Prepare Yourself for These Education Interview Questions
Let's pretend it's the first day of school and you are a first grade teacher. How would you prepare your classroom?
This question is to test how well you manage the classroom. The philosophy is, 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 indicate. 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 as to how nurturing and inviting your classroom will be to the students. Come up with some creative decorating ideas, making sure it is student-centered. You could also mention a huge welcome sign, daily schedules, age-appropriate posters, name tags for students, labeled desks and lockers, and other labeled areas (e.g., journal returns, handouts, reading books), etc. Or, mention that you would have the parents and students visit the classroom the day before school, with the administrator's permission. If you have a portfolio and have pictures of other first days of school, this is a great chance to share that with the panel.
The real key to this question is to show your enthusiasm, passion, excellent organizational skills, and how you can create a warm and captivating environment where students will feel safe, where their learning will be maximized, and a place that makes them look forward to coming to school.
As a grade one teacher, how would you motivate the parents to be involved in the classroom and in their child's education?
What is critical to communicate in your response 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 making cutouts, creating new bulletin boards, sorting, setting up centers, hanging up students' work or new posters, reading with students, etc.
Parental involvement means much more than just attending parent-teacher interviews. That you set goals to keep the parents abreast of what is going on in the classroom and are always asking for volunteers can be communicated through weekly or bi-weekly newsletters. You might inform parents when you are starting a new unit or specific projects. Make sure that parents are invited to any momentous or appropriate events.
You contact or speak to parents not just when a child is having difficulty, but also when they are doing good things. Let the 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 to implement. If so, let the panel know. Maybe hold a parent appreciation lunch or tea to acknowledge those who have helped in the classroom. Once again, if your portfolio has any past newsletters or parental communication letters, make sure you show these to the panel.
Interview Day - What Should You Wear?
- Your appearance tells the district how you see yourself - your clothes, hairstyle, choice of accessories, and makeup will either reinforce or damage your professional image.
- The best colors for mens' suits are dark grey, navy blue, and black.
- Don't wear a three-piece suit to an interview - it's too much.
- Shoes are extremely important - make sure they are polished and appropriate.
- Select a simple tie - you don't want the interviewer's attention to be on your funny-looking tie - you know what we mean.
- Strive to dress professionally without over-dressing. A pair of dark, casual pants and a sports shirt will make a nice presentation. Although it is important not to over-dress, it is equally important not to be under-dressed for an interview. If unsure, you can always settle for something in between. If you believe you are over-dressed, you can always remove your jacket.
- For women, a tailored classic suit is always appropriate for an interview. An investment in a good "interview suit" is an investment in yourself and your future career. It will be part of your wardrobe for years to come.
- Choose woolen fabrics for the cooler months and linen for the warmer months. Stay away from 100% polyester blends.
- Choose a conservative color - you won't go wrong if you choose a solid, basic color such as tan, brown, or grey. The blouse or sweater you select to accompany your suit should be white, off-white, beige, or a color which complements your suit. For example, a burgundy or red blouse can spice up a grey suit - especially if those are your colors.
- A tailored, solid-colored dress is acceptable for interviewing. Make sure you choose fabrics that are suited to the season.