Teachers are the building blocks for a nation and the generations. Their profession is generally considered one of the most rewarding but it can be also extremely stressful and draining. This is why it is extremely important to find a school where you will feel motivated and appreciated by your students, colleagues, and the principal.
We are here to help you to prepare for your teaching job interview. We prepared for you today a special list of the 35 most popular teacher interview questions with answers (edition 2021). Read our article to know what questions to expect, how to prepare your answers, and where to find more information.
Before we start, we encourage you to check our free full guide on how to prepare for a job interview (with tips & checklist). To be even better prepared, read how to answer the “Tell me about yourself” question in an interview.
“Students are most affected by the quality of their teachers. Not only do they interact with teachers every day in the classroom, but the quality of that interaction matters for our students’ future. In fact, Stanford University economist Eric Hanushek has noted that the difference between a good and a bad teacher can be a full level of student achievement in a single school year.” (Source: pearsoned.com).
Teacher Interview Questions 2021
Why did you decide to become a teacher?
This is one of the fundamental teacher interview questions. By asking this question, the interviewer (or the principal) wants to know your motivation towards this job. Every person who works as a teacher or wants to become a teacher and scarify his or her life to educate other people does it not just for money, but for much deeper reasons, interests, and goals. Below you can find several universal benefits of being a teacher so that you can convey your answers based on these suggestions.
- Desire to enrich and change people’s lives,
- Wish to improve the quality of the education system,
- Need to give back to the community,
- Love to interact with children/students or other people.
What is your teaching philosophy?
The teaching philosophy is a combination of the various experiences and techniques which you apply to the students in order to help them to achieve their goals. It is a good practice to regularly ask your students about their goals, both short-term and long-term. You need to be aware that at a young age, interests, and priorities change very frequently and it is completely normal.
Every student has a different way of learning, and in order to be efficient as a teacher, you should share the same understanding as your students. A classroom is always a very diverse community, in which everyone comes together to learn and contribute in their way to make the learning atmosphere positive and friendly. It is important to remember that everybody is a learner. You, as a teacher, learn from your students as much as they learn from you.
What are, in your opinion, the most important skills for teachers? Name 3 of them.
A good teacher needs to have a whole set of skills and qualities. Most often we can hear that in order to become an effective and inspiring teacher, absolutely crucial and necessary are:
- Passion for teaching,
- Excellent communication and listening skills,
- Leadership skills,
- Friendly and respectful attitude,
- Good classroom management and a knack for organization,
How do you motivate students to learn?
Engaging students in learning is not always an easy task. Students’ motivation should be developed on 3 levels: cognitive, emotional, and behavioral. In other words, the teacher should focus on making interesting content, show the use and the benefits of gaining knowledge. The teacher should always keep an individual approach, build an atmosphere of trust and respect, be dynamic, adjust to the current “energy” in the classroom, and, finally, actively involve the students in lessons by asking questions, opening discussions, organizing work in groups, etc.
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires” William Arthur Ward, American writer
How do you evaluate your students?
There are various ways to evaluate the overall knowledge, performance, and capability of the student. Some students may not be bright in most of the subjects but perform exceptionally well in one particular subject, course, or sports. Such students should receive special attention and get a chance to catch up with the material and be properly prepared for the standardized exams. At the same time, they should be encouraged to develop their potential and talents even if these are extracurricular activities. The overall student evaluation should consist of:
- Academic evaluations (official, standardized exams, formal tests, quizzes, desk works, group activities, projects, etc.),
- Sports (participating/winning),
- Social activity (money found rising, discussion clubs, etc.),
- Arts (creativity/imagination/inspiration),
- Innovation and ideas.
What teaching resources do you use in your lessons?
Saying that teaching resources are very useful is not enough. They stimulate students’ development and knowledge acquiring, help to memorize and collaborate, support individual learning, encourage them to explore ideas, etc.
- Posters, models, mock-ups, etc.
- PowerPoint presentations,
- Smart devices (computers, tablets, Internet, dedicated software, etc.).
How do you use technology in teaching?
This is one of the most popular teacher interview questions in 2021. Because of COVID-19, teachers and students around the world had to change their ways of teaching/learning, often literally from one day to another. It was a forced change and maintaining the status quo was impossible.
During a teaching job interview, show that you adapted well to this new situation. Show that you are passionate about it, or at least competent and fluent in the new technologies. Share your experience: the software which you use for student teaching, the strategies to engage and evaluate students remotely, school administration software, etc.
How can you help our school and our students?
As a teacher, you can share your knowledge and experience and teach the students important skills and attitudes, even if they are not directly related to the subject. For example:
- Equality and openness for diverse cultures,
- Respect for animals,
- Maintaining good relations,
- Environment care and consciousness (switching off the lights and fans which are not in use),
- Cleanliness in the classroom and school premises,
- Appreciating innovation and creativity,
- Participating in school and after-school activities (charity collections, etc.).
What do you say to your students on the first day of school?
The first impression is very important and lasts well beyond this moment. The same rule applies to the classroom and the relation between the students and their teacher.
The first day is a great moment to establish the contact based on mutual trust and shared interest for the subject. However, remember to prepare yourself in advance. Make a plan of what you would like to say and what you would like to ask your students. Be welcoming. Agree with students on the rules which you will all follow (for example: raise your hand to speak, respect your classmates and teacher, be quiet when someone else is speaking, etc.). The rules should clear for everyone and secure that the classroom will be safe and productive.
A good idea is to talk also about the goals and the expectations towards each other. Of course, as a teacher, you are obliged to follow the curriculum and prepare your students for the final exams but you will have a better understanding of your students and you will know which strategies to adopt to make your lessons more interesting and effective.
What frustrates you most in teaching?
This is a very tricky teaching job interview question. The purpose of this question is to see how passionate and motivated you are, how you would handle difficult and challenging situations, and if you would get easily discouraged. In your answer, try to show your sense of responsibility, patience, and inner strength. So, what makes teaching so stressful and challenging?
- Disruptive environment,
- Constantly changing requirements, rules, and expectations,
- Disturbed work-life balance,
- A lot of administration and paperwork,
- Lack of resources,
- Lack of training,
- Balancing individual students’ needs and curriculum requirements,
- Lack of interest from students’ parents,
- Risk of burnout.
Other Teacher Interview Questions
Tell me about your teaching background?
What additional classes, training, etc. have you attended?
Why do you want to work in our school?
What do you like most about teaching?
What is your favorite subject?
What are your strengths as a teacher?
What is your biggest weakness as a teacher?
How do you manage the classroom?
Do you have a favorite lesson plan (lesson format)?
What is the best lesson you’ve ever taught?
What is the worst lesson you’ve ever taught?
What kind of support do you expect from your cooperative teacher?
How do you evaluate students’ progress?
How do you prepare students for the exams?
Would you be interested in organizing after-school activities for students?
How do you incorporate SEL (social-emotional learning) into your lessons?
Do you have experience with students with IEPs (Individualized Education Programs)?
How would you handle a student who is habitually late?
Have you ever had a “tough” student? Share your experience.
How do you engage reluctant learners?
How do you keep discipline during the field trips?
How do you build relationships with your students’ parents?
How would you encourage the parents to support their children’s education?
In your opinion, what a teacher should never say to students?
In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge of today’s student’s life?
It was the last of 35 Teacher interview questions that we selected and reviewed for you today.
At the end of almost every job interview, the interviewer may ask if you have any questions for him/her. Be prepared for such a situation. Use this opportunity to learn more about the school you apply for but also, through your questions, try to impress your future employer, gain some extra points and increase your chances to get a job. Check our list of 50 unique questions to ask the interviewer and think which questions you would like to ask.
- IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)
- Center for Parent Information & Resources
Thank you for checking our website! What are the other popular teacher interview questions? Share your ideas in the comments section below. If you liked this article, give us a thumb up!
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