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Title I interview questions/worries
Old 05-22-2008, 02:33 PM
 
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Hi, I was a previous classroom teacher (K & 1) for six years. Then I was home with my kids for 7 years. This last year I have been substitute teaching. Last Aug, I went back for my master's as a reading specialist. By the end of this summer, I will be halfway done. I have an interview for a Title I position next week. I am feeling nervous about what types of questions they might ask me as I feel that I don't have a really good feel for assessments yet. I know how to do a BRI, have done some Great Leaps and Read Naturally tests while subbing. However, I am afraid that they will ask me questions about testing kids that I will not know how to answer. (I haven't had my assessment class yet in my master's) What is the "normal" protocol for the beginning of a title I year? Do most schools use the same assessments to place students? Any suggestions/comments?


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Old 05-23-2008, 01:48 AM
 
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All schools have federal guidelines they must follow. There is probably something in place in that school already. There have to be multiple criteria so that no one thing will place a child in Title I. We used the DRA, which is silent reading with comprehension and an oral running record of miscues. Some schools have a classroom rating scale, in which the classroom teachers will rate their students on specific reading behaviors, such as knowledge of sight words, use of self-correction strategies, etc. Some schools use STAR, which is computer-based, but I don't feel it gives an accurate reading level on average-to-low kids. It's up to each district to determine the tests used, providing it falls within the guidelines.

I think in an interview, they will focus more on whether you know what to do with the resulting information. I'm sure you could learn to administer any test. Think of the tests you already know how to administer, and the information you would gain from it. What next? For instance, if a child I test makes a great deal of miscues and self-corrects many of them, he may have a high score but he isn't fluent. I might have him re-read familiar books for fluency, chart his progress at timing his reading on a short passage, re-teach self-monitoring for sense and see if he can short-circuit some of the miscues in the first place.

Something new is Response to Intervention, or RtI. If you can get some basic information about it without confusing yourself, it would be good to be familiar. It's likely to be brought up in the interview. We are only just beginning the process in my school, but every child is tested, and falls into a category as far as how much intervention he will need. Everyone has Tier I intervention, which is differentiated instruction according to ability and need. Tier II will be additional 30 minutes a day in a small group. That can happen in the classroom, or with Title I teacher, or others. Tier III is even more intense, and additional, and usually only 1 or 2 students with the teacher. Tier III students get regular reading instruction, plus small group instruction, plus one-on-one instruction. My point is, it will be good not to be clueless about this in interview, but you won't have to know a great deal about it yet. My belief is that with RtI, we won't be just giving up on the kids and retaining them, saying good luck next year. I think if we invest all this time according to the 3-tier model, kid will respond and improve.

Back to beginning of the year in Title I... some of the testing may be done in the classroom, some you may have to do. You'll score and compile all the information. I don't know if this is standard, but we assigned points to the scores and gave higher points to indicate higher need. We would place each child's name in a spreadsheet with the scores, and beginning with those scoring 100, take as many students as possible to schedule into small groups, according to the most need. There is probably something already in place that you will be able to make sense of if you are hired.

Good luck! I really love teaching Title I.
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Old 05-24-2008, 08:02 AM
 
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Thanks, Mrs. M. I appreciate such an extensive response. Lots of good information!
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I remember...
Old 05-29-2008, 06:08 AM
 
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worrying about knowing all the right assessments. As Mrs. M said, there will probably be something already in place to help you. I do a similar spread sheet, using scores from the spring which come from a list of things to choose from from the state site. Then I give all my students a grade level placement test in the fall. This is a ton of kids so it takes me a few days to get through all the correcting. Then I put all the scores together and come up with groups. It is not a perfect process and in my 2 years so far, I have refined it each fall and spring.

Learning each individual type of assessment can be done, so let your interviewers know that you are willing to learn them. Each school even within my state does things differently, using different kinds of assessments, so there is not one clear and perfect way. That bit of info was hard for me to accept. It is different than the LD department in that way....

GOOD LUCK...
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