Embracing Adventure “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” ~~Hellen Keller

Interviewing for Educational Aid (Special Education Aid)

After about three months of applying to jobs, I finally got an interview offer in February for Special Education Aid at one of the two elementary schools on post. The Assistant Principal emailed me to ask if I was interested in the position and indicated I should call if so. I got a busy signal when I called, so I emailed and let her know that and that I’d try again the next day. I didn’t need to because she emailed me back giving me a choice of times for the next day, and I picked one of them.

When I had applied to the job, I had applied to all of the different categories under Educational Aid including Sure Start, Special Education, and Kindergarten. I had never worked with special education students before, so I was kind of surprised I had gotten an interview. I wanted to be as prepared as possible, so that night I read up on some things that go along with the job, practiced some potential interview questions, and got my suit ready.

The next day, I walked over to the school with my resume in a folder. After I was buzzed in, I checked in at the office and waited to speak to the Assistant Principal. She came out and lead me to her office. The interview was pretty relaxed. Most of it was more like having a conversation than some interviews I’ve had before. She asked when we had arrived and I told her in November. She said a lot of people are PCSing (moving to a new duty station), so the fact I’d recently gotten there would work to my advantage. She did let me know that if I was hired it would only be for that school year, and they might hire me again the next year, but there was no guarantee.

She had printed my information off but was having trouble reading it because her system printed it off small. I was glad, then, that I’d brought my folder because I was able to give her a more readable format for the resume, which she seemed to appreciate. As she looked it over, she said I’d had an “interesting path” and had usually worked in businesses, so she wanted to know what had made me apply to work with children. I told her how I used to babysit a lot and still do sometimes for my friends. I’ve always been able to work well with kids and thought it would be a good direction to take.

When I told my husband about this question later, he seemed to think it was a silly question and that it should be obvious that I was applying because I’d suddenly found myself in Germany. While what I had told her was true, so was what my husband said. I do like kids, but I probably would not have applied to be an educational aid or jumped into the idea of special education aid if I hadn’t been in Germany.

I’ve worked in a few different although somewhat related fields but have a degree in creative writing. So, sometimes I have to explain how my degree and what I’ve done before can tie in with the job I’m applying to. I actually didn’t have to in this case. She saw that I had worked for a credit card company and knew I’d had access to a lot of sensitive data so I understood about confidentiality. I agreed with her on the point. She said being an educational aid actually requires even more, because it’s not just people’s data we’re dealing with, but we are not allowed to say which students need assistance, what their disability is, or even that they have a disability.

She told me a bit about the job including that I might have to change diapers for children who are not potty trained yet. She paused and seemed to be looking for a reaction. I let her know I didn’t have a problem with that. She described a bit more and paused again, so I told her I was definitely still interested in the job. She told me that’s good and asked me why she should hire me. I mentioned again liking kids and working well with them and that I am flexible and can do whatever is required for the job.

She noted that I have a degree and said something to the effect that it was interesting I had applied for this job because I could have applied to be a substitute teacher. She recommended that I do that. I told her I actually had applied to be a substitute teacher also, including at this school. She let me know that they close the position occasionally and reopen it so make sure I keep the application up to date. She had a few other people to talk to and would probably know within the week who she was selecting.

I kind of had a feeling from her saying to keep the substitute application up to date that I wasn’t getting the special education aid position. But I still felt like the interview had gone pretty well since she’d been encouraging that being a substitute teacher could be an avenue. As it turned out, of course, I did not get this job. But within a few weeks I got another interview offer, this time for child and youth program assistant.

Related Posts:

4 Thoughts on “Interviewing for Educational Aid (Special Education Aid)

  1. Good luck!

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: