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TA interview - not sure what they are asking

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by eeyoreandpooh99, Oct 3, 2015.

  1. eeyoreandpooh99

    eeyoreandpooh99 New commenter

    Just a bit of advice please:) I actually have an interview for a TA position! I have just finished Level 2 course and start level 3 this week. The email asks me to bring something to the interview, it can be a resource, idea or activity that I have used that enhances the children's learning. I am planning to use an activity from a lesson I observed and took part in, it wasn't my idea as I have not yet been able to devise activities for use in class(I am a volunteer and have been for nearly 2years) have I got this right or are they asking for my own idea? Really want to get this right! Thank you:)
  2. OBakaSama

    OBakaSama Occasional commenter

    Haven't had something like that at an interview yet, but a few things spring to mind if you bear with me.

    (1) Is the position for a specific age group? I assume primary age range, but even then that is quite broad from Reception to Y6; not all activities would be appropriate for all age groups. Some activities may have broad appeal. This might be something to consider.

    (2) Is there more detail about the reason to bring this resource, idea or activity to the interview? Is it to be discussed or to be used with a group of children?

    (3) Teachers plagiarise (in the kindest sense of the word), in that they borrow ideas from one another and then apply it to their own class. I don't think it's essential the idea is original (i.e., something you created independently), but it is essential for you to know why the activity is used, and structured the way it is.

    (4) I would hazard to guess that the interviewers will want to know how well you understand what you are doing. Can the object you take to interview account for differentiation? Can you make cross curricula links with it? Can it be adapted?

    That's all I can think of without some coffee in me. Hopefully that will provide you with some thoughts to help your interview.

    Good luck.
  3. eeyoreandpooh99

    eeyoreandpooh99 New commenter

    Thank you. It's for a primary school, there are a few year groups the position could be in. I have to talk about it with the interviewers not children, the activity I was planning on was a SEAL activity which was very successful and the children really took on board what was being said and what they saw, I completely understand the activity and why it was being taught. Just very nervous and want to get it righ!
  4. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    The SEAL activity would be OK, even better if you could say how you amended/adapted the resource to best suit the needs of your group. No one can realistically expect a prospective TA to invent some completely new resource never before seen!
    CassiaJaneK likes this.
  5. eeyoreandpooh99

    eeyoreandpooh99 New commenter

    Lovely - thank you so much:) will get on and prepare!
  6. OBakaSama

    OBakaSama Occasional commenter

    I second what CarrieV says above. One problem I would anticipate, though I do assume SEAL is a very structured program from what I know of it, is that there isn't much leeway to differentiate and adapt. Or at least it seems to be trickier to me. If so, then it is perhaps even more important to see how this fits with what the interviewers actually have in mind when asking you to take an object along; the danger is that it doesn't answer their questions in the way they want it to be answered (true of any question).

    A general point about working with children, though this is well-known. You as a person and how you interact with the children is as important, if not more so, than the resource/activity you use with them. A good practitioner will make good use of a poor resource; a bad practitioner can waste a good resource.

    Easier said than done, but try to be more confident as it really makes a huge difference.

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