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The interview process for a long-term substitute teaching position can be daunting for someone just starting a career. Job candidates should expect questions about their educational background, certification credentials, teaching experience and long-term goals. They should also be prepared to discuss how to manage the classroom, deal with difficult students, follow lesson plans that inspire students, and show the ability to perform administrative tasks. It is essential to highlight skills compatible with the job description and the needs of the school.
Experience and Background Questions
An interviewer will likely ask a series of questions about your work history, educational background, strengths, weaknesses and accomplishments. The interviewer will want to know how your experience prepared you for teaching. Your answers should reflect on positive teaching moments and long-term goals with respect to education.
Teaching Philosophy Questions
A typical job interview question when applying for a substitute teacher job is "What is your teaching philosophy?" Your answer helps the interviewer determine whether you are capable of dealing with students in various situations. You should discuss your beliefs on teaching and provide examples of what you plan to do in the classroom. For instance, asking students questions and assigning group projects are good ways to encourage classroom participation.
Classroom Discipline Questions
Many teachers experience various types of disruptive student behavior, such as students who talk too much during class. The interviewer will likely ask questions about how to deal with a disruptive student in the classroom. The interviewer wants to know whether you have a clear action plan to deal with the problem. Your answer should include ground rules for the first week of class, which allows students to understand what is and is not acceptable behavior. According to Best-Job-Interview.com, job candidates should give an example of a disciplinary action they took in the past and explain the reasons why it was effective.
The interviewer will ask candidates why they are interested in the school or district. The best scenario for long-term substitute teachers is to accept an assignment in a school where they are familiar with the students, the building, routines and staff. According to STEDI.org, job candidates should ask for a tour of the school and observe the layout and decor of the classroom to assess whether it is a match to their teaching style. Job candidates should review the school website prior to the job interview for information on the student body, faculty members, educational goals, upcoming initiatives or extracurricular activities. Examining the website will help you tailor your answers to the school's needs.
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- Bureau of Labor Statistics; Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition; Teachers
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Laurie Scott is a freelance writer and graphic designer who lives in Georgia. Since 1999 she has worked independently serving small businesses, large companies, government and nonprofit organizations. Scott received a bachelor's degree in marketing from Georgia State University.