Colleges look for students who will be a good match for their school. Your interviewer wants to see a genuine interest in the college. "There's always going to be a question 'Why do you want to come to our school?' so you really have to know the school," says Bev Taylor, an independent college counselor and director of the Ivy Coach. Spend time before the interview thinking about why that college would be a good match for you. "It's important to talk about yourself. Students need to do their homework before an interview. Find out what it is about themselves that can make them happy at that college," Taylor says.
Schools want to hear about educational goals. However, it's even better if your child can connect these goals back to that specific school. For example, your child could discuss how he/she want to join a competitive math team and how he/she is extremely impressed with the school's current team.
"That's going to come up at the end, guaranteed. Too often students will say, 'I think you've answered them all. That's probably the worst answer you can give. You need to have some questions," Taylor says. Asking your interviewer questions shows them that you've spent time thinking about their school. It's okay to bring a list of questions you wrote beforehand.
Ask the right sorts of questions. Don't ask something that can easily be found on the school's Web site. Show you've done some research. Ask questions that relate to your interests, not just general questions. You also don't want to ask a question that will put their school in a negative light. Instead of asking a yes or no question like, "Are research opportunities available to freshmen?" ask a more open-ended question like, "How can a freshman get involved in research?"
This is a very open-ended question, but you can easily help your child hone in on public figures they may find remarkable. Your child can mention famous historical icons, teachers, or leading innovators, and discuss why these people inspire him/her.
Admissions committees like this question so that they can assess how motivated the student is to attend their school. The applicant should know something about the school and which academic classes, sports, or extracurricular activities he or she might participate in at the school. It's compelling if the student has visited classes at the school or spoken to coaches or teachers to speak in a first-hand, vivid way about why he or she wants to attend the school. Canned, clichéd answers such as, "Your school has a great reputation" or cynical answers like, "My dad said I would get into a really good college if I went here" don't hold much water with admissions committees.
This is probably the most common question, and your child must be able to discuss specific classes, after-school programs, or sports teams he/she wishes to join. Consider this response as an example to guide your child: "Your school stands out from all the rest because here, I know I can develop my love for science. I am particularly interested in your great laboratory. Can you tell me more about how I can use this facility?"
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.
Schools are looking for passion. They want to know if your child can start something and persevere long enough to master it. Let your child know not to discuss video games or TV shows, but instead, to discuss something educational like reading, leading a school committee/newspaper, science experiments, etc. These are more impressive answers to give, but don't have your child feign these interests if they are not authentic. Other notable topics could be musical instruments, sports, building model planes, etc. Regardless of what they choose to talk about, your child must show passion in their answer.
If you interview in the United States, school administrators love to talk about state, local, or national standards! Reassure your interviewer that everything you do ties into standards. Be sure the lesson plans in your portfolio have the state standards typed right on them. When they ask about them, pull out your lesson and show them the close ties between your teaching and the standards.
In today's world of engaging video games and the Internet, many students don't read that many books. However, they should develop the habit of reading and have read three or so age-appropriate books that they can speak about thoughtfully in the interview. While it's acceptable to speak about books students have read in school, they should also have read some books outside of class.
While many students devour a steady diet of fantasy, the admissions committees often prefer students to speak about classic fiction, high-grade novels, and difficult non-fiction books. Here is a list of books to inspire you. Students should develop an idea of why these books interest them. For example, are they about a compelling topic? Do they have an interesting protagonist? Do they explain more about a fascinating event in history? Are they written in an engaging and suspenseful way? Applicants can think about how they might answer this question in advance.
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.
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.
I feel I must play an important role in the child's development of social competence and friendship skills. I will do my best to help these children develop peer friendships. My responsibilities involve not only imparting academic skills but social skills as well. Some methods are setting up study-buddies, team projects, etc.
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.
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.)
Older students are expected to follow current events and know what's going on. During an election year, students may be asked about the issues involved in the election. To answer this question in a thoughtful way, students should read their local newspaper, as well as an international or national paper such as The New York Times, or the Economist.
That question helps me set a tone," explained. "I expect my teachers to be lifelong learners, and to want to take some responsibility for their own professional development.
our child shouldn't say something such as, "I don't like math because I hate numbers." Instead, they could say, "My strongest subject is English and my weakest subject is math, but I hope to improve in that area at your school. I know you have the right teachers to help me achieve this goal."
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.
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.
Schools want to see that your child is motivated. The easiest way to show that is by asking for bigger and greater challenges. Have your child display that by pointing out how they enjoy being challenged and crave reaching that next level of success.
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).
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.
"Since that is what I am looking for, I make certain to screen for it during the interview," said McNeely, principal at Alexandria Middle Magnet School for Math and Science.
Chris Vail, assistant principal at Groveport Madison Middle School South in Groveport, Ohio, is interested in getting a handle on the ability of teachers to structure a good lesson, but one of the questions he asks is intent on getting a read on whether or not a teacher knows what to do if a lesson is not working. Vail often asks candidates
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 manipulatives, 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.
In the school where I currently teach, we have grade-level meetings to go over our curriculum maps. Curriculum mapping has helped me to see the year at a glance, as well as to look for gaps and overlaps in the curriculum from my grade to another. I can now lead curriculum mapping for a grade level.
Rather than simply saying "no," it could better benefit your child to instead describe a subject where a teacher pushed him/her harder than others had. So, perhaps simply approach this question as 'who is your most challenging teacher?' Then, encourage your child to discuss how he/she worked to overcome this.
► How do you handle parent complaints about teaching methods?
► How often do you report to parents? What is your communication method with parents?
Your goal is to work in the child's best interest, together with the parents. In general, you report as often as required and welcome parents' contribution. Complaints and problems that have not been resolved are addressed to the school principal if necessary. Communication can be any possible way - text, email, phone or a note home. When parents object to teaching method, it is best to have a principal explain and defend the teacher. Parents are not usually as knowledgeable as they think.
If a child is caught cheating or continuously disturbs, this would be a difficult call to make. I would first look over all the child's work and make a list of his/her good qualities and accomplishments. After reporting that pleasantness, I would factually describe the problem, making sure not to exaggerate. End with another nice comment, and listen to parents. Next I would try to work out a plan with them, or interest them in the plan I worked out. Close with a nice comment about how easy it was to speak with them, or some such compliment and wish them well.
29. What would your previous employer or college adviser say were your greatest strengths for teaching, and what areas would they suggest were areas that need growth? And do you agree with those assessments?
That's a question Stokes often asks. "The question helps me gauge the applicant's understanding of where they are in the developmental process to becoming a great teacher," explained Stokes. "Then I always ask what plan the applicant has to grow in those areas. I want to see if they plan to do some reading, attend workshops, observe a specific teacher who has fine-tuned those needed skills"
Principal also asks candidates to focus on areas in greatest need for professional development. "This lets me know where weaknesses may be without being negative or making the candidate feel uncomfortable,"
What is critical to communicate in your response to this question is your understanding of the importance of parental involvement and how you always encourage participation to strengthen student-teacher-parent relationships. (Grandparents can also be encouraged to
participate.) Talk about some of the things that parents can volunteer to do in the classroom, such as: reading with students, preparing project materials, creating bulletin
boards, sorting materials, setting up learning centers, hanging up students' work, etc.
Parental involvement means much more than just attending parent-teacher interviews. You must set goals to keep the parents abreast of what is going on in the classroom. You can communicate that information and ask for volunteers through weekly or bi-weekly newsletters. You might inform parents when you are starting a new unit or specific projects and make sure they clearly understand the homework assignments each week. Make sure that parents are invited to any momentous or appropriate events.
You should contact or speak to parents not just when a child is having difficulty, but also when they are doing well. Tell the hiring panel that you will call parents and send notes home complimenting students on good behavior. Also mention that you try to recruit bilingual parents to help with communication as necessary.
Let the hiring committee know that you coach parents on how they can help their child succeed academically. You may have read some resource book(s) to gain ideas that you could implement. If so, let the panel know. Holding a parent appreciation lunch or tea to acknowledge those who have helped in the classroom is a great idea. Consider attending some of the PTA meetings. If your portfolio contains any past newsletters or parental communication letters, make sure you show these to the panel.
The standards are certainly a starting point, a focus point. In my college classes, we started our plans with the standard, and then developed a student objective that would demonstrate mastery. Next, we determined how to focus students, do a quick review to tie the material to something already learned and how to engage the students with the new material. We always assessed each lesson in some way, formally or informally. Having posted standards helped students monitor their own learning, too.
This question comes in different forms including, "In what ways have you contributed to your high school?," "How will you be a valuable addition to the college?" Before the interview, pick a few positive adjectives that describe you and explain why. Then turn that into the answer to any of these questions. For example, "I'm very self-motivated. If I see that something needs to get done, I take it upon myself to do it. In my high school glee club, for instance …" An answer like this will work for more than one type of question. "Don't just give the three adjectives though. Pretend you were thrown a ball and now you have to run with the ball. Relax and answer the question, but give more than just the answers,"
That question shows whether candidates can think on their feet -- and if they can truly sum up themselves using just five words!". "The question allows us to see if the person is self-confident and whether or not he or she is willing to share some depth in a single-word set of answers.
Here is a possible answer for this question. 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.
All good teachers are effective when the students 'get it,'. I am looking for those teachers who have several alternate plans in mind when kids don't understand the material.
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.
An issue that is important is teaching to state standards. School time is limited and we must make the best use of it that we can, so I try to relate every lesson and activity to a grade level standard. That keeps me focused on the overarching goal of improving education and helping children do better academically.
One of the most important methodologies in my opinion is teaching through multiple intelligences. Children learn in so many different ways. I try to reach everyone by teaching through the senses, using visual, auditory, and sense of touch to impart information. When possible, I try to include the senses of taste and smell, too!
This question tests how well you will manage the classroom. The philosophy is that the more organized you are, the more well-run your classroom will be. Don't give the panel just a few words… they may be using a checklist to see how many items you mention. Plus, as a teacher, you should be very excited about this question and be able to speak for a while, but limit the response to two minutes.
Your response must provide them with an idea of how nurturing and inviting your classroom will be to students. Come up with some creative decorating ideas, making sure they are student-centered. You could also mention a huge welcome sign, the daily schedule, age-appropriate posters, name tags for students, labeled desks (how will they be arranged?) and lockers, a list of class rules/consequences/rewards, and other labeled areas (e.g., the classroom library, manipulative storage, computer area), etc. Or, mention that you might invite parents and students to visit the classroom the day before school starts, with the administrator's permission. If you have a portfolio with have pictures of other first days of school, this is a great chance to share them with the panel.
Next, make it clear that you will have organized the textbooks, your lesson plan book, your grade book and other materials well before school begins. Mention several activities you might include during the first day of school, including an ice-breaker, a trip to the restrooms, and a fun art project.
The real key to this question is to show your enthusiasm, passion, excellent organizational skills, and how you will create a warm and captivating environment in which students will feel safe, where learning will be maximized, so that children will look forward to coming to school each day.
► How do you handle a discipline problem? What about noise in the classroom?
► Are you a "tough" teacher or an "understanding" teacher?
► How do you handle a gifted child who is a discipline problem?
By having a set of classroom rules and consistently following your own guidelines - a clear set of behavioral expectations with clear consequences - you have a good chance of controlling the class. Give examples of rules and consequences. Simultaneously, present yourself as a good listener and adapter, flexible to individual students' needs. If possible, give an example of where you had to work around your rule for a difficult student.
► The way you evaluate your teaching performance and teaching needs. How do you use resources?
► Your teaching tools and methods, namely - the Internet, team-teaching and external resources.
► How do you handle the needs of children with high abilities as compared to the needs of low-skilled children?
► How do you meet the needs of children with ADHD?
► What are your teaching objectives?
► How do you provide feedback?
You should explain the cutting edge teaching principles you utilize to meet your teaching goals and objectives for enhancing students' skills such as - reading, social skills, technical skills etc. prepare and rehearse your remarks. Speak professionally.
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.
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.
This interview question frequently comes up and is an easy one to prepare an answer to. Try not to pick a book that you were assigned to read for class, but if you do, try not to mention that it was an assignment. "Know about a book and don't just stop at the name of the book and the author. Know something about the book and something that you enjoyed about that book … You have to know the answer to this one," Taylor says. Use this opportunity to share something about yourself. Talk about why the book had special meaning for you and try to reveal your interests and personality in the process.
prepare a brief explanation. Focus on love of children, desire to give, enthusiasm for learning, and whatever motivated you.
Encourage your child to follow the news, particularly in education. If your child can contribute thoughtful comments on how foreign schools are outperforming American schools, or the importance of STEM classes, he/she will surely outshine other students. The more detailed the answer, the better.
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.
This is a common interview question, and one that is unfortunately filled with minefields. Applicants can talk about who's in their immediate and extended family, but they should steer away from difficult or potentially embarrassing subjects. It's fine to state that the child's parents are divorced, as this fact will be obvious to the admissions committee, but the applicant shouldn't speak about topics that are too personal or revelatory.
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.
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.
This one is a no-brainer. Students should be prepared to speak eloquently about their area of interest, whether it's music, drama, sports, or another area. They might also explain how they will continue this interest while at the school, as admissions committees are always looking for well-rounded applicants.
You don't have to know what you'll major in, but be able to explain your academic interests, why they interest you, and how you can pursue those interests at their college. Colleges are looking for students who are excited about learning, not students who feel they need to get a college degree but aren't sure why.
Here, your child clearly must rely on knowledge specific to this institution. For example, if the school has a flawless 100% of its students go to college, your child can discuss their goals of eventually getting into an Ivy League (or at least very prestigious) university.
Sometimes, interviewers ask this question to simply find out if your child reads for pleasure and not just for school. Therefore, your child should mention a few books that have been interesting to them and elaborate. Have them discuss the character development or themes, but more importantly, what this book means to them. Also, encourage them to discuss the author's inspiration for writing the book and why it was relevant at the time it was published.