Interview help/confidence(4 Posts)
So, after delaying as long as I could to make sure I would def finish my PGCE I started applying for jobs. I was invited to an interview and the day was so stressful. As much as we were inited to feel free to spen some time relxing before the interview everyone there clearly felt obliged to be bobbing in and out of classrooms and such (as we had been also invited to do) at lunch some even went out on the playground to talk to the children etc.
Needless to say I didn't get the job and part of my feedback was "The lesson wasn't planned the way we would have planned it" (on the ever popular Olympic theme but told that everything else was down to me to decide for the lesson) Bearing in mind I had contacted them before hand and asked if there was any additional things I should be aware of etc. How on earth can that be constructive feedback? The only other thing she could say was that one answer about formative and summative assessments could have been stronger.
I'm now sat looking at other jobs wondering where the hell to start.
Are you looking for primary or secondary jobs?
Ah, may be able to help then as I have been involved in the interview process for primary teachers.
My top tips:
1. As a PGCE student, you will have less experience than some candidates so make the most of what you do have. On the application form, I would list each of your placements almost as a separate job- detailing what year group, highlights of what you learned from the placement etc.
2. When you are planning the lesson that you will be observed on, make sure you have the timing carefully thought out- it won't look as 'polished' if you have to rush the end of the lesson. Try to plan some differentiated activities for children with differing abilities. Really think about the year group you will be teaching to make sure it's pitched appropriately. Have a very clear learning objective and write it on the board so that class know. Make sure you use correct grammar, spelling and terminology.
3. As a PGCE student you have access to a number of more experienced professionals (tutors/placement mentors etc). Don't be afraid to ask them to critique your draft lesson plan or to ask them for ideas.
4. At the Q&A interview stage, again make the most of the limited experience you do have. As a student you may well be far more aware of the latest techniques/ideas than more experienced teachers so use this to your advantage. Try to illustrate your answers with examples from your teaching experience- even if you are not expressly asked to do this. Don't be shy to take along examples of things that you are proud of - but ask before you show this to the interviewer and make sure that any pupil information/names etc are blanked out. Any if you have outside interests/skills mention them- these may be things that you could bring to the school.
Oh, and I agree that just telling you you didn't plan the way they would have is not terribly helpful- could you perhaps call and ask if they could give you some specific areas that were not what they were looking for. I'd be very polite and explain you just want to use the feedback to help you improve. Or failing that see if one of your tutors/mentors would have a look at your written plan and give you some pointers on where you could improve.
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