Take it or leave it: My advice for landing an interview.

Update for Jan 25-29
We have the great fortune of having some wonderful pre-service teachers in our building this school year. Each has jumped at opportunities to get their hands dirty and to get as close to the real experience of running their own classroom.
On Friday, one of the pre-service teachers wanted to chat about the hiring process in our district.  This is a smart move on her part since there is, in my opinion, a lot of work involved in preparing for the upcoming hiring season.
So for what it’s worth, here is my advice to pre-service teachers:
What do you stand for? The go-to answer is and should be “kids”. But I want to know what your vision for education is. Where do you see us heading in the next decade? Most likely you’ll be in this profession for three decades — Does your vision reflect someone who recognizes the challenges of the day? Do you consider how learning has and will change?
Can you make me better? I hire candidates who will push our learning community forward instead of those who “fit in”.  Educators need to be exposed to new ideas – We want to learn and grow from those in our community. What do you bring to the table?
Where’s your stuff? The first thing I do when considering a candidate is Google their name, search for them on Twitter, and look at their posts on Instagram. If I can’t find you on any of these platforms, that’s a red flag. Yes – If I can’t find you on social media, that’s a red flag. I am a better educator because of the personal learning network I have invested in through platforms like Twitter and Google+.  I have no doubt you ha e done some amazing things in your life and with kids – Make it easy for others to find it. Start a blog, share an article that changed your practice, post a picture of learning in action — You are responsible for building your own brand. Start building it!

What’s your elevator speech? If you had 30 seconds to pitch why you are the best candidate, what would you say? What is going to grab my attention?
Can I see you teach? Record a lesson and post it to YouTube or Vimeo. Share the link with your reflections in the comments of the video. 
Do you have a life? Do you have interests, hobbies, or other experiences that connect you with others? The best ideas for curriculum come from living a life. Be ready to talk about how these experience helped you understand the learning process.
Are you for real? Don’t be anyone but yourself. Don’t be someone you think you should be. I know you want the job, but have faith that you will be where you are needed. My first interview was a mess. I followed the advice of an article a little too verbatim and looked like a doofus. My second interview went four rounds and came down to me and another person. The other person got it. I was frustrated but I kept faith in the idea that I will end up where I am needed.  Eventually I landed a classroom position that wasn’t even on my radar. I am who I am today because I kept a positive attitude towards opportunities.
Best of luck to all of the pre-service teachers out there! It can be a tough process, but have faith. Be resilient in the face of obstacles. Our students will need someone who will fight for them – The best way to know if you have what it takes is to fight for yourself.
-Herb
Articles Worth Reading —
A look at the research that made an impact in 2015, from the benefits of well-designed classroom spaces to the neuroscience behind exercise and math ability.

“How I Took Control Over My Own Professional Development”
@teachthought 
“How do you know when students are learning?” 
Upcoming Dates —
Jan 25 — Yearbook Sale Begins (Ends Feb 5)
Jan 26 — Steering Committee Meeting, 3:45 DCR
Jan 25-Feb 26 — Calkins Writing Assessment window (Grades K to 5)
Jan 28 — “Lunch and Learn” w/ J. Adams, 11:30-1:00. More details Tuesday PM!
Jan 29 — K-5 Interim Reports
Feb 1 — ADE PTO Meeting, 7pm
Feb 2 — ADE Kindergarten Registration Day
Feb 2 — BIT Meeting, 8am
Feb 3 — ADE Staff Meeting, 8am
Feb 4 — Herb Admin meeting
Feb 5 — Yearbook Sale Ends
Feb 8-11 February Conference Week 
Feb 10 — Conference Evening
Feb 12 — Parent/Teacher Conference Comp Day, NO SCHOOL
Feb 15 — Presidents’ Day, NO SCHOOL
Feb 23 — K (AM) & 1st Grade (PM) ½ Day Data Team Meeting
Feb 24 — 2nd Grade (AM) & 3rd Grade (PM) ½ Day Data Team Meeting
Feb 25 — 4th Grade (AM) & 5th Grade (PM) ½ Day Data Team Meeting
Feb 26 — End of K-5 Grading Period
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