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Wed Jan 30, 2013, 11:59 PM

I Need feedback from the teachers out there.

Allow me to preface this by saying I'm in need of a job. Now its true that one has to keep their options open--as I have. What I am putting my energy into is a possible teaching job with a "special Ed" program in Arizona, which means I would have to move, and McBush would be my Senator, and Joe the crazy sheriff. I think I can deal with these.

But what I am wondering about is why an education program would want to hire teachers with little/no experience into a classroom with students who are struggling. I thought this was for experienced teachers?

Nonetheless, I am going for it with my 3 1/2 years of experience from teaching ESL in China, and utilize that experience here. Yes, the learning experience in China is much different than here, but I want to try.

My application questions ask about how I would handle student(s) who are not engaged in the class, and how I would get them re-engaged to bring his/her assessments up to a high level, or explain my priorities for addressing challenges in the classroom, or how I would deal with iPods in class and other distractions and preventing further distractions.

I want to be clear in answering these as my response determines getting into the training stage (I think). I want to go with my gut response on one of these questions, but something is holding me back from giving it a "from the heart" common sense response. I worry how they will judge my response.

I'm looking at this as an opportunity, but at same time, I'm hesitant for fear of failing. I need a fresh environment from what I have now. But if you asked me several years ago, I would say "no way" I would move to Arizona.

So yes, it is a job possiblity, but being out of work a long time brings odd thoughts to your brain. And the competition is out there. I have until the 4th to submit this. I would like it to knock their socks off--if possible.

So from the teachers in this audience, what/how should I approach this?

You can PM me too if you wish.

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Arrow 7 replies Author Time Post
Reply I Need feedback from the teachers out there. (Original post)
Left Coast2020 Jan 2013 OP
NYC_SKP Jan 2013 #1
Left Coast2020 Jan 2013 #2
NYC_SKP Jan 2013 #3
iemitsu Jan 2013 #4
Left Coast2020 Jan 2013 #6
iemitsu Jan 2013 #7
Le Taz Hot Jan 2013 #5

Response to Left Coast2020 (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 12:23 AM

1. First, I think your experience in China will be valuable.

Cultures differ, but learners are learners!

The question:

My application questions ask about how I would handle student(s) who are not engaged in the class, and how I would get them re-engaged to bring his/her assessments up to a high level, or explain my priorities for addressing challenges in the classroom, or how I would deal with iPods in class and other distractions and preventing further distractions.


I think you should be honest, from the heart, common sense. Of course, there are limitations depending upon district and audience.

For that populations, I would say that different kids need different strategies, no two students are alike in what motivates them. Also, I'd express that downtime is important; not all students need to be 100% on at all times.

Priorities are safety first, then you could list Mazlow's hierarchy of needs as how you prioritize efforts. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs

As to iPods and electronics, we allow free use of them and integrate lessons to use them, but that's high school level. With your students, I might say that I wouldn't be against their use if it can be demonstrated that they have utility in learning or in increasing motivation.

Hope this helps, and Good Luck

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 12:45 AM

2. I wish there was a way to show this question sheet

I feel as if maybe the recruiter is painting a different picture. I also have a different ipression based on what I have learned about Arizona. The cost per student is/may be lower than say a suburb of Portland. But you are correct: no two students are alike. I get impression that if I can't reach the student and get them to succeed, then I'm not what they want(based on questionaire). In other words, they seem to be saying these kids have serious learning problems and is my name Mr. Goodwrench. But maybe I'm wrong in what they are asking.

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Response to Left Coast2020 (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 12:50 AM

3. The only red flag to me was use of the term "test scores"...

Because strategies that get high scores may not be strategies that make a healthy person.

You will try your best with each student to create conditions that maximize their academic growth using a variety of strategies that may differ from one student to the next.

That's what I'd say, that's what we do!

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Response to Left Coast2020 (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 01:48 AM

4. It is difficult to have to move to get a job and I don't know what

moving to Arizona will entail for you. Do you have a family, etc.?
I have been teaching high school for a hundred years in the northwest but I know several people , who are teaching in Arizona: a sister, her husband, their daughter, her boyfriend, and an ex-student. One of my brothers is finishing some coursework and plans to be in an Arizona classroom next year.
Your questions and concerns are well-founded.
Arizona has been growing at break-neck speed. The population is young and they need teachers. They are teabagger central and have stupid rules and expectations. If you speak Spanish it will help you with students and parents but not in the classroom, as they are an English only state.
Yet, be this as it may, teaching is, IMO, the best and most fulfilling job one can have. I encourage you to go for it.
While there are some special needs students that require trained teachers and supervisors (well, all teachers need to be trained) really all students have special needs. Second language learners certainly fit that bill. Most of what you will face will be no more difficult than adapting to meet the needs of your Chinese students except that the issues you deal with will be behavioral rather than cultural.
When answering the questionnaire always trump to the school's established rules when dealing with discipline. Also have your own, progressive discipline, classroom rules that conform to the building expectations. Include communicating with parents in your progressive plan. With students you need to be consistent, follow through with what you say you will do.
Go to the district website, or some district's sites and see what the schools say about how they address the issues you are being asked to respond to.
Be positive. If you don't last forever in a classroom don't view that as a failure. More than half of new teachers don't last five years. Its hard but rewarding.
Good luck.

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Response to iemitsu (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 02:38 AM

6. What an awsome response.

Thank you for your enlighting information. I am from the NW myself, but have lived in Texas too (in addition to China). So I guess I can adapt.
No family. Just me. I would be in Phoenix area. I don't know what the school/district name is, but I guess I can fish around to see. Its throught a non-profit organization TNTP Academy.

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Response to Left Coast2020 (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 09:11 AM

7. Good luck.

I think you may be starting on one of the best adventures of your life.
Arizona is only slightly more alien than China or Texas. You'll be fine.

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Response to Left Coast2020 (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 01:52 AM

5. PLEASE

check out the classrooms first. I had a teacher friend who was hired as a "Special Ed" teacher. She signed a contract for one year. The kids she was "teaching" (no teaching actually occurred) were students with SEVERE behavioral problems, as in violent. There wasn't a day that she wasn't kicked, hit, scratched, or otherwise physically or verbally berated. She managed to last one year. This may or may not be one of those situations but I urge you to check this out thoroughly in advance.

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