While I’m certainly no expert, I hope to share a few resources that I have found beneficial as I prepare for teacher interviews. One piece of advice that was shared with me -- remain positive and be patient! As new teachers, we know the Ontario job market is tough out there, so all you can do is your best!
That is, PREPARE! Here are a few suggestions:
- Know WHY you want to teach. If you are readily able to share your educational philosophy and personal teaching style when asked, it will help to connect with subsequent questions in the interview, leading you in the right direction!
- Research and read sample teacher interview questions. Collaborate with fellow teacher candidates and recent LTOs to gather information about the interview process in your local board. Add questions and answers to the Ontario School Board Interview Questions and Answers! The goal in studying, however, should not be to memorize your answers, rather you should know how to develop an appropriate and timely response for each question.
Commonly asked interview questions include:
• Describe your classroom management philosophy.
• How do you assess your students work?
• Why do you want to teach at this particular school?
• What are your weaknesses as a teacher?
• How do you communicate with parents?
• Describe how you use differentiation in your classroom.
Check here for additional sample interview questions to help you better prepare:
Principals share 30 favourite questions for future teachers
50 great questions for teacher interviews
100 Teacher interview questions that are asked all the time
Education interview questions and answers
Teacher interview questions and answers
Interview questions for prospective elementary teachers
Sample interview questions for teaching candidates
3. Prepare a teaching portfolio – it allows you to showcase your teaching abilities. Be sure to include student exemplars, samples of created assessments and feedback, parent communications, and creative lesson and unit plans. When asked to connect with an experience during an interview, you can simple reach into your portfolio and SHOW them what a great teacher you are!
4. Research the school beforehand – visit the school board website and find out about their philosophy of education and local objectives. Research information about the school’s demographics and the local community – know the students you will be teaching. Check out the school’s website, along with classroom links. Learn about the school team you are “trying out” for! Show you want to be involved.
5. Keep up-to-date with educational jargon and teaching acronyms. If you're asked about differentiated instruction, IEPs, ELL s, backwards design, high yield instructional techniques, TCLPs, balanced literacy, PPC in language and mathematics…you don't want to be the candidate that responds with, "Huh?"
- Be polite, friendly, positive, and courteous! Relax, just be yourself, do your best and your strengths will shine through!
- Dress appropriately. Your choice of clothing tells a lot about you – first impression DOES mean everything! Keep in mind your teaching attire should demonstrate professionalism and individuality.
- Make eye contact with ALL of the interviewers at the table, not just the principal! This will help you to create a connection with the interviewers and it also portrays an image of confidence.
- Use specific examples when you discuss your teaching experiences. Whenever an interviewer asks you how you would do something, tell them how you have already been doing it. If you use words like, "I would like to..." or "I might try to..." or "I could...", then you may come across of being inexperienced. Instead, say things like, "When I was student teaching, I..." or "When I taught __, I would..." or "One thing I always do is..." This will help to emphasize and highlight your experience.
- Thank your interviewers for meeting with you! Whether you send a greeting card or a formal business letter, be sure to express your appreciation, compliment the school environment, and invite the interviewers to contact you again.
Teaching Interview Resources
Teacher Interview: Landing the Dream Teaching Job
Principal’s Tips for Teacher Interviews
Teacher Interview Tips –Part 1
Teacher Interview Tips –Part 2