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How do I distinguish myself in order to get that leadership job? Share what works and what doesn't work.

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What Teacher Leadership Looks Like for the New School Year

Started by Michael Keany Aug 8, 2013. 0 Replies

What Teacher Leadership Looks Like for the New School YearAUGUST 7, 2013This post by JOSÉ VILSON originally appeared in Edutopia's …Continue

EXPLOIT HIRING BIAS: BE THE FIRST JOB INTERVIEW OF THE DAY

Started by Michael Keany May 28, 2013. 0 Replies

EXPLOIT HIRING BIAS: BE THE FIRST JOB INTERVIEW OF THE DAYIF YOU'RE THE FOURTH GREAT CANDIDATE IN A DAY FULL OF AWESOME CANDIDATES, YOU'LL BE MARKED DOWN. WHY?BY: DRAKE BAER…Continue

5 reasons being a mentor is good for you

Started by Michael Keany Apr 25, 2013. 0 Replies

SL 2.0 Note:  Written for business, this piece has application to educational leadership as well.5 reasons being a mentor is good for you…Continue

Interview Tips For When Someone Asks, "What Questions Do You Have For Us?" BY DRAKE BAER

Started by Michael Keany. Last reply by Joseph Sapienza Mar 6, 2013. 1 Reply

Interview Tips For When Someone Asks, "What Questions Do You Have For Us?"BY DRAKE BAER |Fast Company About the author: Kelly Gregorio writes about employment trends…Continue

How to Deal with Bad Interview Questions

Started by Michael Keany. Last reply by Angela Sigmon Feb 10, 2013. 1 Reply

How to Deal with Bad Interview QuestionsFrom the Marshall Memo #432In this Educational Horizons article, Berry College (GA) professor Mary Clement advises teacher candidates on how to respond to poorly thought-out interview questions: talk about…Continue

Ten Job Interview Myths Debunked

Started by Michael Keany. Last reply by Angela Sigmon Feb 10, 2013. 1 Reply

Ten Job Interview Myths DebunkedFor the business world but certainly applicable to education. …Continue

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Comment by Bethany Rivera on December 12, 2012 at 9:53pm

Thank you for the advice. I agree with you on the time constraints. There never seemed to be an opportunity, during the interviews I have been on, to present it, so I wondered of their importance. I think I will create one just to have for myself. It will be helpful to have a record of what I've done to help me prepare for future interviews. Sometimes it's hard to remember everything you've done over the course of your career.

Comment by Dr. Timothy Mundell on December 9, 2012 at 6:19pm

As an interviewer, I have also found portfolios to be cumbersome when introduced by the candidate, especially on a first round interview.  Usually, first rounds are short and meant to screen candidates.  The interviewers are meeting many candidates, and are  on  a tight schedule.  A portfolio will slow the pace at which the interview team must work, and will therefore be a negative in the minds of the team.   It is better used in a one to one situation, with conversation about how supervisors on your reference list would comment about the work in the portfolio.  This gives the interviewer content for the reference call. 

Comment by Dr. Larry Aronstein on December 9, 2012 at 5:00pm

If you're going to bring in, put it in a professional looking binder. The interviewers will see it and might ask to see the contents. If not, there may be an opportunity to refer to a piece in it as a response to a question. Ask if they would like to see the artifact. Don't push it on them. If that opportunity doesn't arise or they reject your offer, you'll have an opportunity at the end of the interview when they ask if you have any questions. Again, ask them If they'd like to see it. Personally, when I'm interviewing I find portfolios to be a distraction.

Comment by Bethany Rivera on December 9, 2012 at 4:42pm

I have a question about the administrative portfolio. When do you feel you should introduce it in the interview process and how? Also, do you think it should be as a presentation or in binder form?  Has anyone had any success using it?

Thanks in advance for the feedback.

Comment by Dr. Larry Aronstein on November 8, 2012 at 12:41pm

Are You Willing to Re-locate

Are you frustrated that despite doing "all the right stuff"-- paying out thousands to get your administrative certificates, regularly checking job postings, endlessly sending out resumes, going on dead end interviews-- you get nowhere. Have you seriously considered re-locating in order to jump start your administrative career?

Re-locating for most people involves a good deal of sacrifice. If you have to move your family, it often means disrupting your spouse's career, changing schools for your school aged kids, separating from family and friends, and disconnecting from your roots. Working more than a few hours away, can involve getting local housing for yourself, commuting on weekends, and experiencing lonely nights. However, if you aren't in a committed relationship, or if you have pre-schoolers and your spouse can re-locate, then re-locating may not have so many downsides. It is an important personal and professional decision that only you and your loved ones can make.

There are several factors that might go into your considerations: (1) Can you afford a second residence and the costs of commuting? You should expect that salaries outside Long Island and Westchester will be significantly less. Of course, if you decide to live there, the reduced cost of living will be proportional to your salary. (2) Can you and your family adapt to the community values, the pace of life, and the life style? Needless to say, those of us who live in the Metropolitan Area are a unique breed. It can be challenging for you and/or members of your family to fit in and to be accepted in your new community. (3) If you work outside of New York State, what are the implications regarding your pension, health insurance, and contractual considerations? If you leave New York permanently, even though you might not currently see that to be a possibility, it can happen, are you vested in the NYS pension system and/or can you buy back years in your new pension system?

Does re-locating really pay off if your plan is to get administrative experience, be a more attractive candidate, and move back? Well, there are no guarantees. You should be prepared to stay in your new position until you get tenure. Chances are you will be a more attractive candidate if you make a parallel move. Re-locating to become an assistant principal, in my opinion, will not get you a principal position if you move back.

Finally, you need to examine your commitment to becoming a leader. There are sacrifices. However, you should also be open to the possibility that you may settle in, love your new job, find happiness in your new community and life style, and spend your career there. Your career life is a journey. Consider all the possibilities.

Comment by Dr. Larry Aronstein on October 26, 2012 at 11:56am

 Emphasize Your Assets

The purposes of your resume and cover letter are to distinguish yourself from other applicants, and get you interviews. Your assets must be readily apparent and not buried or hidden from the person doing the screening. Your assets should be presented in such a manner which represents that you are a good match for the position and the school-community. Therefore, you must customize your resume and cover letter each time you apply.

 

If you are a graduate of a prestigious university or hold a doctoral degree, then list your education first. As for your professional experiences, narrow your bullet statements to no more than 5 or 6 for your most recent positions, and fewer for less recent experiences. For entry-level positions (assistant principal; dean; chairperson), remember that you will be a support person to the principal and that the principal needs you to do much of the grunt work-- bus, corridor, and cafeteria duties, student discipline, test administration, book inventory and ordering, scheduling substitutes. These may not be glamorous jobs, but they are important and must be done effectively. You may be proud about doing curriculum and staff development work, but that is usually secondary to what a principal needs. The principal has enormous challenges and is highly accountable, and needs help. Make sure you list these school management experiences near the top of your list of bullets. If you don't have those experience and skills, then volunteer in your school and get the experience. If you have any experience doing classroom observations and or walk throughs, then those go to the top of the list.

 

If the school-community is diverse, then emphasize experiences you have had in working with minorities. If the school-community is affluent and/or has students performing at high academic levels, then these experiences and qualifications become your assets.

Listing your greatest assets early in your letter and near the top of your resume will make them more apparent. Remember, many job listings will draw 100 or more responses. The person who is doing the paper screening might only review each resume and letter for less than two minutes. That's more than three hours of review. You don't want your greatest qualifications to be over-looked-- so, list your assets first.

Please comment and send your questions along. It makes for a richer conversation.

Comment by Dr. Larry Aronstein on September 23, 2012 at 10:25am

A STUDENT DISCIPINE SCENARIO-- responding to scenarios have become a more frequent interview format. It gets at the candidates' ability to think on your feet, the soundness of your judgment, and the guiding principles that drive your practice. This approach works on so many levels and is quite revealing.

 

Here is a brief scenario that I've often used: "Norberto, a student who is known to be a little restless but has not been a discipine problem, is brought to your office by a security guard with a note from the teacher. The notes reads:' Disrespectful. I will not tolerate this behavior'. The security guard doesn't know what happenned. Norberto says: 'I walked over to the basket to throw away a piece and paper and the teacher starts screaming at me that I'm disrepectful and she throws me out. I don't know what the problem was'.

 

The assistant principal has Norberto stay in the office, and visits privately with the teacher. The teacher says, "He was at the basket off to my side and gave me the middle finger. A couple of kids laughed. I cannot tolerate this behavior. He will not return to my class until he apologizes."

 

Be aware that this teacher regularly refers discipline problems to you-- probably 25% of your total referrals come from this teacher.

 

What steps will you go through to address this issue? What are your guiding principles that will determine how you will respond?

 

YOU CAN RESPOND ON THE COMMNT WALL OR SEND TO MY INBOX, OR MY EMAIL: Larryaronstein@yahoo.com.

Comment by Dr. Larry Aronstein on September 14, 2012 at 10:54am

Take a Risk

A client recently asked: "How do your respond to the question, why to you want to be an assistant principal?" If this is your entry level job, and you are now serving as a teacher, your response may go something like this: "The principal needs all the help he/she can get. I can only imagine the pressures. I must also say that I want to continue to grow and learn. I believe that by the nature of being a team player, I know how to harmonize and play backup. In my graduate studies I've learned new skills and gained new knowledge and insight as to leadership. I need an opportunity to put all of this to work. Unfortunately, I know how the job of being an assistant principal should not be done. But, I believe I also know how it could be done."


Although some of this is a bit risky, sometimes you have to take a risk to get their attention. However, you also need to be prepared to be asked as a follow up, "Okay, so how should the job not be done?"

Comment by Dr. Larry Aronstein on September 7, 2012 at 11:43am

What Questions Do You Ask at Interviews?

 

It depends on where you are in the process. It is important to be sensitive to the needs of the people on the interviewing committees. They are busy people who have volunteered their time to serve. The time allotted for each interview allows them to stay on schedule. I have often felt like a captive as a candidate, who is allotted 15 to 30 minutes for an intitial interview, is asked: "Do you have any questions"? This is done as a courtesy. It's not an open invitation to pull out a long list of questions and take over and extend the process. If you move on in the process, you will have ample time to get your questions answered.

 

The only question you should ask at the intial interview is "what is the next step and what is your timeline"? Often the moderator will have already answered that question. It's okay to say, "I have many questions, however, I'll hold off hoping that I'll have an opportunity to get my answers as the process progresses." This demonstrates your sensitivity to their time constraints.

 

At future rounds of interviews, it is important to ask questions. The questions you ask should add texture to the portrait you are painting of yourself. Demonstrate that you are a serious professional person by asking: "What kinds of professional development opportunities would be available to me? Would I be assigned a coach?" Shoe that you are eager to be successful by asking: "What do you expect me to accompish within 3 months, 6 months, one year?"

 

The mot successful follow up inteviews evolve into conversations, a give and take, and the questions you ask can serve as triggers to those conversations. So, be prepared to respond to the answers. Finally, be sensitive to your interviewers' body language. If there is any sign of restlessness or distractedness, then cut short your questions. 

 

Comment by Dr. Larry Aronstein on August 14, 2012 at 3:39pm

The Resume and Cover Letter: Accentuate Your Strengths

 

Let's start with the following premises: (1) the purposes of your resume and cover letter are to distinguish yourself, and to get you an interview; (2) your strengths must be readily apparent and not buried or hidden from the screener; (3) your assets must be a good match for the position and the for school-community; therefore, you must customize your resume and cover letter each time you apply.

 

If you are a graduate of a presigious university or hold a doctorate degree, then list your education first. Narrow your bullet statements to no more than 5 or 6 for your most recent position, and fewer for less recent experiences. For entry-level positions (ass't principal; dean), remember that you will be a support person to the principal and that the principal needs you to do much of the grunt work-- bus, corridor, and cafeteria duties, student discipline, test administration, scheduling substitutes. These may not be glamorous tasks, but they are important and must be done effectively. You may take pride in doing curriculum and staff development work, but that is usually secondary to what a principal needs. The principal has enormous challenges and is highly accountable, and needs help. Make sure you list these school management experiences at the top of your list of bullets. If you don't have those experiences and skills, then volunteer in your present school and get the experience. If you have any experience doing classroom observations and/or walk throughs, then those go to the top of the list as well.

 

If the school-community is diverse, then emphasize those experiences you have had in working with minorities. If the school-community is affluent and/or has students performing at high academic levels, then these experiences and qulifications become primary.

 

Remember, you are the narrator in telling your story. See your resume and cover letter as a vehicle for presenting your narrative, and emphasize those aspects of your life story that match the job description and the profile of the school-community.

 

 

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