This is a great opportunity to draw on the research you have done on their organization. Your answer should include ways that your teaching methods and reading programs align nicely with theirs.
Reading Teacher Interview Questions
What specific reading programs would you like to see implemented for struggling readers?
"I am a huge proponent for psycholinguistics in reading as well as audiovisual methods. I find my students have responded very well to these method in the past. On your website, you also mention teaching by way of phonetics; which I am also experienced in. Which methods would you say your facility has seen the most success with?"
"I would like to see the Wilson Reading Program and the Leveled Literacy Intervention Program implemented. These are two reading programs that have proven success among struggling readers. They are sound programs in that they both have diagnostic testing that informs instruction. The students find the stories interesting, they are easily implemented in forty minutes, and teachers can easily, informally, and formally assess a student's growth."Rachelle's Answer
Wonderful answer! Your response puts a spotlight on your existing knowledge when it comes to the resources and programs available to students in your region. Very impressive reply!Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
What is your greatest weakness? What are you doing to improve it?
It is important to keep your answer positive. Growth is a good thing! Show that you can recognize areas of improvement within yourself.
"I would say my greatest area for improvement would be prioritization. I feel because of the nature of my work that absolutely everything is a top priority. Over the years I have become much better at placing certain projects on the back burner while focusing on the task at hand. It's been very helpful. I have also started using an online project software to keep track of deadlines. This has helped me to prioritize."
"My greatest weakness is not being totally organized. We were so busy in the reading program that I did not always have time to put away books and file papers. I was focusing on creating lesson plans and teaching the students. I soon learned that I had to get more organized. I decided that before I went to lunch each day I would take a few minutes to put away books and file papers and folders, and I did the same before I went home at the end of the day."Rachelle's Answer
It's great that you recognize this and have a plan of action for improvement! If you are referring to a specific period in your career, it would be a good idea to set the stage of your story a touch more clearly.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
Do you manage your time well?
You can answer this by using an example of a time when you were under a tight deadline and were able to make it through.
"I am very strong with time management and will use multiple tools to ensure my time is divided appropriately throughout the week. Just last month I had a major exam to grade for 35 students. Knowing I was under a tight timeframe to grade these, I turned off my phone and email and spent 2 hours focusing solely on grading before I moved to another task. Blocking off sections of time to focus is very helpful for me."
What do you see as your role in the educational, social, emotional, and psychological development of students?
This answer should come more from the heart. There really is no wrong answer to this, so long as you are genuine.
"I am humbled by how important my role as a reading teacher is in all aspects of a child's life. Helping a student learn to read, strengthen their skills and build their confidence is an incredible opportunity. When a child understands how to read, and enjoys it, it changes their whole world."
"My role as a reading teacher is so very important to the educational, social, emotional, and psychological development of my students. Teaching a student to learn to read and write is critical to their ability to communicate with other students, teachers, and family members. It builds self-confidence. Teaching a child how to read and to love reading changes their lives forever."Rachelle's Answer
YES - you make so many excellent points in your answer. Your genuine passion for the growth of the children you teach really shines through.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
What do you like most about a teaching career?
What gets you out of bed in the morning? Why are you excited to go to work? Be sure to answer this in a way that shows your true interest in the career path you have chosen.
"The one thing that I am most excited about it the morning is knowing that I am on my way to making a difference in a child's life. I have been given the irreplaceable task of influencing them for hours a day - teaching them how to communicate and giving them confidence. That truly is what drives me in this career."
"Working with children is what I like best about being a teacher. I am an example of the old adage that if you love what you, it's not a job. I love to see the children accomplish things that they couldn't when I first met them. It's satisfying to know that it was because of my teaching that they have made these accomplishments. One of my students came to me as a non-fluent reader in September. By December, he was reading more fluently, and not only that, but he enjoyed reading. He always had a book in his hand and wanted to show me what he could do."Rachelle's Answer
Your career sounds very fulfilling, indeed! The story that you include about Rhys is the perfect added touch. You are 'showing and telling' versus just 'telling,' which is a key to a fantastic interview response. Well done!Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Your answer should reflect traits that would make you a great Reading Teacher. You want this answer to be relevant to the position. Also, you can back it with a qualifying statement.
"I would describe myself as creative, patient and encouraging. I have been told from my peers, colleagues and students that these are, indeed, characteristics that I carry."
"I would describe myself as positive, happy, patient, and dedicated!! I have had other teachers tell me that they always see me smiling. I am very patient with my students especially those that struggle. My colleagues have recommended that I tutor special education students after school because they know how patient I am. My colleagues know how dedicated I am. I am at school early, and I stay late when needed."Rachelle's Answer
The way you describe yourself aligns perfectly with the interview responses you have given. Your interviewer should be happy to hear a consistent and positive and dedicated tone in your answers. Great work!Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
Why should we hire you?
It is best to answer this question in two parts. First you should tell them why you think you are the best fit for the position. Second, be sure to finish with a question. Ask them if there are any objections to them hiring you.
"I believe you should hire me because not only do I fit all of the requirements for this position, I also bring the bonus of my specialization as a special needs educator. My work history is strong and I have many great references within the education community. Is there any reason that you would hesitate to hire me, or anything that I can elaborate on?"
What methods have you used or would you use to assess student learning?
To answer this question you can let the interviewer know more about your favourite styles/methods of teaching.
"I like to assess my students' learning in both formal and informal ways. An example of an informal assessment would be to have them create a concept map. I do this about once a month so that I can see any advancements that are happening in their learning. A more formal way of assessment is regular in-class testing."
"The methods that I have used to assess my students' learning include running records, Dibols, the Wilson WADE, and QRI's as well as assessing student writing samples. I assess my students informally by listening to them read and assessing whether they are fluent or choppy. I also ask them questions about what they just read."Rachelle's Answer
Fantastic! Your reply is highly detailed, and you do a great job showcasing your range of resources. This answer certainly positions you as a knowledgable educator.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
What was the most frustrating thing that happened to you as a teacher?
You can answer this truthfully but be aware to not create a negative vibe in the interview. Telling a story and getting upset about it would be the unprofessional thing to do. Remain positive and talk about how it helped you grow as a person and in your career.
"One of the things I do find frustrating as a teacher is when you are making amazing strides with a student but you know that their parents are not giving them the one-on-one time at home in order to keep the momentum going. I have learned that I cannot control what happens with the students outside of the school. So, I have tasked myself with creating such a natural passion for reading in each student that they cannot help but want to continue and grow in their reading journey."
"The most frustrating thing that happened to me as a teacher was when one of my students consistently failed to do homework. I tried to explain to her that the more consistently she does homework and the more effort she puts into it, the faster she will progress. Once she started to do her homework consistently and to read for at least half an hour each night, she became my best student."Rachelle's Answer
To transition nicely when giving a story example, I recommend using the STAR framework, which is Situation, Task, Action, Result. This method will ensure that you provide the right amount and type of information to allow the interviewer to make sense of your story.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
Why do you want a career as a reading teacher?
When answering this question you can absolutely incorporate a personal story. You could also talk about what inspired you to become a teacher in the first place.
"When I was in elementary school, I personally had a tough time with reading. I had a teacher who would take additional time out of her day to help me. She made sure I didn't fall behind. When I looked back, years later, and realized how important her role was in my education it really inspired me to follow the same career path. I want to be a reading teacher because I understand the importance of making a difference in a child's life. And, I am really good at it because I genuinely care."
"I love working with children. I love to see how they progress from emergent to fluent readers."Rachelle's Answer
These are good, fundamental reasons to desire a career as a reading teacher! I encourage you to think of ways that you can add to this response, perhaps personalizing with a story that the interviewer will connect with. This addition would ensure that your answer does not fall flat or get 'lost in the crowd.'Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
How do you see yourself partnering with teachers?
The best way to answer this question is to talk about where you see your strengths, and what can you offer your fellow teachers. What can they offer you?
"When I have previously partnered with other teachers it is because we see a natural synergy between our skill sets. I am happy to partner with other teachers whose skills compliment my own. Recently, I partnered with a music teacher. He wanted me to teach his students how to read music sheets like they were a story. I was able to help him in that regard. Later, he attended one of my classes where he taught my students how to incorporate rhythm into reading."
"I love collaborating with other teachers. I was constantly talking to teachers about students that we have in common in order to inform or to improve my teaching. My current position has given me a great deal of experience partnering with teachers. I have observed several classes such as English, Spanish, physics, music, and math classes. I have been asked to work with an individual student, as well as students in small groups."Rachelle's Answer
Wow - it sounds as though you are highly diverse and collaborative. Robust and confident response - well done!Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
What kind of work environment do you thrive in?
Since there are many different environments within Education, it is best to talk about 2 or 3 of your preferred types of environment and then finish by asking the interviewer how they would best describe the environment at their specific institution.
"I have worked in a variety of environments within education. My current role is in a classroom setting with multiple students. My previous position was a more one-on-one based environment. I was able to succeed in both environments. How would you best describe the environment here?"
What experience do you have with diverse populations?
This is best answered by briefly explaining the demographic of the communities you have worked in previously.
"I have worked as a reading teacher in both private and public schools. The private education facilities naturally see a more affluent family demographic where the public system has exposed me to a wider variety of populations. I am open to working with all types of populations and am not adverse, in any way, to diversity."
Please tell me about your most challenging experience while working with children and how you handled it.
This is a "Tell me about a time when..." type of question. Use a recent example and be sure to include the positive outcome and why you were proud of that outcome.
"Tell me about a time when..."
"My most challenging experience while working with children was when one of my students would not complete a written response. The student was bright, and I knew he could do the work. By his own admission he didn't like to write about anything he wasn't interested in. I explained to him that sometimes we have to write about things that don't interest us. I also offered him a few options to complete the written response. I suggested that he use the RACE organizer. I asked him if he wanted to dictate his answer to me, and I would write it for him. I also offered to allow him to type his answer on the computer. He finally came around and decided that he would dictate the answer, and I would write it down for him. He completed the assignment. I discussed the matter with his 4th-grade teacher. She was a bit surprised, and she showed me his writing composition book. He actually wrote many excellent responses for homework. I borrowed the book for our next class and I complimented him over and over again about his excellent writing. The student was more receptive to the writing assignments after that."Rachelle's Answer
Your approach shows a great deal of patience, understanding, and desire to uncover the core of an issue. This response is terrific and will show the interviewer so much about your character and approach to teaching. Well done!Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
What is your philosophy on reading?
This is an answer that you should think of, write down and practice. It is essentially going to be your qualifying statement on why you do what you do.
"My philosophy on reading is that every child should have a solid understanding of reading since it is an incredibly complex and important form of communication. Developing healthy readers from a young age is of utmost importance."
"My philosophy on reading is that all students should be given good solid reading and writing instruction. Reading is a complex and very important form of communication that children should be taught from an early age. Exposing them to wonderful, rich literature and proper instruction at an early age will enable them to be competent, lifelong readers."Rachelle's Answer
Excellent answer! Your stance is steadfast and well-backed. How do you go about instilling this philosophy with your current students/parents?Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
What are your career goals?
What is your greatest strength?
How do your life experiences prepare you for teaching?
As a Reading Teacher, what do you believe is your best asset?
Have you ever been overloaded with work?
Describe a situation where you had to make a quick decision.
Ten years from now, where do you see yourself?