It’s not an easy path to get a special education teaching license… You have probably devoted a lot of time and money to your studies, in order to make your dream come true. However, having a license to do something doesn’t necessarily imply having a job.
The truth is that one learns a lot at the college, but they do not show you how to ace an interview and be able to put your teaching skills to practice. On the pages on our website we try to bridge the gap. We will show you what matters in special needs education interview, what questions to expect and how to answer it. Having this knowledge you should be confident enough to make a final push towards a dream job. Let’s start!
License, brilliant interview answers, motivation, attitudes, connection, or the impression you make?
What matters the most? It’s hard to say. In fact all of the above mentioned play a role. The less professional interviewers are, the more weight factors such as – impression made, relationship built, and motivation showed hold. Please, keep it on your mind. You have no control of the people in the interviewing panel. They can be qualified professionals, HR consultants, or even highly experienced recruiters, but they can as well be only good teachers with a desire to hire a nice new colleague… Therefore you need to focus on all aspects, not only on the answers to most common interview questions. Such approach could easily backfire on a big day.
I want to be The Teacher
As the name indicates, special education teacher is a specific job. It’s not an easy job. After all, teaching itself is tough. People sitting in HR committees and school principals know it very well. To ensure that a chosen candidate would not leave his job in a short time, they put emphasis on motivation and attitudes of interviewed candidates.
Your goal is to convince them that you see this job as a personal mission, not only as a place to go to earn a living and survive. After all, one can find a meaningful purpose of life in special education, this precious feeling most of us fight for in life and yet never discover. Show them that you care. Talk about the unfair destiny, burden disabled children carry on their shoulders, your understanding for their difficult position in both school and life. Showing empathy and understanding can take you to new desired heights in their eyes… But be careful – don’t be idealistic! They do not like to hire people who wear pink glasses and imagine this job to be easy. So, show that you care, but also stress that you know the job is difficult and that you are ready for the challenge. They should feel enthusiasm in every word you say, commitment and dedication in every interview answer. Sticking to this advice, you should excel when it comes to non-verbal communication in an interview… Let’s have a look at the verbal part of it right now.
They will use a mixture of personal, behavioral and technical questions to assess your capacities, motivation and readiness for the job. Let’s have a look at it right now:
- Why did you choose career in teaching?
- Why special education? What do you want to accomplish on this position?
- Why do you want to work at our facility and not somewhere else?
- Teachers face many challenges nowadays. Can you name some of these challenges. And what about specific challenges in special education?
- How do you imagine a typical day in a class? What would we see if we come in the middle of the lesson?
- Do you have any experience with special needs students? What kind of disabilities?
- Is there any kind of student you would find it difficult to work with?
- Have you ever written an individual education plan? (Describe the steps of writing one.)
- Learning might be very difficult for pupils with learning disabilities. How would you motivate them to study?
- What is your philosophy when it comes to inclusion and segregation? Please share your opinion with us.
- There is a lot of paperwork involved in this job. Are you ready to do it? Do you have any experience with it?
- Teaching jobs are very demanding and can be repetitive. What would motivate you to continue doing it well for a long time?
- Imagine that a parent of a disabled child complained about something which is untrue. What would you do in such a case?
- How would you solve a conflict in your class? And what about a fight?
- The discipline in special education classes is a big problem. How would you ensure to keep it? What actions would you take?
- How would you assess the progress of each individual student? Which assessment tools do you use in your work?
- How do you teach and encourage socially acceptable behavior from your students?
- What games would you play with your students? Why would you prefer these games to another?
- What are your hobbies, what do you do in your free time?
- Do you have any questions?
Be ready to succeed
After all, success or failure in an interview depend on many factors. You can influence most of it, but still there are variables you can not change. For example, as it happens often, there can be a better candidate. Or said in other words, someone who was better prepared than you were. Therefore, even if they did not choose you, it should not let you down. Stay positive, set your mind the right way, prepare the best possible answers to the questions from our website and ace your interview. Anything else is out of your control… We wish you good luck!