The Complete Teacher


Typical interview questions for teachers

Posted by Hlengiwe Zwane on 10 January 2022, 12:25 SAST
Hlengiwe Zwane photo

With most interviews taking place virtually they can be exciting. These usually indicate new opportunities, a new environment and new challenges that just might change your career path. This is why it is important to prepare your answers well in advance. Below is a list of interview questions for educators likely to come up in your interview: 

1. Why did you decide to become a teacher?
It seems like an easy question, but don’t be fooled by this. It is important that you have a substantive answer. Institutions want to know that you are dedicated to enriching the lives of students. Answer this honestly and paint a clear picture as to why is it that you actually become a teacher.

2. What is your teaching philosophy?
Do not answer this type of question with a generic response. Your response to this should entail your teaching mission statement. The answer to this should be why you are a teacher. Write out your mission statement before the interview and practise it. This is the chance to show off why you’re passionate and what you want to accomplish in the new environment.

3. How do you integrate technology in the classroom?
Technology is creeping at the frontline of education, so take this opportunity to show how advanced you are compared to other possible candidates. Mention how you manage remote classrooms and engage students, what systems/platforms you incorporate and use while teaching at home and in the classroom, this may play out to your advantage.

4. Describe your classroom management structure. 
Talk about the things that worked the best for your class and why. It is important to give examples of how you’ve managed to handle pressure.  Explain what you learned as a student teacher and how you’ll use that to plan and run your first classroom if you are new to teaching. Take time to familiarise yourself with the school district’s philosophies on classroom management and discipline. 

5. How do you incorporate social-emotional learning in your lessons?
Many districts have added requirements for social-emotional learning into their standards. Explain how you will help students build their self- and social-awareness skills and support them in building relationships?

6. How do you connect your lessons to the real world?
Incorporating practical connections into lesson plans helps students understand why what they’re learning is useful beyond the classroom. Explain how you will facilitate this kind of authentic learning for your students. Show that your methods extend beyond the classroom. 

7. How will you encourage parents to support their children’s education?
Answer this question with caution and concrete ideas. Share how you will maintain contact with parents and provide updates on both positive and negative events. Also, share how you plan to provide resources to parents when students are struggling.

8. What methods do you use to check for understanding as you’re teaching?
Elaborate on how your instructions will be responsive to students’ needs. What methods would you use to quickly scan for understanding before moving on? 

9. How do you assess students’ progress?
This is your chance to preview your lesson plans and reveal your methods for keeping on top of development. Explain the types of assessments you give to students to test strengths and weaknesses. Share how you implement open communication with your students to discover what they need.

10. Why do you want to teach at this school?
Google everything you can about the school beforehand. Are the students involved in the community? What type of culture do they promote? Ask around. Use your network of colleagues to find out what other teachers loved and hated about it. You need to know if this school is a good fit for you.

11. What is the greatest challenge for teachers today?
When answering his question, raw from your personal experience and then speak on that. When you make it personal it becomes easier to answer it.

12. How can you meet the needs of a student?
It is important to take note of the fact that each child has unique educational needs, especially those with disabilities. So educate yourself on the process and be familiar with all possible needs. 

13. How will you meet the needs of the students in your class who are advanced?
Have plans and activities in place for both especially advanced students and those that aren’t. Leaders want to know that candidates are prepared to take on responsibilities that they can handle.

14. How will you engage reluctant learners?
How will you keep students engaged? How will you keep their concentration span focused?  Share lessons you’ve used, or ways you’ve built relationships to keep students on task. 

15. Describe a troubling student you’ve taught. What did you do to get through to them?
This speaks to any discipline measures you have had to address. As an educator, you need to be in control of the classroom and provide a safe space for all of your students. 

16. What activities, clubs, or sports are you willing to sponsor if you are offered a position?
Here you might share a special skill, like knitting or creative writing, and then offer to teach it to interested students.

17. What three words would your peers, administrators, or students use to describe you?
This might catch you off guard but we would encourage you to have some thoughtful options to describe yourself. Be honest, frame your weaknesses as strengths.

18. What do you feel you can contribute to the school for your subject?
Go in ready to discuss topics such as common planning and data analysis. This is a key time to highlight your strengths. Let the interviewers know what you have to offer to your peers and what you hope to gain from collaborating with them.

19. Which component of your resume are you most proud of and why?
Do not oversell yourself, mention one or two things that you are truly proud of and then wait for follow up questions. Small things, like professional organisation memberships, can also help you relay your interest in staying up to date on the latest educational research and best professional development.

20. Do you have any questions?
While it may be tempting to get out quickly this will generally be the final question and your last opportunity to leave a good impression. So, ask things that you need clarification on be its duties and responsibilities or the school’s culture.

These are the questions that are likely to come up when being interviewed for an educational position at a new school, institution. Take these tips and keep them close.

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Source: We are Teachers

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