June 5, 2015

Interview Lesson Advice Needed

So... about that interview. My principal, whom I should remind you is one of my references, called me this morning to let me know they went with anther candidate.

No feedback given. In fact, the conversation lasted about 30 seconds because I was so caught off guard (did I mention that EVERYONE in my building assumed this job was mine?) that all I could say was, "Oh... okay!" And when I replay that "conversation" in my head, I'm almost certain I sounded far too nonchalant or even upbeat about it. The tone in my head certainly didn't reflect the brokenness in my heart or the tears that followed after I hung up the phone and jumped in the shower to sob. 

But I had to pull myself together because I had a phone screening at 12:30 today for a job teaching 8th grade ELA in the north suburbs, which is about an hour away. I know next to nothing about the school district, except that it serves underprivileged children (been there, done that). I honestly don't even recall applying to this particular school district, but they called, so I assume it happened. 

By 1:00, I had a new email in my inbox from the two people who interviewed me inviting me to a panel interview on Wednesday. So, now I'm telling myself that maybe this week's job didn't work out because I'm meant to be someplace else. Maybe there are kids who need me more in another school. Fine. Let's just hurry up and get me situated there!

So... as part of this interview, I have to teach a 10-15 minute lesson to a panel of teachers, and my mind is spinning eleventy billion miles per second. How to narrow it down? 

I was thinking of something focused on writing, since I know (because I asked in my screening) it's one of their big initiatives for next year. 

Mentor sentences?

Interactive Notebook lesson?

Yes, I've done this before. I even have a standard lesson I typically pull out for interviews, but I usually have more time. 10-15 minutes is so short (especially when we're starting from nothing).... 


I know some of you have done this before? What did you teach?

Those who have sat on these panel interviews, what kind of lesson really impressed you?



  1. I think mentor sentences is a great idea. Short enough for that performance interview. It's really hard to do a good writing lesson in 10-15 minutes. I think that would be your best bet!!! Good luck!!!

  2. I agree...mentor sentences. They're still somewhat new and, I think, impressive! And easy to do in 10-15 minutes. So sorry about the other job, too. That stinks...

  3. I love mentor sentences, but I would not use them in an interview because they might look too "young" for 8th grade. In my state, the focus for 8th grade is writing. If that is true for you, then I would do a mini-lesson on writing. I would probably choose to do an ACE lesson (Answer, Cite, Explain). Set a purpose for watching and then hook them with this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCDf9tWKvi4 , then make a foldable with the info. (I've used Lovin' Lit's freebie) Finally, use the foldable to write an ACE response to a commonly known story as a "class".

    Hope this helps! :)
    Mrs. Spangler in the Middle