Over the course of 13 years as a principal, I have sat in numerous interviews for teacher candidates, curriculum directors, classified staff, superintendents, and even colleague principals. Thanks to this experience, I have developed some ideas for what candidates should or shouldn't do during an interview. By sharing some of these tips, maybe you can ace your next interview and land the perfect job.
Topics: tips for teachers
Most teachers feel they are lifelong learners. They love learning, which is part of why they have embraced teaching as a career. So if teachers are to be learners, who are their teachers?
Their teachers come in all shapes and sizes. Some are in college classrooms, some are on Twitter chats, some are fellow teachers down the hall, and some are nationally known speakers who share their expertise.
Personally, I believe that all administrators must often wear the “teacher” hat in order to get the most out of the teachers they work with. When administrators model great instructional practices, it sends a message to teachers about the importance of their role. For principals, curriculum directors, and superintendents, we should find ourselves using our teaching strategies with our teachers often—even during short faculty meetings. We know that just talking at students is largely an ineffective way to teach them things, so we shouldn’t do this with our own staff either.
Tech-savvy educators know they must stay on top of the myriad changes and trends in education to learn how teaching and learning can best benefit from technology’s near-constant change. At this year’s FETC and TCEA conferences, there were plenty of new EdTech trends to discover and learn about. If you weren’t able to attend either of these leading education industry conferences, here’s what our feet on the tradeshow floor took in as noteworthy or trending:
I have a friend whose daughter just started her student teaching experience. She had met her cooperating teacher for the first time—it sounded like it went well, but one comment stood out. She said, “I shared an idea with the cooperating teacher, and she said she really liked it!”
What an early impact this can make in the formation of a new teacher! By simply validating an idea, the teacher started building a connection, encouraging her enthusiasm, and setting a tone of reflective practice for the semester. It didn’t take much, but there is already a positive connection being built between the student and the teacher.
If we think about our students like we do a computer—where we have finite inputs and then desired (or undesired) outputs—we think differently about the inputs. The coding term GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out) rings true. If we put incorrect messages about life, work, success, and education into our students, we could end up with poor student outcomes.
Humans are much more complex than this simple analogy. There are millions of factors that go into our “outcomes” in life, and some of them are outside of anyone’s control. But teachers, and even more so parents, like to think that by providing some influence on the external factors of a child’s upbringing, some positive results will occur. We try to create “rich soil” for our children to grow and flourish from.
It’s midyear and time to really evaluate your students’ progress. What kind of growth have they made? What goals still need to be met? What about those state assessments that will be here before you know it? Here are some easy tips for increasing personalized instruction and maximizing your students’ growth:
The proverbial hamster wheel is a constant in a teacher’s life. We take on everything and anything that comes our way: new curriculum, standardized tests, lesson planning, paper grading, bulletin boards, classroom supplies, technology, etc. But most teachers will tell you that the absolute hardest part of teaching is a challenging student. There are varying definitions of a challenging student, such as talking incessantly, not being able to sit still, or being apathetic, unfocused, disruptive, or defiant. This year I have three—it can make for a long year, but here are some strategies that can help you with the challenging students in your classroom:
It’s that time of year when it is cold outside and there is an increased chance of school being cancelled because of snowy or icy roads. Snow cancellations or delays may not be prevalent all across the country, but even San Antonio recently had a snow day. I think most teachers and students would agree that snow days are great—as long as everyone is safe at home. My students love an unexpected day off. It’s like a bonus weekend!
A while back, I taught a high school broadcast journalism class. It was a lot of fun and we did some amazing things with technology, video, and journalism.
At the same time, I taught a sophomore language arts class. Since I was teaching the video recording skills anyway, I decided to do a video project with my language arts students. The results opened my eyes—I realized that for most kids, adding a camera to a project brought instant engagement. They were planning, creating, revising, and researching for ways to do it better, and their creations were pretty funny. The same project I had completed for many years became something fresh and new just by adding in the video component.
We teachers can be pretty set in our ways when it comes to how we do things in our classroom. Lessons we’ve had in our arsenal are continually refined and can be presented at a moment's notice to fit our curricular needs. For those newer to the classroom, it takes considerable time to create the perfect lesson that achieves the learning goals you have. We’ve all been there when a lesson turns out to not go exactly the way it was intended—it’s all part of the process of getting better as an educator and a professional.
Ready to try something new? Shake up your routine this month with these engaging lessons and activities from MimioConnect™, our interactive teaching community: