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Interview help
Old 10-29-2020, 12:56 PM
 
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I have an interview coming up for a middle school position. I have been teaching upper elementary for over five years. I am nervous about translating my elementary experience into middle school language. Any tips?


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Old 10-31-2020, 01:11 PM
 
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I hope others pipe in and give you some great ideas! I would say talking about how you manage the classroom and make connections with kids (since you will see them for shorter periods of time) would be important.

Wishing you good luck!!
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Old 10-31-2020, 03:46 PM
 
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I went the other direction. I taught high school (12th grade) and switched to 7th grade. It was an adjustment, but I really loved the kids once I got used to their quirks.
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Old 10-31-2020, 03:53 PM
 
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I think because you've taught upper elementary you will be fine with language.

Something to ask or scope out on their website ahead of time daily schedule (class times)

Will you teach one subject or more?

I was on the interview committee once to find a teaching partner. We interviewed 3 candidates. One talked all about cutesie stuff & crafts. Ummm no! Another had zero experience. Third looked real good because he knew education language. Hired language guy...what a train wreck!!

My first year in MS I still did my theme, modified of course. P wanted to know what the hell I was doing? Lol.

Another time I was doing groups...was totally not MS mentality then. I was recognized as innovative because I did groups

Think about the class schedule and how you would use that time...direct instruction, small group, and independent time

Try to find a bit about curriculum they use ahead of time. I always found that hard to find, but sometimes it on websites.

Good luck!!
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Teams/Houses?
Old 10-31-2020, 04:16 PM
 
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Are there in teams or houses? If so, I would talk about how ways you are a team player. Even if each teach your own subject, the teams may want to be on the same page for discipline, grading, etc. They also may communicate about certain students, especially when it comes to academic and behavioral interventions/accommodations. They may want some cross-curricular integration. How would you integrate other content areas or work in collaboration with colleagues to integrate other content areas into yours?

Middle School is also a tough time for students as they are discovering themselves. How would you help students discover who they are? How would you support students in that transition? What experience do you have with social emotional learning and mental illness supports? How would you create a safe and welcoming classroom?

Students are also becoming more independent. How would you handle this independence? How would you help the students become more independent and accept the responsibility that comes with that? All while doing that, how will you still involve the parents appropriately? How would you help you parents transition to the difference between elementary and middle school?

Depending on your subject area, I'd be up on the latest trends in that subject area, and especially the trends and curriculum used at the grade level and school you are applying for a job at.


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Old 10-31-2020, 05:28 PM
 
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Thank you for the advice and encouragement!


I had the interview and it went really well. The panel had fewer questions than I anticipated. They didn't ask any of the questions that I was worried about the most.
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Old 11-03-2020, 09:26 PM
 
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Great! Good luck- I hope you hear good news soon!
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I just read this
Old 11-08-2020, 05:06 AM
 
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so it's too late for the job you applied for. I hope you got it. If you didn't, but still think you would like to go to middle school, talk in an interview about how MS kids are often just big elementary kids and many of the same management techniques that you use in elementary still work in middle. Talk about how an elementary teacher really "gets" kids and that you think an elementary background would serve you really well (because it would. I've done both). Talk about being well-versed in routines that they'll be familiar with and will respond to. Talk about how cooperative learning in the lower grades is still very valuable in the upper grades and you're just the teacher to do it.
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Old 11-08-2020, 10:02 AM
 
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I got the job! I am excited and scared at the same time.
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Old 11-08-2020, 03:03 PM
 
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Awesome! Good luck!!!


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