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If you are a student teacher or a teacher looking for a new position, February is a time of year when you may be starting the interview process. Depending on the district, there’s a possibility that you're going to be asked to do a model lesson, or an interview lesson, as part of your interview. I get it - preparing for an outstanding interview lesson can bring on a whole lot of stress and anxiety.
Luckily, I have lots of experience in this department. You may or may not know that I taught at the University of Lethbridge in the Faculty of Education in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. While in this position, I supervised 180 student teachers during their practicum.
Yes, I was that person from the University who came in and observed lessons and gave feedback. I promise I was very supportive and very helpful. In fact, most of the time, the teachers and I even had a lot of fun, despite it being a stressful situation. I worked hard to approach these observations as an opportunity to celebrate the areas that were going well while also helping my student teachers highlight areas that they could continue working on. Any observation is an opportunity for learning and growth.
With all of the observations that I have been a part of, I've gained a lot of experience and insight that can now help you through this interview lesson process. I also truly do remember what it feels like to be a new teacher, and all the stress and anxiety that comes with being observed.
When you’re walking into an interview lesson, you may be focusing on all the “what ifs”. In other words, you’re considering everything that could possibly go wrong.
What if the kids aren’t engaged?
What if the technology doesn’t work?
What if the lesson is way too short or way too long?
What if I completely forget what to do because I’m so nervous?
Here’s one really important thing to remember. Don't stress out too much if things don't go quite according to plan because chances are, they won’t. 🤷♀️ These lessons very rarely go exactly as you hoped, and that’s okay. What your observer really wants to know is, how well are you able to adapt when things don't go as you had hoped?
Being adaptable and flexible isn't the only piece of advice I have for you today. I’m sharing my 15 best tips with you so that you can avoid key mistakes during your lesson and show up feeling confident and prepared.
By the way, if you're preparing for an interview lesson and stuck for ideas, don't try to figure it all out by yourself. There are so many other new teachers who have been where you are. Don't feel like you need to start from scratch and recreate the wheel. You can go ahead and post inside our Beginning Teacher Talk private Facebook group and ask for ideas. There are several teachers who can give you some fabulous advice!
I hope this information is helpful as you prepare for your first, second, or third year of teaching. Until next time, remember, just because you're a beginning elementary teacher, there's no need for you to struggle like one.
Dr. Lori Friesen | Beginning Teacher Mentor
Creator of the R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy, Dr. Lori Friesen has mentored thousands of beginning teachers across the country through her workshops and courses. Host of the popular podcast, Beginning Teacher Talk, and creator of the innovative literacy program for 1st and 2nd grade, Dogs Help Kids Read and Succeed, Dr. Lori is dedicated to serving educators and inspiring learners. Learn more at drlorifriesen.com and at howdogshelpkids.com.
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