On Friday, 86 soon-to-be teachers from Indiana State University had an opportunity to do practice interviews with school administrators who might one day hire them.

The sessions help the students build confidence, but perhaps more importantly, it provides them with future job leads.

It also administrators with a look at prospective teaching staff.

“I really enjoy the experience because it helps me hone in on my interview skills, and I get to help future teachers in a very informal setting … be successful in future interviews,” said Ryan Jenkins, principal at Central Elementary in Clinton.

In addition, “If I see some great candidates out there, I can really try to work them into South Vermillion if it’s something we have an opening in,” he said.

The mock, informal interviews took place in Dede 1 at Hulman Memorial Student Union; groups of four or five students met with an administrator for a period of time and then rotated to other administrators over the course of three hours.

Twenty school administrators from the Wabash Valley, Indianapolis area and other locations participated. They included principals, superintendents and human resource directors.

The ISU students, who will graduate in May, are currently doing their student teaching.

One of the students was Haden Mettert, who is a math teaching major and hopes to teach high school or middle school math. He currently is student teaching at Honey Creek Middle School.

He hopes to have a job lined up by this summer.

Mettert found the mock interviews helpful. “It’s a lot of quick snippets of interviews,” he said. “It’s just a lot of experience to get you more comfortable” for future interviews.

“I got a few business cards today,” he said.

He wants to be a teacher because “growing up, I was given a lot of opportunities through my teachers. And because of that opportunity, I’m able to be here right now. I’d like to do the same for kids growing up now,” said Mettert, who is from Seymour.

Damaris Bravo, a music education major who wants to be a high school or middle school band director, said she also benefited from the sessions.

“It’s really nice being in an environment where you can make mistakes without jeopardizing anything and learning all these different tactics” from people who will actually conduct the interviews with prospective teachers, she said.

She also got some job leads, she said. “As long as I get to teach music, I’ll be happy.”

Bravo wants to be a teacher because “I want to be on the proactive side of society rather than the reactive side of society,” she said. “I’d rather prevent decline in society than react to an already declined society. Anything I can do to help, especially with music, would be ideal.”

Judy Sheese, assistant dean in ISU’s Bayh College of Education, said the students are all education majors.

“This is an opportunity for our students to experience different styles of interviewing,” she said. “We told administrators to do whatever they want that they think would be most helpful to students.”

Some conduct regular interviews, while others will ask questions of the students and provide feedback.

The session helps prepare students for future interviews, and for administrators, “It provides a first look at a new graduating class, and as you know, everybody is looking for teachers. Some of these students already have jobs lined up,” Sheese said.

Michael Cox, Vigo County School Corp. human resources director, participated in the mock interviews while also looking for prospective VCSC teaching staff. “There are some great people here,” he said.

The informal interviews give the future teachers an opportunity to ask questions they may not be able to ask in an interview or they might feel uncomfortable asking in an interview, Cox said.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or at sue.loughlin@tribstar.com Follow Sue on Twitter @TribStarSue


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