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NQT first interview... help!! At a special school- primarily for children with Autism.

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by hannah_marie, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. Hi everyone,
    got my first ever interview on Wednesday and I'm getting pretty
    nervous! It's at a specialist primary school mainly for children with an
    Autistic Spectrum Disorder. A small number of places are taken by
    pupils with Sensory Needs or Moderate Learning Difficulties.
    I am
    just completing my primary teaching degree at the moment and this is
    just the job I've always wanted! As soon as I volunteered at a local
    special school I knew I wanted to teach children with special needs. My
    partners younger brother, Jacob, (who is 9) has autism and, having spent
    time with him and spoken to his mum alot, I've really become interested
    specifically in Autism.
    I've looked around the school and it's
    just lovely as are the staff I've come into contact with so far- I
    really want this job! However, I recognise that this is pretty unlikely
    considering my lack of experience and with it being the first job I've
    applied for and my first interview.
    The interview consists of a
    tour of the school, classroom observation and then the interview. I've
    been informed that the classroom observation is to observe me and how I
    interact with the children as opposed to a lesson. Any tips on this
    would be hugely appreciated- I sometimes feel like I must be doing
    something wrong with how I am interacting with Jacob since I always seem
    to come off with bruises and scratches (this doesn't bother me too much
    but I worry that I've upset him). I try to stand to the side of him
    when speaking to him rather than straight on and talk using short
    sentences. I think some of it has to do with him getting overwhelmed
    that someone new has just entered his house and that's how he copes with
    it- I tend not to approach him to speak to unless I know he's
    comfortable to do so. Needless to say I'm now very nervous about this
    part of the interview.... I just want to make sure I'm not doing
    anything wrong that would distress the children.
    There is then
    ofcourse the actual interview! Could you possibly give me any guidance
    on the sorts of questions that I may be asked and even what I should be
    taking with me? I'm feeling pretty clueless having no experience of
    interviews, but I'm a little more excited than nervous right now at the
    thought of this amazing opportunity.
    I would be so grateful to receive any advice!
    Thank you
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    As to the interview Theo has a Blue Peter inspired 'Here's one I made earlier' threads
    Interview Tips & Possible interview questions
    As to the observation with the children, you need to be yourself. You have expressed your desire to work with children with this syndrome and you need to 'let that shine through'!
    I'm not convinced that approaching a child from the side will work in all cases-but you're the one who's trained here. Like Dyslexia and all the other Learning Difficultysyndromes, each child is unique and needs personalised answers according to their own unique abilities. I agree such children often try to avoid making eye contact and you shouldn't press them and definitely keep the 'space rule', but they also appreciate 'rules', 'routine' and need to understand who's the adult in charge to whom they can go.
    Personally in the classroom observation I would scan the classroom for indicatorions of where each child 'is at' and the try to get alongside a child who I think I could relate to/talk about what they're doing/ ask if I could join in etc. depending on what's happening.
    Best of luck with it!
  3. Thank you very much for your advice. I will check those threads and read up!
    I'm really grateful for your tips, I'll definately do that- make sure i stick to the 'space rule' and try to identify a child who will be happy for me to join in with their activity.
    Thanks again!
  4. Linda555

    Linda555 New commenter

    I'm also really interested in autistic children and my mum had Aspergers, which certainly was hands on experience! Remember that very many autistic children have a special interest that they are often passionate about. If you can engage any of them in their subject, they may be very pleased to share, so a question about their favourite things could well get them going! Very best of luck. You sound like just the sort of person they need!
  5. Thank you so much Linda for your encourging words! and what a good point about the special interest- I think that'll be my best bet for enaging with the children.
    I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow!

  6. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Best of luck with it- the special interest bit is <u>really</u> good for engaging their interest.
  7. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Some very helpful comments here from other posters - hope it all goes well for you!
    We have a tradition here that when somebody gets a job, they start a brand-new thread called Dear Theo - I got that job! We look forward to yours!
    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 Workshops. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate
  8. Didn't gets the job
    She (the headteacher) asked me to not change anything I do in future applications and interviews. She said it was just between going
    for the NQT or someone more experienced and they went for experience on
    this occasion and she's sure someone will 'snap me up' in no time *sigh*. Shall just have to keep a look out for another
    SEN job.I'm just feelinga bit deflated... I really did want the job so much.
  9. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Oh, hard luck.
    Some good positive feedback though.
    You might also like to consider looking at 'ordinary' class teacher positions too. Many wiil provide lots of SEN experience, so when that all important next job turns up, <u>you'll</u> be the experienced one.
    Pop along to Flowers . . . and see whats been delivered.
  10. Linda555

    Linda555 New commenter

    I absolutely agree with Lara. That is really super feedback and every class I've ever had has had at least 3 challenging SEN children - one class had 10, including chair throwers, runners etc (infants!). It drives me crazy when my mother-in-law says it always happens for a reason, but actually it usually does. There's probably a job that's better suited to you, with a good mix of mainstream and SEN. Sorry to hear you're feeling down, but looking ahead, it sounds as if you did realy well!

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