A Guide to primary school Interviews by
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TABLE OF CONTENTS 03 Curriculum Vitae 06 Most Frequently Asked Questions Answered Gaeilge 09 Research the School 12 Interview Checklist 15 Sample Criteria 18 Interviewing for an Educate Together School 21 Workbook 20 Re-interviewing for a Post in the Same School 17 Interviewing for a Special School or for an ASD Class 14 Principalship Interview Questions 11 Questions to Ask the Interviewing Board 08 First Impressions 05 Most Frequently Asked Questions Answered 02 The Letter of Application 19 Posts of Responsibility Interviews 16 Educational Issues 2020-2021 13 Interviews with Principals 10 Interview Attire 07 Standard Application Form Action Words 04 Sample Interview Questions 01 04 31 38 08 32 39 11 32 45 13 33 50 15 34 51 29 35 56 30 37 57 The Standard Application Form 3 SAMPLE
THE STANDARD APPLICATION FORM
The time has come, you survived your teacher training, now you are ready to apply for teaching positions! The first hurdle you will face will be the process of completing the standard application form.
The standard application form is the form used by almost all schools when you are applying for teaching positions. It makes life much easier, as it standardises the requirements, and levels the playing field. If you get the standard application form right, then you are halfway towards getting your first teaching job. The best advice I can give is to ‘keep to the point’. Do not waffle unnecessarily. Use bullet points in the application form. Do not use extensive ‘flowery’ language. The form needs to be concise and to the point, without omitting important details. For example, for a position in a special needs school:
Let’s go through the application step by step. The first few sections are self-explanatory, you just write your teaching qualifications, details, dates of teaching practice, teaching experience, subbing, etc.
The first real section where you can differentiate yourself is:
1. Up-to-date first aid course
Experience in working with children with special educational needs, aged 5 to 7
Experience in using PECS and Lámh
Experience in working with fellow professionals in special educational needs sector, e.g., OT.
These are accredited courses, such as a master’s or a diploma. You could include your religious certificate if you wish, or any accredited courses such as Fetac courses, FAI courses, etc.
OTHER RELEVANT NON-ACCREDITED COURSES
This is the section of the application where you can really shine and stand out. It was always the most detailed section of my standard application form. There are so many courses you can do. If you are trying
to bulk up that application form, I would try to do two courses a year at least. I often did six or seven, as many of them are free! Here are some options for CPD courses:
1. Local Education Centre: This is your best bet if you are still a student. Most courses in your local education centre will be free. Sign up to its website for updates. I know my local centre has courses and classes on almost every week. They include Aistear, writing genres, debating workshops, etc. I have done several of these and I was very impressed with them.
2. SESS: Special Education Support Service: this website has a wealth of useful resources, and often offers free online courses.
3. INTO: INTO offers many courses, and free ones sporadically, but you will need to keep a close eye on its website to avail of them, as they are usually snapped up!
I would suggest having a long look at the school’s website if you have been offered an interview. You can glean a lot about a school from its website alone. Read about its policies, which should be on the website, and if you get an opportunity, refer to them in your interview. The website will also enlighten you as to which extracurricular activities the school offers, and what it doesn’t. You may spot a gap you can fill if you are awarded the position. It is so important to be knowledgeable about the school that is offering you an interview. It will really stand to you throughout the process.
10. INTERVIEW ATTIRE
Appearances matter when it comes to an interview! I always wore a suit-dress and blazer but I have seen lots of people who simply wear smart dresses and cardigans, or chinos and shirts. An interview is a formal occasion and should be treated as such. Your hair should be neat and tidy. Most important is how you carry yourself. Walk tall and confidently, even if you don’t feel it!
Are you familiar with the main aims and objectives of the curriculum?
Are you familiar with the role of the learning support/resource teacher and the difference between the two?
Are you up to date with current issues and developments in education, and, more specifically, special education?
Can you think of an occasion in the past in which you have successfully managed a discipline issue?
Can you convince the interview panel that you are a team player?
Can you think of three good reasons why you want to work in this particular school?
Can you think of three good reasons why the school should offer you the job?
Do you have a professional outfit ready?
Have you had a relaxing day, and have you partaken in activities to keep your mind off the interview?
IF YOU WALKED INTO MY CLASSROOM YOU WOULD SEE
E.G., GROUPWORK, CONSTRUCTIVIST APPROACH, HAPPY CHILDREN, ENGAGING LEARNING ACTIVITIES
MONDAY THURSDAY TUESDAY FRIDAY WEDNESDAY WEEKEND 76 SAMPLE
A Guide to primary school Interviews by 89F Lagan Road, Dublin Industrial Estate, Glasnevin, Dublin 11, D11 F98N, Republic of Ireland. T: ++ 353 1 8081494 - F: ++ 353 1 836 2739 E: firstname.lastname@example.org - W: www.examcraftgroup.ie A Guide to Primary School Interviews SAMPLE