- Be enthusiastic but stay true to your personality. If you are a naturally chipper person, let it shine through. Don’t pretend you are something other than you, believe me, that type of charade gets cumbersome to uphold.
- Know your programs and abbreviations and admit when you don’t. You cannot fake your way through a discussion of Everyday Math if you don’t actually know the program, admit it, and then talk about how you are going to learn more about it and ultimately implement it.
- Be passionate, but don’t scare me. Sometimes you can want something so bad that your passion just turns into something frightening. Scale back a little, go for the goal, but don’t overwhelm the team. As teachers we wonder how you will be with students when that happens and not in a positive way.
- Elaborate just enough. Know when to add details, such as your own personal examples and then say just enough. Since knowing when to speak and when not to is a huge teacher quality and something we correlate to your classroom performance, proving in the interview that you can master it is a huge benefit.
- Even if you are brand new believe you have something to add to the team. Discuss how you will overcome your obstacles, how you will be a part of the team and then also what you can add. You must have learned something in your education, life, and student teaching – share it.
- Don’t use buzz words if you cannot explain them. This is a common trap I think many of us make; we use lingo without fully understanding what it entails. Just don’t. Know your stuff, do your research, but also know your limitations.
- Know how to integrate technology. And this is not because I love my technology, even though I do, but I have sat through too many answers where the “integration” piece is projecting images on a SmartBoard or using netbooks for research. That is not integration, that is merely using the tools given to you. I can guarantee that something like that will pop up in most interview questions, it is a sign of the times after all, so do your research and be inventive. Reach out and see what others do, ask other teachers how they would answer the question.
So there you have it, just a few more tips that will hopefully help others get a step closer to their dream job. Being a teacher is a passion, so be passionate about it, bring your personality, and let t your enthusiasm shine through. Know your materials, do your research, but for goodness sake, don’t scare me.