“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success”
As teachers, we all know that preparation is key. Planning and preparation are among the core qualities of an effective teacher. Interview preparation is no different and there are a number of reasons for this.
First and foremost, preparing for an interview provides you with an opportunity to organise all of the wonderful information and experiences you have into structured, applicable answers which are relevant to the question being asked. Preparing for an interview gives us a space to engage with current and up to date research, as well as new programmes and resources available to teachers.
Interview preparation, above anything else, provides us with self-belief and the self-esteem to engage with an interview board in a confident and self-assured manner.
This is vitally important.
You must believe in you- there is no one quite like you!
1. Know who you are and what your strengths, qualities and talents are
This seems like an obvious one, but is often one of the first questions asked in an interview and can challenge candidates. The main reason for this is because it is a question that we often refer to as being “easy! I know everything about myself and what I am going to say”.
It is only when you begin to say it out loud that this answer is difficult to structure as some information about yourself will not be relevant while other information is significant. It is one of the most important questions as if it is not answered well, can unsettle a candidate.
2. What does an effective teacher look like?
We all know what an effective teacher looks like but do you have the appropriate vocabulary (buzzwords) to describe this?
It is important to have a structured, applicable and relevant answer ready for this question.
For example, an organised teacher is important, but an inclusive, well planned, child-centred teacher creates a picture in our minds of a superhero- this is what we want!
3. Holistic Education
Now, more than ever, holistic education is fundamental to teaching and learning in our schools. Holistic education is a comprehensive approach to teaching where educators seek to address the emotional, social, ethical and academic needs of the students in an integrated learning format.
It is important to be clear on ways in which you plan for holistic education in your classroom and therefore, promote positive mental health within your classroom and beyond.
The term ‘inclusive education’ is one that can disorientate candidates throughout an interview. Inclusive Education is very simple, it means that all children are educated in one setting, have equal opportunity, are challenged, and are provided with adequate supports, irrespective of their needs.
The NCSE (2011) spoke about inclusive education as ‘removing barriers so that each learner will be enabled to achieve the maximum benefit from his/her learning’. It is important for candidates to be clear on how students with Special Educational Needs, Gifted Students and all students’ learning will be planned for. Having a clear understanding of The New Language Curriculum and The Continuum of Support are great places to start!
5. Research the school and know what they value most
Knowing and referring to the achievements, values and priorities of a school is very important in an interview. An example of this may be that the school community are passionate about promoting positive mental health throughout the school. Can you add to this? What would you like to add? Have you engaged in any initiatives or programmes previous to this interview such as The Amber Flag Initiative with Pieta House? It is crucial that you make reference to the research you have done on the school and how you can be of help in further developing some initiatives and ideas.
Psst… to read another blog post on interviews, check out this article.
Bonus = Believe in YOU!
The Primary Teacher Interview Consultancy was established to help teachers, at any stage of their career, in any educational setting, engage in interview preparation and guidance, to realise and achieve their full potential.
The consultancy has many consultation plans which cater for those of all levels of experience and self-confidence within the area of teaching interviews.
We delve into all relevant topics, current research, legislation, policies and circulars.
We provide for well-structured answers and a high standard of vocabulary and language, also known as ‘buzzwords’.
All consultations include a copy of our ‘Sample Questions Booklet’. We are here to support you, through guidance consultations and mock interviews, to ensure that you achieve your goals.
All Rahoo followers receive a 10% discount when quoting ‘Rahoo’ on booking, before the 1st of July 2021.
Follow us on Instagram for lots of tips & sample questions- @teacherinterviewireland
Email us at email@example.com to make an enquiry/ booking
Psst… to read another blog post on applying for jobs from a principal’s perspective, check out what Principal Niamh Cullen had to say in this article.
NQT Picnic is a specially designed online event for NQT’s in July 2022.
It is a daunting experience starting your very first teaching position – whether it is subbing or your own post! College seems like a long time ago now and you may be starting to feel a tad nervous.
Following the huge success of NQT Fest & Picnic in 2021, we are delighted to share this special event for NQT’s in July 2022 with you!
Free Resource for Teachers – End of School Year Activities!
What an exciting time of the year! Your main lessons and topics are complete and the pupils are getting excited for their summer holidays. It can be a challenging time to keep pupils engaged in classroom lessons due to exciting events on the horizon like school tours or sports days, so I like to keep things light and fun and still try to ensure the learning is taking place.
Ciara McGuane is the Summer Course Director for Rahoo.ie.
Her career highlights include being filmed by BBC London teaching in the classroom and guest-lecturing at the Institute of Education in London. She has worked as a teacher, school leader, teacher trainer and initial teacher training tutor prior to setting up Rahoo.
This is always a hot topic for teachers and so important to get it right.
Here are some mistakes that teachers have shared with us when they did our EPV Summer Course on Classroom Management with Niamh Byrne, Irish Primary Teacher.
We have dipped in and out of the CPD course to learn what to do instead!
Why do we remember the words of lyrics we haven’t heard in years? Why do some experiences stick in our heads more than others? Something made them memorable!
Make your lessons stick by trying to make some aspect of it different. This could be as simple as playing music (we have played classical music when students were working independently in the past) or hooking them into the lesson with mystery tasks or controversial questions that spark debate.
When planning ask yourself: What can I do to make this lesson memorable?