How to Answer: What is your greatest weakness?
Advice and answer examples written specifically for a Teacher job interview.
2. What is your greatest weakness?
What You Need to Know
As a teacher, when describing your weakness, try to think of the growth opportunities you are currently aware of and actively working on. Examine performance reviews, comments from parents, your administrators, or fellow teachers. Anything you could be doing more of, while showcasing your continual dedication, is useful here.
Written by Kevin Downey on March 27th, 2023
Stay Away From
Try to avoid volunteering anything that could make you seem like a liability, unreliable or as if you are burning out on the job. You don't want to come across as unable to manage the stress that comes with being a teacher or the challenges posed by your students. The goal here is to showcase your continual dedication to improving and being the best teacher you can be.
The more self aware and emotionally mature you seem here, the better. Taking ownership of your growth opportunities will provide your interviewer with greater confidence in your abilities, especially concerning managing your students.
Entry Level Example
"I am learning how to manage my students better, and have focused on finding ways to redirect the behavior or attention of my students who misbehaved. At first, I was relying too heavily on sending them to the office, but I realized this wasn't helping them. Too often, a student who is misbehaving is simply bored. So I started to focus on ways of occupying their boredom without disrupting the class. So, the forms of discipline I administer now are designed to get them to focus, which I hope will improve their performance. Though this requires some improvement in identifying what makes those more challenging students tick. And this, for me, is where I would like to develop my skills more."
"I feel like one area for me to grow is to find a balance when it comes to my students who I care about who clearly have a troubled home or troubled upbringing. In the past, when I have tried to reach out to my more troubled student's parents and they have been less than receptive or even verbally abusive in response to wanting to help, my level of empathy for the situation has caused me some distress. I really care about their development, and some of these kids are just so talented and could truly go far in life, yet when I see this kind of situation holding them back, the helplessness I feel affects me. So, I've improved at finding more of a center and being at peace with just focusing on the process and doing whatever I can do on my end. But I still feel like I have farther to go in this regard."
Substitute Teacher Example
"As a substitute teacher, it sometimes feels difficult to connect with my students, especially when I know I am going to be in a different classroom the next day, or the next week. I really want them to want to learn, grow, develop, and be excited about the subject matter. When managing my time and what we need to cover, I am trying to fit everything in. Yet this leaves little room for engagement, which I haven't made as much of a priority. I realize now I've approached my situation as a substitute teacher too pragmatically. I realize I've relied too heavily on being more structured than engaging. So I am now working on this, and have come up with a few loose scripts when introducing myself, or plug in a creative activity at the forefront of the day's lesson to get them enthusiastic about the subject matter. This has worked, but could be more fine-tuned and further developed."
Classroom Teacher Example
"I spend a lot of time focusing on developing my students and offer a lot of chat time after class to give them individualized attention to identify how I can further them along in their studies. However, I am working on managing this time more effectively to allow me to volunteer for more extracurricular activities. It has been a while since I participated in any varsity events or clubs, although I have stepped up for summer school a couple of times, but I feel there is an opportunity for me to do more."
Department Head Teacher Example
"A growth area I have been actively working on and improving in is to create more extracurricular programs to further our students' development. Especially our rising stars. Additionally, although I have volunteered to coach the softball team and tennis team, I feel as if I could do more with our booster clubs."
Anonymous Interview Answers with Professional Feedback