Thursday, December 18, 2008

From 32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny...

Okay, so I have been reading a book by Phillip Done, a tenured teacher, about little quips that happen in a classroom. Thank you to the handful of you who blogged about this book and championed it as it fell into my hands! Now I can't put it down! Although I have been out of the classroom for a bit, I found this chapter on "Interview Questions" to be HYSTERICAL!!!!! See for yourself:

"The other day I was thinking about the time when I interviewed for my very first teaching job. It's hard to believe that it has been twenty years.
I can still remember my first interview questions: What is your philosophy of eduction? What is your classroom management system? what is your discipline plan?
God if I knew.
This was my first interview. How in the world was I supposed to have an educational philosophy? I didn't even know what that meant.
So I made up my answers and tried to sound like I knew something. I guess I fooled them pretty well. I got the job, and they haven't fired me yet.
I still remember my responses to those first interview questions too. Boy, would my answers be different today, if I were asked those same questions.
Here's what I said then and what I'd say now:

Question 1: If I walked into your classroom, what would I see?
Answer at first interview: You would see children working collaboratively in peace and harmony, praising each other, and sharing their supplies happily with one another. You would see children thinking critically, helping their classmates, and encouraging one another.
Answer today: You'd see Brian hiding the soccer ball between his feet, Peter connecting markers together to make a really long one, and me looking for my coffee mug.

Question 2: What are your strengths?
Answer at first interview: I'm energetic and enthusiastic and extremely hardworking.
Answer today: I can pull off a Band-Aid so it won' hurt.

Question 3: What are your weaknesses?
Answer at first interview: I need to learn to not work so late at night and on the weekends and on all my holidays too.
Answer today: I steal apples off kid' cafeteria trays when I'm hungry.

Question 4: What is your philosophy of discipline?
Answer at first interview: I believe in giving children lost of positive reinforcement, and praising and encouraging students throughout the day, always working to build their self-esteem.
Answer today: Take away recess.

Question 5: What would you do with a difficult parent?
Answer at first interview: I would call the parent and listen to her suggestions. I would work closely with her because we are a team, working together for the success of the child.
Answer today: Say, "Get a life."

Question 6: What would you do if a child threw a chair at you across the room?
Answer at the first interview: First I would make sure that all the other children were safe. Then I would try to calm the student down. Next I would talk with the student and try to figure out what was bothering him, and help him explore his feelings. Together we would set up a behavior modification contract in which I would allow the child to set his own goals and choose his own rewards.
Answer today: Throw it back.

Question 7: What is a teacher's most important tool?
Answer at first interview: Love.
Answer today: Candy.

Question 8: What would your PE program look like?
Answer at first interview: Children would have the opportunity to develop multiple skills through a variety of individual and team sports where good sportsmanship is emphasized in a noncompetitive environment.
Answer today: Heads up seven-up.

Question 9: How would you meet the individual differences of your students?
Answer at first interview: I believe in giving students a variety of choices. For example, when the children are practicing their spelling, the more visual child could draw pictures of her spelling words with different colored pens. The more kinesthetic child could write his words in sand or Jell-O pudding or ketchup or shaving cream.
Answer today: I believe in giving students a variety of choices. You can do your spelling now or you can do it at lunch.

Question 10: What is your view of constructivist education?
Answer at first interview: I think it is great. I think it is fantastic. I believe in it wholeheartedly. Is there any other way to teach?
Answer today: What the hell is that?

Question 11: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Answer at first interview: Teaching at your school and working towards a masters in education and participating in curriculum review and leadership training, and organizing the school's fundraisers and selling wrapping paper for the band.
Answer today: Under an oak tree in Heavenly Gardens.

Question 12: Why should we hire you?
Answer at first interview: I like kids.
Answer today: I like kids.

So, to those of you who are educators out there, either in the classroom still or not, pick up this book! It is great!!!!!


Angie Lynn said...

Good stuff!

Grandma Schmidt said...

Hi, I am Jenn H's mother and Elyse H's grand mother.
i am also a retired 8th teacher. I loved your blog it is so true. You must be a wonderful teacher

Anonymous said...

That's hilarious! I've got to read that book!!

Ali said...

Sounds like a great book!