I’m finalizing my student teaching, which has been a good experience. I’m excited about teaching science, but I’m not excited about interviewing for jobs. Will the school ask anything about the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)? Do you have any suggestions to help me interview successfully? What can I do to calm the butterflies?
—Steve, Kenosha, Wisconsin
Congratulations on completing the first part of your career!
In terms of the NGSS, if you’re applying for a position in a state that has adopted the standards, you certainly should have a basic knowledge of them, and remember that the veteran teachers and administrators are learning about them, too. (Other states may be in the process of adopting them as we speak.)
To go beyond what you may have learned in your methods course or from your supervising teachers, use the NGSS@NSTA site to access the standards by topic or Disciplinary Core Idea and for an updated list of states that have adopted them. The NSTA Resources section has a list of resources including
- The EQuIP rubric for evaluating materials (see also a recent NSTA blog entry)
- Books on the topic (I recommend Translating the NGSS for Classroom Instruction)
- Archived web seminars on NGSS core ideas, crosscutting concepts, and practices
- Complete articles from NSTA Reports and NSTA member journals (free)
- Downloadable handouts and matrices related to the standards
- Links to NSTA blogs on the topic
- The NSTA position statement.
If you’re interviewing in a state or private school that does not use the NGSS, it would be a good idea to locate the standards or curriculum that are being used. If the interviewers ask you a question about your knowledge of the standards, answer with what you know and your experiences, state that you are still learning about them, describe how you’re learning about them, and write down the question so that you can address it at the follow-up interview.
It’s OK to have butterflies before an interview. The best way to calm them and keep them under control is to be prepared and rested. Good luck!