Wisconsin's Wecan is changing its system, and some of you will lose your potentially-well-crafted answers to the Twelve Questions. Others of you teach gym or social studies. I'm kidding, maybe. Anyhow, my answers are here because I really like all of you and I'm not going back to teaching, so go ahead and use parts of them. The answers were a little better before I adjusted them for a technology job from English teacher. However, no matter what you teach, make sure you pretty much fill each answer. I never didn't get an interview from a school district that used these or other short answer questions, and I think it's because I took them seriously. Lisa's answers are likely better than mine, but I think she's going to keep them to herself just in case she has to wade back into the pool of despair. And just remember that a good percentage of administrators are former social studies and gym teachers, so just be confident in the fact that you're likely more intelligent in your subject area than those conducting the interview. If you get the department chair, then humble yourself a bit, but focus on what you really know, like technology or Shakespeare or coaching.
I'm also adding my personal statement and whatever else I find on the website before shutdown. Also, I added another set of 12 questions at the very bottom written by my wife, who told me not to use hers, but since she's teaching in another state, who cares!
And if you use this resource in any way, click on an ad...it's like citing your source without having to cite it.
1. What do you want to accomplish as a teacher?
I want my students to read and write critically, understanding where we've all been and where they're heading. I want my students to receive a complete liberal arts education and understand why they should want such an education. I want my students to continuously run into situations in which they are reminded about something we discussed in class, and I want them to be confident in those situations, always asking and answering questions, always exploring.
2. How will (do) you go about finding out about students' attitudes and feelings about your class?
I listen. Students will talk to each other or the teacher about their feelings. When a student I've never met before asks if I was the teacher that has the cool website that allowed students to post all their work online or if I was the teacher that did a presentation on how he converted his Diesel vehicles to run on vegetable oil, I know the students are talking about the class after the hour ends, and that means they're applying classroom content and learning on their own time.
3. An experienced teacher offers you the following advice: "When you are teaching, be sure to command the respect of your students immediately and all will go well." How do you feel about this?
Since I am now an experienced teacher, I can answer this question in a way that works for me. I have always avoided becoming friends with students and I have always stressed having excellent background knowledge. Students respect both of those commitments. I can see the power in post-graduation friendships with students, though I have not necessarily pursued these. Respect on the first day is not about yelling; it's about being professional.
4. How do you go about deciding what it is that should be taught in your class?
I will begin with the district standards. If those standards allow me to be creative, then I will do so, often having students complete assignments that involve video or presentation elements. For example, students in my film class created a Google Slides presentation that had them analyzing films they'd seen with the option of creating a trailer or mashup music video. However, they were still responsible for identifying the film vocabulary terms.
5. A parent comes to you and complains that what you are teaching his child is irrelevant to the child's needs. How would you respond?
Children, as future employees, will need their creativity as much as their reading, grammar, or critical thinking skills. Learning is never completely irrelevant, and I am always prepared to explain each lesson I use. A free liberal arts education that was once reserved for only the elite means that students are allowed to explore important questions using more than a textbook. When I had students create a radio broadcast turned into a video, they decided which news events that mattered.
6. What do you think will (does) provide you the greatest pleasure in teaching?
My greatest pleasure in teaching is derived from student accomplishments, whether it's creating their own webpage for class or creating a business plan for an invention we developed for a contest. Success might come in classroom, but it will just as likely come from a developed love for learning. If I can get students to explore the world around them, then they will experience career success because they will be critical thinkers who do more than follow directions.
7. When you have some free time, what do you enjoy doing the most?
I am creating something when not working and while I am working. I have a couple of inventions that I am looking to market, but most of my creating goes onto the internet: my nearly 300 lessons posted online, my tutoring membership website, my Amazon Kindle books. I created a theater room with almost no money and a rotating display case for old framed photos, and I am always writing. I might write on a napkin at a restaurant or in a notebook in my house, but I am continuously listening and writing.
8. How do you go about finding what students are good at?
I design lessons that allow students to explore their talents. Since reading or writing skills might not be one of those talents, the lessons lead to the development of those skills. I try to find articles that are relevant to what we are learning and that are written in a way that students can understand without the background knowledge adults might have in the subject matter. These articles are often about science and technology, since those topics tend to more real than textual analysis.
9. Would you rather try a lot of way-out teaching strategies or would you rather try to perfect the approaches that work best for you? Explain your position.
I experiment quite a bit in the classroom. Even if having the entire class edit a single Google Doc does not always work out well, I tried it and adjusted. I also tried making a class-created variety show for the morning announcements. When no one claimed several display cases, my classes took over the responsibility. When all freshmen got computers, mine needed theirs every single day as I'd created an entire class online. I will perfect the lessons but always create new ones, as well.
10. Do you like to teach with an overall plan in mind for the year, or would you rather just teach some interesting things and let the process determine the results? Explain your position.
Again, I began teaching with an interesting thing kind of approach, but I have since chosen the interesting things that work the best in order to create a very definite plan for the school year. This is necessary in organizing a class that can be viewed and completed almost entirely online. When I taught a unit that involved housing, I installed free CAD software because the students in that class were more interested in house design than writing a descriptive paper about a house.
11. A student is doing poorly in your class. You talk to her, and she tells you that she considers you to be the poorest teacher she has ever met. What would you do?
I have learned that some students who are dissatisfied with a class do have some ideas, so I will ask for ideas. I developed a Creative Writing class because of a student recommendation. I would encourage her to go beyond the assignments and bring in materials that might interest the entire class. In one assignment, I created a choose-your-own-adventure survival story to go along with The Lord of the Flies, and I asked students to help create scenarios.
12. If there were absolutely no restrictions placed upon you, what would you want to do in life?
I would finish my novel, and then I'd film it. I would learn how to compose music in order to complete my musical play. I would experiment with pragmatic ways to use lake water to cool buildings, gravity to power mass transit, and clear plastic to paint our homes. I'd follow every interesting link I see online and read every article. I'd keep learning, and I would apply that knowledge to do my part in furthering society.
I am an English educator, but that's only where my life begins. I graduated with honors in English
from UW-Milwaukee and second in my class from Milwaukee Marshall. I went through the French
Immersion program in Milwaukee, and I have lived in the city my entire life. I have played baseball
since before I joined Little League at eight, and I continue to play today. Instead of going on
spring break while in college, I saved my money and toured Europe for a month after college. I've
also been to better than 4/5 of the states in our country, as well as most of the Canadian
provinces, though I cannot name them all. My skills and interests include integrating my background
within the context of the class or what students need to know. However, I learned early on while
teaching that interesting stories can only take a teacher so far. I maintain excellent background
knowledge in the subject areas covered by an English teacher, as well, and I am extremely
proficient in reading, writing, and grammar. I have honed my multiple-choice test writing skills to
be useful in creating ACT-like quizzes that test skills rather than recall. I want my students to
know what their English writing, reading, and speaking skills will do for them in the real world,
and I stress relevance in my lessons. However, students may not always understand the relevance of
classic literature, and I pride myself in tying those stories to contemporary texts and issues. I
consider myself a friend of social studies, science, art, music, and all other liberal art high
school classes, since I encourage my students to constantly explore the world around them. Just
like my students, I crave constant learning, and the area in which I continue to shine is in the
use of technology in the classroom. I have complete classes that can be taught entirely online or in
a classroom setting. I use online resources and quizzes, but I integrate them with important
classroom experiences. I take students to new places while they stay grounded, like me.
How do you plan to continue to stay current with research based instructional practices?
I plan to stay current with research-based instructional practices by taking additional education courses, by attending workshops and inservices, by discussing such practices with fellow teachers, and by reading professional education magazines and journals such as NEA Today.
Describe a professional growth goal you currently have. What kind of support do you need to achieve this goal?
I am currently completing my education certification and would like to work toward my masters degree and credits beyond that. I would hope to have the support of fellow teachers and administrators as well as my family members in pursuing my educational goals. This could come in the form of verbal encouragement, or perhaps discussions about research papers or other class materials.
What role does student data play in your instructional decision-making?
I collect data on my students' progress informally and formally, through a variety of methods, such as hands-on projects, presentations, daily participation in activities and discussion, essays, journals, and more. If I sense that my students are frustrated, overwhelmed, or not understanding the material, I am flexible in my instruction and am willing to take extra time to make sure everyone has a chance to succeed in my classroom.
What instructional strategies do you find to be most effective in a classroom or content area?
I like to get my students as involved in their learning as possible. My students do a lot of activities that appeal to different learning styles, so that hopefully everyone gets a chance to do something that they enjoy and that gives them the opportunity to shine. For instance, for Macbeth my class made Dunsinane Castle tourist brochures, and my British Literature class used props and costumes to act out scenes from a one-act play.
How do you adjust instruction (differentiate) for a variety of student needs?
Again, I try to design lessons that accommodate different interests and learning styles. I also review frequently, especially at the beginning of a novel or play when students are still getting a grasp on who the characters are. I work with the special education department teachers to meet special needs of my students. I also give in-class work time frequently so I get to check on individual student's progress and answer questions.
Describe how you manage your classroom for optimum student learning.
My classroom management style is firm but friendly. My students are respectfully quiet when I'm giving directions and raise their hands when they have questions. However, we still joke around now and then. I strive to make sure my classroom is a safe, comfortable place. This is essential for students to feel at ease and therefore participate in class activities. I do not tolerate put-downs or swearing. I move the desks around to accommodate activities.
Employer: McFarland School District
Question Set: WIVA TeacherDate: 2015-10-14 12:46:25
|Question 1: |
Why are you interested in this position?
|Question 2: |
What experiences do you have with online teaching or learning?
|Question 3: |
What challenges do your foresee in working with students in a virtual school environment?
|Question 4: |
How have you prepared yourself to be successful in an online teaching environment?
|Question 5: |
Describe your communication style.
|Question 6: |
How would you be described as a team member?
|Question 7: |
What are your 3 greatest strengths as a teacher?
|Question 8: |
What concerns do you have regarding working from home in a virtual environment?
|Question 9: |
What will be your greatest contribution to our team/school?
|Question 10: |
What excites you about working in a non-traditional teaching environment?
Employer: Wauwatosa School District
Question Set: Teaching Position Supplementary Information - Part IDate: 2014-04-26 22:01:45
|Question 1: |
Please describe at least two instructional strategies you use as an instructor to encourage your students' development of critical thinking and performance skills (Standard 4).
|Question 2: |
What data do you collect and how do you use it to determine if student learning is taking place (Standard 8)?
|Question 3: |
Explain how you create a classroom atmosphere that promotes learning (Standard 5).
|Question 4: |
What positive attributes and strengths do you possess that allow you to communicate effectively (Standard6)?
|Question 5: |
What strategies do you use as an instructor to address the different learning styles of a diverse composition of students (Standard 3)?
|Question 6: |
Educators in Wauwatosa are expected to be reflective practitioners. What steps do you take to become a more reflective practitioner (Standard 9)?
|Question 7: |
Please describe how your instructional style addresses the broad ranges of student learning (Standard 2).
|Question 8: |
Please articulate how your instructional style supports the intellectual, social and personal development of students (Standard 2).
|Question 9: |
PERSONAL STATEMENT: (Include your experience, talents, or special interests which, in your estimation, contribute to your success).
|Question 10: |
What was your last annual salary?