The University of Central Arkansas (UCA) College of Education and the Faulkner County Retired Teachers Association (FCRTA) recently collaborated to provide mock interviews for its fall 2013 Internship II students. The students are spending the last semester of their undergraduate college careers student teaching in the public schools and are ready to begin searching for teaching jobs.
To help these students prepare for job interviews, the students spent 10-15 minutes one-on-one with retired teachers in a simulated interview. After the interview, the interviewer gave pointers and immediate written feedback to each student. Students were encouraged by the comments and felt better prepared for an actual interview. One of the UCA students, Barrett Parten, remarked, “I thought the mock interviews were so very beneficial for my growth as a future teacher. It was great hearing an experienced individual give me advice on how to word my answers and to pay closer attention to detail. I feel like because of these interviews, and the advice of my interviewer, I am better prepared for future job interviews!”
Because of this ongoing collaborative partnership with UCA, the FCRTA has been honored on a state level with the “2011 Outstanding Youth Service Project” award by the Arkansas Retired Teachers Association. This project serves as a model for other chapters throughout the state. According to Sharon Rapp, FCRTA member, “It is both rewarding and enjoyable for members of our unit of retired teachers to conduct the mock interviews. This partnership with the College of Education allows each of us to play a small mentoring role in the preparation of the next generation of young teachers.”
Dr. Diana Pounder, Dean of the College of Education, said, “The College of Education is extremely proud to have such an active, committed group of former teachers as advocates for its students and programs with this win-win collaboration which began in 2011.”