Are you thinking about finding a new teaching position? Are you a student fresh out of college looking to land that first classroom dream job? If either of these are true you’re probably starting to apply to jobs which ultimately means you’re in the market for an interview or two, or eight. Don’t spend your time stressing out about what you’re going to say. As a prospective teacher you’re going to be asked a lot of questions pertaining to your teaching philosophy and drive to teach our youth. Let’s get you ready to rock and roll that next interview by visiting some of the most popular questions and their answers.
Here we go.
Why did you decide to be a teacher?
This should be one of the easiest questions. What drives you? Why did you decide to pursue an education degree in college? Why did you pick the subject you picked? More than likely there is a good story here that will highlight your passion for what you’re doing. This will give the employer a little insight into your personality and values.
What is your teaching style?
Are you a textbook guru? Do you try to adapt all of your lessons into hands-on experiences? Do you coordinate field trips to help bring the classroom to life? Are you more of a quiet leader or do you boast confidence and energy? Do you use a lot of technology in your classroom? (If so – here’s a course on how to utilize the iPad to its fullest extent in class.) Be honest with your employer and back it up with examples or proof. If you’re kids or parents have ever written you a letter thanking you for your hard work – show them. This will tell them that even though you may have a non-traditional teaching style, or a totally traditional teaching style – it works for you.
How do you handle disciplining a child who is acting out?
You want to show that you never lose control without sounding like a tyrant. Explain that you set routines that help students stay focused and that you have the rules clearly posted on the wall. Don’t tell them that you’ll just send the delinquent kid to the principal’s office. This shows that you don’t really have a handle on your classroom – and that you’re willing to pass off a problem to someone else. Of course if you kid commits an egregious act of violence or starts screaming and doesn’t stop, you should send your kid to the office because no amount of “handling” is going to resolve that. Something else that may be a good answer is to suggest that your kids won’t be acting out because your lesson plans are so exciting and interesting.
How do you make sure you lessons meet the state standards?
If you’re in the US you’ve probably heard time and time again about the importance of making lesson plans that adhere to the state standards. Reassure your potential employer that you follow closely to the standards and then show them. Bring a lesson plan example with you that shows them the standards typed right into the plan. Nothing’s better than proving to them that the state standards are important to you.
How do you communicate with the parents?
Parents are a crucial part to kids getting the most out of their education. Without them to be the enforcers (most) kids aren’t going to willingly run home to do 3 pages of math equations. You need to keep your parents in the loop as to what assignments need to be done, how their kids are doing and any problem areas they might need to work on. You may send home a weekly letter to the parents explaining what happened in class this week and what’s to come for next week. Maybe you have assignments that need to be signed. If you have another creative way to get in touch with the parents – explain it!
How do you encourage group work amongst your students?
Most teachers just know when it’s an appropriate time for group work and when it’s not. Demonstrate to your employer that you know some problems can arise during these exercises (introvert and extrovert personality types are highlighted) but you feel it’s an important as it increases the wealth of knowledge through the dissemination of ideas and perspectives. Maybe mention a lesson plan developed to include a group activity and how it worked out well.
What is your best teaching lesson and why did it work so well?
This can be a really fun way for you to show the interviewer how awesome you are at teaching and how uniquely you can deliver the lesson to the students. Think back to when you gave this lesson. Why did it work so well? Focus on the strengths of the lesson like, I made a fun video to describe the discovery of America and then had the kids draw a picture of Columbus with one fact that they remembered. Let the employer know that you always assess your lesson plans after the class so you can understand what worked and what didn’t. This will showcase your organization skills and dedication to being the best teacher you can be. Make sure you bring a copy of your favorite or best lesson plan in your teacher’s portfolio to show off a little.
There are many more questions that could arise, and probably will arise. Hopefully this short guide will help you prepare to knock ‘em dead. When you’re hired check out this course to help teach your children entrepreneurship skills!