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The interviewing process is a funny thing. And yes, sometimes it is cost.
It seems the trend is to get the those on the lowest end of the pay scale.
On the other hand, please be aware that verbal skills are very important. I
have been interviewing for the past couple of weeks and I can't believe how
unprepared the interviewees are. Recent graduates that have no idea about
current educational jargon, consulting written notes to answer questions,
forgetting the question...I can go on and on.
Be prepared. Have a portfolio of student work as well as your own. (I want
to know that someone I am hiring someone who has skills, and I've seen some
pretty bad ones. ) Be professional.
Questions the principal asks:
What is your strategy for classroom management? (They don't want kids being
sent to the office)
How do use cooperative learning? (Please don't say that everything in art
is cooperative, like sharing supplies. Have a lesson (whether you use it or
not) that shows that the kids are sharing the responsibility for a common
plan. There are many strategies for design projects that incorporate group
thinking and cooperation.
Have you worked with an IEP? If you don't know this is - Individual
Educational Program. For special education, legally binding. If you don't
know find out quick. It is a given her in PA, but I'm shocked at art
education graduates that have no idea.
How do you engage the parents in the program? Newsletters, phone calls (oh
the principal loves to hear that you make phone calls) after school
How will you use technology? It may not be universal, but most districts
have across the board infusion of computers. Don't say you use the computer
for your personal use. Even if the resources are limited, come up with some
Why should I hire you? I had a candidate say the other day "because I'm
fun." BE PROFESSIONAL.
As an art specialist, in on the interviews, I want to know that you have
some knowledge of the standards. Now this is state by state, but it is up
to you to know what is current in the district you are applying for. I want
to see that you are engaging the students in thinking skills. using fair
assessment ( I have interviewed people that don't know what a rubric is )
I don't want to see "cookie cutter" lessons. I want to see personal
expression, I want to see something that isn't from the pages of Art and
Activities, I want to see that the person I am interviewing can bring
insight and articulation to the process.
From personal experience. I worked any years in business before becoming a
teacher. In business it was all about what I had done, produced, what I
could do for the company. And, my price was negotiable. Seems to me in
education, it's about GPA's and who can we get that is good for the
cheapest price, not what you have accomplished. I know, I subbed for a year
in my position, and was going to be "looked over" but I actually begged for
the job. I had 20 years of life and art experience at entry level salary,
what more could they want ? It worked, and I guess they are not sorry,
because now I am the department head.
Getting a job is a funny thing in any business. Unfortunately it often
depends on some one's whim. I feel for those of you looking. But if you
are good, something will come along. Believe me. But you've got to have
some moxie and show why you are the best. Speak up, be proud, be confident
Here where I live and the salaries are excellent, if you are not in it for
the money what are you in it for? I'm serious about this question. I
started teaching because I thought I would have time to do my own art, aside
from the fact that I wanted to "give something back." I am consumed with
teaching and haven't produced anything.. Why do we do it? I have a good
salary and excellent benefits, why do I keep putting my soul into this?
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