Becoming a teacher is a labor of love. You've put in the hours of coursework, lesson planning and student teaching. Now you're ready to get out there and show your stuff to make a difference in the lives of children. There's still one hurdle to pass before you can begin influencing young minds and that's getting the job. Job interviews can be nerve-racking experiences. It's hard to be put on the spot and to sell yourself. Some advanced preparation can help you to overcome your nerves and to provide honest, confident answers that will get you the job. Here are five difficult teacher interview questions and how to answer them.
1. How do you handle classroom discipline?
The answer to this question likely depends on a number of factors, such as the grade you will be teaching and your particular teaching style. What is important to demonstrate is that you have a philosophy regarding discipline and that you have a plan to implement that philosophy. You will want to have a clearly thought-out discipline plan and be able to provide concrete examples of the way your plan would be used. Your answer should be guided by your academic studies, your hands-on student teaching experience and your own personal values. It's also good to have an idea of the school's philosophy on discipline prior to the interview to be sure your answer is not in direct conflict with the institution's guidelines.
2. Why do you want to work for our district?
This is a commonly asked interview question in any field. Be sure to do your research ahead of time. Mention anything that particularly stood out to you about the specific school you are interviewing with or the district as a whole. You could talk about awards won, community involvement, school leadership or something of interest about the student body.
3. How do you feel about team teaching?
This is one of those difficult teacher interview questions because you want to remain positive, even if collaborative teaching is not your favorite thing. You want to show that you are flexible and that you are open to and competent at working with others. Share positive insights you have from personal experience with the approach or any information you have gleaned from reading on the subject.
4. Describe the physical appearance of your classroom.
This question seeks to learn a number of things about you, including your approach to classroom management, your level of student interaction and your guiding educational philosophy. Showing you have a detailed plan indicates that you've given much thought to the smooth running of your classroom and your approach to students. Share details of the ways in which you would design your classroom to best meet the needs of the age and developmental needs of your students. Photos from your portfolio of classrooms from your student teaching experiences are helpful.
This is asked to gain insight on how thoughtful and inquisitive you may be. You can show your critical thinking ability and knowledge, as well as find out whether this position is a good fit for you through asking pertinent questions. Ask genuine questions you aren't able to find the answers to anywhere else. Feel free to ask questions related to your specific interests to show your personality.
These are just some examples of difficult teacher interview questions and how to answer them. However, they should give you a starting point on preparing the answers for your upcoming interview.