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Interview Observation In My Setting


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Arrrgh! I have applied for a Reception job and they want to observe people teaching in their current setting before the interview.

I currently lead a Pre-school in a pack-away setting and am now worrying...

 

Firstly, I do not want the rest of the staff to know I am applying for other jobs. What if I don't get it? It will create a really unsettling atmosphere for everyone.

Secondly, we have a parent helper in every day and I certainly don't want the parents to get wind of the fact that I might be leaving as again it will unsettle them and lead to uncertainty. I would rather we told them if and when I get the job and inform them of the plan for a replacement.

Thirdly, my environment will be very different to someone in a whizzy Reception classroom with lovely permanent displays and role-play, interactive white board etc. And, I only really keep my pre-schoolers on the carpet for 10 minutes.

 

Ohhhh, what to do, what to do? I am worried that if I question it I will look bad. I would much rather do a demo. lesson in their school. My whole team will feel like they are being inspected.

I find this a really weird practice. I understand the theory behind it but what if a candidate lived 50 miles away? What if a headteacher didn't want the visitors in to poach one of their teachers? Etc.

 

Anybody got any great advice??

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What role are you applying for?

I dont think it matters that you only have a 10 minute carpet session.

Your other reservations you probably need to talk through either with the school or with your manager or both.

 

The school probably feel it is fairer to see you interacting with children you know but if you are prepared to be observed with children you dont know then they ought to be able to accommodate you, I would have thought, but you will only know when you talk to them!

 

Good luck.

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Thanks Susan. I am the manager and I am applying for a teacher post. perhaps I need to have a word with myself!

But I do wonder what the situation would be if I lived too far away for them to visit. You usually do a teaching session as part of your interview day.

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As an NQT in September I am currently doing the whole interview thing. Some schools are offering to observe me on my placement which is great for not losing placement time and also for knowing the children, but I think if it wasn't convenient they would simply ask me to teach an observed lesson in their school. I do think it is simply to make it easier for you, but I can understand your concerns in this case. It might be worth simply calling, saying you appreciate they might be doing it to make it easier on candidates, but could you possibly come into their setting instead. If it was an unemployed teacher or one not currently on a placement they would have to have another plan.

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Guest LornaW

Hi Edlee I can see your dilemma but also see the point of you being observed in your setting they will see how you interact with the children and the staff and see what an amazing job you do with a pack away! You have two choices I think - let them come and see you in your setting and if you really cannot let everyone know why then tell your staff and others this part of liaison for schools to see how settings work (only a small fib!) or preferably explain to the school how much it can upset the balance of staff and parents and ask if you can do a demonstration in their setting!

 

My favoured response would be you tell your staff you are thinking of applying for a teaching post in a school and you are up front with them. I am sure if you have a good rapport they will not hold it against you if you are not successful!

 

Good Luck!

 

Lorna

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I'm not sure how I'd feel about an employee coming to tell me that she is looking for a new job and oh by the way my prospective new employer is going to come and observe her. What would the benefit of this be to the children in my group?

 

I'm not trying to be negative, but I've never heard of this happening in my sector of the workforce. Is this normal practice in schools? To be honest I find it a bit bewildering, for all the reasons you give in your first post, Edlee.

 

I'm going to watch this thread with interest!

 

Oh, and good luck in your search for a new job!

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Maz, it has become increasingly normal to ask short listed candidates to teach at interview and although most times interview lessons are within the interviewing school, it is not unusual to be observed at your own school. Swings and roundabouts as to which is less nerve wracking!

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Maz, I was surprised about the teaching in the current setting part too. I know it is common practice to see you "at work" for teaching positions and to be honest even for our preschool, I used to get prospective staff in to see them interact. My teacher where I am on placement though said it was very common for schools to offer to observe prospective candidates within their current role, especially if they were student teachers.

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I don't have any issue with seeing interview candidates in practice so as to be able to assess them effectively as part of the recruitment process. If it is a 'school to school' move and both parties are accustomed to this kind of process, then that's fine.

 

However I wonder how it would work when a stranger comes into a small pre-school like mine to observe a practitioner in her 'day job'. Has anyone experienced this at first hand? I wonder what the challenges are, if any?

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That's a tricky one, as a teacher I have been used to teaching a sample lesson at the school I'm applying for. In my experience at the schools I have taught people have only been observed in their own settings if they are deputy heads or heads as the relationships between them and the other members of staff has been under scrutiny as well as their teaching. I am sure they have chosen to do this to be fair to you, seeing you in your comfort zone and at your best rather than with a class of children you don't know. I am sure that if you contacted the head and explained the reasons why it wouldn't be suitable for your setting then they would accommodate your teaching part of the interview within school. What would they do if you weren't in post anywhere at this moment in time?

Deb

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Our school is interviewing for a new Reception teacher next week. We would value seeing the applicants teach but, as there are quite a few of them, it's not really fair on the childrenin Reception to sit through lots of 'trial' lessons. Maybe that is another reason why the school have suggested seeing you in your own setting. I think it's quite a good idea. It doesn't matter about the room and resources, it will be your interactions with the children which will really count. Good luck!

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