I have an interview - and I'm scared

(21 Posts)
withaspongeandarustyspanner Mon 28-Dec-15 18:30:30

I need your help.

I've finally applied for teacher training after 20 or more years dawdling and I have an interview in January.

It's for secondary English, I will have to teach a year 8 class for 30 minutes, followed by skills tests the month afterwards.

Has anyone done the interview for SCITT salaried? What should I expect?

(I have clammy hands already)

Thanks in advance.

SisterViktorine Mon 28-Dec-15 18:35:37

How much have you already done in schools/ in front of groups of learners?

I don't know anything about SCITT but expecting a complete rookie with no teaching experience to step into a class of Y8s for half an hour sounds like trial by fire! I guess it's a 'sink or swim' training mode??

All the people I've seen go into School Direct have worked for at least a year as a Graduate TA first (Primary) so they are in the swing of teaching by the time they interview.

withaspongeandarustyspanner Mon 28-Dec-15 18:41:55

I've done a year volunteering as a TA in a nearby Secondary (last year) and since September, I've been working full time as HLTA in another Secondary school. I work in the inclusion team running interventions for dyslexic students and a small group of Year 8 students with complex educational and behavioural needs. This is what worries me though - I've not been with less challenged children and I'm worried I won't pitch my lesson at the right level.

SisterViktorine Mon 28-Dec-15 18:48:34

Ah, you'll be fine then! Don't worry- if you can do it with the tricky ones you can do it with a mainstream class!

Hopefully somebody with more relevant experience will be along with thoughts. I am Primary SEN so useless for Secondary MS!

Twitterqueen Mon 28-Dec-15 18:51:53

Children are always interested in someone new so I would start with a few revelations about yourself (nothing untoward!), maybe a job you once did that you hated, or a funny incident. Something you wish you had done differently. then ask them to think about something they wish they had done differently and to either tell the class about it or to write about it.

You will be fine. You have amazing experience and obviously a genuine desire to teach. If you fell you are pitching it incorrectly, you can change it.

Good luck fgrin

withaspongeandarustyspanner Mon 28-Dec-15 20:44:01

Twitterqueen as if there were anything untoward grin.

OK - so something to try to establish some kind of rapport that doesn't take too long and isn't too involved. My friend worried me as she said that they would probably be hostile as classes are often hostile initially. (She is a teacher).

I do fancy some kind of creative writing activity. I'm just worried that 30 minutes isn't long enough. I guess that's the point.

Aaaaargh!

grin

SawdustInMyHair Mon 28-Dec-15 21:23:22

I'm reliably informed that Kennings are good for interviews!

withaspongeandarustyspanner Mon 28-Dec-15 21:29:00

Ooh - that sounds manageable, too.

'reliably informed', Sawdust? You sound like you may have insider knowledge..?

withaspongeandarustyspanner Mon 28-Dec-15 22:48:38

Also, there is this in the letter:

• You will be asked to undertake a 30 minute written subject knowledge task.

Any ideas what this will be?

MrsUltra Tue 29-Dec-15 10:13:45

You don't need to worry about hostility - the group will be handpicked to showcase the best of the school.
The subject task may be something along the lines of what effect do you expect the new GCSE to have - not in depth literary criticism...

withaspongeandarustyspanner Tue 29-Dec-15 13:48:49

I might manage better with the literary criticism smile

Fallulah Tue 29-Dec-15 13:59:54

I did exactly this for my school direct salaried interview. It was the first time I'd ever stood in front of a class and it was fine. I got the job and am now an NQT and loving it. They're not looking for a complete teacher, they're looking for rapport and skills that can be polished and refined.

I had to teach 'a poetry lesson'. I did a quick poetry terms matching game as my starter to establish what they already knew, a reading of a poem (Bluebottle) without the title that they had to guess what it was about and discuss why they thought that, and then they wrote their own poems about an animal of their choice in the style of that poem.

Our second task was to design a SoW based on a new GCSE spec. I had no idea how to structure it and thought I had completely floundered at that point, but must have done ok in the lesson and the interview.

I'm guessing subject knowledge task will be related to something you may need to teach rather than commenting on wider issues in education? Useful to have some insight though, as something along those lines has come up at both interviews I've done.

Good luck - they've given you loads of time to prepare; most people only get a few days.

SawdustInMyHair Tue 29-Dec-15 17:14:36

withaspongeandarustyspanner - It was recommended on my PGCE as a good thing for interviews (it's short, accessible, differentiated by outcome, suitable for lots of ages etc), and I now know of someone who's been offered a job after doing it!

withaspongeandarustyspanner Tue 29-Dec-15 17:17:18

Fallulah that sounds great - you weren't interviewed anywhere in the East were you?

thelaundryfairy Tue 29-Dec-15 20:58:26

I teach secondary English; I think the lesson plan above about the "Bluebottle" poem sounds great.

These things might seem obvious, but if they don´t, I hope you find them helpful.

I recommend you try to get the students to discuss in small groups (pairs is probably easiest in a 30 minute lesson, but they might be sat at grouped tables of 4 or 6) before going into whole class discussion. If they´re sat in 4s or 6s, you could even do pair, then group, then whole class.

Try to ensure that everyone in the class speaks in whole class discussion at some point - this could include reading aloud - some will volunteer but others will need to be "picked on" or encouraged to speak.

Also when the students give their ideas in whole class discussion, try to avoid repeating or paraphrasing what they say - the danger of doing that is that the students will stop listening to each other and will just wait for your summary.

Practise running through your lesson MANY times in advance! Work out how long it takes things to do like give out any sheets or resources (and collect them back in, if that´s part of your lesson plan).

Don´t be afraid to deviate from your lesson plan. The person or people observing will be happier to see you react to the students in front of you and the situation than to follow your lesson plan doggedly. The same goes for if you run out of time or end up with spare time - improvise as you see fit. On the same note, make sure you are wearing a watch and / or have a clock that is clearly visible to you (and that the watch or clock is accurate!)

Have a back-up plan for if technology fails you.

I hope it goes well!

withaspongeandarustyspanner Wed 30-Dec-15 16:07:45

Thanks for the tips laundryfairy - I agree, that lesson plan sounds great, as does a lesson on kennings.

But I'm wary of being too influenced by them - I mean, what if I'm interviewed by a MNer? grin

thelaundryfairy Wed 30-Dec-15 16:09:45

Haha good thinking! What do you have in mind?

temporarilyjerry Wed 30-Dec-15 17:58:28

what if I'm interviewed by a MNer?

Then you'd be a shoo in. grin

Fallulah Thu 31-Dec-15 11:52:53

I trained in Berkshire so not quite east.
Also just remembered I got the kids to write their names on stickers as soon as I arrived. Really helped with discussion being able to use their names. (You might be given a seating plan though - I wasn't.)

withaspongeandarustyspanner Thu 31-Dec-15 14:57:32

I was going to take stickers and a sharpie - I thought I could write my name on one and stick to me, too.

I definitely want to do some creative writing - I was thinking of poetry because it's quick, though I know some children don't enjoy it. The other option was to do some creative writing on monsters - but I think this could be less structured - at least with poetry, like you did, you can do a checklist to see what they know and get them thinking about the language they are going to use.

withaspongeandarustyspanner Sat 09-Jan-16 18:54:08

I just thought I'd let you know I had the interview and the lesson. It was OK - not a brilliant lesson, but not horrendous. There were some OK bits. There were lots of things I'd do differently if I did the lesson again. I can't tell how the interview went - I never know. I felt like I rambled a bit. I had a written task - which was a bit odd, too. No idea how I did with that. I have the next part at the beginning of next month. It should be next week, but I'm unable to go. I should hear by half term if I'm successful or not.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now