Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Locating A Home School Teacher

There are several things that you have to remember when you are ready to find a home school teacher. First of all, just because your child is schooled at home, this does not mean that they need to be schooled by you. Many children who are home schooled are done so by other parents, grandparents, or by others who want to be a home school teacher. Sometimes, it is like finding a private tutor. All that is important is that your child is able to learn in this home environment and that they are able to show that they have met all of the standards so that you can keep doing your home school teacher thing.

When you are choosing a teacher for your child, there are several things that you should be sure you are looking for. First of all, you want someone who has experience with children. This should be someone who is ready to work with kids and who has done so before. Preferably, it should be someone who has a bit of education when it comes to how to teach children. They should have had plenty of good experience teaching.

Next, you want to be sure that your home school teacher has experience with home schooling in general. Whether they were home schooled themselves, or if they have been teaching other home schooled students, this is important because it is very different than the world of regular school. Therefore, you want your teacher to have some knowledge of what it is like.

Remember that when you are choosing a teacher you are inviting someone into your home to teach your children. Therefore, they should be unique and interesting and should be someone that you really feel is going to be able to bring a lot of interesting ideas to your table. You always want to be sure that you are able to do this so that your home school teacher can do much more than simply teach your child. They should broaden their horizons

Friday, 10 February 2012

10 A Young Teacher's Guide To School Sport

It is important that you become an enthusiastic coach and mentor to your team and that you enjoy your involvement.

1.Encourage the players to enjoy practice and the games.

2.Analyse each game and aim to correct problems at training and work on them in the next game.

3.Use praise during your team talks before, during and after the game.

4.Point out areas where the team needs to improve. Use your team runner to let players know during the game how to improve their performances. Acknowledge any success they have and continue to give advice as required.

5.Set team goals for each game and give the team an assessment of how well they accomplished those goals.

6.Always look for positives in all games especially in losses.

7.Record results; write a game report and record votes in your awards system, e.g. best and fairest, most improved and so on.

8.In games where a scoring system is more complicated, e.g. baseball, cricket, train your scorer to a high degree of efficiency for the score book can tell you much about the team performance and is necessary for use in deciding team awards.

9.Teams must practise at least once a week.

10.Have a team meeting early on the day of the game to check on sickness, injury and absentees. Announce your starting team for the day and any special duties, game time, transport arrangements and perhaps game tactics.

Be aware there may be slow developers in your team or students new to your game. Give them the same attention as you give the more experienced/talented. You'll be surprised in the long term of the contribution they will make to your team if you persevere with them. These are often players who love the game and will always give their best. When they leave school, these players will often become the organizational strength behind their local sporting club or association.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Special Education Teaching Job Interview

Because a special education teacher's job requires far more than just teaching, administrators will seek candidates who are true specialists in the field. If you're hoping to be hired as a special ed teacher, you need to be an expert at the art of adapting lessons, an active advocate for student needs, a professional IEP writer, a wealth of information on student disabilities, and a dedicated individual who is 100% committed to doing whatever it takes to help all students reach their fullest potential.

As with any teaching interview, I recommend you familiarize yourself with possible questions beforehand. This will make the interview questions seem familiar so you'll be more comfortable answering them. You will be asked a series of general teaching questions as well as questions that specifically relate to special ed.

Below are a few thoughts on ways to be prepare for the special education questions that will be asked.

Be prepared to comprehend and respond to all of the jargon, acronyms, and special requirements of special education. You should know exactly how an IEP and/or CSE meeting is conducted. You need to speak and act as though you are very familiar with IEP meetings, CSE meetings, child study meetings and any other special education committees the school may have. Understand how least restrictive environment works. Know what services and support the school district does and does not offer.
Be sure you understand and are able to talk about a wide range of disabilities. Familiarize yourself with Asperger's/autism, ADHD, emotional disorders, processing delays, speech disorders, physical handicaps, and every other common disability children may be classified with in the district.
Emphasize your ability to work cooperatively with colleagues. Special education teachers are usually required to work closely with and/or team teach with regular education teachers. They'll also be communicating regularly with special education administration, social workers or counselors, PT/OT teachers, and resource teachers. There's a lot of specialized teamwork involved in educating children with special needs. You need to understand your role in acting as an advocate for each of your students and in meeting their social and academic needs.
Know how to utilize support staff. Oftentimes special education students will have teachers' aides or assistants. Be sure you know how to use the support staff in a professional way the benefits the student. You don't want the child to become dependent on a teacher's aide for doing simple tasks that he/she can perform himself. On the other hand, you want to be sure the student is receiving the full support he/she needs.
Be sure you're an expert in differentiation. While all teachers should differentiate their lessons based on their students' needs, special education teachers need to be especially confident in their ability to adapt lessons to meet the very unique needs of their students. You simply can't teach a concept and expect every child to be doing the same work, the same way. You need to individualize instruction so that it is presented in a way that all of your students can learn. You will not be able to look at the school's curriculum or instructional materials and use them as-is. You'll need to show that you can adapt your resources to meet the learning needs of your students.

Final thoughts: To succeed in a special education interview, you need to be able to talk-the-talk, understand how to be an advocate for special needs students, fully understand responsibilities associated with the job, and be willing to go above and beyond to meet the unique instructional needs of classified students.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

5 Common Teacher Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

When you get a call from a school administrator inviting you to interview for a teaching job, how do you feel? Happy? Elated? Excited? Nervous? Scared stiff?

You don't need to worry about the interview if you're a well-prepared, qualified candidate. Preparing for a teaching interview is a lot like studying for a test. You can review commonly asked questions, think about what you'll say beforehand, and go in to do your best. If you prepare beforehand, the interview questions will seem routine and familiar. You'll have answers on the tip of your tongue, ready-to-go.

Below is a list of six commonly asked teacher interview questions from my eBook, Guide to Getting the Teaching Job of Your Dreams. How would you answer each question?

1. Tell us about yourself.

This will be the first question at almost every interview. Just give a brief background in about three sentences. Tell them what colleges you graduated from, what you're certified to teach, what your teaching & working experiences are, and why you'd love the job.

2. How do you teach to the state standards?

If you interview in the United States, school administrators love to talk about state, local, or national standards! Reassure your interviewer that everything you do ties into standards. Be sure the lesson plans in your portfolio have the state standards typed right on them. When they ask about them, pull out your lesson and show them the close ties between your teaching and the standards.

3. How will you prepare students for standardized assessments?

There are standardized assessments at almost every grade level. Be sure you know the names of the tests. Talk about your experiences preparing students. You'll get bonus points if you know and describe the format of the test because that will prove your familiarity.

4. Describe your discipline philosophy.

You use lots of positive reinforcement. You are firm, but you don't yell. You have appropriate consequences for inappropriate behavior. You have your classroom rules posted clearly on the walls. You set common routines that students follow. You adhere to the school's discipline guidelines. Also, emphasize that you suspect discipline problems will be minimal because your lessons are very interesting and engaging to students. Don't tell the interviewer that you "send kids to the principal's office" whenever there is a problem. You should be able to handle most discipline problems on your own. Only students who have committed very serious behavior problems should be sent to the office.

5. How do you make sure you meet the needs of a student with an IEP?

An IEP is an "individualized education plan." Students with special needs will be given an IEP, or a list of things that you must do when teaching the child. An IEP might include anything from "additional time for testing" to "needs all test questions read aloud" to "needs to use braille textbook." How do you ensure you're meeting the needs of a student with an IEP? First, read the IEP carefully. If you have questions, consult a special education teacher, counselor, or other staff member who can help you. Then, you just make sure you follow the requirements on the IEP word for word. When necessary, you may be asked to attend a meeting in which you can make suggestions for updating the IEP. Your goal, and the goal of the IEP, is to make sure the student has whatever he or she needs to be successful in your class.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Teacher Interview Advice: Special Education: A Rising Interview Presence

Some years ago as a professor at Georgian Court University, I was involved in a faculty round table to discuss means by which our program could better prepare students for the classroom. Chief among our concerns was how classes were now including a growing number of special needs students. Teachers could be faced with learning disabilities ranging from mild ADD through children on the autism spectrum or even Down syndrome. As this trend was likely to accelerate, we all agreed more preparation was required.

As might be expected, school administrators now have an increased focus on hiring teachers capable of handling such special needs students. Over the past years, there has been a rising presence of questions dealing with special education on all interviews....and you need to be ready. If badly handled, these questions are quite capable of being deal-breakers; be careful not to underestimate their importance. Look at this sample question from a principal at an Ohio middle school. I chose this item because you might well see something like it on interviews at any grade level.

Q. As a seventh grade teacher, you will be working with a number of students who have special needs. It is vitally important such students be given every opportunity to learn and prosper in your class. Tell the committee the steps you will take to reach that goal.

This is very general question and allows you great latitude in your answer; however, there are several key elements you must include. Let's look at how you might approach this question. As with much of my earlier advice, answers become stronger when they are framed around broad themes and delivered in a one, two, three sequence. In this case you might break your response into three separate categories: 1) your work with the case manager and controlling documents, 2) your plans for the home, and 3) individual classroom actions. By dividing the response into sections, you show sound prior thought and make your answer more memorable. Now move on to how this might be accomplished.

The first and most essential element is your work with the case manager. Put the committee on notice that the guiding document for your work with every special needs student is the IEP. You will want a copy of this before the first class meets, and you will want to meet with the student's case manager to establish a great opening plan. In your discussion, speak to an ongoing cooperation with the special education department to both monitor each student's weekly progress, and what specific adjustments might be made to promote the best results.

In your second area, describe just how you plan to communicate with the parents and home. Speak directly to ways parents will be invited to work with you on behalf of their student. Outline times when parents might be invited into your class to participate in special events. If you will have a class website or homework hotline, underscore where this might be targeted to your special needs students. It is important to demonstrate how essential you see home participation to be in your class.

The last area of focus is specific teacher strategies you might employ. Tell the committee how everything will be based on individual circumstances, but you will have a wide range of teacher actions designed to accommodate individual student needs. Then list off a series of five or six strategies. These have to reflect your particular teaching stance; however, here are several you might consider: special test or quiz accommodations, learning centers, manipulatives, multi-means assessment, differentiated learning, diagnostic teaching, graphic organizers, student learning choices, word walls, and so forth. There are literally dozens of great ideas, and you will need to identify a solid five or six that fit your teaching style. The key is to quickly identify and give a short description of each. Be prepared for a follow-up question that asks for more detail on any specific item you provide.

Complete your answer by noting how every plan will need to be thoroughly targeted to the best ideas available for that student. Underscore how you will cooperatively develop and monitor the plan with the case manager. At the end of the day, you want every student to leave your class feeling like the day was worthwhile and that you genuinely cared about his or her success.

A final thought is this question needs to be pre-designed. There is better than a 50% chance you will see this topic during your interview. Most candidates will not have done the necessary planning, and will not come ready with an answer. You will! Get your ideas on paper, study them, and go take the competition by storm! Good luck.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Careers in Education and Teaching

Education is one of the major sources of mass employment. The fact is evident from concern of the government toweards providing Universal Elementary Education. To fullfil this goal a comprehensive programme called Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan was launched in November 2000 in partnership with the states, to improve the performance of the schools through community owned approach and to impart quality elementary education to all children in the age group of 6-14 by 2010.

These days mushrooming public and private schools have opened up career avenues for teachers in large scale. Numbers of Institutes providing courses in teaching are also increasing at the same rate.

Teachers at various levels such as Elementary School Teachers, Secondary School Teachers are often required by the Schools and Inter Colleges. As far as Eligibility is concerned, it varies depending upon he levels at which you want to enter the field. For example, for Pre-Primary level besides possessing personality traits like love and affection for kids, patience and dedication, a montessory degree or diploma and / or a diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education is a must, if you want to become a Pre-primary Teacher. Primary and Junior Colleges need a graduate with B.Ed Degree or online teaching degree. In colleges and Universities, teachers are designated as Lecturers, Readers, Assistant Professors, Associate Professors and Professors. Only those with Ph.D are appointed / Promoted. You require a good academic record, with at least 55% marks or an equivalent grade a Master's degree level. National Eligibility Test (NET) is conducted by UGC, which a condition for appointment for all those, who do not have a Ph.D., for entry level i.e. appointment at Lectureship. In addition, in many states, State Level Entrance Test for Lectureship (SLET) for appointments within the respective States. Opportunities are also available for special educators in India and abroad. There are about 3200 such schools in india. Those with B.Ed or M.Ed in special education could also seek employment as counsellors.

Friday, 13 January 2012

An Introduction To Teacher Education

A teacher's job is a highly respected and specialized field, be it teaching kindergarten, grade school, high school, college, or post-graduate courses. Teachers are necessary in all fields of education, and in order to be teachers themselves, they need to be educated by experts in their desired fields.

Teacher education is a diverse field, covering numerous subjects and various methods of teaching. Teaching in any field is demanding and is a challenging task. Beyond regular education, some people choose to follow specialized paths, such as early childhood education or special education. These teachers need extra educational background in order to be certified to deal with their specific students. These teachers need to have extensive patience and be friendly with toddlers. Innovative play way methods need to be adopted to ensure continuing interest among kids.

Another specialized educational field is Montessori teaching. This style of teaching appears to be simple, but in reality, it is highly demanding. As this is a specific style of teaching, aimed at gifted or advanced students, with a degree of flexibility and customization not found in traditional curriculums, teachers will need to learn the best ways to work within the Montessori structure, and apply their educational background to this style of teaching.

Elementary or primary school is the backbone for all people's education. Thus, these teachers have to be able to convey basic principles, such as reading, spelling, writing and math, as well as cover basic science, social studies, and sometimes foreign language courses. Of course, all of this has to be taught in an age-appropriate fashion. Elementary teacher education focuses on methods that work best for young students.

High school teachers face challenges elementary school teachers usually do not. Because they teach teenagers who are dealing with the issues of adolescence and can often "act out," teachers need to learn how to engage and motivate this difficult age group. Subjects are taught in greater depth in high school, as well, so the teacher will need more specific knowledge. They also sometimes have to be ready to compensate for any gaps in elementary education, particularly deficiencies in the basics - reading, writing and math.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

What Can Parents Do When the Teachers and Schools Fail Their Children?

First stop remembering how it was when you went to school. Come to grips with those thoughts. You would not have to put on your boxing gloves if you sent your child to a private school, but that is a story for another day, right? Try not to go inside your closet and cry a little. You will not have to seek therapy or counsel if you follow some of the additional suggestions below.

Now, with much courage on your part, make sure you become a member of the school parent, teacher association. Become an active voice. When the group asks for volunteers for special events make sure your hand is up and ready to do some work.

Get a classroom work schedule from your child's teacher. Follow it closely and make sure your child does the work. Yes, you may have to be a police person for a while. Volunteer to help your child's teacher if you have the time. I understand there are many parents working and really do not have the time, nor the patience.

You must dissect your child's grades and measure where he or she needs that additional help. You may have to hire a tutor or send them to an after school program. It may cost a stretch, but no one said this was going to be a cake walk. There also may be after school learning program at your school. The YWCA or YMCA offers after school programs and they are not that pricey. There maybe some free ones.

Encourage the school administration, to offer accelerated learning practices. Back to school night is a perfect time to suggest to your child's teachers to use accelerated learning practices in their instruction. Do a little research on your part and try to get a specialist in the field. Do not go weepy and accept an average basic skills learning or enrichment program. You want a program that features your child learning his or her preferred learning style. Can you just imagine if your child could learn his or her learning style? Can you imagine them knowing how they learn material best? How much would that be worth to you? What price would you pay? That would be a possible ticket to doing well in class and maybe going on to college.You want a program that includes at least the following areas of concentration: multiple intelligences, progressive relaxation, visual training, brainstorming or mind mapping methods, rapid and speed reading, and how to pass any test preocedures, and my favorite learn the hottest memory techniques.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

What Is the Role of Cyber School Teachers?

A lot of cyber schools are different in the way that they handle teaching. My cyber school doesn't have set classes and all the teachers do is check your progress and grade some tests or reports. My friends, the O'wells, have set class times and online teachers that they interact with a lot more.

I have talked to my teachers through messages even though it's not mandatory. It's usually important to at least get a feel of who is grading your work, and to see what they will want. Also it allows something like asking about a grade or to reset an assignment easier and less awkward and stressful. Not to mention it a good motivation to do work correctly when you know that the grader isn't just a robot that you can pull something over its head easily.

When people hear that the teachers aren't very prominent the conversation usually takes a turn of, "Oh. Isn't that hard? I don't think I could do that."

Up to this point, it's really not that hard, but it's also not a piece of cake. The lessons that the school gives you are very nice and straight forward usually. Sometimes they will have a bit of flowery language you have to get used to, but if you read the page all the way through it's really not too hard to understand.

Of course I've had some lessons where I read the page, didn't understand it, read it again and gotten even more lost than before. When that happens I have two options.

1). E-mail the teacher of the course and wait for a response up to about 24 hours. Or my personal favorite...

2). Google it.

With online classes you have the extra advantage an ability to find other teachers online. There are a lot of things that can help get you through your dreaded math class or teach you about the Renaissance.

One thing you do have to be careful about is cheating because you will also be surprised to find how many shortcut websites that will do things for you.

Overall it is definitely something to get used to for the first couple weeks, but you soon understand how to work without teachers standing next to you or teaching you a set lesson plan each day.

So don't be too discouraged by the lack of teacher supervision, and think through the decision to do cyber school before jumping right into it.

Teacher Interviews:Handle the Tough Middle School Question on Classroom Management

Many years ago, just prior to starting my first day as a full time teacher, I can clearly remember my greatest concern; classroom management. Will I be able to control the hard-to-manage students? How will I get the more difficult students to be productive in my classroom? After many years of college teaching and supervising student teachers, I can report such concerns still rank at the top for today's teachers. Now, let me add something else; it is also a top concern for principals and supervisors hiring new staff. For that reason, you need to come to your interview ready to hit this vital area head on! So, let's take a look at a question that could easily be part of a middle school interview.

Q. Research has indicated that many disaffected students were "turned off" to education during their middle school years. What will you do to help prevent this from happening in your class?

The definitive answer to this question has escaped the best thinkers in education for many years, and it is unlikely you will suddenly crack the puzzle. Nevertheless, you must make a good presentation of ideas on this topic if you are to be a top candidate. Many great educators have written on disaffected students over the years, so you will have no trouble finding lots of terrific ideas and information on the topic. However, one word of caution; this is the kind of answer that can continue on at great length and include numerous complex strategies. Avoid this. My suggestion is to craft a compact, precise approach that can be revealed in a one, two, three delivery. Prepare an answer that contains three or four strong central ideas around which specific activities are designed. Let's quickly look at what that means and just how it might be structured. Try this.

I realize middle schools have a special responsibility to maintain productive student involvement. In my view, some of the things most responsible for student detachment from their education include: 1 a sense that school has nothing worthwhile to offer, 2 dull and boring classes, and 3 a continuing series of negative experiences and failure in past classes.

This is an especially good start because you begin with a description of the problem as you see it. Feel free to add or substitute your own thoughts on this topic, mine are here simply by way of example. From this beginning you can now attack each root cause with a specific set of activities you intend to use in your class to minimize or eliminate their impact. By way of example, your segment addressing dull and boring classes might say:

Let me continue on to the problem of dull and boring classes. To my mind, I can help offset this problem by breaking down each lesson into smaller, manageable parts, then include one or two high interest activities requiring students to "engage the ideas" and not just "hear about" those ideas. These activities are monitored, include accountability factors, and maintain the momentum of the day's lesson. By using a variety of teaching platforms such as two-way discussions, videos, SmartBoard applications, novelty, humor, anecdotes, and dynamic group interactions I can promote both student interest and involvement. Their attention is focused more on the joy of learning and not the routine of repetition. Such lessons will rarely, if ever, be seen as boring and dull.

Here, in one simple statement you have outlined over ten different ideas that target a key problem identified in your opening. It is concise, powerful and will get the attention of your committee. You will need a similar approach for all three identified problem areas, and you should prepare them in advance. For part one, speak directly to how you would maximize student understanding of each lesson's purpose; how meaning might be introduced. In part three, describe your practices to improve individual success and a feeling of meaningful accomplishment. In one, two, three order, attack every problem area with a strong line of power-packed strategies.

A word of warning needs to be added. If I, or someone like me, is conducting your interview, be prepared for a follow-up question or two. For example, I am going to press you for more information on just what kinds of "innovative" activities you might include. I will want to know more about that "accountability" comment. How will you structure that? Or I might ask you to describe one of your SmartBoard lessons. I tell you this so that as you consider what to include in your answer, limit yourself to only those items with which you have some familiarity and the ability to expand.

In summing up, the key to classroom management questions is preparation. Many candidates will come to their interview with only the ideas gathered through college study and/or limited experience. These are often good, but they have no shape. The candidates are not able to quickly organize them into a powerful delivery. By having thought this through and written down your ideas beforehand, you will be ready with a clear, sharp answer that is certain to make a great impact on your committee. So get started and good luck!!

My name is Robert W. Pollock. I am an educator, with over 34 years experience, a speaker, a consultant, and the author of 'Teacher Interviews. How to Get Them & How to Get Hired!. I have spoken to 1,000's of prospective teachers on how to interview and get the job. I have consulted with numerous schools around the country. Currently I am a professor of Education at Tusculum College, Knoxville, TN, where I also serve as the president of their alumni board.