40. What would you do if a student is consistently not handing in homework?
Describe your homework policy. If a student refuses to hand in homeworks on a regular basis, you would probably conference with the student and contact parents. You also need to consider why the child does not hand in assignments on-time. If the student is missing assignments because the work is too difficult, you would offer to help the child after school or during a free period. If the student is unorganized (not writing the assignments down or losing copies of assignments), you might assign the student a "study buddy" within the class and/or suggest organization techniques.
41. What are the biggest challenges for teachers today?
Be careful when answering this question. It's not a green light to complain about many needs of special education students or the struggles of dealing with difficult parents. The interview committee does not want to hear complaining. They're looking for you to identify a few things that will be hard to do and then say that you will face the challenges head-on. Example: One of the biggest challenges is making sure I meet the academic and emotional needs of your students. (Then, of course, quickly point out that you are prepared to do this.)
42. List three characteristics of an effective teacher.
This is a common question and a relatively easy one to answer. Just pick some creative adjectives and phrases. Then, be sure to describe how each one relates to your own teaching experiences. Some good examples include: Caring. Good classroom manager. Prepared for anything. Knowledgeable. Able to communicate with others (students, co-workers, parents, and community). Hard-working. Creative. Able to connect with kids.
43. How do you make sure you meet the needs of a student with an IEP?
An IEP is an "individualized education plan." Students with special needs will be given an IEP, or a list of things that you must do when teaching the child. An IEP might include anything from "additional time for testing" to "needs all test questions read aloud" to "needs to use braille textbook." How do you ensure you're meeting the needs of a student with an IEP? First, read the IEP carefully. If you have questions, consult a special education teacher, counselor, or other staff member who can help you. Then, you just make sure you follow the requirements on the IEP word for word. When necessary, you may be asked to attend a meeting in which you can make suggestions for updating the IEP. Your goal, and the goal of the IEP, is to make sure the student has whatever he or she needs to be successful in your class.
44. Give an example of a differentiated class assignment.
Every student learns in different ways. The interviewer is looking for an example of a lesson where students are not doing the same classwork, the same way. The students' assignments will be based on the main theme or concept being taught, but each students' requirements will vary depending on his/her ability and learning style.
45. Do you have any questions for us?
This is the final question for almost every interview. Be prepared with a thoughtful question ahead of time. You might say something cheesy like, "What are you most proud of at this school?" Or, you might try something like, "Many parents and community members speak very highly of this district, which is why I was so eager to come to meet with you today. In your opinion, why is this school so highly regarded?" If you're too embarrassed to throw out cheesy questions loaded with compliments, you could say, "Can you tell me about the people I will be working most closely with?"
When they ask if you have any questions, don't answer with, "Nope." These people will be meeting with lots of candidates today. This is your chance to say something that will make yourself stand out. On top of that, asking a question shows you're serious about wanting the job. And, no matter how cheesy your comments sound, it'll make them smile because it's complimentary. And, think about it: You've been on the hot seat answering their questions for 45 minutes. You've earned the right to turn the table, even if it is just for a moment.