Elementary Teacher Interview Questions and Answers

Listed below are six common elementary teacher interview questions that you can expect to be asked.  We've also included some suggested word for word answers you can use or build off of, if it helps you prepare. Good luck!

Elementary Teacher Interview Questions

What lesson planning strategies do you implement for your class?

The objective of the lesson guides the planning. I ask myself, “What are students to know, or demonstrate, when the lesson is complete?” Parts of the lesson must build on each other I use suggestions from teacher’s manuals, web research, experience, and workshop information as resources when planning activities for the objectives I wish to accomplish.

Knowing students’ level of interest and understanding of the concept makes choosing appropriate activities easier. The learning styles of students are also taken into consideration when planning the lesson. A method of feedback has to be devised to test whether or not the objective has been mastered.

What core components do you feel must be included in your lesson plan?

· Presentation – Creative introductions break monotony and create an engaging learning environment. Students retain information more readily when it is presented in a manner that catches their interest.

· Logical Sequence of Activities – A logical task sequence prepares students for more effective learning. Useful and appropriate material increases retention possibility. Material arranged in a manner that enhances learning makes grasping and retaining concepts more likely.

· Meet Individual Student Needs – All students do not learn in the same way. Each has a preference of learning that is either visual, auditory or kinesthetic. Activities that meet the needs of all should be part of the lesson plan.

· Method of Assessment – Assessment can be made by observing performance, knowledge, products, or behaviors. It is an ongoing process involving observation and examination of students’ activities. Assessment can be a written quiz or test, an oral explanation, or a demonstration of the objective.

Tell us about any reading strategies or programs you follow. What have you used in the past?

Listing any reading series that have been used in teaching or student teaching experience belongs on the list. There are also online reading programs that have suggested activities that can be adapted for the classroom. Become familiar with one or more to add to the list. Stating awareness of online or library reading programs that motivate students to read is another suggestion. Do research before filling out an application or questionnaire so that one or more programs can be briefly explained.

How would you summarize individualized teaching and what does it mean to you?

Individualized instruction is personalized instruction that is tailored to meet preferred learning style and needs of students. The pace of learning, the method, and the content may vary. High-quality instructional materials and less lecture time are common. Individualized is not synonymous with one-to-one learning. Students of similar learning styles and grasp of the concept are grouped.

Learners allowed to progress at their own pace retain more knowledge and waste less time. Those students who grasp concepts quicker are allowed to move on while those needing more time to grasp the concept do not feel pressured to keep the pace of other groups.

Groups can vary each time a different subject or concept is being taught. Areas of strengths can progress rapidly, and areas of weakness can be reinforced with carefully selected materials.

How would you individualize the learning for students in your classroom?

Contract learning is a way to provide individualized learning. Meet with individual students to set learning goals. Specific, measurable goals are put into a contract that is made to ensure goals are met.

Layered curriculum is tiered activities that students complete at their own pace and ability. Three levels C, B, and A separate the activities. Students working at each level will receive that grade on an assignment when completed. Level C, completed properly will earn a C for the assignment. A grade of B is earned by completing level C and B work to the teacher’s satisfaction. An A grade requires C, B, and A work to be satisfactorily completed.

Each level has visual, auditory, and kinesthetic activities. A list of, perhaps six to nine, options per level are given to students. They are required to complete three of their choice.

Basic assignments are contained in Level C. Level B activities require higher-level thinking. Critical thinking is involved in Level A activities.

What are some ways that a student can show you they have grasped a concept?

Listening to a group discussion allows identification of mastery, problems, and misconceptions. A more concrete method has students complete an exit card at the end of class in which students worked in groups. Students write their names and respond to a question, solve a problem, or summarize understanding of the learning experience. When leaving the classroom, students hand the card to the instructor, deposit in an assigned container, or post in a designated area. Only a few minutes are needed by the teacher to sort the cards into mastered or non-mastered groups.