Lauren is a Canadian-trained primary teacher who works for Protocol Education's Surrey team. Before taking on her current long-term role Lauren went to a few other interviews. She talks us through what to expect in an interview.
The Interview Process
Recently I had the urge to become more embedded in the school system. Since I moved to England last October, I had been doing supply work as I tried to learn more about England’s education protocol; this did not just mean academics, but also behaviour management, differentiation, and organization of the school day.
I informed my consultant of my thoughts, and how I was toying with the idea of a long term. They suggested that I start meeting with schools, seeing what they wanted, whether or not I would like what was offered, and their conditions. The interview process began.
I found the interview process to be very informal, which is actually quite nice and allows you to be more comfortable. Here are the general parameters of an interview:
- Meet the head or associate head teacher and listen to what the position is and what this covers more in depth. You will basically know the grade from your consultant and levels of the students before the interview, and the interviewer will go more in depth into the position with you.
- They will ask you about your teaching experience, whether this be strictly supply, other long terms, or teaching practise experience. Generally the areas they focus on are your grade level preferences, subject inclinations, lesson planning experience, understanding of the curriculum, and knowledge of differentiation.
- Usually there are only 1-2 interviewers whom you meet with.
- Teaching evaluation: this may be on a completely different day. You will prepare a lesson of your own choosing and teach it to your prospective class. Usually the head teacher will tell you what they have been learning, but your lesson does not have to coincide with this. It can be completely separate from their current learning. The head teacher and associate head will come in to evaluate your lesson. This sometimes includes the current teacher.
- Debriefing: after your lesson, you will meet with the interviewer again and discuss what you thought of the class, and how your lesson went. Sometimes they may offer you the position at the debriefing, but you always have time to go home and consider it, at least until the end of that school day. They may also offer you the position later on that day through your consultant.
- Usually you do not have long to make a decision, generally about a day or less. Have a good idea in your head before you go into the interview about whether or not you could truly see yourself at that school, and once you are there you will know if it is right for you. Teaching the class will be the main factor in your decision.
The interview process varies from school to school, but mainly it is just to see what is right for you. Choose a school which you feel comfortable in and make sure you have a thorough understanding as to what the school is expecting from you and make sure that this coincides with what you want.