Interview lesson

I’m a recent graduate, looking for an elementary teaching position. I’ve heard I could be asked to teach a lesson as part of an interview. How should I prepare? —N., Ohio

Sometimes the interview process does have a performance component. I’ve been part of the process (as both the interviewer and interviewee) in which applicants were asked to

  • Assess or comment on examples of student work
  • Analyze or interpret a data set
  • Write learning goals and suggest activities for a given a topic, grade level, or standard
  • Teach a brief lesson

The interview committee should tell you ahead of time if teaching a lesson is required, with a description of the audience (the committee, real students), how much time, and whether the lesson will be in a classroom or meeting room. The committee should also inform you if there is a particular topic, grade level, or standard you should address.

You could go through your student teaching lessons to find ones that could be adapted. Rather than a lecture, do an activity that engages the audience in learning.

NSTA has several sources of ideas for lessons in the Science and Children (S&C ) journal. The monthly feature Teaching with Trade Books includes two lessons (K-2 and 3-5) that incorporate a children’s book with a related lesson organized around the 5E model. Each lesson also correlates with the Next Generation Science Standards, and many include a link to download student handouts. For example, the April 2017 issue features “Matter All Around Us.”

The “probes” in the Uncovering Student Ideas in Science books from NSTA might also be useful. Some of these have been published in S&C, including one on students’ conceptions about matter

Practice beforehand and bring enough materials and make sure any technology you plan to use works. Good luck!



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