By Teachers, For Teachers
A teaching interview can be quite nerve-wracking, especially when you are fresh out of college and in front of a panel of professionals. While it’s important to “know your stuff,” it’s also important to keep it fresh so that your answers don’t look too rehearsed. Here are a few suggestions on how you can answer the top 10 most popular teacher interview questions that will most likely be asked in a teaching interview. Remember to not use these answers verbatim, but to use these as a guide to help you formulate your own individual, unique answers to common teacher interview questions.
You will need to have done your homework and have a lot of knowledge about the school district to answer this question. The panel wants to know that you are interested enough in this job opportunity that you in fact did your research. Learn about their mission statement, their test results, how they are involved in the community, anything that you can learn about them. Show the interview board that you didn’t just mail out a bunch of resumes and hope for the best, but you actually took the time to learn about their school district.
Technology is no longer just a thing that teachers use to fill their time. It is utilized daily in classrooms all over the nation because it enhances learning. Talk about the technology that you are familiar with, and how you would utilize it in your classroom. For example, you could say, “I would utilize an iPad in the classroom by having students practice their spelling words on the Spelling City app.” You could also mention smartboards, video conferencing, computer programs, or any other piece of technology that classroom teachers like to use with their students.
The common core standards are designed to prepare students for college and thereafter. They are designed to ensure that students are learning more than just the basics. To help you answer this question, it’s best that you research the standards for the grade that you are applying for. Then, you can discuss how you can best prepare for them. A generic answer would be to flood your classroom with books of all kinds. You could also implement complex problem solving and to that ensure students use their critical thinking skills throughout the day. But the best answer is to be specific to the grade that you want to teach.
In this digital age, most parents have a smartphone, and one of the best ways to keep the lines of communication open with parents is by utilizing this. Apps like Class Dojo allow teachers to give parents a daily update on how their children are doing in the classroom. You can also send and receive instant messages right through the app. In addition to mentioning how you can communicate with parents through technology, you can also mention other ways, such as weekly newsletters or classroom reports, a website, e-mail, or even a good, old-fashioned note home.
This question can be tricky. You want to think of things that would be critical to the success of your job. For example, you can say that you have a hard time organizing your day. You can talk about how you have so many fun ideas for activities that you have a hard time incorporating them all into your day. This is something that can be easily fixed, and doesn’t sound like a weakness that would hinder you from getting the job. After each weakness, be sure to state how you can fix it. For this example, you can say you need to learn to prioritize your lessons.
Every teacher has to state her educational philosophy when they are in college. You can use this statement, or tweak it. The best advice on this question is to simply write out this brief statement and place it into your teaching portfolio. Then, when the panel asks you the question, all you have to do is reference it from your portfolio.
Your classroom management plan really depends on your teaching style. The interview panel is looking for specific examples of how you will run your classroom. They want to know that you have a plan in mind, and that you know how to implement it. The best thing that you can do to help you with this answer is to learn what the schools discipline plan is, and go from there.
The interview panel wants to see that you have a fun side, too. This is your time to show them your creative side. Talk about conducting science experiments, implementing hands-on activities, using cooperative learning groups, and going on field trips. Think of a specific example, like taking the students on a virtual field trip to outer space. This will help you to paint a picture of how you will make learning fun in your classroom.
This is one of those buzzwords that the interview panel wants to know if you know about. This is your time to discuss how accountability is when you hold educators as well as students responsible for their results. You can discuss teacher accountability and how you will be held for your students’ results, and/or student accountability and how they will be held responsible for themselves, their actions, and their results.
This is probably the most important question out of them all. They want to know that you are interested in the position. Make sure that you have a few questions already prepared in your head. Research the school district that you are interviewing for before you go to your interview, and try and find out what their motto is, what classroom materials they use, etc. You can take this information and formulate a question. You can also use any of the following:
What advice do you have for going to a teaching interview? Please share you knowledge in the comment section below, we would love to hear your ideas.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a Master's of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com, as well as a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com and TeachHUB Magazine. You can follow her at Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, or on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators.