pickles124 likes this.
  17. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    That is a shame but if you think the role will surpass what you are used too, and you won't be happy there, then you've made the right decision.
    123Vanilla likes this.
  18. 123Vanilla

    123Vanilla New commenter

    Yes I agree PIckles.. I've got to get it right somehow. Not getting any younger either! Any news Olunchick?
  19. olunchick

    olunchick Occasional commenter

    I phoned the school and they thought they had been in touch with me, they hadn’t !

    Unsuccessful. Interview brilliant, the task let me down. It was too hard for those children. Fair feedback. It’s hard to prepare for a group of sen children not knowing their difficulties.
  20. olunchick

    olunchick Occasional commenter

    I’m going to register with another agency - have interview next week, while still applying for jobs with the council when they do come out.

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