Congratulations! You just received a callback to interview for a dream special education classroom teacher position!
As a teacher, you know that interviewing for a new position can feel VERY nerve-wracking. It's especially important to be prepared when you're interviewing for a position in special education. There are certain questions during hiring that a special education director and administration typically ask during interviews for special ed jobs. By being aware of these questions and having thoughtful answers ready, you'll be sure to make a great impression during your job interview!
Let's explore some of the most common special ed teachers interview questions PLUS tips on how to answer these questions effectively. Whether you're just starting your job search or you've already got an interview lined up, read on for some helpful advice!
Special Education Teacher Interview Questions
Question 1: Can you tell me about your experience working with students in a school district?
Your answer to this question should focus on providing specific examples working with students in a school district. If you have limited experience, you can talk about your student teaching or practicum experiences. Be sure to mention any challenges you faced while working with students and how you handled them.
Question 2: What grade levels have you taught?
This question is meant to gauge your level of experience. If you're a new teacher, you can talk about the grade levels you've student taught or done your practicum in. Maybe you've only worked with elementary school students, but volunteered at a high school level after school program. All experience counts!
Question 3: What is your teaching philosophy?
Your teaching philosophy is a statement of your beliefs and values about teaching and learning. It should be thoughtful, well-reasoned, and specific to you. Different teaching jobs will align with different philosophies, so be completely honest. As much as you may want the teaching position, it's not worth finding yourself in a position that doesn't align with your beliefs.
Question 4: What do you think are your greatest strengths as a teacher?
Think about what makes you unique as a teacher. Are you especially patient with your students? Do you have a lot of experience working with students with special needs? Do you have a wealth of knowledge in a particular subject area? Maybe conflict management is your jam, or you have strong communication skills. Don't be shy – this is your time to share how awesome you are!
Please Note: If possible, add some examples that highlight your interpersonal skills and/or classroom management techniques.
Additional Interview Questions:
If you're lucky, you'll know what specific position you're applying for (I didn't at the time, but that's a whole ‘nother story). Whether it's for an elementary grade or it's at a school with a strong inclusive education program, be prepared to provide sample answers that share your experience in these areas.
Fun Fact: When I interviewed for my first special education position, there were also openings for general education teachers. I'm dual-certified and truly didn't know which position I was being interviewed for – yikes!
Special Education Interview Tips:
- Be honest. The hiring panel is looking to get to know you as a person, so it's important to be as truthful as possible in your answers (your truth, not what you think they're looking for!).
- Be specific. When you're talking about your experience, be as specific as possible. Describe concrete examples and scenarios that will give the interviewer a better sense of who you are as a special educator.
- Be prepared. Review common interview questions ahead of time so you can formulate thoughtful, well-crafted answers.
As a new special education teacher, the job market can seem daunting. But by being prepared and taking advantage of resources like the ones provided in this blog post – as well as our other blog posts on interviewing – you’ll be ready to tackle any interview with confidence.
Best of luck in your job search! After you land your dream position, be sure to come back and read these best tips for having your best school year yet!