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Math Teacher Interview

25 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brown

Updated August 30th, 2018
Question 1 of 25
What is your greatest weakness? What are you doing to improve upon it?
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How to Answer
Be honest, but give yourself an opportunity to turn the negative into a positive down the road. Show that you are willing to work on this teaching weakness, or indirectly show how one of your strengths can make up for that weakness.
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Top 25 Math Teacher Interview Questions with Full Content
What is your greatest weakness? What are you doing to improve upon it?
Be honest, but give yourself an opportunity to turn the negative into a positive down the road. Show that you are willing to work on this teaching weakness, or indirectly show how one of your strengths can make up for that weakness.

Ryan's Answer
"My biggest weakness is probably impatience. I tend to get frustrated with students sometimes when I'm explaining a concept or if they don't understand what they missed on a math problem. But over the years I've learned to get more creative and be persistent with helping them figure out the missing pieces. I realized that sometimes we're not able to meet our teaching goal for the day but it's possible they'll get a better picture of the concept next week after they've learned other parts of it."
What is your homework philosophy?
Good answers here will focus on consistency and self-reflection, to some extent. Show the interviewer that you're not a lenient teacher and expect students to be responsible.

Ryan's Answer
"My homework philosophy is: do it to the best of your ability. If there's a problem you can't solve, work halfway through it, show your work, and mark it so you can bring your questions to class. If there are answers in the book and they're asked to check, I do expect them to check and go through their work again so we can use class time efficiently and so students can keep track of their own progress."
Which math subject is your favorite to teach and why?
Show off your expertise a little here! Be modest but reveal your strengths.

Ryan's Answer
"I think multiplication is probably my favorite because i can use a variety of tools like marbles, blocks, or other interactive math games for students to practice with. I also like it because it's practical and sometimes I'll set up real-life scenarios for students to use what they've learned and it's all of fun for me and them."
What skills and technologies are you most interested in improving upon or learning?
Keep up with new technology and talk to your fellow teacher friends. There are a variety tools and techniques via Khan Academy and iTunes U.

Here are some educational apps:
- Math Bingo
- Monkey Math School Sunshine
- Mathemagics
- Math Drills Lite
- Math Fact Master

Ryan's Answer
"I think I'd eventually like to use iPads in the classroom. I want to make more of my lessons paper-free and more interactive. I find that most of my students can actually process the information better when it's on the tablet rather than on paper just by presenting it differently."
Tell me about a lesson that didn't go well and why. How might you improve that lesson?
Again, there's no right answer here. It's important to self-reflect and be honest about what you could improve upon.

Ryan's Answer
"When I first started teaching, I had a lot of trouble with discipline, and once my class was so noisy that I yelled at my whole class and had to leave the classroom temporarily. I don't think I knew how to gain the students' respect yet because I wasn't experienced enough. Later on in my teaching I learned not to lose my temper and that it's a good idea to take a break or do something else if the atmosphere of the class isn't great."
Share with me what you think a good piece of mathematics is - something you really like.
This is a completely open-response question. It could be as simple as a multiplication trick or as complicated as a calculus formula. Share something your students have benefited from.

Ryan's Answer
"When I was teaching middle school math, we had a lesson on adding and subtracting positive and negative numbers and my students had difficulty remembering which result was positive and negative. So I came up with a cute mnemonic for my students to memorize: positive means love and negative means hate. So if we love to love, then it's positive. If we love to hate, then it's negative. If we hate to love, it's still negative, but we if we hate to hate, then it's positive. I've been using that for years!"
What do you feel is the most effective way to communicate with parents?
The answer to this question varies depending on your communication experience and style. Usually, good parent-teacher communication is oriented at open discussion and problem-solving if the parent or teacher has concerns about their child.

Ryan's Answer
"I prefer to have open and honest communication. I often ask parents first about how they feel their child's progress is, and then provide my perspective. Giving them a chance to share brings down their defenses and creates a more open channel of communication."
What do you have that would enhance our teaching staff?
Think about your unique personality traits. For this question, it helps to have a knowledge of the existing teaching staff so you know what you have that contributes or enhances it.

Ryan's Answer
"I think my lively personality would most contribute to the teaching staff. Everyone seems really friendly and to have a real passion teaching the students. I think I'd be able to add more creative ideas into the mix and I'd get along really well with them."
How would you challenge the slow learner and the advanced learner within the same class?
This question is about empathy and skill - how you are able to understand where low-level students are at and know how to encourage them to move forward, and at the same time, be able to provide higher-level students with the stimulus they need.

Ryan's Answer
"I usually have one set of tasks for the entire class, and extra practice for higher-level students with a harder set of problems. I'll work more with lower-level students after class so as not to call them out in front of the whole class. I think it's important to teach to the middle."
What kind of students do you like to work with? What type of students could you teach most effectively?
Students come in all different shapes and sizes, learning styles and personalities. If you're more open-minded and creative, you might enjoy teaching the same type of student. if you're more serious and organized, you might target that kind of student more as well.

Ryan's Answer
"I really enjoy teaching students who don't consider themselves to be good at math and frankly don't have a lot of confidence when it comes to math because you can see the change from disappointment to excitement and even being willing to take a lead on projects or at least not dreading every class."
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