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    Interviewing
    By Amanda K.

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    My first grade team and I just went through interviews. Here were the questions that were the most important to us. The candidate that we chose had obviously already given some thought to these things, and we liked that about her. She gave very good answers that really showed us that she knew a bit about what teaching this grade level will entail, even though she will be a first year teacher next year.

    1. Knowledge about how children learn to read. What process do they go through, from letter/sound awareness through blending and sight words? What strategies can you use to help teach students how to read?

    2. How do you differentiate instruction, particularly in the area of reading? What will your reading groups look like? How will you manage the other kids while you are doing guided reading groups?

    3. What will a typical day look like in your room? You can sit down and plan out a day, including reading (shared reading and guided reading), math, and writing. The lady we hired was able to give us a general idea of when she wanted to teach which subjects, which showed us that she really cared enough about this job to sit down and figure all that out. She was really prepared for that, and we liked that.

    4. How will you use technology in your classroom. What will you use computers for, and how much exposure will the kids get?

    5. What sort of classroom management plan will you use? It's a good idea to have an idea for that, too, even though you may change it when you actually get in the classroom.

    Other advice: The theory and techniques in Donald Bear's, et. al, book _Words Their Way_ can give you some outstanding ideas for how to answer questions about reading. It's available on Amazon, if you don't have it. In our district (and I suspect this is pretty standard), 60% of all reading instruction from grades K-6 is done in first grade. So, if you want to do well in an interview, you really need to focus on your method of reading instruction.

    I also suggest getting a copy of your state or district's academic content standards for first grade. It helps to be knowledgeable of what will be expected of you so that you can refer to it in your interview. Preparation is the key.

    If you have any other questions, post back here. I'm sure you'll get a lot of other great ideas from the first grade teachers on this board, though.

    Best wishes for a successful interview!



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