Young minds are a terrible thing to waste. Without the right education, children across the world will struggle to amount to anything, growing up to become mindless drones that make nothing of themselves or worse; politicians.
That is why it is important that teachers are educators of the highest caliber, and though teachers may be in high demand, schools and universities across the nation are not willing to hand it out to just anyone. They need to ensure that you will do a great job teaching your students, and to do that they are going to put you through a challenging teaching job interview, complete with specific questions on how you will be an effective teacher.
Teacher Interview Question – What Methods Do You Use to Address a Diverse Student Population?
This question is designed to parcel out several aspects about the candidate:
- How effectively can the candidate answer a question about diversity
- How does the applicant teach
- Does the applicant have knowledge of diversity issues
Your answer to this question is quite important, because it can vary considerably based upon your background, experience, abilities and possibly prejudices. The correct way to answer this type of teaching interview question is as follows:
- Describe any past experience with diverse populations. Only use the term “diverse” if possible. Do not single out a specific race or ethnicity if you can avoid it.
- Describe active and engaging teaching methods.
- Describe your ability to accommodate those that are falling behind or are having trouble with your teaching style. For example, setting open office hours and encouraging all students (regardless of ethnic background) to visit.
You should also make sure that you avoid many common mistakes to this type of interview question. One common mistake is to single out someone due to their cultural history when you believe you are being helpful and accepting. A great example would be if you are teaching a class on cooking methods, and you ask a student of Indian descent if their mother has taught them to prepare a “Thali.”
It is always a good idea to have an answer to this question. One effective resource is this page from UC Berkley. There it addresses some of the common mistakes that teachers make when addressing diverse classrooms.
These types of teaching job interview questions (/questions-and-answers/teaching-job-interviews) are designed to challenge you. Do your best to practice answering these questions and make sure you have done proper research on modern teaching methods employed at schools with diverse populations.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Confidently answer questions about your teaching methods and diversity.
- Educate yourself on modern teaching techniques.
- Do not ignore diversity but also refrain from highlighting it even if you believe you are doing so in a culturally aware manner.