Teachers can be hired anytime of the school year. But the most active time for new hires is May – August. In late Spring, principals receive their allocations for the next year. If they are going to need teachers, the hiring begins. Hopefully, teachers are hired before Summer and the new school year can start uneventful…at least in the personnel department. However, life always seems to happen in the Summer: a spouse gets a transfer, a promotion, a new job outside of education, an unexpected event, etc… can cause the hiring frenzy to start again.
As an assistant principal, I’ve seen this process happen over and over again. Knowing that this is the season for new hires and having experience conducting interviews, I thought I would provide some advice and questions that I like to ask during interviews. Following the question, I will give a little info. regarding the question.
1. Please share 3 of your strengths. This is a common question for many interviews… You answer should be automatic, you should have it prepared. However, don’t make up stuff. You should already be thinking about your strengths and how they pertain to the position you are interviewing for. Not having answers or trying to think about answers on the spot shows that you weren’t very prepared. The worst possible thing would be that you become nervous and can’t come up with three strengths. I was once in an interview where the interviewee could only come up with one strength. You don’t want to do that!
2. Please share a weakness or something you are working on to better yourself. Your weakness, should really be a strength! You do not want to say something like, “Kids frustrate me and I’m working on not slapping them when I become angry.” That would be a no-no. And, if that is true, you don’t need to work in education!!! Instead, you should say something like, “I tend to work too many hours and I’m working on balancing my life with some me time.” Now, don’t make your answer up. The answer should be true. But in your case, you need to think about it. I’ve heard some answers that you wouldn’t believe…and although the interview continued, I knew that I wouldn’t want to work with that individual.
3. Please share your classroom management philosophy. This is a big one! Let me say that again – This is a big one! Classroom management makes a teacher. It’s hard for many people to understand that students need motivation and a structured environment to learn (think 22 + students here). You can have the best lesson plans, but if procedures, routines and structure aren’t put in place, you aren’t getting passed your anticipatory set! One of the best things to do here is to talk about your experiences. Share what you did that worked as a student teacher, substitute or teacher in the past.
4. What would one of your lesson plans look like? You should have knowledge of the lesson plan cycle. Talk about how you prepare a lesson here.
5. What would I see if I walked in your room on any given day? Walk me through a class period. I usually want to know if the interviewee has an idea of what teaching is like and if they have thought enough about what they would be required to do day by day.
6. If you were selected for this position, what would you bring to the team/subject/school? This is self-explanatory. Be humble but also honest about what you have to offer.
7. How do you feel about Team Planning and have you had any experience with it? Not every grade level/subject plans together, but my teachers do! I want to know that a new teacher is a team player and is willing to share ideas and bring new ones to the table.
These are just a few questions that you might be asked. There are many many more potential questions that could be asked. The point is that you should be prepared. Think though potential questions and how you would answer.
Some More Advice
Take some time and visit the school’s website. There you will find out information about the school and school activities. Make sure that you bring up something from the website or the last newsletter. “I noticed on the website that your school puts on a Science night every 9 weeks…” I made an impression on teachers one time when I was able to point out the school’s Spotlight Teacher (our district’s version of The Teacher of the Year) in an interview.
Since teaching jobs are harder to find at the moment, you need every advantage possible. If you are working a min. wage job or even if you can afford it in the short run, become a substitute teacher for the district. When you sub, find out who hires the subs or puts in the sub jobs for the campuses that you think are a good fit for you. Take time to stop by an say hi when you get a chance. Always say bye and thank them for the job. Take the time to know the teachers, administrators and remember that you are always “on.” That means that you are always interviewing for a job! Lastly, let the campus know that you can be counted on. Don’t ever turn down jobs, even on Fridays!
Dress for the interview. Even if you are interviewing in the heat of summer and the person who sets up the interview tells you that they will be dressed in relaxed summer attire, make sure that you arrive 15 minutes early and that you look professional!
Lastly, make yourself so valuable that no campus would want to pass on you.
If you have any other questions that should be considered during an interview or any advice, please feel free to post below.
This post first appeared on Ed That Matters.
If you enjoyed the article, please vote for the site at Top Prepper Websites.
Copyright – Content on Ed That Matters (unless the work of a Third-Party) may be reproduced in part or whole with attribution through a link to www.edthatmatters.com. If you are interested in a Third Party article, please contact the author for permission.