Ways to Prepare for Teaching Job Interviews
Schools are in desperate need of good teachers. They need educators that will effectively teach materials to a classroom full of students of various cultural and socio-economic backgrounds with different skill levels and different learning styles.
Teaching interviews are designed to find these great educators. They are designed to locate teachers that not only know how to teach a classroom, but can also do so well enough to keep the students interested and learning all throughout the year.
Create a Teaching Portfolio
Your first step is to create a teacher portfolio. Teaching portfolios are designed to show employers examples of exactly what you bring to the job. The ability to teach effectively rely on your ability to create, and the portfolio shows employers what you have created.
What is Inside the Teaching Portfolio?
- Resume and Letters of Recommendation
- Standardized Testing Scores (if applicable).
- Sample Syllabi
- Samples of Student Work
- Lesson Plans
- Samples of Tests
- Samples of Activities and Materials Used for Teaching
- Photos of Students During Class
- An Introduction to Your Teaching Philosophy.
In addition, everything in the portfolio should be organized. You should have a table of contents; everything should be placed in a way that flows through the interview (resume first, for example), and you should have tabs so that you can quickly move back and forth between what you have to offer.
Teaching Portfolio Tips
You should always be updating your portfolio, even while you are still teaching. Ideally, your teacher’s portfolio is current and complete with information that is beneficial to your hiring. You should also make sure that you only share things that are beneficial to your candidacy and keep it brief – there is no need to inundate your interviewer with ten syllabuses when one or two will do.
You need to know your teaching portfolio inside out. You should be able to go through it as though it was a classroom and you were leading discussion, with something to say already prepared for every page.
Additional Teaching Interview Preparation Tips
In addition to the portfolio, review the types of questions asked at teaching job interviews. Answering these questions is like leading a classroom – you must be clear and prepared with your responses. Shyness, hesitancy or stuttering is going to cause some doubts about your ability to teach a classroom of students.
It is also a good idea to familiarize yourself with any recent news or research about the student population you are teaching. If you are applying for a position as a 3rd grade math teacher, for example, there may be recent developments in teaching math to this age group that will be relevant to your own teaching philosophy. Learning about these developments and integrating them into the conversation will demonstrate your knowledge of relevant teaching methods, and your commitment to teaching that distinguishes you from the other candidates.