Are you planning on becoming an elementary school teacher? Teaching is a respected and time-honored tradition requiring a lot of dedication and hard work. Elementary school teachers usually love kids and want to help them become the best they can be. Getting an actual position in a school may be difficult in today's weak economy, so it is very important to know how to conduct a great interview. Here are some of the top elementary teacher job interview tips to help you get a job.
Being an elementary school teacher will require you to know more than just academic material for instruction. You will also be teaching the children social skills, motor skills, and people skills in general. If you can't handle a room full of wild kids, you may want to re-think your decision to be an elementary teacher. If you don't have much patience or get irritable easily you probably will not last long in this occupation, but you can use these elementary teacher job interview tips to make the most out of your interviews.
You can break a job interview down into four parts – the preparation, the first impression, the actual questions and answers, and the conclusion. One of the best elementary teacher job interview tips is to acquaint yourself with the school you will be interviewed by. Know about the demographics of the students who attend, the general teaching philosophy being practiced, and the types of equipment and resources available to the school. Re-write your resume to be specific to this position, highlighting any relevant strengths you might have. Be sure to include a cover letter addressed to the school.
As you probably already know, the first impression you make on your potential employer may be the most important. Be sure to dress properly – for women this generally means a dress or dark suit, and for men it usually means a suit and tie. Groom yourself thoroughly. When first meeting your interviewer, be sure to smile, make eye contact, and shake hands firmly. Making a great first impression is one of the more important elementary teacher job interview tips because it will set the tone for the entire interview.
For the questions and answers, it is best to be as honest and specific as possible. Otherwise you may make a promise you can't keep or risk sounding so general that it seems like you don't really know what you're talking about. Review your resume, strengths, and weaknesses beforehand so it is all fresh in your mind. At the close of the interview, have a question or two ready to ask about the job. This will show that you are interested in the position and care to know more about it. Again be sure to make eye contact and thank them for their time.
These elementary teacher job interview tips will help you give the best interview you possibly can. Be sure to look your best and review your education and teaching history carefully. Come prepared to talk about your own teaching philosophy, why you want to be a teacher, and what you hope to get out of the experience. Above all, walk into the interview with the confidence that you are the right person for the job.
Photo Credit: Bart Everson