Student Teacher Observations/Interview Process

In our school district, we have a very unique way of recruiting beginning teachers. While student teachers are doing their final practicum, a pair of administrators will observe that student teacher teaching a lesson. The administrators and student teacher are all from different schools…this is what makes this experience so rich. After the observation, the two administrators will debrief the lesson with the student teacher and give opportunities to reflect on the lesson. A month or so later, the two administrators are responsible for conducting a district behavioural interview with that student teacher. To be eligible for this process, the administrators must take a behavioural interviewing course offered by the Human Resources department.
I had the pleasure to do two of these observations today.
The benefits of this process are numerous:

  • It serves to relax the student teacher for the interview. Now, the interview is a continuation of the debrief that occured after the observation. The student teacher is familiar with the interviewers and has more of a chance to share “their story”.
  • It is a great way to get out to another school. There are so many things that can be learned while visiting another school.
  • It is a great PD!  Today, we spent the afternoon talking about and reflecting on best practice.
  • It is a great way to welcome young teachers in to the profession. A positive connection is made and, in my experience, maintained until the interview and afterward. I work with two teachers now who I had the privilege of observing/interviewing while they were doing their practica.
  • It allows the interviewers the chance to speak to the mentor teacher…in addition to reading the practicum evaluation (which can sometimes lack personality.
  • It allows someone other than HR to conduct screening interviews. I think that it is great that ECSD builds leadership capacity by empowering us to conduct the interviews.

This process is so unique and innovative, that I just had to share it. I look forward to reading your comments.

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About Derek Hatch (Hatcherelli)
Principal in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

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