Latest Special Education Teacher Interview Questions and Answers
Tell us about yourself/ What can you tell us about your background that will bring your resume to life?
Well, I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was five. I can still remember playing games with my sisters when I was younger and always wanting to play teacher. My decision to be a teacher started in high school when I began exploring more job opportunities working with children. I did a lot of babysitting and tutoring, and it was then that I decided I wanted my career to be working with children. I developed a love for Special education when I was junior in college during student observations and student teaching experiences where I found myself being drawn to students that required more support. There is truly nothing more rewarding than watching a struggling learner finally grasp a concept that had been difficult. I love being able to do that every single day.
Why is collaboration important?
I think collaboration benefits the quality of instruction and supports for students with disabilities. Resources are combined to strengthen teaching and learning opportunities, methods, and effectiveness. Each member of the team brings their individual skill set, training, and unique perspective to ensure that the individualized needs of each student are met.
If I walked into your classroom right now what would I see?
If you walked into my classroom you would see a colourful classroom, that creates a warm positive and stimulating environment for students to work in. Students will feel safe and comfortable. You would see rules/ expectations clearly laid out and visible for students and teacher to reference when necessary. Since a majority of my teaching is done using flexible grouping you will see some students working directly with a teacher, other students working independently on a center activity and others engaged in an activity working with an assistant/TA (if one is available to me). You will also see some sort of technology component being integrated into lessons. You will see students engaged, answering questions, collaborating and sharing information with each other, and participating in classroom discussions. You would see students enjoying learning.
What is your classroom management style?
I clearly lay out the rules and expectations from day one so that my students know exactly what is expected of them. The classroom expectations are made visible to the students and teacher to reference at all times. In terms of reinforcement, my classroom style is built upon the foundations of applied behavioral analysis and positive reinforcement techniques. I use classroom wide reinforcement techniques for students modelling good behavior. For example, in my current classroom we use a sticker system where students modelling good behavior (ex: waiting quietly during transitions) receives a sticker. When students fill up their sticker boards they gain access to a potent reward. For some students, this system is enough, but others that demonstrate some more challenging behaviors require more intensive interventions. For those particular students create a supplemental reinforcement system that best suits their needs. For example, one student gains access to videos on youtube (a very potent reward) for working responsibly (the absence of challenging behaviors) for 50 minutes. Another student has a token board that is used to motivate her to remain on task and engaged.
What would you do if a student is being non-compliant/disruptive
If this behavior was not a frequent or recurring behavior, I would shape the student back on task using positive reinforcement techniques. or example, remind students what they are working for, give them short, clear directions to follow and use some sort of motivational(reward system until they demonstrate that they are following directions and back on task. It is important to remain calm and be non-reactive during these challenging moments. If this is a behavior that occurs frequently, baseline data should be taken to identify the function of the behavior and then a behavior implementation plan should be put in place.
What would a traditional lesson plan look like in your classroom?
A traditional lesson plan in my classroom would start with a pre-assessment. The pre-assessment helps me identify where the students are at in terms of content and prepare the objectives for the lesson. Once I have analyzed the pre-assessment and I have developed my objective*s+ using the 23 common core standards I then plan the lesson.In my lessons I begin with whole class instruction. I incorporate visual auditory and aesthetic components into the lesson to appeal to the different learning styles in my classroom. I model the components then continue on to guided practice. If I have an assistant, I will usually take the time to separate students into groups during guided practice. If I don’t, then I will conduct a whole group guided practice. “hen I move on to independent practice. I differentiate instruction by levelling assignments that meet the students &one of proximal development. during independent practice, I walk around the room to see what students seem to grasp an understanding of the material, and what students still require more instruction. )t this time I may pull a small group in the back to provide more direct(individualized instruction. “he lesson will be brought back to a whole class for a discussion(review. “he students will then be presented with an assessment to identify whether or not they comprehend the material. Future lesson plans will be determined based on the results of the assessment.
Tell Us About the Common Core/How do you teach to the Common Core State Standards?
The Common Core State Standards establish clear, consistent guidelines highlighting What every student should know and be able to know/do at his or her grade level. They should be the principle/ foundation for all lesson plans. (Show greater than/ less than lesson plan from portfolio) as you can see from my lesson plans, I incorporate the common core standards into every lesson plan. The activities/assignments/and assessments may need to be modified depending on the particular needs of that student, but they will be taught based on the principles of the common core standards.
Describe the Main Points of the IEP
1) Present levels of students academic performance. 2) Annual goals and objectives that describe what the student will learn in the upcoming year. 3) Progress measurement – an explanation of how progress toward goals and objectives will be measured. 4) Description of special education services that documents the specifically designed instruction, instructional accommodations, and related services the child will receive. 5) Testing accommodations and modifications 6) Least restrictive environment: the IEP team must consider if and how the child will participate in the general education program with non-disabled children. 7) Length of services – The IEP must include a projected beginning and ending date of services, the frequency of the services, where they will be delivered, and how long they will be provided. 8) If applicable – a transition statement.
How do you teach reading/writing?
I teach literacy using a balanced literacy approach, meaning I incorporate all the different components of literacy including word study, whole group shared reading, read alouds, small guided reading groups, and independent reading. I teach using strategies that appeal to multiple learning styles, and I differentiate instruction based on the needs of each student. Assessments should be given regularly and adjustments should be made based on students current levels of academic performance.
How do you teach math?
I teach math in a similar way to teaching literacy in the sense that I use a balanced approach. I incorporate enactive, iconic, and symbolic components into each lessons. I have students explore the math concept using hands on manipulative’s. The students then create a visual of the concept using a visual or iconic component.