1. Elaborate your teaching philosophy?

Teaching philosophy is the gist of your perspective on education. It must reflect the essence of your teaching method, thoughts, and ideas.

You can use the following examples as the reference point around which you can develop your own unique teaching philosophy.

Possible Answer - 1 (For Primary School)

I believe that every child is unique, and a classroom should be an environment which enables each student to understand their strengths and reach their highest potential. By providing students with a safe environment in which they are free to express themselves, we give them a key to unlock their true potential. My teaching philosophy is to include such methods & techniques in our curriculum that help students to express themselves and find their true calling.

Possible Answer – 2 (For High-school)

A classroom is a complex social environment and students must be treated as complex and intelligent individuals. I think that the purpose of teaching is to provide students with a framework with which they can test the limits of their intellectual prowess. I will include methods like debating, activity-based projects, problem-solving games, etc in the curriculum through which students can explore their intellect.

2. What personality traits do teachers need to have?

This is one of the more common questions that you may encounter in a teacher interview. Here are a couple of examples that can help you answer this question.

Possible Answer - 1 (For Primary School)

In my view, it is important for teachers to be patient and flexible to manage the unique needs of different students, and discipline is just as important for maintaining order in the classroom.
The most important thing, however, is to have a good perception. If learning issues of children are identified at an early stage, they can be corrected before they become severe. But for that to happen, teachers must have knowledge about learning disabilities and a good perception to identify them.

Possible Answer – 2 (For High-School)

First & foremost, teachers must have superior knowledge on their subject. A teacher whose understanding of a subject is half-baked is inexcusable. Apart from that, a teacher must also possess qualities like flexibility, patience, and discipline which help them in managing the complexities of a classroom environment.

3. How will you prepare your classroom for your first day?

The purpose of this question is to test your classroom management capabilities and to see if you are enthusiastic and passionate about teaching. You can use your creativity and/or experience to answer this question. Here is a suitable example

Possible Answer - 1

I think that a classroom is a perfect canvas for me to share my teaching philosophy. I will create a welcoming & enabling environment in my classroom by putting up a large “Welcome” Poster. I will also put quiz posters and other visual aids to engage the curiosity amongst young students. Apart from that, there will also be a long list of rules so that discipline is maintained in the classroom.

Possible Answer - 2 (High – School)

To begin with, I will talk to the senior teachers of the school and try to understand the level of understanding of students and also what motivates them. In the classroom, I will have a small introductory session in which I will hand out my contact details to the students. I will also prepare copies of the syllabus, and discuss the same in the classroom so that students get an overview of their curriculum and clear their doubts about the same.

4. How do you prepare your lesson plan and what do you include?

Different teachers use different methods of teaching and their lesson planning process may vary accordingly. However, you can use the following example as a framework.

Possible Answer - 1

Some factors that I consider for lesson planning are - requirements of the standardized curriculum, level of understanding among students, and individual needs of students. On the basis of these factors, I then select the appropriate methods and activities for imparting lessons. Some components that must be included in every lesson plan are:

  • Chronology: A lesson that is logically arranged is easier for students to understand and retain.
  • Presentation: The use of visual aid help to keep students engaged in the lesson and also develops their interest in the subject.
  • Meeting unique needs: A lesson plan must include multiple methods of teaching so that the unique needs of different students are met.

Possible Answer - 2

There are many elements that make an effective lesson plan. However, it is crucial that a teacher has vision and clarity about what is to be achieved. To prepare a good lesson plan a teacher must have a comprehensive understanding of students' needs and must include all methods and techniques that are necessary for meeting the requirements. Apart from that, a time-bound implementation plan and clarity of objectives is also equally important.

5. How will you integrate the use of technology in your classroom?

You can answer this question either by narrating the popular & latest technologies in education or by sharing a real life situation where you successfully used technology in the classroom.

Possible Answer - 1

With the help of technology, we can make lessons more fun & interesting. With internet access in the classroom, students can dig deeper into any subject. Technologies like smartboards and power point presentation can be used for making lessons more effective. However, it is important for the teachers to be aware of the negative influences of the internet and protect the students from that influence.

Possible Answer - 2

I have used technology very effectively in my classroom. For example, while teaching “India’s freedom struggle”, I showed my students a documentary film on Youtube. This gave them a deeper understanding of the struggle and also helped learn important names and dates.

6. What is the best way to drive enthusiasm and participation amongst students?

Possible Answer - 1

I think the best way to drive participation and enthusiasm among students is to create a sense of parity/equality in the classroom. This can be done by giving equal opportunity to bright as well as underperforming students. Doing this will help each student to deal with their fear of failure, and in the long run, they will be able to build their confidence and self-esteem.

Possible Answer - 2

By preparing my lessons creatively and using many learning aids like quizzes, role plays, documentaries, etc., I keep the students deeply involved in the learning process. I also give a lot of importance to creativity in my classroom and often reward students who come up with unique ideas.

7. How do you handle classroom discipline?

Discipline is an indispensable part of a positive and effective classroom environment. With this question, the interviewer wants to know how you view discipline and what methods you use to maintain order in your classroom.

Possible Answer - 1

During my initial interaction with students, I clearly state the ground rules that they are expected to follow and also share the disciplinary actions that will be enforced if the rules are not followed. Once these rules have been discussed and agreed upon with the students, it helps them develop a sense of responsibility and accountability.

Possible Answer - 2

I think showing anger inside the classroom has a negative effect on students. The trick for me is to be firm with the students but never show anger. For students with chronic discipline issues, I prefer to keep them involved in many classroom activities so that their energy is harnessed in a positive way. I also reach out to parents to see if they can help with their child’s behaviour issues.

Possible Answer - 3

I think that discipline is the backbone of an effective classroom environment. And for maintaining discipline, a teacher needs to be observant and firm. A teacher must observe the nature and behaviour of each student, especially the ones who have serious discipline issues and then use methods and techniques to develop a sense of routine and discipline within them.

8. If a student in your class has a serious behaviour problem, how will you manage it?

Possible Answer - 1

Very often, misbehaviour is nothing more than a call for help and underneath those behaviour issues is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. To deal with this, I would talk to the child separately, and see if there is an issue to be resolved.
Some kids create disruptions only to seek attention, for such kids I would ensure that they get their fair share of attention.

9. What is your approach towards interaction with parents?

Possible Answer - 1

I believe that parents and teachers are a part of the same team that helps in making a students learning process comprehensive and effective. I provide my contact information to all the parents so that they can inquire about their child’s progress. For students who are struggling with the curriculum, I make sure to inform the parents about his/her learning issues and keep them updated about their progress.

Possible Answer 2

I think that parent’s involvement is essential for a student’s success. I make it a point to interact with all the parents in person during the parent-teacher-meetings, and if needed, I also reach out to parents over the phone or email. Specifically, I keep the parents informed about homework assignments and other projects that are going on in the class and also communicate with them frequently about the child’s performance.

10. How would you deal with an angry parent?

Possible Answer - 1

Parents are bound to be sensitive when it comes to their children, and predictably lose their temper once in a while. To deal with this, I first listen patiently to what the parents have to say and then talk them through the issues in a diplomatic and logical manner.

11. How will you prepare students for standardized examinations?

Possible Answer - 1

Having a structured curriculum, which is easy for students to learn and retain goes a long way in preparing students for standardized testing. Apart from that I also conduct regular mock exams throughout the year in which I include all the important concepts and questions from previous year’s examinations.

Possible Answer - 2

I take standardized examinations for students very seriously, as their performance in these exams has a profound effect on their higher education and creates a good first impression in job interviews. In my lesson plan, I make sure to include a section for important exam questions, and throughout the year I keep conducting practice exams. This helps students to remain focused and develop a good writing habit.

12. How do you evaluate students?

Possible Answer - 1

I think that a system of evaluating students must be multifold. It should be able to contribute to the holistic development of students. Apart from the standardized assessment techniques like exams, oral tests, etc, I also use informal methods of assessment. In my class, the students also get assessed for participation and involvement in group activities, recitations, quizzes, etc. I also grade students based on discipline and timely submission of assignments.

Possible Answer - 2

I believe that each student has his/her unique strengths. An evaluation system must have the capability to identify these strengths and nurture them. In my approach, I try to identify a student’s strength by counselling and observation. I then evaluate the students on how much they have improved over a period of time. Apart from developing the unique strengths of students, I also ensure that other aspects of their education do not get neglected.

13. How do you manage students who are underperforming?

Possible Answer - 1

Students whose learning needs are different from others, require an individualized education plan. To begin with, I will have a detailed discussion with parents and other teachers about the learning issues of the students and will also seek the help of a psychologist. I will then design a structured curriculum that will attend to the student’s specific needs.
Once the Individualized education plan has been initiated, I will regularly monitor his/her performance and keep the parents informed about the same.

Possible Answer - 2

One of the weaknesses of our education system is its inability to manage diversity. As a result, a lot of kids, who are academically weak, tend to lose their confidence. As a teacher, I think it is my duty to restore the confidence of these students by identifying their unique competencies, providing for their special learning needs and most importantly showing trust in their abilities.

14. If you feel that a student of yours is being neglected or abused at home, what would you do?

Possible Answer - 1

Sensitive as it is, this matter must be dealt with utmost care. In such a case I would invite the parents for a meeting in which I will involve the principal & senior teachers. In the meeting, we must communicate in a way in which the parents are able to realise the problem, rather than just react to it. We can also arrange for a counsellor who can help the parents deal with their problem.

15. How can you make learning more fun for your students?

Possible Answer - 1

If teaching is done in a light-hearted and fun way, students find their lessons a lot easier to understand and retain. In my class, I use many methods like skits, plays, documentaries, quizzes, etc. to keep the students motivated and involved in the classroom.

Possible Answer - 2

I think that young children react very positively to humour. It keeps them engaged in the classroom activities. Sharing an occasional joke related to the subject matter keeps the environment of the class happy and calm. It also helps students to develop an interest in the subject.

16. What do you consider unique about your teaching?

You can use this question as an opportunity to share your strengths as a teacher and how you can use them for the benefit of the school and students.

Possible Answer - 1 (For Primary school)

The unique element in my teaching is the two-way communication that I develop with my students. In my class, you will see that the students are freely expressing their opinions about a subject and are debating openly. Even the students who are shy or academically weak find it easier to express themselves. This ensures that the students find the subjects interesting and are deeply involved in the learning process.

Possible Answer - 2 (For High-School)

In my teaching method, I like to reinforce my class lectures with a wide range of activities and projects. I use activities like research assignments, field trips, and problem-solving exercises that help students in understanding concepts that are otherwise hard to learn. Once a student has grasped a concept, I test their understanding with case studies and quizzes.

17. Are you flexible as a teacher?

Possible Answer - 1

Yes, I am quite flexible as a teacher and well aware of the different learning needs of students. While planning my lessons I pay due attention to these differences and make sure to use multiple learning strategies and techniques. I use many different learning methods like co-learning, role-plays, debates, elocutions, etc. so that the students find the instructions interesting and fun.

Possible Answer - 2

I believe in holistic education. I work with kids on a curriculum which not only develops their academic performance but also contributes to their creative & social development. In my classroom, kids are involved in many activities like debates, research projects, etc. and creativity and original thought get recognition and reward.

18. Do you have any questions for me?

When this question is asked, you must take this opportunity to clear up your doubts. Here is a list of questions that you can ask during the interview.

  • Apart from the requirements mentioned in the job description what qualities you look for in a teacher?
  • What is the average strength of the classroom?
  • What is the most important KRA that you expect from teachers?
  • What is the school's philosophy for handling school discipline?
  • How are the classrooms equipped?
  • How is the relationship between the parents & the school?

HR teacher interview questions and answers

19. Why did you choose to become a teacher?

Every teacher has his/her own reasons for becoming a teacher. The reasons can range from being deeply personal to being a conscious career choice. A little bit of soul searching can help you answer this question well. You can use the following examples as a structure for your answer.

Possible Answer - 1 (Beginner)

When I was in 3rd grade, I used to struggle as a student. My reading and writing were shabby, and underperformance had shattered my confidence. At that young age, I had convinced myself that I will be a failure in life. But my class teacher, Ms. Nirmalal, identified my learning issues. She gave special attention to my reading comprehension and writing. Her confidence in me helped me trust myself, and her special attention helped me improve my academic performance. Her profound influence on my life and career has been the motivation for me to become a teacher.

Possible Answer - 2 (Experienced)

Schools have always been the most comfortable and engaging working environment for me. Being surrounded by young & imaginative minds brings the kind of vibrancy which no other profession can. Moreover, there is nothing more satisfying than helping young minds reach their full potential.

20. What are your strengths as a teacher?

Possible Answer - 1 (beginner)

I have good communication and social skills, which I think will help me in developing and maintaining a positive and effective learning environment in the classroom. I think children will find it easier to connect with me and share their problems and emotions.

Possible Answer - 2 (Experienced)

I think my core strength as a teacher has been my perception. I have the ability to observe a student’s behaviour and performance in the classroom and identify his/her learning problem and needs. I find myself lucky to have helped many underperforming students gain confidence and learn effectively.

21. And, what are your weaknesses?

Although the question is about your weaknesses, you can use it as an opportunity to talk about your competence.

Possible Answer - 1

In my teaching style, I give a lot of individual attention to students, especially to the ones who are not performing well in their academics. As a result, it becomes hard for me at times to stick to the lesson plan.
However, I am trying to prioritise my schedule in a way by which the students get their share of individual attention and my lesson plan also does not suffer.

Possible Answer - 2

At times, I am not as patient as one needs to be while dealing with children. And occasionally, I tend to lose my focus if I witness indiscipline in my classroom. But I think with more experience and some guidance from senior teachers, I will be able to manage the student properly.

22. Why do you want to teach at this school?

This question is asked to see if you have done your homework regarding the school. You can use the below example as a framework for your answer and add the information that you have collated about the school in your research.

Possible Answer - 1

I think that this school has a holistic approach towards education and that fits perfectly with my own teaching philosophy. I think the curriculum here is not just limited to academics, and other aspects such as the physical, intellectual, and social development of students also get their due attention.

Possible Answer - 2

Being one of the most respected schools in our region, I will consider it my good fortune to get an opportunity to work here. Along with having great academic standards, this school also has very good facilities like sports infrastructure, social and cultural group, etc. But the one thing that I really like about the school is its amazing social outreach programs in providing education to the weaker sections of society.

23. Why did you leave your last teaching job?

The answer to this question will depend on the circumstances in which you left your previous teaching job. Being truthful is important while answering this question. Even if you were fired from the position, you should not lie about it as a simple background check can reveal the truth. Here are some answers that you can help you to answer this difficult question.

Possible Answer - 1 (If you were let go)

There were serious disagreements between me and the school management about my teaching method and classroom management, which made it hard for me to work there. However as my resume demonstrates, I do have the tenacity and strength to bounce back from adverse situations.

Possible Answer - 2 (If you left voluntarily)

I am now looking for a bigger role in my education career and I think that the position you have available in your school will give me an opportunity to enhance my teaching skills and grow.

Tips for answering teacher interview questions

1. Be knowledgeable

The first thing expected from a teacher is an excellent subject knowledge. However, the knowledge should not only restrict to his/her subject matter but also other aspects of life. Young students look up to their teachers and often reach out to them with their personal problems. Therefore, it is important that teachers have the intellectual depth and maturity to deal with these issues.

2. Quote Examples

Teaching is not an easy profession and managing a classroom full of young, vibrant, and impatient students can be challenging. Giving examples of real classroom situations and how you dealt with them is probably the best way to demonstrate your competency as a teacher.

3. Dress professionally

Professional dressing is one of the most important aspects when it comes to attending an interview. Your dressing and body language will give the interviewer a signal that you are serious about the interview.

4. Go well prepared

Apart from preparing for the common questions, do a thorough research on the schools’ philosophy, ideas, and requirements. See how your teaching philosophy and style can make a difference in the school.

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