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snazzyjazzy snazzyjazzy is offline
 
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snazzyjazzy
 
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Ideas please
Old 12-29-2019, 09:44 PM
 
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A little background: I have taught for 5 years (3rd grade-2 years, K-5-1 year, 6-8- 1 year, and 6th grade 1 year), worked as a para for 3.5 years (k-5) and subbed for 3 years. I am currently subbing and struggling to make ends meet. I love my current district but don't know if I will get a teaching job in the district, so I have been looking at other possibilities.

I came across a job opportunity outside of teaching but I would do it in a heartbeat. This organization purchased 50 therapuetic foster homes and they pay for housing plus a stipend to become one of their foster parents. I would live in one of their houses and raise 2 children (both under 6). In addition to "raising" them, I would take them to therapy sessions and court sessions. I applied for the position and received an email that they were impressed and wanted me to think about how I would answer some questions. They said they would be in touch this week. I am really stumped by 2 of them.

Q1: What skills from your current job would be beneficial to this role?
Q2: What skills from your current job would not be beneficial to this role?

Thanks for your insight.


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MaineSub MaineSub is offline
 
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Transferable skills...
Old 12-30-2019, 04:07 AM
 
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As a former HR professional, I see these questions as being about "transferable skills." Like most interview questions, they serve more than one purpose. The first purpose is to get you talking about what you believe you are good at... the second is to explore your understanding of the job you are applying for and how you will approach it. Some creativity may be required.

One of the most creative resumes I saw (not counting the one drawn as a comic strip) was done by a woman who was returning to work after years as a stay at home mom. She listed some of the activities she did as a mom and showed how she had managed multiple priorities, developed effective budgets and financial plans, scheduled transportation, etc.

So I'd rethink Q1 as "What did you do well while teaching that qualifies you to do this job well?" Do not overthink the question and don't eat too much humble pie. An example might me something along the lines of "as a teacher I've learned to work with differently-abled children and motivate them to learn... this experience will help me nurture and support foster children who will no doubt come from different backgrounds..." I wouldn't try to develop a long list... 2-3 examples will suffice. Most people talk way too much in interviews. A good interviewer welcomes that. If you keep going after you've covered your "prepared" answer, we'll find out what you're really like. In my experience, most people ended up talking themselves out of the job.

Q2 is a potentially dangerous question. I'd probably reply in general terms... something like, "As I understand the role, I'm not sure my classroom management skills will be of great value although I can see how my ability to work with groups of children...

You might also consider having a short story or two that will support your answer. Just don't ramble! Make your point and be done. You might also consider ending your answer with a question demonstrating that you'd like to learn more about your role. "In addition to the two children I'm assigned, would I be involved with other foster parents and children?"

If you've had experience with IEPs, you are well-suited to participate in therapy sessions... having dealt with parents means you know how to work with people in a child's best interest... "for example, I had this one particularly challenging situation..."

Start with the answer: think about what sort of person they are looking for and then use your experience/skills to prove you are that person.
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Old 12-30-2019, 04:44 AM
 
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Wow, great answers Mainsub! I'm going to keep that in the back of my mind if I ever leave teaching (not planning to right now, but still).


As for Q2, the first thing that came to mind is lesson planning won't be a needed skill. I may try to approach that from a more, "this skill/experience I have won't be needed" rather than a deficiency you have as it seems the wording could be taken either way.



Good luck! What a neat, and important, job!
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Old 12-30-2019, 11:02 AM
 
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Beneficial--
I love the answers that MaineSub had.
Also-- communications skills, both with children & adults. Written & oral.
Knowledge about child development.
Ability to respond to the individual needs of multiple children.
Ability to care for and about children as a professional.
Ability to break long-range goals into small steps.
Basic knowledge of special education.
Flexibility.
Understanding of how school systems work.

Not so beneficial--I would suggest mentioning a few things that might not be relevant in the therapeutic foster home setting. Perhaps something like writing test questions or knowledge or French. And then basically say that you never actually know how something that seems irrelevant turns out to be helpful.

I know in my area therapeutic foster settings are scarce and much needed.
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Old 12-30-2019, 01:02 PM
 
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No advice because the 1st poster who responded gave excellent answers.

Just wanted to say that that sounds like an amazing opportunity! I wish you the best of luck and do keep us updated!

What state is this in if you don't mind my asking? I've never heard of something like this!


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snazzyjazzy snazzyjazzy is offline
 
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eliza4one
Old 12-30-2019, 06:06 PM
 
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I am in Texas and know that there are several programs like this one in Texas. I have always wanted to work with children in foster care but right now is the perfect time. I have been thinking about it every day since I've applied so I hope I hear something soon.
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Taoep
Old 12-30-2019, 06:08 PM
 
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Thank you for the ideas. I struggle to think of things until after the pressure is off.
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Old 12-30-2019, 06:11 PM
 
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My first thought about question 2 was that I could use the restroom whenever I needed (not just on lunch and conference). I figured they wouldn't like that answer.
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MaineSub
Old 12-30-2019, 06:13 PM
 
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Thank you for your awesome insight. I know that I ramble during interviews so that is something that I am trying to work on.
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SnazzyJazzy...
Old 12-31-2019, 04:02 AM
 
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It's important to remember that the tendency is to use resumes and first interviews to eliminate candidates... so they are actually looking for negatives in the first stages. They decide to hire later. That's one reason rambling will get you in trouble. I also strongly suggest avoiding negative comments about previous jobs/employers. Some interviewers will see that as an indication you aren't a team player and will be hard to manage.

Control yourself and you can gain a great deal of control over the interview. Context can be as important as content. Make sure your answers and demeanor don't reveal that (for example, not saying this is true) you are disorganized and unsure of yourself. Try to destress--if you're extremely stressed or anxious it will muddle your thinking. Repeat after me, "This is important but I'm prepared. I've got this!" Focus on your answers and what you're trying to accomplish--don't get distracted.

Unless the interviewer is very experienced, he or she is likely to be as nervous as you are!

Good luck! I'm sure we'd all like to hear how it goes!


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Old 01-02-2020, 09:33 AM
 
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Sounds like a wonderful opportunity for you. Good luck and please keep us posted!
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