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Teaching career hacks workshop highlights interview tips

Preparing for a successful job interview can cause doubt and stress. Students in the CPASS physical education and kinesiology program gained valuable career insight in a recent workshop, featuring David Goldfarb, Fairfax County, Va. Public Schools, special projects administrator, office of talent acquisition and management.

Goldfarb presented two workshops for students, focusing on guidelines for becoming a successful working professional and a behind-the-scenes look at Fairfax County Schools. Goldfarb, who earned his Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College and Ed.M. at Harvard University, told students to pull from their experiences as a student teacher.

“Highlight that great moment. Activate that positive story, related to your classroom management style. Paint a picture. Create a narrative for the interview,” Goldfarb said.

The first presentation, titled “Valuable soft skills sought in novice teachers,” provided attendees with an opportunity to explore their personal stories, their strengths and how they can build off those assets to become a teacher who will positively impact students.

“I’m very grateful to Mr. Goldfarb for teaching us different skills pertaining to the hiring process. As he mentioned, your studies help you do the job, but not how to get the job. I know that I can use the knowledge and skills that I learned from him to gain employment after graduation,” Hannah Kelly, senior PEK student, Columbus, Ohio, said.

Goldfarb focused on the hiring process in the second presentation, entitled “Fairfax County Public Schools information overview.” Shayla Hinterer, senior PEK student, appreciated the fresh perspective.

“I learned many different things about the interview process. This opportunity gave me a chance to understand what principals are looking for in teacher candidates and the confidence to feel excited and ready for the next step in my career,” she said.

Jonathan Ratliff, senior PEK student, Nebo, W.Va., liked the useful information on how to land a job. “I found Mr. Goldfarb’s seminars to be very useful to my future career as an educator. During our time at WVU, we have spent most of our time focusing on what to do once we get our job as an educator, but not much time on how to get the job,” he added.

Goldfarb tells students to collect experiences. “Recognize that your journey to becoming a teacher is a valuable story. Sharing that story in an authentic fashion is more important than trying to impress employers with that you think they want to hear,” he said.

Goldfarb will make another appearance at WVU in the spring of 2020.

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