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Published by: DePaul CareerCtr on Nov 28, 2012
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DePaul Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) | October 2012 | Page
1
of 
10
 
Professional Perspectives Pages
Insights from ASK mentors in Education
Stuart Lassiter
Currently:
Teacher at Sayre Language Academy, Chicago, IL.
Previously:
 
Principal at Rondout School District #72, Lake Forest, IL. Associate Head of School/Principal at Baker Demonstration School, Wilmette, IL. Teacher, 6th-8th Grade Social Studies at The Catherine Cook School, Chicago, IL. Teacher,5th Grade at Washington Elementary School, Evanston School District #65.
What are the three most important characteristics that you look for in a teachercandidate?
 
 
Knowledge of Subject/Content Area Knowledge of Children and Social-EmotionalDevelopment Confidence
 What pitfalls should teachers try to avoid making in an interview? 
 
Avoid being too general or vague when responding to questions
 Given the volume of teacher candidates, how can new teachers stand out to principals?
 
Teacher candidates need to make connections and network with educational professionalsin every setting. You probably already know someone who can make an introduction onyour behalf...remember, six degrees of separation.
 Please share 3 key areas new teachers should prioritize in order to be successful inteaching.
 
Charlotte Danielson's Framework for Teaching
 
Common Core State Standards
 
Social-Emotional Learning
What is one piece of advice that you can share with new teachers?
 
Show your passion for children and teaching.
 What does excellent classroom management skills mean to you?
 
Students have discussed, help developed and are aware of, and understand teacherexpectations for behavior and how it intersects with learning. Students are activelyengaged in their learning. There is an appropriate level of activity and noise for theinstructional and learning situation.
 
 
DePaul Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) | October 2012 | Page
2
of 
10
 
Timothy Czuba
Currently:
Freshman & Sophomore Counselor at Lake Park High School,Roselle, IL.
Previously:
 
Social Studies Teacher at Burlington Central High School,Burlington, IL.
 
Given the volume of teacher candidates, how can new teachers stand out to principals?
Inexperienced teachers should talk about what they have implemented, no matter howinsignificant they might think it is, in their classroom, whether it is in their student teachingexperience or subbing. Employers are looking for how teachers uniquely implement the schoolcurriculum in their classroom. Examples might range from something as small as how they greet students to their classroom to something as large as a particular way you introduced newmaterial to a class.
Also, don’t say, “My supervisor and I did…”
 
Say “I implemented…”
Takeownership in your career.
Please share 3 key areas new teachers should prioritize to be successful in teaching.
1.
 
As silly as this sounds
make sure you like working with kids.
Don’t teach because you
think it your destiny to share your knowledge of English, Math, Science, etc. with themasses. Also, make sure you find the right age of students you want to work with. Grammarschool students and high school students are different.2.
 
Time management and organizational skills. Chances are you will be asked to coach orsponsor a club or organization when you first begin your teaching career. That cuts intoyour time to grade papers and prepare lesson plans, and also your ability to lead a life. If you can really organize yourself well and take advantage of every part of the school day, you
won’t feel so overwhelmed.
 3.
 
Make sure your lesson plans incorporate activities geared at all three ways people learn
 audio, visual and kinesthetic. If you can reach each one of your students through theirpreferred learning method, it will consolidate your class, lead to better class discussions andmake classroom management easier.
What pitfalls should teachers try to avoid making in an interview?
Take ownership in your teaching experience, as small as it might be at the time. As I said
earlier, don’t talk about what you did with your supervising teacher.
 
Say, “This is what Idid”.
 
Don’t be a
fraid to toot your own horn. Nobody else in that interview will do it for you. Just stop short of being arrogant. That is a huge turnoff to us giving the interview. Also, do someresearch on the school you are interviewing with. A little knowledge, coupled with a teachingexperience you have had, and a way of making it work at that school can be a great talking point in making a great impression. Next to last thing
find a way to show you are a team player. Last thing
do not try and be smarter than the people giving you the interview, even though youmight be. All educators have huge egos to an extent. Showing them up will get you shown thedoor.
 
DePaul Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) | October 2012 | Page
3
of 
10
 
Maribeth Westlund, NBCT
Currently:
Social Studies Department Chair, SHARE Coordinator at Schaumburg High School,Schaumburg, IL.
Previously:
 
7
th
& 8
th
Grade Teacher at Our Lady of Knock Catholic School,Calumet City, IL.
Given the volume of teacher candidates, how can new teachers stand out to principals?
I might be old school on this one but ….
If I receive an email or a letter from a teachingcandidate, it makes a difference. Seeing the paper or reading the email is another opportunity to
remember someone’s name.
When I am interviewing at the job fair, I often recall that I havereceived a letter or an email from them.
The person’s name is then familiar and it is also a
positive conversation starter for the interview. I know we all use the on line application but thefile of resumes and cover letters is my preference. At the high school level, also send yourapplication to the department chair, athletic director and principal. All of us are involved in thehiring process. I know I received my interview for my second teaching position partially becauseof coaching gymnastics. It was helped to separate me from the many qualified candidates.
Please don’t put “references on request”.
It is another step for me to contact you toprovide the list. It slows down the process. As department chairs and principals, we often knowyour references. Please include them.
I also recognize that teacher “A” is outstanding and that the person’s student teacher are well prepared for the challenges of teaching.
Your referencesare often a strong asset for your application.A third tip, would be to send a hand written thank you note or an email after a job fair orinterview. It too leads to a chance for the interview to be remembered. Also most applicants
don’t think to do so.
 
Please share 3 key areas new teachers should prioritize to be successful in teaching.
Take the time to know students as individuals. The personal connection is crucial tostudent learning. If they know you care about them, they will work harder to learn.Collaboration with other teachers
a professional learning team pushes all of us to bebetter teachers.
Don’t be afraid to make a mistake and take risks out of your comfort zone.
If you do, makea mistake it is also important to admit it to your students. They appreciate the honesty and youare modeling an important life skill. We do
n’t grow unless we make mistakes.
 
Don’t forget to sleep, eat well, exercise and take time with friends and family.
In educationthere is always more to do. Finding balance is key to avoiding burnout.
Don’t be too hard on yourself.
I am still learning about teaching and students after 27years of teaching.
What pitfalls should teachers try to avoid making in an interview?
The pitfall that I see most often is that applicants forget to talk about students andlearning. They often speak only about themselves and their accomplishments. While they areimportant and often were why you were called for the interview, I want to see teachingcandidates show that they care about students and their learning. Please mention specificstudents by name. Please talk about how you worked together to get the lightbulb to go on. I
love to hear… how you motivated them, taught the concepts in a new way after the lesson wasn’t 
as successful as you hoped, reached out to a twitter community for educators, called a mentoretc.
I promise, it really is ok to tell us in an interview that it didn’t work the first time but that you

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