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Teach As Though You Are On An Interview

January 9, 2014

Today our college celebrated the successful completion of student teaching for a number of both undergraduates and master degree students in elementary, secondary, and special education certifications. What an accomplishment! It was hard for many to believe how quickly the time had passed, how much they had learned, and how much they love the profession they have chosen. They are still learning. Aren’t we all? But they have the passion and the energy become master teachers.

As they shared their experiences andapple2 advice, I was surprised and happy to hear some of my words of advice coming from them. From the beginning of our teacher ed program, our students are in schools. One of the things I and others share with them, is the idea that when you are observing or teaching as a guest in a school, it is like being on a long interview. You never know when the first school you are placed in will be the first school to have an opening and invite you to apply for a position. First impressions matter, from the secretary right up to the principal. The connections you make early in your course work and in your teaching career may well be lifelong relationships and professional connections.

Early in my career, I taught in an open concept school. My room had three walls and no door to close ever. Anyone might walk by. It challenged me to always be prepared for an administrator, a peer, or a parent to observe my instruction and interactions with students.  I soon realized that if I planned and taught every lesson, every day, just as though I was doing it for an interview what an amazing effect that would have on my practice and on my students’ learning.

Many years later, I still plan that way. Today, I was encouraged to hear that my students, who are now teachers, have adopted that same philosophy.

Teaching as though you are on an interview means:

  • You have well planned lessons.
  • Your instruction engages students’ interests.
  • Your instruction is relevant to students’ lives.
  • Your instruction is differentiated to meet the needs of all the learners in your classroom.
  • Your lessons use a variety of instructional strategies and are fun. (Learning should be fun for teachers and students.)
  • Your lessons are student centered.
  • Your classroom is a safe, learning community.
  • You have respectful relationships with your students and their parents.
  • You care and your students know it.

Congratulations to our newest educators! May you always teach as though you are interviewing for the job.

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