Being a teacher is not easy. Teaching a class of kindergartners, middle-school students, or high-school students can be a most fulfilling job, but that does not make it less stressful. And preparing for the teacher interview and cracking it is even harder.
Whether you are looking for your first job as a teacher or you are an experienced teacher looking for better prospects, there are certain things that can make your interview better.
You should thoroughly know the subject you would like to teach. In addition, you should understand student psychology well to interact better with the students.
Modern teaching has evolved beyond textbooks. It is not just important to teach the students about facts related to the subject but make them feel passionate about the subject. And you can only do that once you have cracked the interview.
It is vital to carry some essential items for the teacher interview. If you do not have them, your employers may not proceed with the interview. And getting another slot for the interview can be pretty difficult.
It is important to double-check whether you are carrying all the necessary items and pack them in advance to face the interview with complete peace of mind.
Why is It Important To Arrange Everything The Night Before The Teacher Interview?
Unlike other interviews, a teacher interview can be more difficult at times because much rests on how you can engage the students and interact with them.
Anyone can be knowledgeable about a particular field or subject, but imparting that knowledge to students- some of whom can be pretty naughty- is a different challenge.
Hence it is vital to stay focused during the interview. You will not have that if you constantly keep worrying about whether you have packed everything or cannot find it when you need it.
Try to organize everything the night before so that on the morning of the interview, you can stay calm and composed and focus entirely on the interview.
Some Essential Items That You Should Carry To A Teacher Interview
It is vital to carry some items to a teacher interview. You may wonder if it is essential to carry all of them. However, it is better to always have them with you so that you may produce them if your employer asks for them.
1. Your Curriculum Vitae
It is crucial to carry your resume or CV with you. Yes, you may have already sent a copy when you first applied for the position. And the interviewers have called you for the interview based on your CV.
However, carrying a few copies with you is still a good idea. If there are more interviewers on the panel, you can give copies to them.
2. Cover Letter
It would help to have a well-thought-out, carefully written cover letter accompanying your CV. The cover letter should state your reason for applying for the position and why you think you will excel at your job at this institute.
Try to personalize your cover letter based on the school or institute you are applying to instead of using the same one you may have used for educational institutes you have applied to earlier.
You should ideally have three references for a teacher interview. These references can be from your professors, colleagues, or your past employers. References show that these experts have faith in your teaching skills.
A reference or recommendation goes a long way in showing that your prospective employers can trust your ability to interact and impart knowledge to the students.
4. Your Academic Qualifications
You have probably prepared your entire life for a teaching position in a school or college of your choice. You spent hours mastering the subject you wanted to teach.
So it is essential to carry all your score sheets and certificates that show you have a degree in the subject. It could be your graduate degree, master or doctorate.
Take all of them, along with your GPAs, so that if the interviewers want to go through each of them, you can show them immediately.
5. Your Teaching Certifications
A B.Ed. certification is necessary to become a teacher in most states or an equivalent. You should have all your teaching certifications with you to show you are a qualified teacher.
While teaching certifications may vary from state to state, try to find out beforehand what you will need if you are applying for a teaching position outside your state. It will also have the names of all the institutes you visited, which can be a significant deciding factor.
6. Experience Certificate
This applies to experienced teachers. If you have been teaching for a while, you can carry your proof of experience from your previous position. Most schools will provide a teacher with a document that states their tenure on request.
It will have the dates of when you were employed as a teacher in that school. For those applying for a formal teaching position for the first time, you can still show documents if you have ever taught in a community school as a volunteer or a children’s home to show you have some experience.
7. Lesson Plans
Your interviewers may request you to take a demo class after or during the interview. After all, although you have answered all their questions correctly, the real mettle of a teacher is tested when they teach in a class full of young people.
Your interviewers would like to see you in action to judge how well you know your subject, how you can instill the knowledge about that subject into the students, and how well you can manage a class. Carrying a lesson plan will help you teach a topic with greater clarity.
This seems like an obvious point to make. Yet, many teachers fail to carry essential items like blue and black pens, markers, pencils, erasers, whitening ink, rulers, and a notepad.
This can come in handy if you are told to take a demo class and you will not have to look for these items in a classroom you have entered for the first time. You can also use the notepad to take important notes if needed.
9. Briefcase Or Bag With Compartments
Since you will carry a lot of papers and documents with you for the interview, it is vital to carry a bag with multiple compartments to organize everything.
Everyone gets stressed during any interview, and you do not want to get flustered because you cannot locate the specific papers you need at a certain point during the interview.
Carry them in separate folders, mark them properly, and put them in separate compartments in the bag to locate them quickly during the interview.
As a teacher, you must look calm and organized, as that is one of the most outstanding qualities one should have if one wants to excel in this profession. You can start with a good bag to help you do that.
10. Water Bottle
Yes, it is important to stay hydrated during the interview. When you are stressed, your body consumes more water, and dehydration will make you feel even more stressed.
It is essential to bring some water with you or some fruit juice or smoothie in a bottle to help you stay hydrated and not feel hungry.
Tips To Prepare For A Teacher Interview
Once you have made sure the night before that you have all the essential items you need for the interview, you must prepare yourself for the next day.
- Try to sleep early. You will need your mind sharp and alert for the interview the next day.
- Make notes of important points about your subject or the milestones you have achieved in your academic career that highlights your ability as a teacher. This will help you stand out from the others.
- Lay out your clothes the night before and iron them. You want to look put together as a teacher. However, add a dash of color to the outfit in the form of accessories, as you might not want to come across as too rigid. You should be formal yet approachable, so the interviewers feel the students will love interacting and learning from you.
- Avoid junk food on the day of the interview. You do not want your stomach churning in the middle of the interview or during a demo class. Prepare a light meal that you can carry in your bag and eat without a fuss.
- Do not exert yourself trying to remember all that you have learnt in your high school or college yourself. If you are genuinely passionate about the subject, you will remember everything when the time comes.
How To Stand Out During A Teacher Interview?
Once you have taken care of all the external factors, like packing in all the essential items you need for the interview, it is time to focus on yourself.
While you may be an expert in your subject, it is essential to show how you can be an asset to the institute and what makes you unique as a teacher. And much of it depends on how you communicate with the students or tell your interviewers how you want to engage with them.
For example, you might be following specific teaching methods and could be an ardent follower of certain teaching philosophies.
However, you need to demonstrate how they apply to your class. Tell them your interviewers about a particular teaching method you follow and how you adapt it for the class and age group you teach.
This will tell them that you do not just have a theoretical knowledge of teaching philosophies, but you can also give them a twist based on the needs of the class.
In addition, always try to promote inclusiveness through the way you talk and what you want to achieve by teaching the students who will be the future of tomorrow.
Show your interviewers you intend to mingle with the students and monitor them as a teacher. Work on cultivating an amiable personality and all of this combined will definitely help you stand out during the interview.
Being a teacher is one of the greatest services you can do for humanity. Students sometimes get more attached to their teachers than their parents because a compassionate teacher nurtures their dreams.
But you can only start or continue on your journey as a teacher once you have succeeded at the interview. To make things easy, just organize everything you should carry for a teacher interview and stay calm during the process. The interviewers will surely notice your merit, and you will increase your chances of landing the job.