Question: How does your philosophy of teaching affect your classroom?
Answer: Uncompromising advocate of the view that “all children can learn” and facilitator of learning through a positive environment that encourages student exploration and promotes self-esteem.
Question: Were standardized test scores increased?
Answer: Selected to teach pilot program focusing on content-specific, standards-based curriculum; program directly yielded an increase in standardized test scores of as many as four grade levels.
Question: Are you often assigned the more challenging students?
Answer: Typically assigned the more “diff-cult” students, those suffering from dysfunctional families and lack of English-language literacy. Experienced above-average success in boosting students’ confidence and bringing them up to grade level in all core subjects.
Question: Did you work with manipulatives for elementary grades?
Answer: Enhanced student comprehension through use of math and science manipulatives such as Mathland, Foss, and AIMS.
Question: Did you emphasize multiculturalism?
Answer: Introduced a number of multicultural lessons (cooking, dress/costumes, traditions, artifacts, holidays). Look for and embrace the uniqueness and talent of every child.
Question: Do you have personal resources that you bring to the classroom?
Answer: Augment lessons with extensive personal library, realia, and teaching resources collected during travels to 17 countries and 48 states. Principal commented, “Your resources are the most extensive and interesting collection seen in my 25 years in education.”
Question: Have you brought students performing at below grade level up to or above grade level?
Answer: Brought students from below grade level to two grades above grade level in language arts with strategies such as Interactive Writing, Shared Reading, Story Webs and Comparisons, Reading the Room, Dramatization, ZooPhonics, Proficiency in English, multisensory teaching approach, and various whole-language and phonics-based programs.
Question: Did you improve classroom management?
Answer: Noted by principal for effective classroom-management skills and selected to “in-service” other teachers in Applied Assertive Discipline, TRIBES, and True Colors programs to enhance the learning environment.
Question: Did you present in-services or teacher development workshops?
Answer: Developed and presented in-services as Lead Teacher for California-School Implementation Network (C-SIN).
Question: Did you train new teachers?
Answer: Served as Master Teacher for three years and Mentor Teacher, four years. Appointed by principal as Lead Teacher for new teachers on staff.
Question: Have you improved parent volunteerism or involvement in the classroom?
Answer: Developed excellent relationships with all my students’ parents and have enjoyed above-average parent involvement despite language and cultural barriers. Regularly invite parents from various cultures to speak to the children on dress, customs, cooking, etc.
Question: Were you honored by your peers or principal?
Answer: Voted by faculty and administration as Jefferson High School Teacher of the Year.
Question: Did you prepare students to compete in regional or state competitions?
Answer: Prepared students who earned first-place awards in several categories at California State History Day compe-titions and a third-place award at the national level.
Did you bring in interesting guest speakers?
Sought respected leaders as guest speakers to present career opportu-nities in law enforcement, medicine, engineering, architecture, manufactur-ing, graphic arts, and other disciplines.
Question: What, if any, challenges did you face/overcome because of having second language learners in your classroom?
Answer: Simultaneously implemented two Language Arts curricula to address the needs of both English-only and bilingual students.
Question: Did you introduce new classes?
Answer: Expanded Agriculture Department offerings, elevated course content, and increased student participation in programs (involvement in inter-curricular activities increased from 5 to approximately 35 students).
Question: Did you help students get involved in any entrepreneurial activities?
Initiated student-run “certified organic program” that raised more than $10,000 in funds, enabling students to participate in regional/ state FFA activities and attend national conferences.
Question: Did you help with musicals or special performances?
Answer: Produced and directed the school’s first musical production, with standing-room-only attendance at all seven performances.
Question: Did you serve on a number of committees?
Answer: Serve on numerous district and site-level committees, including School Site Council, Curriculum Advisory Committee (Social Science, Math, Science), Drug Awareness Council, and Talent Show Committee (list of past committees available).
Question: Did you help alternative-education students with work-experience needs?
Answer: Developed partnerships with business and community organizations to promote a Teen Job Program in collaboration with Boys and Girls Clubs.
Answer: Designed programs to enhance academic offerings and comply with State-mandated Voc Tech training (computer programs such as Microsoft Office, Microsoft Project, CAD, etc.).
Question: What do colleagues, parents, or your supervisors/principal say about you?
Answer: Comments from:
• Principal: “Among top 1% of teachers I have worked with in my 20-year career.”
• Fellow Teacher: “A consummate team member. I can always count on Cheryl to help with a specialneeds student.”
• Parent: “Her love of students does not stop at the end of the school day.”
Question: How would you describe your mission as a teacher?
Answer: Promote students’ physical, mental, and academic development, emphasizing trust, mutual respect, and high instructor expectations.
Question: Have you attended more continuing-education workshops than those required to maintain your credential?
Answer: Dedicated to continually expanding my professional knowledge; annually attend an average of 10 workshops on a range of content-specific topics and instructional strategies.
Question: What training has been most interesting or inspirational to you?
Answer: Shifted teacher focus to role as “teacher leader,” a concept based on principles from Stephen Covey training.
Question: Did you help support school-reform initiatives?
Answer: Supported school-wide educational reform in mathematics and science, with technology and literacy strategies embedded in both curricular areas.
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These Teacher interview questions can be used in other related careers such as:
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