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Middle East primary school interview questions (and answers!)

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by macavela, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. I tried doing a search for this but found similar posts were all a few years old. I have an interview with a UAE private International British curriculum school and I would like to prepare myself for typical questions that they may ask. Any experiences anyone could share with me would be much appreciated. Also if there are any SMT folk reading this, feel free to share your 'pet peeve' answers to avoid and any hints and tips! Thanks a lot fellow teachers:)
     
  2. I tried doing a search for this but found similar posts were all a few years old. I have an interview with a UAE private International British curriculum school and I would like to prepare myself for typical questions that they may ask. Any experiences anyone could share with me would be much appreciated. Also if there are any SMT folk reading this, feel free to share your 'pet peeve' answers to avoid and any hints and tips! Thanks a lot fellow teachers:)
     
  3. Calm down Karvol, if you don't have anything nice or helpful to say take your opinion elsewhere please :)
     
  4. Someone woke up with their grumpy pants on today, if anyone else other than Karvol has something provductive to say it would be much appreciated. As originally asked, I am interested in QUESTIONS, so I can prepare myself and what I meant by 'pet peeves' is if there is answers to steer clear of that may be easy pitfalls to fall into if that makes sense! Thanks!:)
     
  5. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    Most of the questions will be very similar to a typical interview for a teaching position in your home country. Stay away from clichés and trite answers (I'm a people person, It's all about the children, I'm only in teaching for the holidays).
    Other questions may involve living/working in a foreign country. Speak to your experiences (if any) or otherwise try and convince them that you would adjust well to this and could be reliably counted on to fit in well and/or finish your contract. If you have no experience living overseas, then use travel, examples of flexibility, sense of humor, adapting to less than ideal conditions, etc. Try to avoid blatantly racist, insensitive remarks and don't say you want a new adventure or ask if the local girls/guys really go for Westerners.
    I hope that helps. [​IMG]
     
  6. Discuss how you monitor teaching and learning.

    What makes you an effective teacher?

    What were the main components that resulted in achievement of outcomes.

    How do you motivate students?

    How do you cater for individual needs?


     
  7. Syria1

    Syria1 New commenter

    Give an example of a unsatisfactory lesson you taught and what you learnt from it.
    What is the difference between gifted and talented students?
    How do you challenge bright underachievers in a mixed ability set?
    How do you deal with unrealistic parental expectations?


     
  8. jkhanom

    jkhanom New commenter

    Hi have not had the fortune of being invited to interview. Does a lesson plan still go with the international interview process?
     
  9. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    Not generally in the international and/or American schools. I can't speak for British schools. You would be expected to be able to talk intelligently about how you lesson plan, collaborate, differentiate etc.
     
  10. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    A teaching portfolio is usually a good idea.
     
  11. I am currently working in the Middle East. When i had my interview they asked me about what i thought it would be like working in the country and how i would adapt to the living there.
    Research on the country itself, so you know all about their rules. The UAE is a great place.
    They then just asked a lot of general questions about my teaching and how the children learnt. I had mine over skype which was interesting as i got to stay in my PJs.
    good luck, kinda wish i could be more helpful the interview was over 2years ago now and i cant remember the actual questions. make sure you ask them what you get on your package if you get the job and go out there.
     
  12. Thanks so much for all the helpful info!
    wrldtrvlr123 and katherine_elliott, thanks for the cultural perspective, will try to sound as worldly as I can! Prior to my NQT year I was in the Middle East teaching, I will definitely try to work this into my answers. Really helpful hearing what other people's interview experiences for the UAE were like:)
    henryp1, thanks for the questions! Good to have specific questions to work on some decent answers!
    Syria1, thanks for the heads up on some tricky questions that weren't on my radar, out of interest what is the difference with gifted and talented students? Just curious, thanks:)
    jkhanom - For this school I have been asked to do a lesson, but I don't think that is typical for most international schools, as most favour Skype or they are conducting interviews in locations away from their school. I agree with what wrldtrvlr123 said.
    the hippo, I'm working on putting a portfolio together just now- trying to demonstrate AiFL, active learning, positive class environment, anything else should be in it? Samples of work? Thanks!
    Shookran to those in the Middle East:)
     
  13. I am curious, too, since in my home country (or what was) those words are used together to describe a population that are supposed to get the same special services (as opposed to being 2 groups). Would these two being separate groups be a distinction from a certain country/system?
     
  14. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    I remember one ex-colleague from my Bucharest days who loved being called "the G and T co-ordinator", with or without some ice and a slice.
     
  15. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    I'm not certain where Syria was going with that (but would be curious to know, as well).
    In my experience, international schools do treat them as one group. In fact, many int'l schools do not have a G and T program per se, but expect teachers to enrich and extend as indicated. Here in Beijing, the top schools are just starting/expanding programs of that sort.
    The other term to look out for would be Twice Exceptional: G and/or T in some area but also having a deficit or learning disability/difference in other areas (e.g. Aspergers, LD, ADHD etc).
     
  16. Regarding the difference between gifted and talented. I seem to remember that gifted refers to academic subjects, while talented would refer to people who have a special talent in drama or for singing ect..but I might be wrong. I am definitely not on that spectrum!
     
  17. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Does this mean that we should not talk about "a gifted musician" or "a talented mathematician"? Surely we are just playing with words and making distinctions that are not really valid? Isn't it also the case that quite a few students who are good mathematicians are also very musical as well?
    Or maybe I am just a silly old hippopotamus.
     
  18. I am enjoying that even dedicated teacher folk (like ourselves of course!) can go off on such a tangent! I think the answer will remain a mystery!
    Hippo, I think it was you who mentioned the merits of a portfolio, I've been working on it but think I am getting a bit carried away! Any dos and don'ts for me? Thanks!
     
  19. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Hmm. Well, I have waffled on about teaching portfolios before, but of course teachers have sometimes been know to repeat themselves.
    I think that I would probably put the following into a teaching portfolio: plenty of big colour photos that show you with smiling children, copies of any articles you have had published, programmes of school plays you have directed, some educational resources you have made, photos of displays or school trips you have organised, spare copies of your CV, letters from grateful parents, degree and teaching certificates etc. You could decide to put all of the things about sport together in one section, with another one about Numeracy or Literacy or whatever. I would have mostly photos in the first few pages. If you do not have any large colour photographs, then you can always get some colour photocopies.
    While some principals will spend ages examining and discussing every page of your portfolio, there will also be others who cannot even be bothered to even open it. In my experience, the latter is usually a bad sign.
     

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