Looking to land your perfect dream teaching
job? It won’t be easy, but there’s a way to get
ready right: and GetTeachingJob.com can give you a leg up on getting your foot in the door.
Let’s start with preparation. By readying yourself for the questions you
can improve your performance during your actual interview, giving you an important edge over
the other candidates. Here’s a little secret about the teacher interview
process: the interview questions for teaching jobs usually aren’t unique.
They’re some sort of variation of the same set of general questions asked by interview
committees almost all the time. So even though the wording might change a bit, a candidate
can effectively anticipate the types of questions that will be asked.
So if you know what to expect, you know what to prepare for.
So let’s take a look at eight of the most common interview questions for teachers.
First and foremost is the “tell us about yourself” question.
It’s the primary question in every interview. So start with a brief rundown of yourself.
Tell them your collegiate background, what you’re certified to teach, and what your
teaching and working experiences are. It really helps to think of this as a two-minute
commercial about yourself, a chance to sell yourself.
Mention your strengths and skills and passions, but relate them to teaching and what you can
do to enhance education in their district. Then transition into how these qualities would
factor in to your work in the district. Your response to this question sets the stage for
the rest of the interview, so make it a good one.
Don’t hold back on revealing who you are. “Why do you want to teach at this particular
school? “ Be prepared to work the flattery factor.
Tell them you love this school: it’s the place where you heart is and you can’t say enough
good things about the students. And about the wonderful level of involvement
parents of the students display in their education. If it applies, definitely add that you’ve
known other teachers in the district who have found a lot of joy in teaching these students.
If you’ve student-taught or subbed at this school, tell them how marvelous your experience
was. Detail what you learned about the school’s
methods and approach during your work with them.
Let them know that you’ve applied to a couple of other schools, but this school is by far
your number one choice. By the way, don’t talk about how your commute
will be affected. Interview committees don’t care about your
commute. Your commitment is not about your commute.
And if it is, you shouldn’t be in the room. Sing the praises of the school when you answer
this question, and avoid talking about yourself. Next, “describe in detail your discipline
philosophy.” Firstly, you want to make it clear that you
defer all rules first and foremost to the school’s discipline guidelines.
Then indicate that the most effective teachers use methods of positive reinforcement to achieve
stability in the classroom. They’re firm, but don’t yell.
Hopefully you have appropriate consequences for inappropriate behavior.
You may want to mention that you plan to have your classroom rules posted clearly on the
walls. You set common routines that students follow
every day. Also, and this is quite key: emphasize that
you suspect discipline problems will be minimal because your lessons are very interesting
and engaging to students. Kids tend to misbehave when they’re bored
and when they’re not sure what they’re supposed to do.
A good teacher will always have the students engaged in interesting lessons and he or she
will communicate expectations clearly. Never tell the interviewer that you’ll “send
kids to the principal’s office” whenever there’s a problem.
You should be able to handle most discipline problems on your own.
After all, your classroom is your responsibility. “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
They’re checking here to see if this is a career commitment for you.
You see yourself in the classroom in five years?
You can’t imagine being anywhere else. Or, perhaps, you plan to pursue an administration
degree and advance your career within the district.
Whatever you do, don’t imply that the job you’re applying for is a short-term stepping
stone to a job in another district. “How would you handle a gifted student?”
They’re looking to see how would you challenge the student, so he or she does not become
bored with school. You want to ensure that they’re learning
as much as they possibly can, without taking attention away from the classroom in general.
There are a couple of responses that candidates give all the time that are typical but just
plain wrong. The first not-so-great answer is
“I’ll give the student extra work.” Don’t say this as you don’t want to punish
the child for being gifted. A better approach would be
“I’ll modify assignments to make them more challenging,”
and argue that differentiated instruction is the key to ensuring that all students are
challenged. Another not-so-great answer would be
“I’ll have the gifted child help other students who are struggling.”
Don’t say you’ll have the child “help struggling students” because that implies
you’ll use the gifted child as your servant-tutor because they finished their work fast.
A better answer would be “I’ll provide individualized attention
and small-group instruction, when possible, so that children at all ability levels can
maximize their learning. I‘ll make the assignments more challenging
to encourage gifted students to use advanced problem-solving skills and higher-level thinking.”
“How do you communicate with parents? “ This question will come up at almost every
elementary school interview and is fairly common at the middle school and high school
level as well. So here are your solutions: perhaps you send
home a weekly or monthly parent newsletter. If you do, have an example newsletter to show
from your portfolio. Some teachers even publish assignments, homework
help, and newsletters on a classroom website. If you do, have a print out of your website
ready to show off in your portfolio. For grades 3 and up, you may require students
to have an assignment book that’s signed each night.
This way, parents know the assignments that are being given, and what projects are due.
Parents love to have the ability to keep up on their kids work, especially at that age.
When there are discipline problems, you might call home and talk to parents.
Some teachers invite parents to communicate via email.
It’s important to have an open-door policy and invite parents to share their concerns
at any time. While it’s important to keep them informed
of any problems a child is having in school – don’t forget that positive communication
is also important! Sending home congratulatory notes to parents
shows that you notice when a student does well and gives them confidence that they’re
raising their children right. “Do you feel it’s appropriate for kids to
use the Internet in school? If you feel so, how can you protect them from
inappropriate websites? “ The Internet is a wonderful teaching resource
for students, but given its unpredictability, they must be monitored closely.
Never allow students free reign of the computers. When you’re in the computer lab, you should
give students specific tasks or websites to visit.
Most schools already have filters installed on their computers, but they can’t be used
as a substitute for close adult supervision. “How much homework do you give? “
You must bear in mind that students have other responsibilities after school (for instance,
taekwondo, a family dinner, sports, Scouts, music lessons an so on).
Kids should have an amount of homework that builds responsibility and learning outside
the classroom, but which isn’t overwhelming – to the point where they choose not to
do it at all. Here you might want to develop the rule of
10s: teachers should give no more work in minutes than their grade level times ten.
So, if you teach third grade: 3 times 10 equals 30 minutes of homework.
Fourth graders should have less than 40 minutes. Fifth graders should have less than 50 minutes.
I hope you’ve found this video on teacher interview questions and answers helpful. These
insights and practices were taken from Tim Wei’s book
“I Want a Teaching Job: Guide to Getting the Teaching Job of Your Dreams.”
They’re part of 50 sample questions that Tim has put together to prepare you for the
interviews so that you have the best odds of getting the teaching job you want.
Tim’s manual readies you for the trickier questions like
“describe your weakness,” and “do you have any questions for us?”
It prepares you for the questions you should have on hand to ask the panel.
And if an interviewer asks you what challenges teachers have to face today, it tells you
what you should NOT say in your response. Rehearsing your replies and organizing your
thoughts ahead of time will give you the edge in the interview room.
You’ll be able to handle the interview questions confidently and with ease.
Tim’s “I Want a Teaching Job” is a complete guide to getting the teacher job of your dreams.
Tim is an experienced educator who has many years of public school teaching experience
in two different school districts and who has sat on many teacher interview committee
panels where he’s had to qualify, and hire, the candidates who best represent themselves.
Now, he knows the secrets to being a convincing candidate.
Having been on both sides of the interview table, he speaks from the perspective of experience,
and knows exactly what’s asked of incoming teachers, and what they need to say to convince.
And he’s put all his experience into helping you win the teaching job of your choice.
To find out more about Tim’s guide, to get started on landing your dream teaching job,
to get ready to be ready, just click the link below this video or go to GetTeachingJob.com