So you want to be a teacher? Interview Tips!

So you want to be a teacher? Interview Tips!

Originally published in 2014, this post stands the test of time, offering insights and guidance that remain invaluable for educators. Much has evolved since then—including my name—yet the essence of this message persists. Let’s breathe new life into this piece, coupled with my now slightly outdated teaching portfolio, as we delve into my unexpected yet exhilarating return to the classroom.

Embarking on a New Adventure:

Secret’s out! I’m on the cusp of a thrilling adventure, diving back into the world of education as a part-time Middle School math teacher—and it all begins tomorrow. The whirlwind nature of this transition, having only found out today, only adds to the excitement. This role seamlessly aligns with my current life chapter, offering balance and opportunity. I wanted to share the journey with you and some educator interview tips!

The Quest for the Perfect Fit:

Navigating through job interviews, I sought a position that resonated with my passion for teaching and my personal life. My journey led me to a promising opportunity in a fantastic school, yet the logistical challenges—an hour-long commute and a 7:00am start time—posed significant hurdles for my family. A 5:45am daycare drop-off for my children was far from ideal, prompting a difficult yet necessary decision to decline the offer.

A Fortuitous Turn of Events:

Fast forward to two days ago, I found myself in another interview, this time for two positions within the same school. The next day brought good news—an exciting job offer. Although this interview didn’t call for my teaching portfolio (a handy tool during my first interview), I’m eager to share it with fellow educators, providing a source of inspiration for your own.

Crafting a Unique Portfolio:

Breaking from tradition, my portfolio sports the avatar from my blog, a choice that raised eyebrows even within my own household. “Mom, that looks NOTHING like you,” my daughter remarked. Nevertheless, it felt right, and so it stayed.

Inside the Portfolio:

  1. About Me: A personal introduction, offering insight into my background and teaching philosophy.
  2. Lesson Plans: A collection of sample lesson plans, substitute plans, and assessment examples.
  3. Classroom Management: Prepare to discuss your approach to classroom management, supported by statements, photos, and tangible examples from previous experiences.
  4. Communication: Showcase examples of effective communication with both students and parents. Grab my forms here.
  5. Professional Credentials: Include essential documents such as past evaluations, certifications, transcripts, awards, and any other professional accolades.

Interviewing with Confidence: Interview Tips and Tricks:

  1. Be Authentic: Speak from the heart, avoiding buzzwords unless you can genuinely back them up. Your goal is to show them the real you—the educator they’ll see in the classroom each day.
  2. Embrace Calmness: Remember, interviewers are educators and humans too. They’ve been in your shoes. Approach the interview with confidence, showcasing the unique qualities you bring to their team.
  3. Show Your True Colors: It’s okay to be yourself, quirks and all. Whether it’s talking with your hands or the occasional stutter, these nuances make you relatable. Share stories, discuss your family and interests, and don’t shy away from laughter.
  4. Honesty is Key: When discussing challenges or less-than-perfect moments in your teaching career, be open and honest. Everyone has rough days; acknowledging them shows maturity and a willingness to grow.

In closing, this unexpected transition back to the classroom serves as a testament to the ever-evolving journey of an educator. As we navigate the teaching landscape, seeking roles that align with our personal and professional lives, let’s carry with us the importance of authenticity, confidence, and the willingness to embrace our true selves. Here’s to new beginnings, cherished lessons, and the unwavering belief in the impact we make as educators.




PS – I ended up leaving this position. You can read about that here.

Take a peek at my portfolio from 2014... It's interesting, right? But it gives you a good idea of what you can include in your print or digital portfolio!

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Hi, I'm Lindsay!

I create ready to go resources for middle school math teachers, so they can get back what matters most – their time!

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