5 Tips for Acing Your First Special Education Teaching Interview

Going through a special education interview is just one step in becoming a special education teacher. You’ll also need a college degree and a license before you get to that interview. Doing well and responding to questions in the right way can help you nail that interview and get a job offer on the spot or within a few weeks.

Practice Your Responses

Before you go in for an interview, you can take a look at some of the questions commonly asked and practice your responses. You’ll likely interview with the principal of the school or a licensed teacher. That person will ask you about your teaching philosophy and what methods you think are best for special education students. You’ll likely come across questions about your teaching experience and why you decided to work with this type of students too. The more you practice responding to those questions, the more comfortable you will feel during the interview.

Prepare a Portfolio

While in a college or grad school program, you will make a portfolio that shows some of the work you did with students in the past. A teaching portfolio generally includes samples of the projects and assignments that your students did, which shows the type of assignments you hand out. It can also show the person in charge of the interview how well you handle working with students who need extra help. Though the person handling the interview may not look at your portfolio, you should dust it off and bring it with you.

Dress Right

Orla Douglas of The Guardian recommends that you dress right. Douglas also recommends that you look for clothing that fits right and fits comfortably. If your skirt is just a little too short or your top is too tight, it may distract the interviewer and leave him or her wondering if you would dress the same way around children. Wear the same type of clothing that you did during your student teaching experience and the same type of clothing that you would wear in the classroom. You do not need to wear a suit, but you should dress in a professional way.

Create a Lesson Plan

Some schools ask that teaching candidates prepare and create a brand new lesson plan. The school will often give you a topic to teach and an age range for the students you will teach that subject to and ask that you design a lesson plan. Even if the school does not require that you create a lesson plan, writing one out can help you during the interview. You can consult that lesson plan when asking questions about the methods you would use in the classroom and the activities you would do with students.

Ask Follow Up Questions

At the end of the special education interview, always follow up with a few questions of your own. This shows that you have a serious interest in the position and that you really want to work as a teacher. You might ask about the number of students you will have in each one of your classes, how often parents participate in those classes and some of the issues that special education students in that specific school have. You can also ask questions about the local teachers union or the number of holidays teachers get off each year.

Teachers working with special education students usually go through at least one interview before landing a job. This interview serves as your chance to tell the school about you and to ask any questions that you have. Practicing some special education interview is just one way in which you can ace this interview.