Teaching a one-off lesson in an unfamiliar school with students you have never met before is a difficult task, but a useful one for candidates and those making the appointment. The evaluation of the lesson by the candidate is crucial. I need to see someone who can be self-critical but who also recognizes when things go well. Someone who makes suggestions as to how the lesson may have gone better, what they would do differently with hindsight. I like to hear them talk of the individual student's progress in the lesson, and how they would follow it up. Remembering pupils' names is always impressive. I'd rather see an ambitious lesson that goes a bit awry than a safe boring one.
First, only ask questions you cannot get answers to through research, for example, by investigating, you may easily determine how many students attend the school so, think of a different question to ask. Be sure you think carefully about what questions you would like answered. make them genuine. and recognize that it is always advantageous to ask questions. Remember, don't try to dominate the interview with your questions, keep in mind you are the interviewee. A good idea is to practice asking the questions you created in front of a mirror the day before the meeting. Write your questions down on a professional pad of paper or an index card and bring them to the interview.
I love education. I think that it is imperative to be a lifelong learner when one is a teacher. I plan to continue my education by (fill in this blank with your own plans). Technology continues to evolve into a strategic part of education. Tablet PCs and hand held devices are the newest gadgets on the market for students to use; the internet is an incredible resource. Technology provides interactive, individualized learning experiences, increasing student engagement and efficiency - in safer and more secure schools. Multiculturalism and securing equal opportunities for all are important themes in education. And, of course, teaching to state standards to upgrade student academic progress is very important.
My general classroom management plan is to make my classroom feel like a home to every student. I want them to feel valued, intelligent, safe, and comfortable. I want them to respect me, the teacher, and each other and to show that respect by treating everyone with kindness and caring. The class environment must be conducive to learning so I welcome everyone's opinions and encourage and respect student differences. I try to understand the expectations of my students and make them aware of my expectations. I always make it a point to clearly communicate my expectations at the beginning of the school year. In this way, I ensure that the students and I are moving toward the same goal - learning for all. I establish firm, but fair and consistent discipline. I try to maintain a regular schedule each day. If the classroom is well-managed and teaching is effective, the participants in this learning environment will learn, grow, and become responsible citizens.
I am the type of teacher who shares with my peers the classroom experiences that I have had, whether good or bad. I do this because I believe that this the best way for me and other teachers to improve our teaching. In this way, I get to share with them the best of my skills and, in return, they share with me the best of their skills. I also find that this is a very good way to learn how to handle situations that are difficult or unusual. The feeling of not being alone, but being part of a team of teachers, is what I can bring to the school. This will help build morale and a great working environment.
My teaching is unique in the sense that while teaching approach is holistic, it is also inclusive and individualized. It is holistic because I not only share knowledge with my students, but I also elicit knowledge from them. For instance, when I was teaching mathematics, I didn't simply teach formulas and methods of solving mathematical problems. I also explained to my students the value of understanding numbers and the great things we can use math for, such as the ability to think logically. I include all students in my lessons. For those who have difficulty, I use cooperative learning, peer tutors, and re-teaching techniques. I attend to the individual needs of the students by modifying assignments. For example, when I had a group of gifted children in my class, I regularly gave them special assignments to work on that would stimulate higher level thinking skills and had them present their work to the class.
What I most enjoy in teaching is hearing my students explain, in their own words, what they learned in a particular lesson and watching them enjoy participating in a lesson. When you observe my class, you will see that I get my students engaged in our discussions and activities. You will see that my students actively participate in each lesson. I make sure that all of them have a chance to speak, express their thoughts, and share them with the class. I enjoy how their faces brighten every time I recognize their efforts to learn by saying, "Very good," "That's a great idea," "Good job," and other encouraging phrases. At the end of the lesson, you will hear the students explain what they learned. Most of all, you'll know that I enjoy teaching because the children in my class look happy.
An Individualized Education Plan will be successful if proper coordination and collaboration are emphasized by the teacher, parents, psychologist, and other school staff. I accommodate a student with an IEP by planning a series of in-depth discussions with the parents to learn about the student's diagnosis and needs and later to inform the parents of his progress. This allows me to design an education program that addresses his specific needs and puts into place special accommodations. I also will document my own observations and evaluations of the student's academic work and behavior. As I gain knowledge and information about the student with the IEP, it will be easier for me to decide on the lessons and teaching and learning styles I should use to accommodate his needs and maximize his learning. There are many types of accommodations, depending on the student's diagnosis, for example, instructing a student through the use of manipulative's, providing a seat near the front of the room, reinforcing positive behavior every few minutes, providing extra time for assignments, and giving tests orally instead of in writing.
An interview isn't just about responding to the prospective school district's questions; it is an opportunity for you to impress the panel with examples of your foresight regarding the position they are offering. By asking questions, you can also determine if the fit is right, it shows interest in the position, and helps to develop rapport. If you feel comfortable, and the interviewer seems amenable, you may ask questions at appropriate times throughout the interview. Once you have been in the interview for a few minutes, you will start to get a feel for your comfort level in this regard. If you don't ask questions during the interview, you will most likely be given the chance to do so at the end of the interview ... be sure to take advantage of this great opportunity!
Here are some trends, issues, and methodologies that relate to most subjects and grade levels. You might say:
It seems that increasingly students have more information and knowledge than ever before due to access to the internet. A teacher has to be aware of what the internet
is, how it can be used in positive ways, and how to protect students from negative influences on the internet.
It can be a powerful learning tool for students. In addition, technology in general has changed education greatly. Using computers, videos, and other kinds of technology makes lessons more interesting and more fun. It also makes it easier to teach students with varying needs. A computer with internet access can open the world up to the classroom.
My master teacher would say that I am incredibly energetic in teaching because I love what I do! She would say that I am the type of person who also goes the extra mile to help my students learn and comprehend their lessons regardless of their abilities. She would say that I also try to teach values that are important in life, including the value of discipline.
A gifted student in the midst of the regular students can be a challenge in terms of addressing his or her particular needs and capabilities. What I will do is to modify his work assignments in expectation or length to fit his abilities. His tasks will require a higher level of understanding compared to the regular students. During class discussions, I can direct questions to him or her that require higher-level thinking skills. I also would encourage the gifted student to take a leadership role in group work so that his classmates can emulate and be inspired by him.
In assessing students, I make use of different methods. I use formal and informal assessment procedures to promote social, academic, and physical development. The usual assessment that I use is written quizzes (case studies, discussions) and examinations. Throughout the semester, I also grade and assess students on their class participation such as recitations, reports, group activities, and seat work. I also assess and grade students based on their completion of assignments and timeliness in submission. I also use authentic/alternative assessments, in which the student shows they can perform a task, such as making a speech or writing a story. I like to use written, oral, and day-to-day assessments.
For me, the most difficult part of student teaching is the limited contact hours with students within one class period (or day). When I teach, I have so much information that I would like to impart to my students that time flies by too fast. I always go to my classes full of energy and armed with lessons which I believe will stimulate curiosity and spark understanding and new insights in my students. There is so much information that I need to present for them to have a comprehensive understanding of a concept. My challenge is to make sure that I structure my lessons so effectively that learning takes place in one class period (or day). So I plan ahead to maximize every minute of my class period (or day).
Yes I am a flexible teacher. I can deal very effectively with people and students from all backgrounds and socio-economic groups. In teaching, I am completely aware that students have different learning rates and styles. Some are fast learners and some are slow learners, some learn best in auditory manner, others through actions or visual media. Still others have specific learning disabilities. I am flexible in the sense that I address these differences and make it a point to respond to their different needs. In my teaching, I make use of different learning strategies so that my instruction will be interesting and motivating to students. I use lecture, discussion, hands-on activities, cooperative learning, projects, manipulatives, role playing, debates, reports, technology, and others. (Choose the ones appropriate to the subject and/or grade for which you are applying.)
This question will come up at almost every elementary school interview. It's fairly common in the middle school and high school as well. You might have a weekly parent newsletter that you send home each week. For grades 3 and up, you may require students to have an assignment book that has to be signed each night. This way, parents know what assignments are given and when projects are due. When there are discipline problems you call home and talk to parents. It's important to have an open-door policy and invite parents to share their concerns at any time.
An IEP is an "individualized education plan." Students with special needs will be given an IEP, or a list of things that you must do when teaching the child. An IEP might include anything from "additional time for testing" to "needs all test questions read aloud" to "needs to use braille textbook." How do you ensure you're meeting the needs of a student with an IEP? First, read the IEP carefully. If you have questions, consult a special education teacher, counselor, or other staff member who can help you. Then, you just make sure you follow the requirements on the IEP word for word. When necessary, you may be asked to attend a meeting in which you can make suggestions for updating the IEP. Your goal, and the goal of the IEP, is to make sure the student has whatever he or she needs to be successful in your class.
You use lots of positive reinforcement. You are firm, but you don't yell. You have appropriate consequences for inappropriate behavior. You have your classroom rules posted clearly on the walls. You set common routines that students follow. You adhere to the school's discipline guidelines. Also, emphasize that you suspect discipline problems will be minimal because your lessons are very interesting and engaging to students. Don't tell the interviewer that you "send kids to the principal's office" whenever there is a problem. You should be able to handle most discipline problems on your own. Only students who have committed very serious behavior problems should be sent to the office.
There are standardized assessments at almost every grade level. Be sure you know the names of the tests. Talk about your experiences preparing students. You'll get bonus points if you know and describe the format of the test because that will prove your familiarity.
A candidate may have made a grand statement in their letter, but not gone into details about 'how' or the impact it had.
This is one of my favorite questions (it's based on a question my National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) coach used to ask me) because it gets candidates to think about their contribution to the school organisation and their team spirit. If I'm interviewing for a senior leader I would follow this up with: what would you want them to say about you in three years time? This way I can get a sense of where they want to develop as leaders.
This allows candidates to give a theoretical answer - one that anyone who swotted up could give you - balanced with a personal reflection that shows how effective they are.
I'd like to hear about: animated discussions, students clearly making progress as evidenced in oral and written contributions. High quality visual displays of students' work showing progress. High levels of engagement. Behavior that supports learning.
☛ I was laid off/ made redundant, because the company relocated/ downsized/ needed to cut costs.
☛ I resigned from my previous position, because I didn't have enough room to grow with my employers.
☛ I wanted to focus on finding a job that is nearer to home/that represents new challenges/ where I can grow professionally/that helps me advance my career.
☛ I graduated in IT from the University of XYZ.
☛ I hold a master's degree (MA)/ a bachelor's degree (BA) in Modern Languages from the University of XYZ.
☛ I took a one year accounting training program at ABC College.
☛ I haven't done any formal training for this job, but I have worked in similar positions and have ten years of experience in this field.
☛ I consider myself hardworking/ reliable/ dependable/ helpful/ outgoing/ organised/ honest/ cooperative.
☛ I'm a team-player/ an experienced team-leader/ a seasoned (experienced) professional/ a dedicated worker.
☛ I'm good at dealing with people/ handling stress.
☛ I pay attention to details.
☛ I understand my customers' needs.
☛ I learn quickly and take pride in my work.
☛ I love challenges and getting the job done.
This is great as it enables candidates to sell themselves and really tell us what they are about.
Liking young people. Fairness. Consistency. Sense of humour. Passion for their subject. Good at explaining new concepts/ideas. Able to make the topic or subject relevant. Able to make everyone feel comfortable and confident about contributing.
For obvious reasons everyone will have a different answer; it will depend on your teaching style, grade interviewing for, and past experiences. The interviewer will be looking to see if you have a plan, you know how to implement it, and if you think that discipline is an important part of the position. What I have found from coaching clients is they fail to provide a clear action plan that can be backed up with examples. Also it is important to find out what is the philosophy of the school or district, this will give you some additional information. A few things to bring up when answering this question is the following:
It is important to develop ground rules the first week of class, this allows the students to understand what is and isn't acceptable behavior.
It is important that a successful principal:
☛ Has a vision and a plan to reach that vision...combined with the ability to bring faculty members together to form a cooperative team and motivate them to reach district goals and objectives.
☛ Be visible... the principal's presence should be evident on a continual basis. He or she must be easily accessible to both students and teachers.
☛ Has a great sense of humor, and can relate well to a diverse group of individuals.
☛ Genuinely cares about the students, teachers, parents, and the district.
Your preparation and research is imperative to successfully answer this question. Provide a few reasons why you're interested in the school or district, and what in particular sparked your interest. What is your personal experience with the school or district? What do you know about its student body, faculty members, industry reputation, community involvement, educational goals and objectives, upcoming initiatives, demographics, or extracurricular activities? This information will help you to accurately respond to the above question. The word accurate is important -- don't answer the questions by using old information.
32. Let's imagine an interview for a grade one teaching position and the interviewer asks: "Describe your classroom's physical appearance." Having prepared ahead of time, you understand the interviewer[s] attempt to determine:
☛ Your teaching style
☛ Your ability to effectively manage the class
☛ The level and quality of student interaction
☛ Your teaching philosophy
Within this context, you might respond:
Upon entering my classroom you will find a lively and colorful room completely centered upon children and active learning. Sight words, the alphabet, numbers, and inspirational quotes cover the walls while large bulletin boards proudly display students' work. A large area contains a carpeted reading or group corner specifically for storytelling, show-and-tell, weather discussions and calendar and day-of-the-week conversations. This classroom includes an abundance of age appropriate reading materials and student mailboxes where children place personal journals, home reading books and workbooks in the morning and then collect newsletters or other parent communication at the end of the day.
Your response could include something that may have been a challenge in the past, which you have taken steps to rectify. It is important to be truthful, they will be testing your honesty. In addition, they will be checking to see if you provide a weakness that is critical to success in the position. For example, the interview will likely end quickly if you answer you have a difficult time management the classroom. The key to answering the question is to turn a negative into a positive.
This question will probably be asked. Now, if you researched the district/school and found out what they are looking for in a candidate, you will be able to focus your response on that information, keeping in mind it is important to tell the truth. With every response you must show your VALUE to the district. This will also give them an idea on how you view your talents and skills as a teacher. Perception is critical... you must be able to confidently discuss your skills using a convincing approach.
I am sure many of you have participated in team-teaching and realize the benefits of this strategy. The interviewer who asks this question wants to discover, if you are flexible, enjoy working in a team environment, have experience in this area, and what your viewpoints are on the subject.