The questions you get asked in interviews can range from simple to hard pressing to just plain irritating. I got asked “You seem like a very serious person, how do you use humor in your classroom?” at one of my interviews that did not end up producing a paycheck. That was I’m sorry to say, was an irritating question. Ofcourse I was serious, I seriously wanted that job! Once I stepped foot into a classroom where I was running things my way I would be happy and lighter.
The question that got me my job was “Define DBAE.” I answered that DBAE stands for Disciplined Based Art Education which has four components: Art Criticism, Aesthetics, Studio, and Art History. I used all four components in my everyday classroom and curriculum. The interview rep said that was the best answer he had heard in four cities. So there’s your answer.
Some other good ones:
Q. What is your philosophy of education? A. You should have prepared this close to when you finished your degree. It should be the first page in your portfolio after your table of contents. Invite them to look at it, but also have the key points summed up in your head.
Q. What is your classroom management plan? A. Try to be positive in this answer rather than negative. Have some ideas of rewards you could give to students who are behaving, so the others want to get in line as well. I will have my classroom management tips posted soon.
Q. Why do you want to work for our district? A. Research the area online. If it’s urban you could say you want to work with a diverse group of students. If it’s suburban or rural have information about the community, art resources, and what that area is known for.
Q. What was difficult challenge for you during your previous teaching experience? A. Do not go with an experience that put students in harms way, you could get fired for, or makes you look foolish. Instead go for a more mildly challenging experience. For instance: “At one of my student teaching placements I had a group of students that was a strange combination. They would bother each other, sometimes to the point of a physical fight. I downloaded popular music from itunes that was class appropriate, and brought it with me to school. I told them if they were quietly working and not talking to eachother I would play the music. At first they rolled their eyes, but once they heard it was music they liked, they smiled and worked well together. I miss the group, we got very close after that.”
Q. How do use multiculturalism in the classroom? A. Have some lessons and examples of student work on hand that you can turn to. Mention that you don’t just do these lessons on holidays or celebrations, but all year round.
Q. If I walked into your classroom what would I see? A. There would be examples of student work , exemplars, and posters decorating the room. There would be activity centers with (fill in the blank) for students who finish early. The transitioning and management would run smoothly and my students would be on task.
Q. How do you use technology in the classroom? A. Have some examples of work by students where technology was involved. (I will be sharing with you links that I find useful in my classroom.)