Rising to the occasion: 10 proven strategies for accomplishing what you think you cant

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The federal No Child Left Behind legislation, enacted in , only intensified the focus on reading. The statute required states to administer annual reading and math tests to students in grades three through eight and once in high school, and attached hefty consequences if schools failed to boost scores.

The law that replaced No Child Left Behind—the Every Student Succeeds Act, enacted in —has eased the consequences but has hardly weakened the emphasis on testing. Since , the curriculum in many elementary schools has narrowed to little more than a steady diet of reading and math. And when test scores fail to rise after third grade—as they often do, especially in high-poverty schools—subjects like history and science may continue to be relegated to the far back burner through middle school.

To some extent, it does make sense to focus on reading skills in the early years. One component of reading is, like math, primarily a set of skills: the part that involves decoding, or making connections between sounds and the letters that represent them. But educators have also treated the other component of reading—comprehension—as a set of skills, when in fact it depends primarily on what readers already know.

What inferences can you make? Rarely do the topics connect: Students might read a book about bridges one day, zebras the next, and clouds the day after that.

One of those cognitive scientists spoke on the Tuesday panel: Daniel Willingham, a psychology professor at the University of Virginia who writes about the science behind reading comprehension. If they put all the information in, their writing would be tedious. Students from less educated families are usually the ones who are most handicapped by gaps in knowledge. Another panelist—Ian Rowe, who heads a network of charter schools serving low-income students in New York—provided a real-life example during his remarks.

Do Men and Women Want the Same Things?

The unfamiliar word made it hard for her to understand the passage. Whilst pay is a motivating factor for an employee, it is not the most important. Job satisfaction is vital if a person is going to perform well at work. Your response to this question should focus on providing examples of where you have been self-motivated in a current or previous work role. It is easy for an interviewee to say that they are self-motivated, but proving it with examples is a different matter.


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For example, during my last job when we were going through a quiet spell, I wanted to look for ways to improve the company turnover. Without being asked I set about researching different areas that the company could potentially draw more income streams from. I contacted a number of potential customers and arranged to send them some company literature and sample products. Remember that teamwork is very important in the vast majority of organisations.

Therefore, being able to fit into a team environment will be a positive thing. Again, I would advise that you try to think of examples where you have previously joined a new team, and adapted quickly. I have worked in lots or teams in the past and this is usually when I am at my best. I understand that when you join a new team you need to fit into the new environment and make an effort to introduce yourself, get to know the people in the team and also how the team operates. I believe that, by understanding the key elements of a team, I am capable of quickly being accepted in the vast majority of teams.

Team members need to be good communicators, listeners, supporters and motivators. Each team needs a variety of different skill-sets and I believe I have lots of qualities to bring to any team environment. Whilst working for a previous employer I was required to join a new team because a lady had gone on maternity leave. I quickly assessed the dynamics of the team and tried to fit in as best that I could. Because I was so adaptable, each member of the team welcomed me and helped me to get settled in quickly.

I understand that if I am successful then I will be required to quickly adapt to the team environment. This will not be a problem for me and I am in fact looking forward to the new challenge.

The Mind After Midnight: Where Do You Go When You Go to Sleep?

Having personally chaired many meetings during my career, I have learnt to realise that the person who is tasked with the responsibility of chairing the meeting must ensure they maintain control over proceedings. If you have any experience of running meetings then this will obviously be an advantage if you are required to respond to a question of this nature. To begin with, I would plan thoroughly for the meeting. This would usually be done at least the day before, if not sooner. I would ensure that the meeting room was booked and that any relevant features were available, such as presentation aids.

I would make sure that everyone was notified of the meeting date, time and venue, and provide them with an agenda. I would make notes prior to the meeting and also set a timeframe in which I would want the meeting to conclude. I am aware that meetings can sometimes drag. I would be keen to avoid any irrelevant discussions and keep the meeting focused on the agenda items. If the meeting was starting to slip, then I would be keen to bring it back in line with the programme.

Rethink What You “Know” About High-Achieving Women

I would make sure that everybody had the opportunity to speak during the meeting and would provide a note taker so that all of the salient points could be documented. Once the meeting was over I would make sure that everyone received a copy of the minutes and more importantly the matters arising from the meetings. Having knowledge of how a team operates and the qualities required to become a competent team player would be an advantage before you attend your interview.

When responding to this type of question it would be an advantage if you could back up your response with an example of where you have already work in a team. In addition to listening carefully to the brief you must be able to communicate effectively with everyone in the team. You also have to be able to work with anyone in the team regardless of their age, background, religion, sexual orientation, disability or appearance.

A good team player must also be able to carry out his or her job professionally and competently. When I say competently I mean correctly and in accordance with guidelines and training. Putting the needs of the team first is paramount. Finally a good team player must be flexible and be able to adapt to the changing requirements of the team.

I already have some experience of working in a team and I know how important it is to work hard at achieving the task.

Change Management And Other Lessons From An Energy Giant

In a previous job we would have a weekly team briefing. During the team briefings my manager would inform us what jobs need to be carried out as a priority. During one particular meeting he asked three of us to clear a fire escape that had become blocked with cardboard boxes, debris and rubbish. He also asked us to come up with a plan to prevent it from happening again.

We quickly set about the task carefully removing the rubbish and I had the responsibility of arranging for a refuse collection company to come and dispose of the rubbish. We also had to work together to find ways of preventing the rubbish from being haphazardly disposed in the same way again in the future. We sat down together and wrote out a memorandum for our manager that he could distribute to all staff. Those people who can demonstrate a history of achievement are far more likely to continue to succeed in their new working environment. Having achieved something in your life demonstrates that you have the ability to see things through to the end, something that is crucial to your new career.

It also shows that you are motivated and determined to succeed. Try to think of examples where you have succeeded or achieved something relevant in your life. Some good examples of achievements are as follows:. So far in my life I have achieved quite a few things that I am proud of. Apart from winning the league last year we also held a charity match against the local Police rugby team. More recently I managed to achieve a huge increase in my fitness levels.

I have learnt that you have to work hard in life if you want to achieve things and I have a positive attitude to hard work. This type of question is designed to see how high your standards are, in relation to customer service. Try to think of an occasion when you have witnessed an excellent piece of customer service and show that you learned from it. If you are very confident, then you may have an occasion when you, yourself, provided that service. Whatever response you provide, make sure it is unique and stands out. When his son came to open the present on the morning of his birthday, he noticed that one of the football boots was a larger size than the other.

He was supposed to be playing football with his friends that morning and wanted to wear his new boots.


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Naturally, the boy was very upset. The manager of the shop was excellent in her approach to dealing with situation. This immediately diffused any potential confrontation. She then told him how sorry she was for the mistake that had happened, and that she would feel exactly the same if it was her own son who it had happened to. She then told the gentleman that she would refund the money in full and give his son a new pair of football boots to the same value as the previous pair. The man was delighted with her offer. I learned a lot from the way my manager dealt with this situation.

She used exceptional communication skills and remained calm throughout.

The most common competency-based interview questions (and how to answer them)

The potential for losing a customer was averted by her actions and I felt sure the man would return to our shop again. This question is primarily designed at assessing your assertiveness and confidence, whilst also being tactful. The interview panel are not looking for you to respond in a confrontational manner but, instead, they are looking for you to approach the person and resolve the issue in an amicable manner. To ignore the issue is not an option. Take a look at the following sample response:.

Whilst he was taking these additional breaks, the rest of the team would have to cover for the shortfall. Unfortunately, the customer would then suffer, as the time it took for them to be served would increase. I decided to approach the person in order to resolve the issue.