Yay! You’ve landed your first interview for a teaching position. Not sure what to anticipate, though? Well, an interview for a teaching position goes beyond the skills and experience on your resume to review your pose and public presentation. The recruiter will be assessing your body language, chosen attire, and calm responses with greater scrutiny than most other professions experience during their interviews.
Most likely, they are looking for someone who can do more than convey the materials. They’re trying to determine if you will have empathy and heartfelt guidance for the community’s youngest members and their families. Since that most likely describes you, we’re here to help you start preparing.
Frequent Questions During a Teacher Interview
The specific questions will target the needs of the age and district you are being interviewed for. However, we’ve located some frequently asked teacher interview questions to help you start prepping for your interview. We’ve included some ideas around why these questions are asked so that you can reframe your answer if the recruiter asks a similar question.
Why do you want to be a teacher?
Becoming a teacher requires a dedication not often experienced in other fields. You already have an excellent understanding of why you’ve chosen this career. The trick is putting it into an elevator speech. Think about when a teacher impacted you, or share how teaching enriches your life. As you witness your enthusiasm for learning change children’s lives, perhaps it renews your passion? All of those are great foundations for an answer.
“I became a teacher because of my sixth-grade teacher, Mrs. Edgerly. I struggled to be cool and didn’t care about school or grades. She took the time to learn about my interests and then created projects that matched. Because of her, my love of learning flourished. As a teacher, I see how kids are inundated with many challenges. I know the more we can help them discover a passion for learning, the better chance that they’ll succeed in life.”
How do you incorporate parents into the classroom experience?
New teachers might not realize that the most challenging communication might not be with students but with their parents. The more intentional a teacher is in partnering with parents, the more successful a child will be. Teachers who seek to listen to parents’ concerns and insights genuinely have the child’s best interests at heart.
“I work to intentionally create a relationship with parents, as I feel that is the best way for a student to succeed. No one wants to hear from their child’s teacher only when something is going wrong. So, I occasionally send home notes about funny or sweet situations that happen, positive social interactions, and outstanding everyday tasks that their student has completed. At the beginning of the year, I request that parents introduce their child to me in a letter. I always want to acknowledge that they know their child better than anyone else does. At the beginning of the year, I ensure they know that I will always create time to interact with me. Whether that’s via email, phone, or in person, I always want to be available.”
What professional development goals do you have for the next year?
Do you have a lifelong love of learning? Are you eager to learn new teaching methods and incorporate new research? Recruiters and HR personnel for schools have a greater need to create longevity and continuity than most. As a teacher, you can impact your students and the community as a whole. Understanding your career goals helps the HR representative to visualize your career path and how this position fits into it.
“There are several podcasts that I listen to each week from established teachers that share tips. On a more formal scale, this summer, I completed two workshops focused on intentionally including art in the classroom and using art as a tool for children struggling to meet developmental standards. I’m excited about the opportunity to implement those and then continue with that focus. I also want to learn more about meeting the needs of children with autism and ADHD. There is an online seminar on that subject next month that I’m hoping to attend.”
How do you handle discipline in the classroom?
Creating a safe and calm learning environment is vital to classroom management. Of course, there will be different boundaries and guidelines dependent on the school district and age of the students. Your recruiter wants to ensure that you have a solid approach to maintaining discipline correctly.
“I always believe that the best approach is to create a relationship with the students ahead of time, praise positive behavior equitably, and coach challenges in private. A lot can be accomplished by watching for early warning signs of disruption and heading it off before it occurs. While I was student-teaching, I created a quiet area for kids who required some space to calm down and refocus.”
How do you differentiate instruction?
Kids are at all sorts of different learning stages and respond to different learning styles and interests. One of the most vital challenges for any teacher is connecting all children to the subject despite their various starting points.
“Some of the most valuable lessons I learned as a student-teacher were from a tenured third-grade teacher. She taught me how to present all of my instruction with various learning formats to ensure that everyone is engaging with the material. We had stations and groups that created peer-to-peer learning for students with individual learning styles. Students in different groups rotated through my station during that time, and I worked with them individually. I foresee that being a fundamental part of my teaching plan.”
How do you incorporate emotional or social learning into your classroom?
As a teacher, you know that some students will be more vulnerable than others, and conflicts are bound to arise regardless of various maturity levels. Recruiters want to understand how you create a sense of belonging and help fuel emotional growth in your learners.
“Specific activities vary based on the age group, but I’ve found that the best results come from directly teaching and discussing social and community standards and needs. I believe that children have a great ability to understand and be empathetic, so when we set boundaries, role-play situations, and discuss healthy resolutions, they are limitless in their abilities to be terrific classroom citizens.”
Sharing Your Passion for Learning
Teaching is truly a career built on love. A great teacher can forever impact someone’s life, even if they are young when they interact. District HR representatives have a huge responsibility to find the best possible fit for their students.
Let recruiters know you’re the best candidate by ensuring you’re prepared. Practice answering common teacher interview questions such as these, create situational answers to display your skills and passion, and be ready to detail experience with challenging situations. Do so, and your name will be displayed on the classroom door in no time.
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