How do you differentiate your teaching? Do you know how you would answer this important teaching interview question:
It is important that the response you give to the teaching job interview question is truthful, relevant to the position, and shows value to the school district. You want to ensure the panel knows that you understand the importance of differentiating your teaching to meet the needs of all students.
The following could be a possible answer or it may provide some ideas for you to tailor your response to a question about how you differeniate your teaching:
My teaching is unique in the sense that while my 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.
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.
As no two students learn in the same way or at the same ability level, it is important to differentiate instruction toward different learning modality preferences, different ability levels, as well as different interests. For certain activities, I plan to group students by interest but may also have activities set at different levels of complexity (questioning levels/abstract thinking processes) resulting in varying products that employ students’ preferred learning modality (auditory/visual/kinesthetic).
This will mean that the content is being differentiated by interest, the process is being differentiated by readiness (complexity of thinking skills required) and the product is being differentiated by student learning modality preferences. This multiple differentiation has the added advantage of making presentations much more interesting than they would be if all groups did everything in the same way and each presentation was simply a repetition of the former one.
As well, during group discussions, I will adjust the questions I ask a specific student. For instance, I will direct higher order questions to students who are at that level and adjust questions accordingly for students with greater needs. I will also employ flexible grouping, peer teaching, reading buddies, and learning centers as methods to effectively differentiate instruction.
I use many teaching methods and techniques to help students achieve success.
How would you answer the question: How would you differentiate your teaching?