In this snippet the text discusses what to expect and how to best prepare for your interview.
Chapter 10- Successfully applying for a secondary ITE place
Student teacher voicesRebekah:I think in general the application process, especially the interview, is very daunting, but it gives you an insight into the year to come. It is a very challenging course, but extremely worth it in the end!
James: The interview was perhaps the hardest part, due to a lack of previous interviews. It tried to prepare for the possible questions that could come up and made sure that my personal statement was not exaggerated.
Tom:Prepare for questions and be aware of current changes in education. Answer truthfully and honestly. Don’t try to lie about gaps in your subject knowledge!
What might you be expected to do at your interview?
You may be asked to make a brief presentation on a given topic, or you may be asked to teach a lesson on a particular theme. In these cases, if you are in school, you can anticipate that you will be asked to work with pupils in some way, though not all schools will expect you teach a full lesson to pupils. You could be asked to reflect on this at a later stage of the interview.
If asked to present, make sure you follow advice given on style and content. Stick to time limits (and make sure you have rehearsed the presentation, allowing for the nervous impulse that will speed your speech up under the duress of the moment). Address the people present in the room, your audience, and interact with them in as relaxed manner. A presentation is an opportunity for you to be seen in the communication mode that secondary school teachers use in almost every lesson:
- addressing a group of people as an audience, engaging and holding attention, articulating a train of thought;
- communicating ideas clearly and succinctly;
- sign-posting the talk for the audience with verbal emphasis and appropriate gesture; summarising and managing visual aids or resources.
Try not to over-rely on a prepared script or prompt cards, as this will tend to make your talk rather dull. Have the confidence to know your major points and talk freely around your subject; it will always be more interesting and engaging.
You will be given the opportunity to respond to questions in a personal interview which will probably be with one or two tutors or school-based colleagues. Some interview panels can have more people present. You will have an opportunity to talk about your reasons for coming into teaching; what makes you choose your subject as your specialism in secondary school; and what you have learned about teaching and learning from your recent experiences in school. You should always answer with your own thoughts, making use of your preparation and research without trying to give a ‘correct’ or complete answer. The interviewer will ask supplementary questions, probing to see how much thought you have given to your future in teaching.
If you want more advice on prepping for your interview then read this blog post from our trainee teacher blogger Taylor Cornes.
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