Upcoming Paraprofessional Interview Help/Tips

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by Dare2Teach, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. Dare2Teach

    Dare2Teach Rookie

    May 17, 2017
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    Nov 9, 2017

    Note: Despite what the title of the thread says, I do not need help with the interview as a whole; however, I need help with something that I want to bring up during the interview. Please continue reading for more information. Thank you.

    Hello, everyone. This is Dare2Teach.

    A week ago, I applied for two paraprofessional positions in my county. The paraprofessional positions are for an ESOL classroom, and the two positions are each in a different school in the county.

    Today, I received a phone call regarding the positions I applied for, and I have an interview set up for next Tuesday. The interview is for both positions.

    This isn't my first time interviewing for this county, though; I had an interview over the summer for a paraprofessional position in a Special Education classroom. Despite the interview going well, I did not get the position.

    Anyway, for those who have read my threads regarding paraprofessionals, you would know that I have aspirations to become an elementary school educator (The positions I applied for are both at elementary schools, by the way.)

    I have a BIG passion for teaching, and I want to bring this up to the interviewers during the interview. When I mention my passion for teaching, I want to bring it up in a way that lets the interviewers know about how much teaching means to me, and that I want the paraprofessional position to be more than just being an assistant in the classroom.

    In other words, I would like to have some opportunities at teaching, should I get either of the two positions, and I want to mention this in the interview. This situation brings me to the following question.

    How should I go about bringing up my passion for teaching in the interview, and be able to convince the interviewers to let me be more than just a paraprofessional, should I get the position?

    If it helps, I would like to bring up my knowledge of what an educator does, such as designing lesson plans. I formerly went through a teaching program in college before dropping out in the middle of it because of personal issues.

    Also, I would mention going above and beyond the paraprofessional position, such as staying after school, attending and participating in school functions, etc.

    I would just like to hear what everyone else suggests I do in order for the interview to go well, and to get the message straight about me wanting to become an educator.

    Thank you in advance for your help!

  3. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

    Jul 28, 2017
    Likes Received:

    Nov 9, 2017

    Sounds like you're looking for a different position.
    czacza likes this.
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    May 19, 2007
    Likes Received:

    Nov 9, 2017

    I think you could talk about your passion about working with elementary students, but I would not go into such detail. It gives the impression that this will just be a stopgap job until your "real" job shows up. Save the other info until after you get hired and get into the para job.
  5. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

    Apr 25, 2007
    Likes Received:

    Nov 9, 2017

    It really doesn’t matter if you want the job to be more than a paraprofessional job if that isn’t the job they have. While your passion for education is excellent, the school needs someone to complete the duties of a para. Every role in the school is important. I would never address our paras as “only paras,” as I couldn’t do my job without them.
    czacza likes this.
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Sep 30, 2001
    Likes Received:

    Nov 10, 2017

    I'm wondering if your 'passion' is off putting. The interviewers might be perceiving that you will overstep. On an interview, you will want to highlight being a 'team player', not your ability and desire to teach/write lesson plans/etc. and if offered a position, you will want to follow the teacher's lead.
  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

    Jul 19, 2014
    Likes Received:

    Nov 13, 2017

    If you aspire to be a teacher, not a para, enroll in classes and learn as you earn. You will almost certainly be entitled to tuition reimbursement. I have no idea of where you are in the degree quest to earn a teaching degree, but I would be passionate about being in the field of education as you expand your education horizons, excited to be working in the education field as you acquire your teaching degree/credentials. Paras have distinct duties and responsibilities, and they differ from being the classroom teacher. Observe as you work, grow as your education allows, and build connections that may serve you well once you have your credential. Be careful not to present yourself as more than you are currently eligible to be. Growing is fine, and this job may help you build bridges for a better tomorrow, but be the best para that you can be today. Czacza has hit the nail on the head - while you aspire to be a teacher, you are being interviewed to be a team player support professional. Come to grips with that before your interviews, or you may end up disappointed.

    Unless you have completed your teacher training and student teaching, it is unreasonable to expect to be on equal footing with the classroom teacher. Make sure you understand the scope of the positions you are applying for in reality and don't think that you can dictate or recreate the position to be what you want instead of what they need. Just something to think about.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017

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