It is likely that you may have extended your job search outside schools and districts that you are familiar with. If offered an interview at one of these schools understand that you are already at a disadvantage. You may not be as knowledgeable about the school and students as another job candidate that student taught there. In my book, Road to Teaching, I offer some strategies to maximize your knowledge of the community, school, and, most importantly, the students before heading into your interview. Acknowledging time is of the essence, here are some quick tips to better prepare for your interview:

If you have only a day before the interview…

  • Conduct on-line research of the community. A great resource for this is Yahoo’s Real Estate website. This will give you a good overview of the socio-economic and ethnic picture of the neighborhood.
  • Visit the school’s website. Read everything, especially if the school posts a newsletter for parents. This will give you insight into the various changes/reforms happening.
  • Review the school’s test scores. Check out School Matters for this. This will show the strength and areas of improvement in student achievement. Think of how your experience, skills sets, and professional training will improve student learning in these areas.

If you have a few days before the interview…

  • Do everything mentioned above.
  • Send an email to your teacher friends, explaining that you have an interview, and ask for their insight on the school for which you applied.
  • Go to a cafe near the school. Observe and casually talk with people there.
  • Drive around the school and local community. Plus, this will alleviate stress of trying to find the school on the day of your interview.

Hopefully, these are some ideas to get you started on preparing for your teacher interview. I will post these links on the website, under the link category Getting a Teacher Job, for future reference.

Also, thank you to everyone sending in teacher interview questions. Please keep them coming. In the last few days, we have doubled the number of teacher interview questions. Additionally, I broke down the general teacher interview questions into more specific categories, e.g. classroom management, discipline, professional development, etc