The number one question I have been receiving from K-3 teachers interviewing for jobs is, “What will make me stand out during my interview?” So we decided to share about it here, so EVERYONE can be in the know! The one thing we ask is that if you follow our tips and tricks for the teacher interview process, then be sure to let us know what worked!
Stand Out Opportunity #1-Unique Fact
Chances are pretty good that the very first question your administration will ask you is to tell them a little bit about yourself. Most teachers will take this question and share their background in education or experiences of working with children. You can also do this, but you’re going to go one step further.
You’re going to share with your admins something that will make you stand out. Make it personal. What hobbies do you have? What pets do you have? Where do you like to take vacations?
You want to try to think of something that when your admin is comparing interviews they say something like, “Remember the teacher who runs marathons? I really liked her classroom management plan.” Yes, this might take some thought on your end, but it is little details like this that will help you stand out.
Stand Out Opportunity #2 - Confidence
This is a tough one for many teachers, but your charisma and confidence level will really help you to stand out during your interview. Yes, admins can tell when candidates are nervous or unsure. More importantly, according to Forbes.com first impressions are made within 7 seconds. Yikes!
This means that you want to enter with a smile on your face and if they offer a handshake, then you want it to be firm with confidence. Do your best to avoid a weak sweaty grip. Radiate confidence from the beginning. Act like you have the job and don’t be afraid to share your accomplishments.
Remember, that many of the candidates will offer very similar answers to what you are sharing. You want to give off a positive vibe to help give you that step forward. Something as small as this can be that one determining factor.
Stand Out Opportunity #3 - PBL
What are your thoughts and feelings about project-based learning in your classroom? What experience do you have with PBL? You are being hired in a world that is rapidly changing, so you want to be sure to touch on a PBL approach to learning and the flexibility it offers with assessment.
Even if you don’t have much experience with project-based learning, do a Google search for ideas for the grade level you're interviewing. So many teachers discuss “hands-on” learning that again you want to go a step further and be as specific as you can.
Why do admins love hearing about PBL? For many, it is part of their accreditation plan so this will spark an interest. PBL is also an amazing opportunity to provide differentiation in your classroom while tapping into students’ multiple intelligences.
If you can glance at a school’s mission statement which usually states something about educating the “whole child”, then this is the perfect opportunity to weave the two (PBL and school mission) together. Home run!
Stand Out Opportunity #4 - 4 C’s of 21st-Century Learning
Have you ever heard of the 4 C’s of 21st-century learning? No? Well, it’s time to study up. Imagine going into an interview and being able to rattle off the 4 C’s like it’s nothing. Wow!
Here is a brief overview of the 4 C’s, but you’ll want to read this to gain a better understanding.
Creativity-Foster opportunities throughout each and every school day for your students to simply be creative and explore. It may look like you’re sitting on the sidelines, but that’s completely okay! You’re the scaffold in the process.
Critical Thinking-This is probably the trickiest of the 4 C’s because as educators we so often want to provide answers. In this day and age though, our students need to learn how to tackle problems on their own. They literally have the world at their fingertips, so give them ample time to explore possibilities for solutions.
Communication-It is our duty as educators to provide opportunities and experiences for our students to interact with the outside world. What will that look like in your classroom? A class Instagram page? Pen pal letters or emails? So many possibilities!
Collaboration- Collaboration is probably the skill that is lacking the most since COVID. Our students have suddenly forgotten how to work together without adult supervision. We need to instill taking turns and problem-solving techniques for our students to rely on.
The bottom line in making yourself stand out during your teacher interview is to be yourself. Share your passion for learning and helping your students grow in the 21st-century. Here are the BEST suggestions for making you stand out during your interview:
Don’t be afraid to brag about yourself and your experiences. This is exactly what the admins are expecting and want to hear. The more student-centered ideas you can share, the better.
We know this is a lot of information and that’s why we decided to blog about it. You are always welcome to reach out to us on Instagram or email us ([email protected]) to ask any questions that you have. We love connecting with primary teacher friends.
Did you know…
We are so passionate about helping primary teachers that we are using our administrative experience and holding mock interviews to help teachers prepare. The feedback is incredible!
If you or a K-3 teacher friend you know is preparing to interview, then feel free to DM us on Instagram or email us at [email protected]. We would love to hear from you.
If you enjoyed this post…
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Until next week…