Top 25
Special Education Teacher Interview Questions
1. What do you believe, makes you effective at teaching special needs students?
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Special Education Teacher
February 28th, 2014

Special education is the education of students with special needs in a way that addresses the students' individual differences and needs. Ideally, this process involves the individually planned and systematically monitored arrangement of teaching procedures, adapted equipment and materials, accessible settings, and other interventions designed to help learners with special needs achieve a higher level of personal self-sufficiency and success in school and community than would be available if the student were only given access to a typical classroom education.
wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_education
Special Education Teacher Interview Questions
2 of 25
How can you illustrate to me your dependability?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I am always there when you need me. I arrive early so I know where I am supposed to be.
 
2.
I realize people rely on each employee to complete their job at the best of their ability each and everyday.
 
3.
I am conscientious, hardworking, rarely take a day off and am always prepared.
 
4.
I am extremely reliable and dependable. I can say that I have never missed a scheduled meeting at school. I know that I am part of a team effort and its important for me to be dependable as part of a puzzle piece/
 
5.
I have never been late to work or missed a day. I've never called in sick to any job I ever had. I am always present at PD meetings or anything else school related. I am also always available to help students or co-workers whenever they need it.
 
Question
3 of 25
What was your most difficult course in college?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
The most difficult college course for me was Elementary Mathematics.
 
2.
My most difficult course in college was Calculus.
 
3.
My most difficult course was Literature Assessment because it stretched my thinking and completely reshaped the way I thought about data monitoring and assessment.
 
4.
My most difficult course in college was Biology. Not only was it difficult for me to understand, but it was a night course. So I was in a class I was uninterested in for 3 hours at night. However, I managed to get an A through some long late night study sessions.
 
5.
I have not attended college yet.
 
Question
4 of 25
How do you handle yourself under stress?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I handle myself well. I concentrate on the situation that has to be dealt with immediately.
 
2.
I work well under stress. Right now, I'm taking classes and am a long term substitute teacher. That is basically the same thing as a teacher. It is stressful, but I am always praised for my hard work and dedication.
 
3.
I take a second to take stock of the facts and ground my actions based on what is actually occurring and I review the plan I have made.
 
4.
I handle myself well under stress. I tend to not overwhelm myself with the stressful event, but rather find alternate ways to avoid the situation or try to make it less stressful on myself.
 
5.
I think I am calm and level-headed.
 
Question
5 of 25
If you could do anything different in your education, what would you do?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
The only thing I would have done differently in my education was to obtain my education at an earlier age.
 
2.
I would have went into banking. I worked at FSCB for a year and loved it.
 
3.
If I could do anything different in my education, then I would pursue a doctorate instead of the additional master's degrees that I have.
 
4.
I would do the assignment before the due date.
 
5.
Double Masters in Speech/Language pathology.
 
Question
6 of 25
What makes you stand out among other applicants?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I am great at coming with activities to do with special needs children and making crafts. I know what do if a child has a seizure and transfer a cerebral palsy child to the floor and back to the chair.
 
2.
I am a true advocate for students with special needs. I realize each child is an individual and.
 
3.
I have the unique experience of many years of child development, classroom teaching, and ESOL.
 
4.
I have a strong background in Positive Behavior Supports. I use technology to help bridge the learning gaps. I look for the root of the problem and then focus on finding a solution. I understand the needs of students who come from low income families. I am focused on helping all students reach their full potential.
 
5.
I am committed to the special education field. I started an art program in the rehabilitation field and managers suggested I become a teacher because of my ability to observe individual needs of people with a variety of physical and mental challenges as well as show progress through appropriate curriculum adaptations.
 
Question
7 of 25
Why should we hire you?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Because I am pasionate about helping people.
 
2.
yoy should hire me because i know how to work independently,knows how to prioritize and delegate important task.My skills will help you specially sharing and transferring my knowledge to your institution.
 
3.
I am the best candidate you have. I am knowledeable,, dedicated to the field, and I am totally invested into the community, the school and the students.
 
4.
Beccause i like the atmosphere i love kids beig around with me i love theor smile.
 
5.
Because I love children.
 
Question
8 of 25
When did you make the decision to teach autistic students?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
When I worked in a preschool that had a child with Autism. I also worked in a special needs summer camp and I saw the joy that an Autistic Child had. It was great seeing her enjoy her time at camp and having fun with me at all times.
 
2.
I was a para-professional in Autistic Support.
 
3.
I have always worked with students who had different needs, it just happened.
 
4.
Several members of my family have similar disabilities and I saw how they struggled when all there needs were not met.
 
5.
Its natural, I was driven to it,
 
Question
9 of 25
What do you feel are the most important qualities in being a good Teacher?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
The most important qualities are to obtain trust with your students and open communication with students and parents.
 
2.
Compassionate, patient, being able to teach to the needs of the children, sense of humor.
 
3.
I think knowing how to differentiate instruction is a good quality for a teacher to have. Not everybody learns the same way, and it's important to realize that. I also think it's important for a teacher to be highly qualified. They should take classes in their area of specialty to become highly qualified if they aren't. Last, teachers need a sense of humor.
 
4.
Being able to see the strengths and appreciate each student for what he/she brings to the table.
 
5.
I think the most important qualities are a firm, yet loving personality and an understanding, compassionate outlook on teaching. Students need structure and routine, but in a respectful way that encourages students to strive and learn.
 
Question
10 of 25
Tell me about a stressful time in your life. How did you handle it?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
When my husband went through some health issue, I went through some rough time but I was very calm and managed everything routine as normal for my children. I stayed positive because I wanted my husband and kids to know that everything is going to be fine.
 
2.
During student teaching, I had a family tragedy in my home. I pushed forward and completed my student teaching and made that a priority to complete my education.
 
3.
I was stressed when I had to do math homework. I took a break for awhile then went back to the assignment.
 
4.
There was a time in the last 8 weeks that I was overloaded with school work and also making lessons, assessing, and differentiating instruction for students at my job. I find that the best way to handle it is having good time management skills. Saying, "okay, I'll do this today, and this the next day," really helped me. I also think it's important to realize that you can't do everything in one day, and that it's okay to save it for tomorrow.
 
5.
With honesty and open dialogue.
 
Question
11 of 25
Have you ever had to calm a person down, what happened?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I have calmed a child down. I hugged, rocked, and talked to the child. She calmed after five minutes.
 
2.
As a Special Education teacher, I have had several instances where I had to calm a student down. Some instances that I have experienced is when a student had severe anxiety over an assessment. At this time, I would talk with the student to relax him, and follow a plan that I created in order to ensure that the anxiety was reduced and the student was in a more comfortable mind frame.
 
3.
Yes, I just sit with them, or walk with them. Let them uncool themselves,
 
4.
Yes, first I cleared the room, let the student have his meltdown, I made sure he did not hurt himself, let him go on his rant, eventually he calmed down himself.
 
5.
Yes. Often. Use a calming approach give them space.
 
Question
12 of 25
How do you feel about working with students, that can sometimes be difficult due to their circumstance?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I realize the students have a reason for their difficulties. Whether it is having difficulty communicating or other circumstances like that.
 
2.
Student teaching in Canton City, I was exposed to students from backgrounds much different than my own. Because of this, many students presented behavioral problems in the classroom due to a lack of structure in the home and outside of school. I learned a great deal of patience and that the best way to handle those tough students is to develop a meaningful relationship that embodies trust and respect.
 
3.
I feel great about working with students that can be difficult because I have experience with some children like that. I find activities they enjoy and use them to calm them down so they can learn things.
 
4.
Working with difficult students is no different because you can gain trust and communicate with them.
 
5.
I enjoy working with students for the challenge of helping reach their goals.
 
Question
13 of 25
Explain to me an IEP? What is the difference from an IEP and a CSE?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Iep is a plan of strategies and goals while a cse is a committee of person who make up the plan.
 
2.
An IEP is an individualized education plan that addresses the students needs and goals. The CSE is the team of teachers and professionals that collaborates to assess the student and write the IEP.
 
3.
An IEP defines the individualized objectives of a child who has been found with a disability, as defined by federal regulations. The IEP is intended to help children reach educational goals more easily than they otherwise would. All special education services are described in a document called the Continuum of Special Education Services.
 
4.
IEP is an Individualized Education Program activated to meet the needs of an individual student. It is created by an educational team that includes full involvement of the student’s parents CSE is the Committee on Special Education. It handles new referrals made for special education services, the committee reviews the referrals and plans assessments to determine eligibility. Once someone is deemed eligible, the committee convenes to plan the IEP.
 
5.
Indidualized Education Plan. CSE determines how that student qualifies for special education services.
 
Question
14 of 25
What are your 2 weakest points?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
First weak point is I have a hard time delegating responsibility, second weak point is failing. I do not accept failure very well.
 
2.
My two weakest points are communication and mathematical skills. I am getting better at communicating with people and will have it done. I am getting help on my math and doing better.
 
3.
I would say two of my weakest points are being a perfectionist and.
 
4.
I would have to say that not asking for help and time management.
 
5.
I might give in to easily. I am to trusting.
 
Question
15 of 25
Who is your greatest role model?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
My greatest role model is my mom because she gives out great tips and helped me know that special education was the career for me. I helped out in her preschool class and got to see the children with special needs thrive in their development.
 
2.
My daugher, she has overcome so many obstacles and keeps plugging away,
 
3.
My cousin darren. He was diagnosed with autism in a young age. Darren has overcome a lot of struggle with communication and language in school. In late highschool he was nominated for homecoming court and took the star lead in his school production. He received a tremendous amount or support and interventions and continued to believe in himself to become the amazing young man he is today.
 
4.
My greatest role model is Eunice Kennedy Shriver. She stood up for her sister, Rosemary, who had an intellectual disability during a time in our history that individuals such as Rosemary were institutionalized. She started a movement that recognized the strengths and the offerings that individuals with disabilities had.
 
5.
My father is my greatest role model. He is an amazing Dad, friend, and teacher. He recently retired from his career of education at the university level and was able to have a very successful career as a Doctor in Theology while also emphasizing the importance of spending time with family and friends along with pursuing his interests both inside of and outside of his career.
 
Question
16 of 25
Do you have experience creating and maintaining documentation on your students?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I have some experience maintaining documentation on children. I wrote down when children took naps, ate food and needed diaper changes.
 
2.
Yes, I progress monitor on a weekly, bi-weekly and monthly basis depending on the needs of the students. I have parent communication logs and I send a Report of Progress on a quarterly basis to the families of my students.
 
3.
Yes, in my classroom I take assessment data on everything we do. I document their academic progress as well as their behaviors. Additionally, I document student specific things such as bruising logs, bathroom trips, seizure logs, protective holds, service delivery, etc.
 
4.
I am very experianced with maintaining daily documentation of all my students and parent collaboration. I use a informal behavior/academic checkilst to rate students.
 
5.
I do not have a lot of expereicne, I have done teacher made assessments, Behavior Documentation using timed intervals, incidents and action teacher took Behavior Documentation Form.
 
Question
17 of 25
What do you know about our educational program?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I know that you do activities with the children and make crafts. You deal with special needs children and give services that help them like speech therapy and occupational therapy. You collaborate with therapists, general education teachers and parents to talk about their progress.
 
2.
I know your education program encompasses 2400 students roughly with 18% in the special education department.
 
3.
I am very familiar with the 8:1 program and the green, red and yellow behavioral and emotional program that is used. I am also familiar with the RTI classes and the routine that is asked as well as, the CT program and the study skills classes that students have.
 
4.
I am aware that Kennewick School District achieves to increase student achievement through authentic partnerships through family and community partnerships. The district values specially designed instruction for students.
 
5.
I know you have students who have IEP,
 
Question
18 of 25
How would you describe your passion for teaching children?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
My favorite course in college was Observation and Planning assessment because I got to spend time in a preschool observing children.
 
2.
My favorite course in college were Instructional Strategies, Applied Behavioral Analysis and Inclusionary Practices.
 
3.
My favorite course in College would be Observation and Planning because I got to observe children in a program.
 
4.
I am 53 I got my degree/certification.
 
5.
My favorite class was multicultural education class. It helped to think out of the box in creating lessons that addressed everyones background.
 
Question
19 of 25
How will you work cooperatively with other faculty members in educating these students?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I will be sure to address the staff that my students will be working with by holding a meeting and discussing the needs of each student and items that will be important for the teachers to know while working with each student. I will also be sure to state clearly my strategies to ensure success so that as team we can work together to help each student be successful.
 
2.
I will give them tips on how to handle bad behaviors. I will help them modify assignments for the special needs children. I will communicate a lot and be a asset on helping them out.
 
3.
I will meet with the other staff involved on the IEP. Reach out in person through email to see how the student is doing in class, and what help they may need if academics is down or behavior is low.
 
4.
I work well with other teachers, We are a team.
 
5.
A fundamental piece of education and special education is the need to collaborate with faculty members. I plan to work closely with the faculty to increase opportunities for students within my classroom to mainstream and interact with students and teachers within the larger school wide community. These opportunities are extremely important not only for myself and my students but also for other faculty and students within the elementary school. By creating these opportunities, my students will have a larger sense of belonging within there school wide community.
 
Question
20 of 25
When did you realize you wanted to be a special education teacher?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I realized I wanted to be a Special Education Teacher after becoming a Student Helper to a child with Autism. I worked closely with the child, developed progress monitoring and instructional tools to assist the student.
 
2.
Since I was in second grade, I had the dream to be a teacher. My teacher Mrs. Dragone was a teacher the possessed only the best qualities. When I entered second grade I was shy and timid. I knew that my reading levels where low. From the time I walked into her class, she provided me with the skills I needed to succeed. Her skills and daily guidance encouraged me to be most like her. At the end of the day, I ultimately want to help students succeed and have a role model guiding them throughout the most important aspects of their lives.
 
3.
I realized it when I started working with students in the Special Olympics.
 
4.
I realized that I wanted to be a special education teacher when I was getting my Masters in Teaching. My Masters thesis was working with At Risk Youth--teaching using Authentic Instruction. I made great connections with the students who were in my practicum classes of US History and American Government. I saw them blossom when I used their strengths to learn the subject at hand.
 
5.
When I moved to AL 10 years ago.
 
Question
21 of 25
To what specific area of special education are you most attracted and why?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I am most attracted to the role of consultant teacher because I feel that in this position not only can I assist students in academic situations but I can assist with social skills.
 
2.
My primary training and area of interest is in applied behavior analysis. ABA is everywhere and it is a method that can be used in a variety of ways in a variety of settings. Specifically I work with students with severe cognitive disabilities. I am most interested in helping students with signiificant needs. I am able to provide the students with compassion, care, and meaningful education.
 
3.
I truly enjoy helping students in resource room as well as teaching functional skills.
 
4.
I have spent time with students with learning disorders, behavior issues, ADHD, ADD, mental handicaps, autism and many other challenges. I am attracted to helping students reach their potential. I was overwhelmed when a non-verbal student with autism finally said hello to me and I was inspired when a boy who struggles with ADHD showed up to school with his homework completed.
 
5.
I like working with students who are SLD
 
Question
22 of 25
What are your 2 greatest strengths?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
My two greatest strengths are organized and patience. I organize things by last name and have a place for everything. I have tons of patience by my experience with children of all ages and how to handle stress.
 
2.
I think my two greatest strengths are my ability to develop meaningful relationships with students and my attention to detail.
 
3.
I give it 100% every time. I can walk into my job and no one will know if I have had a bad day etc... I always have a smile on my face.
 
4.
I am passionate about teaching--I teach from the heart. I am very organized.
 
5.
My two greatest strengths are being organized and being a fast learner.
 
Question
23 of 25
Has their ever been an autistic or special needs child in your life that has inspired you?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Chanel, a friend of the family, has been hesitent to learn new things due to confidence but I loved seeing her learn to take risks.
 
2.
I nanny a young boy with ADD, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, Anxiety, and severe anger. Working with him has given me a whole new outlook on education and teaching, and has taught me many new strategies for self-regulation and monitoring his own behavior/anger.
 
3.
Yes, she had cerebral palsy and she was always smiling. She enjoyed her time at camp.
 
4.
Yes, a had a student who was verbal and had severe difficulties with getting along with others. I helped him overcome these challanges and he went on to graduate with a diploma.
 
5.
Yes, Big Jim. He always had a great attitude no matter the situation. He made you want to help him. I strive to be the kind of teacher that kids want to help. The lessons are for the students but if they feel needed and important, that sense of purpose carries them a long way when things get tough.
 
Question
24 of 25
What exposures have you had in Teaching?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Student teaching in a Humanities classroom combining Language Arts, Geology, Geography, and Science in projects utilizing a standards based proficiency system and a high school art in grades 10-12. I have been a long term special education substitute as well as repeat substitute focusing on special educatin classrooms where I built significant relationships with students and staff to witness progress as well as tutoring students with special needs and volunteering.
 
2.
As a new graduate, my most extensive teaching has been during student teaching.
 
3.
I had been exposed to a variety of academic settings. I started out teaching in a non public sector working with EBD students and then went to a public sector -RSP and finally SDC -EBD self contained environment.
 
4.
Test giving, differentated instruction, small group read,
 
5.
I have been teaching indivdiduals with disabilities for over 18 years and I am a tutor as well as substitute teacher.
 
Question
25 of 25
How would friends describe you?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I am tenacious in regards to what I am passionate about. I may be a bit reserve at first--taking everything all in, before I take the big leap. I am an advocate for family, friends and those who are work with.
 
2.
They would describe me as positive and hard working.
 
3.
Friends would describe me as hilarious, comforting, religious, a true friend, someone is there in a heart beat when needed, and giving.
 
4.
My friends would describe me as passionate about what I do, loving, caring, patient and a great listener.
 
5.
My friends would describe me as kind, loyal and passionate.
 
Contributing Author
Rachelle Enns
Recruiter & Freelance Writer

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