- Tell us about yourself.
- Tell us about a life experience and what you learned from it?
- Tell us about your teaching experience so far.
- What has been your greatest achievement?
- Why did you become a teacher? What kind of teacher are you?
- How have you changed as a teacher since you qualified?
- What does your ideal classroom look like?
- Why did you apply to this school?
- Are there any special skills or interests you can contribute?
- What can you bring to this school? Why should we choose you?
- What extra-curricular activities have you participated in? Or what would you like to get involved with?
- What challenges would you face working at this school? What support system do you have?
- What do you do to relax, maintain good mental health?
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
- Why do you want to work with Special Needs learners?
- What experience do you have working with special needs and general learning difficulties?
- What role do you see the SNA’s, teaching assistants, external professionals, parents having in your classroom?
- Have you developed an IEP (Individual Education Plan)? How? What is it?
- Give an example of how you have allowed students with a disability to be successfully included.
- What qualities do you see as being important in a special needs teacher?
- What teaching and learning strategies have you found particularly successful for special needs students?
- What are the learning priorities of the students in our school?
- There are many different views on integration of special needs into mainstream. What are your views and opinions on this?
Curriculum Planning and Assessment
- What are your favourite subjects to teach? Why?
- What is your favourite level / grade of students? Why?
- What does your planning look like? What documents? How often?
- What are the most important elements of planning?
- What does ‘Integrated curriculum’ mean to you?
- Tell us about how you teach Literacy in your classroom.
- Tell us about how you teach Numeracy in your classroom.
- How do you plan for differentiation in the classroom?
- How do you see assessment (formal / informal) and record keeping in a special needs classroom?
- What experience do you have planning and carrying out excursions, school outings or school tours?
- Tell us about your most successful lesson, project or teaching experience.
- Tell us about a lesson, project or teaching experience that went wrong despite careful planning etc..?
Parents, Colleagues, Community
- What role does the principal have in your classroom?
- Do you have any fundraising ideas for the school?
- How do you encourage open communication with parents?
- What involvement do you see parents having in your classroom and this school?
- Tell us about an experience dealing with a ‘difficult’ parent.
- What would you consider the role of the Parents Association within the school community?
- How would you deal with conflict with another staff member?
- What are the positives of working with a large number of staff?
- What do children & teachers learn from the Green Schools project (or other school specific initiatives)?
- What experiences have you had team-teaching, or working collaboratively with other teachers?
- There are times when you need to organise a meeting with parents and professionals together to address a student’s needs (Multi-disciplinary meeting). What would your role be at a MD meeting?
ICT – Information Computer Technology
- How do you see the use of ICT in your classroom?
- What experience do you have with ICT?
- What did you learn from the ‘Certificate in Religious Education’ course?
- Do you think the Catholic church has a place in Irish education and if so, how can this be put into day-to-day practice?
- How do you plan for and teach religion in the classroom?
- How do you implement the Alive-O curriculum?
- How would you promote the Catholic Ethos of the school?
- What experience do you have of preparing children for one of the Sacraments/Penance and First Communion? Would you feel confident taking on a role of preparing a class for first holy communion?
- How do you feel about teaching religion and do you have any problems teaching all areas of the religious curriculum?
- Not all students who attend our school are Catholic, and some parents request for their child to be withdrawn from religion class. How would you deal with these parents and manage this in the classroom?
- Tell us about a time you have experienced challenging behaviour and how you dealt with it.
- What are your views on discipline?
- What does your behaviour management look like?
- How might you manage an aggressive child?
- How might you manage a child having a meltdown?
- How might you manage a self-injurious child?
- What challenges can you see working in a special needs school in regards to behaviours?
- Tell us about an experience you have had dealing with ‘bullying’ in the classroom.
- How might you approach parents about a child’s behaviour?
- How do you motivate and engage students that find work challenging?
- What do you see as the most important aspect of caring for students?
- Are you familiar with the child protection guidelines for national schools?
- What would you do if you suspected a child was being neglected / abused?
- What are your priorities or areas of need?
- How do you propose growing as a teacher?
- Give an example of when you have identified an area of weakness, and what you did to address it.
- Do you have any questions?
- Are there any question we haven’t asked that you would have liked us to?
- Is there anything we haven’t covered or isn’t in your CV that would convince us to select you?
Tips for answering these questions:
# Answer with a short story or experience. To give your story or experience structure, remember: SAO. Situation, Action, Outcome.
Situation – what was the problem, class context, or challenge.
Action – What did you do to address it.
Outcome – What was the outcome? Was it successful? What would you do differently next time. What did you learn?
# Talk about articles you have read, or conferences / speeches you have heard. Bring in any Professional Development you have attended and how you applied it.
# Special Needs is often a hot topic in the media. This may be appropriate to bring into some answers, however, don’t over do it, or lose focus of the question asked.
# A Professional Teaching Portfolio (PTP) is a collection of evidence of your teaching experiences. It is designed to help you share your stories and experiences, and provide evidence (photo’s, work samples, planning documents etc.). It is now expected in Australia that every teacher has an up-to-date PTP, and brings it to their interviews. I will go into further detail of PTP’s in a later post.
Please share any questions that you have been asked in your teaching interviews. I would love to add them to this list. : )
Best of luck!