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Teacher Interview

Planning Questions:
1. How do you write a typical lesson plan?
It is typically done in a grade level planning meeting or during ½ day
2. What types of materials do you need available when you plan lessons?
Different resource materials, workbooks, curriculum programs, internet,
3. In what ways do you plan to accommodate individual differences in the
I plan easier activities for students who may struggle. I try to come up with
options that are not based on a student’s ability to read since we have so
many English language learners.

Instructional Questions:
1. What are some of your instructional challenges as a teacher?
This is only my second-year teaching math, ever. So, that is a challenge just
because it is so new to me. I am constantly learning new strategies and ways
to do math so trying to keep up is a challenge.
2. What have been some of your instructional successes as a teacher?
Hands on demonstrations are normally a success. I always enjoy seeing
lightbulbs go off in students’ heads as they are watching a demonstration or
doing a hands-on activity.
3. What do you consider essential characteristics for successful teaching?
I would say a teacher that is patient. You have to be patient in everything you
do when it comes to teaching. Even if it is just short term waiting. With
everything that you ask from students you have to be able to wait for them to
4. How often do your students receive social studies/science instruction?
Social studies is only taught through integration. So occasionally students will
be given a passage that is about a social studies content and that is how it is
taught. Science on the other hand is taught daily. Students get at least one
hour of science instruction a day.
5. Are you satisfied with the amount of time that you currently allot for social
studies/science instruction? Explain.
Since social studies is not taught at all I would like for there to be a time to
teach it. We take our 5th graders to DC in May and it is challenging when they
do not know many of the monuments or what any of it is talking about it.
They do not appreciate it like they should. I enjoy teaching science daily. With
this being a STEAM school science is very important. Also since science is
tested it is important to teach it daily.
6. What social studies and science topics/units will be studied during the second
week of my clinical experience? What are possible goals/objectives I could
address for my lessons? Do you have any instructional resources that would
support these goals/objectives? For social studies students, should be reading
about civil war so that would be an appropriate topic. Within that you can do
whatever you want as long as it is based on reading non-fiction. For science,
we will be on force and motion. If you want to go over Newton’s third law that
would be a great thing to introduce.
7. What does reading instruction look like in your classroom (e.g. readers
workshop, basals, etc.)?
What reading topics will be studied during the 2 nd week of my clinical
experience? What are possible goals/objectives I could address for my
reading lesson? Do you have any instructional resources that would support
these goals/objectives?
All reading instruction is taught through passages. So going over different
passages is how we go over different topics. It would be good if you could
review textual evidence with them. They have been taught them and should
use it in their responses to all questions using the RACE acronym. However,
over time they have seemed to forget it. I good refresher on informal text
textual evidence would be beneficial.

Classroom Management Questions:
1. What motivation tactics do you use to ensure a desire to learn?
These students know that they are about to be in 6 th grade and that middle
school is harder than elementary school. Reminding them of that seems to
work best.
2. Tell me about the classroom community. What are the class rules? How is
student behavior monitored? In what ways is positive behavior reinforced? In
what ways are negative behaviors prevented? Tell me about the
consequences for negative behavior.
The classroom community is generally cohesive. Students are told to follow
directions (this is a struggle for them), be respectful of others, don’t get up
throughout class. Students have multiple behavior monitoring programs. In
specials the teacher reports back to me rating the class from a 0(bad) to
5(great). They also list star students and then students that they had to
hardest time with. In the classroom, me and the other teacher have a points
system competition between the two blocks. They start with 100 points and if
they do something bad I take away a point. This encourages them to follow
directions. Consequences depend on the action. Sometimes it means them
walking during recess, them calling their parents, being separated from the
class, getting their chrome book taken away, or even being written up.
3. Tell me about the pacing of lessons and interaction in the classroom- use of
time- and other aspects of time…wait time, and time using teacher talk and
student talk. What works well with your students? I get about an hour for
math and an hour for science. I start with an introduction or a review and
then often I have students work in groups and then individually to practice
with a topic. This seems to work well for them. Wait time is not an issue for
my class them share answers with no hesitation.

I learned a lot from this process. It was nice to hear honest responses from the
teacher about her classroom. It was good to hear what the reality in her classroom
is. It is comforting to know that even 10 years into teaching there are things that
are a challenge and that make her uncomfortable teaching. I think that comforts me
because then its normal to be nervous about teaching any given topic. Also, my
teacher talked about classroom management a lot. She said that it is something
that comes over time and that gets easier as you teach. Classroom management is
something that is intimidating, defiantly with 5 th graders. Going into this placement
I was unsure as to how to handle that. It was nice to hear that there was a system in
place that the students knew about and that I could use while I would be teaching.
Lesson planning was another thing that we covered for a while. Hearing her talk
about all of the resources that she had available or that were available online was
good to hear about since felt very overwhelmed when she told me that I would be
teaching force and motion. I went into the interview unsure about a lot of different
things related to teaching in general but even more so about teaching this class a
few lessons. I left feeling a little more confident in my ability to teaching and handle
a class at the same time.