Interview Tips for the unemployed IT workers
The only thing I can think of to help them ease their anxiety, as long as they are qualified, which I assume they are, then they need not try to impress the principals with their content knowledge. They should reflect how good they are relating to people, understanding people, and being able to explain their knowledge in a variety of different ways. Analogies and allegories help clarify and demonstrate relevance, and they should know that relevance is important in the process. The principals are looking for "how can you make this relevant to our students?"
One of the best things that I did when interviewing is to take the big huge portfolio that colleges ask you to put together, and pull out a little of it. Make photo copies, and bind it with my resume, cover letter, and references. I handed these out at my interview, giving each person something to keep. I feel that it made me less likely to be forgotten when I left the room. There was something more than my application there to remind them of me. I included in this web quests that I did with students, and pictures of me working with my students. The big huge portfolio is not going to be looked at during an interview, but if you leave them with 10 - 12 pages of you, that's a little easier to manage.
The one interview that I went on with out something to hand out... I was asked if I had anything to give them about myself. What an awful feeling to go in empty handed, and be asked for something. Needless to say, they went with someone else.
Also, if you are given a lesson to present, (This is going to sound like a DUH moment), practice it before hand. A couple of times. I sat on an interview committee, and watched a man get horribly lost in the lesson. It was painful to watch. He thought that we had given him an example to work out that was pretty easy, so he didn't prepare. He was not even considered for the job.
Be sure that you are able to talk about how you would use modern teaching techniques in the classroom. How would you use the promethean board, graphing calculators, computer lab, etc? Schools spend tons of money on this equipment and want to make sure that you have the skills to utilize them. Also, what is your teaching style?
This is just a little bit that comes to mind.
I know in this area, it was helpful to me to get interviews by emailing principals directly, rather than waiting for the "interview process" to take place. When I moved here from NY, I filled all the Gwinnett County stuff out on line, but I also watched the web site, and if there was a position that came up, I would email the principal. Then as it got closer to our moving here, I set emails to all the principals in Gwinnett County where I wanted to work. Then I emailed them and asked for an interview in February when I was going to be in the area on vacation. They set the interviews up around my schedule. I interviewed with 5 Gwinnett County Schools in 2 days and had offers, decided on Brookwood and accepted that offer before leaving to go back home. It was the best feeling in the world, and it was because I didn't wait for the recruitment fair, and went after the job. (And I had 9 years of experience teaching math in a NY School with great references... that didn't hurt a bit!)
Sometimes you have to work at a school that you don't want to and then work your way into the system. So don't overlook the less than desireable schools waiting for the golden prize.
I came into this from industry too and the only thing I felt tripped on was when I was asked about what I felt made up a good lesson plan. There are plenty of online resources that could do a better job than me of describing the function and parts of one. The other things I recommend is being familiar with the standards for the computer science pathways. The computing ones can be found at: https://www.georgiastandards.org/Standards/Pages/BrowseStandards/ctae-business.aspx They are listed on the right hand side of the screen.
Some folks at the school may think they are getting a new IT person who can fix the computers and networks. Make it clear that you are a computing teacher not the new fix-it person.
I'm sure anyone can tell them that just having knowledge of the subject
matter is not enough without classroom management skills. High school
today is very different than it used to be. They can certainly learn on
the job as long as they accept that there will be a lot of learning to be
done. They should be honest with the interviewer, stress their strengths,
minimize their weaknesses.
The best thing I did was to get certified as a substitute teacher and get my feet wet… Two things happened;
- I got a feel for what it was really like to be in the classroom
- I got to know teachers and staff at schools I thought I might want to teach at
Additionally, the sub position put me in place to accept a long term sub job when it was offered to me by an assistant principal.
Three full weeks in the classroom gave me a full grading cycle and allowed me to get to know the students as a teacher (vs. a one day sub/baby sitter)
The following is a website that I heard over the radio this summer that a GA job recruiter recommended to create a resume, etc. It gives you the option of putting your resume online and adding link to your business cards. You can also add picture, etc. It's so convenient.
As a 20+ veteran of the IT industry turned teacher, my biggest tip for IT workers entering the teaching field is for them to realize that no matter how hard they worked in IT, no matter how long their days were, teaching is going to be harder, longer and more tiring. In an interview, an IT worker should not presume that they know what it is like to teach, even as a veteran of corporate training, teaching high school students is so different.
1. Dress Formal. Teachers are supposed to be role-models.
2. Speak clearly. Tell stories. Teachers love to tell stories
3. Smile a lot. IT people tend to not smile - working with computers all the time.
4. Be confident but do not be condescending since the chances are you will be smarter than the interviewer.
5. Finally, Be firm about what you expect from the students, department chairs as well as administration. (Not to be confused with being obnoxious).
I might bring examples of class activites to the interview.
(PowerPoints, handouts, small programs)
I guess they need to explain why they want to go into education from the
business world. It would be good to talk about working with teenagers.
I sat in on a few interviews with my principal when I was observing him for a leadership program I was in.
Some of his first questions were designed to find out how much the interviewee knows about the curriculum. You would be amazed at how many people admitted that they hadn't looked at the GPS curriculum for their courses before the interview.
I would also do some research about the school and come up with a list of reasons you want to work there. Show interest in the teaching of the subject and in the school as a whole. Discuss how you think you can contribute to the school. Show your passion for the subject!
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