So, I have a little secret. I’m going back in the classroom. Tomorrow. And I just found out… TODAY! I will be a part time Middle School Math Teacher, which is perfect for my life right now!
I’ve been interviewing for teaching jobs. Not because I don’t LOVE what I’m doing now, but because I feel like it’s the right time for me to go back into the classroom. I was offered a job in mid-July in a fantastic school, but I turned it down. Crazy right? Well, hear me out. The job was an hour from home and school started at 7:00am! My children would have needed to be in daycare by 5:45am each morning to allow me enough time to drive to work. I just couldn’t see that working for any of us.
Two days ago I interviewed for the job I was offered yesterday. Actually, I interviewed for two jobs within the same school! While I didn’t have the opportunity to use my portfolio at this interview (I did at the first interview), I wanted to share it with you and give you some interview tips. You’re more than welcome to model your portfolio after mine, but please don’t copy exactly what I’ve written. You want your portfolio to reflect YOU!
I went a little non-traditional with the cover of my portfolio and included the avatar from my blog instead of my own photo. My daughter told me “Mom, that looks NOTHING like you.” But despite her feelings about it, I used it anyway!
I included sample lesson plans as well as substitute plans and examples of assessments.
- Do NOT tell them what you think they want to hear. Do not use “buzz words” unless you have the knowledge and classroom experience to back them up. Be yourself. If you are hired, you will be expected to be the same teacher you were in that interview. If you are not your true self in the interview, don’t plan on being able to be yourself in that position.
- Don’t be nervous! The people interviewing you were in your position many times before. They’re educators, just like you. They’re humans, just like you. Do not be intimidated. You have wonderful things to offer their school and they’d be lucky to have you. Be confident. If you’re nervous or lack confidence, it will show.
- Be real. I talk with my hands and tend to stutter when I’m nervous. I just roll with it. It’s who I am. It’s ok to laugh at yourself if you make a mistake. It shows them that you’re a real person. Talk about your family, your interests.
- Be honest. If you’re asked about something in your career that hasn’t gone well. PLEASE don’t act like you have nothing to say for that. Nobody is perfect. You’ve had a bad lesson, bad school day or heck, a bad school year. If you say that you’ve never had a bad teaching day, they’re going to know you’re not being honest.