Administrators have stated that they are interested in candidates who appear enthusiastic and who share some knowledge regarding the schools for which they are being interviewed. Many have also pointed out that the best candidate will personalize the interview by consistently talking about how he/she can contribute to the schools. In other words, the interview should be focused on what the candidate has done and plans to do rather than what the cooperating teacher and professors had provided during field experience and coursework.
As one examines the school district websites, it is important to navigate and find the links which are most helpful. Usually…the websites will show the links at the top or to the right/left of the first page. Greater Latrobe School District has an informative website which can be used as a great example for gathering information prior to an interview.
When one searches helpful links, an important one entitled “Academics” is found at the top of the page. By linking to this, the observer realizes that this school district has an eCat-academy, information regarding the educational goals of the district, and a link to the district’s program of studies. Each of these is quite helpful whenever it comes to preparing for an interview.
An example of how one might use the information would be as follows. An administrator asks the candidate to share how he/she could contribute to the schools within the district. One answer might be “I understand that Greater Latrobe School District offers the eCat Academy to students in grades 7-12 (shows you have researched this on the site). I had the opportunity to do online tutoring while at Saint Vincent College and while student teaching. One example of an activity I created was ….”
Another example involves the link “Educational Goals”. One of the goals states the school district works to “Enhance the efficiency and accuracy of school to student/parent communication regarding district curriculum and student performance.” This statement allows the candidate to provide examples of how he/she participated in communicating to students and parents throughout field experiences. If the student teacher had the opportunities to attend parent conferences and/or to update the class website, then this should be relayed during the interview. Remember…you want to begin your response with “I noticed on the Greater Latrobe School District website that one of the educational goals is… I had experiences linked with student and parent communication during my field experience. I…”
Below are links to some of the local school districts near Saint Vincent College. The blog reader is invited to use these and navigate to learn about each district:
http://www.glsd.us/Page/1 (Greater Latrobe)
http://mtpasd.schoolwires.com/site/default.aspx?PageID=1 (Mt. Pleasant)
http://greensburgsalem.org/site/default.aspx?PageID=1 (Greensburg Salem)
http://www.jeannette.k12.pa.us/jeannettecsd/site/default.asp (Jeanette City Schools)
http://derryasd.schoolwires.com/derryasd/site/default.asp (Derry Area)
http://lvsd.k12.pa.us (Ligonier Valley)
Donna Hupe teaches ED 101 – Field Experience I and has been a Pre-Student Teacher/Student Teacher Supervisor at Saint Vincent College for the past five and a half years.