I have an interview for a TA level 1 position later this week. I am currently doing the job on a supply basis until it's filled but this is the only experience I have as a TA. I am fairly confident in the classroom working with the kids and the head knows I can do the job but as she said to me, I don't sell myself well and I'm lacking in confidence to showcase myself - I find social interaction really hard and something like a job interview terrifying. I would go so far as to say I'm social-phobic and will find it really hard to think on my feet to give good answers to the questions. I have spoken to the head about my fears and how I lack confidence in that kind of situation but obviously I can't expect them to make allowances for me that they don't make for anyone else.
What sort of things can I expect to be asked and what sot of things should I prepare for?
I'm dreading it because I have a working relationship with the head and whichever governor will be taking part in the interviews as I am a parent governor at the school and have been for a good few years - I was part of the interview panel that employed the head who will be interviewing me, I have been in a similar situation in the past and didn't get the job (though that worked out for the best in the long run).
Hi - I thought 'tinytalker' and I went through a lot of this with you the other day!?
When I (male) went for TA interviews I was always surprised the others (female) said they were 'nervous'. I enjoyed interviews, because it gave me the opportunity to talk about one of my favourite subjects - children and education!
It seems such a shame that you are nervous about it; presumably you are a lot more confident and relaxed with the children? I also have always found it much easier to talk to children than adults, but that is a personality quirk in me I guess.
As long as you know all about the curriculum subjects, levels, progressions and differentiation in different age groups is the main thing. Confidentiality, Safeguarding, Health and Safety. Know about the various policy documents, the subject co-ordinators, etc. Then I suppose (very topical) they might chuck in: What would you do if a child had unexplained bruises or cut-marks?
Once I had a Yr2 girl say to me, she wanted to tell me something, but I must promise not to tell anyone. I explained that I couldn't promise that, it would depend on what it was; it turned out her mother was pregnant (which no one was to know), but was feeling ill, and the poor child was worried she might lose the baby!
A very timid Reception girl, who I had tried to help build her confidence, was feeling ill. Her friends came and told me, and she was lying down on a playground bench. I couldn't understand what she was trying to tell me about about how she felt. When I said: Where does it hurt? she pointed up her skirt! (Alarm bells!) So I sent for the most sympathetic of the female TAs (there were 20 of us altogether) and handed the 'patient' over to her. I think, in the event, it turned out to be a urine infection.
I think I did say to you the other day don't be afraid to 'sell' yourself. If you KNOW you are good, and have a lot you can offer the children, and the school as a whole, then make sure you TELL everyone about it!
So - PLEASE don't be terrified, try and enjoy it - tell them how lucky the children will be to have you to support them!!! Make a little joke somewhere (even if it's at your own expense) if you can - I always felt encouraged if I could make the panel laugh!