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I have an interview!


Guest TinklePrincess
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Guest TinklePrincess

Hi!

 

If you've been reading my previous posts you'll know how upset and ill I've been in my current job, so I've been applying elsewhere and I'm so excited! I have an interview for a Teaching Assistant at a really prestigious primary school next week and they said that they very much enjoyed reading my supporting statement - I've never had anything specific like that as feedback so that sounds promising!

 

They've asked me to prepare a 10-15 minute learning activity (based on CLL) for 5 or 6 children. They gave me the choice of FS1 or FS2. This will be my first ever TA job (I have a BA in Early Childhood Studies and EYPS so most of my experience has been in nurseries.) Naturally, I felt more inclined to go for the FS1 children as I'm more experienced and confident with this age but as I'm hoping to get on a teacher training program in the near future, I thought that working with the FS2 children would be a smarter option?

 

I've got a few ideas for activities but I'm not sure if any of them fall directly into CLL (and I'm not sure if they still want literacy incorporated, as the new EYFS has seperated them) I thought maybe doing a circle time activity, exploring textures or musical instruments (just because these are ones I've done before and seemed to work well) but I think they're more KUW or EM&M. I thought about doing a nice story and having a discussion, as I enjoy reading stories with animation and getting the children involved, but then is that a lazy choice?

 

I have another interview (in another school - FS2) the week after and they've specifically asked me to read a story of my choice to a group of children - I was thinking maybe the Gruffalo or Six Dinner Sid, are these appropriate for this age group?

 

I'm not asking anyone to do the work or planning for me, but if anyone could give me some pointers and advice, (or even interview tips) I'd really appreciate it - I'm a little bit terrified because I want it so much!

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Hi and well done for securing an interview. As a reception teacher recently involved in the selection of a new TA in my class I can tell you what I was looking for when they walked in the classroom for their activity. We just asked candidates to play a simple game with a group of children and it was really interesting the different ways each approached it. The person who got the job stood out in the way she talked to the children, how she enthused them, praised them and how she genuinely wanted to know about them. From the moment you walk through the door show your interest in displays, children and staff. I was lucky enough to have the final say in my TA and for me it was the person who I felt would fit in with the way I am ( slightly bonkers!) My instinct for a cll activity would be to take a box of props to tell a story but that's just my confident area so I would take props to tell something like 'tiger who came to tea' or 'miss honeys hat' or 'whatever next' and would engage the children with the story encouraging them to join in with repetitive phrases. The Gruffalo and 6 dinner Sid are both fine for FS2 but I would personally avoid the Gruffalo just because it is so well known and loved and a bit of an easy option.

Good luck

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Well done on the interviews. I was wondering if you could plan a similar activity for both interviews and a) save yourself some time and b ) give yourself an opportunity to improve it for the second interview (if you need to attend it that is!). I would also avoid the Gruffalo (though strangely one of my reception children had never heard it before September!!) and I would choose the FS2 group for the first interview if you can as I think you will probably have a more predictable response from them, and be more able to adapt your plan on the hoof. This is simply from my experience of delivering observed lessons for interviews in both FS1 and 2 last year. I was more confident increasing my expectations and extending the children than I was at rethinking my plan downwards if the FS1 children weren't as capable as I had expected. And we all know children differ a lot in their abilities! Good luck.

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As above, it's the person who is genuinely interested in children who wins the day - it's handy to have a small piece of paper just to jot names on if you're working with a small group but not to make a thing of it - a quick introduction of yourself and why you're there (to share a story, not 'I really want to work in your school!') and then on with the show.

Hope it goes well.

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Guest TinklePrincess

Thank you everyone - I'm still not sure what to do with the first interview on Thursday (CLL activity) so I think it might just be a case of a story and a discussion - for example, if I read Dogger, we can discuss our favourite toys/Six Dinner Sid, discuss pets? I'm still not sure! I'm just doing a bit of research because I haven't got a clue what they're likely to ask me and although I have a basic working knowledge of the new EYFS, I haven't much of a clue about school curriculums!

 

I tend to do this though, I way overthink things and get myself all in a tether. I'm sure it'll be fine! If someone wants to be really kind though and sneakily give me an idea of the questions you usually ask TA candidates, I wouldn't be offended! ;)

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Good luck and congtratualtions on the on the interviews.

 

I would just say try and find some new books to read to the children one they may not have heard before. The Gruffalo and Six Dinner Sid are fine but rather well known. Books such as The Man from the Land of Fandango / Down the Back of the Chair / The Ding Dong Bag / It's Raining it's pouring all of which lend themselves to lots of fun and interaction.

 

Lorna

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Thats fab news and wishing you lots of love and positivity - be yourself and do what you do best engaging the children - ask children to grab some things around the classroom and start a story with them adding and developing the story , repeating phrases - just an idea but sure you have plenty of good ones - its a nice way to involve all and even if you dont know them is a great way to.good luck

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Guest TinklePrincess

I didn't get it. They gav me some lovely fedback though, they said that my activity was great (I read Dogger, my all-time favourite book, and used it to promote a discussion about sharing, friends and feelings) and that I am exactly the right kind of person to be working in schools, I just need more knowledge of Letters and Sounds. The thing is, I know enough but I'm not confident in it because I've only ever come across it on a uni placement a few years back, so I didn't really know what to say when she asked me what my understanding was.

Anyway, I've got another interview elsewhere on Monday :)

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Better luck on Monday. Dont forget you can always say you are willing are to lean /develop your practice/experience etc.

You cant know everything for a first school job and we are all always learning anyway.

 

Great advice there from Susan.........good luck for Monday :1b

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