Classroom Management Interview Questions (Tips And Examples)
Updated 30 September 2022
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Effective classroom management is a key skill that employers commonly ask about when interviewing prospective teachers. The interviewer may seek to understand how you operate within your classroom and what interactions with your students look like. When interviewing for a teaching position, it is beneficial to understand why employers ask these questions and how best to answer them. In this article, we review some classroom management interview questions along with their answers that can help you prepare for your next interview.
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Classroom management interview questions
Learning different classroom management interview questions can help you better prepare for interviews and improve your chances of getting hired. Classroom management is an actionable plan that encourages focus and good behaviour from students to enhance their learning capabilities. Interviewers often ask about classroom management practices to understand whether you have the appropriate skills and techniques to promote the learning environment they hope to create throughout their school.
Typically, employers want to know how you create clear rules for their students to follow that eliminate behaviours that may disrupt learning within the classroom. Demonstrating effective classroom management helps employers understand how well you might perform as an educator at their school. Here is a selection of commonly asked classroom management interview questions with example answers that you can use to prepare for your next interview:
1. How would you handle a situation where a student is consistently late to your class?
An interviewer may ask this question to see how you might address a problem that is common in many classrooms. Being late to class can not only be disruptive for other students and the overall learning environment, but it may highlight an underlying issue that the individual student may be facing. When answering this question, try to highlight any techniques that you may use to calmly handle the issue in a manner that maintains discipline in the classroom.
Example: "To avoid any disruption, I ensure there are empty seats available at the back of the classroom for latecomers. I try to encourage punctuality in my class by turning it into a friendly competition with a leader board, awarding points for those who arrive early or on time and deducting points for latecomers. Students who are regularly punctual and remain at the top of the leader board are then eligible for a reward for punctuality.
If a student is habitually late, I ask to speak with them after class to understand why they are having difficulty arriving on time. I set clear expectations and offer advice where necessary, explaining that I may take additional actions if their punctuality does not improve. When necessary, this may lead to a conversation with the student's parents to create an action plan to support the student in improving their punctuality or a conversation with the headteacher if improvements do not occur within a set time period."
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2. Can you describe your philosophy on discipline?
Interviewers typically ask this question to ascertain whether your approach to discipline aligns with that of the school. It is a good idea to research the school prior to your interview and highlight key points relating to how they carry out discipline at their facility. When structuring your answer, ensure that your techniques are appropriate for the age group you hope to teach. You can provide examples from past experience.
Example: "A clear plan for discipline is important for promoting a positive and productive classroom environment. As a proactive teacher, it is my philosophy that establishing clear guidelines and expectations for behaviour can promote engagement and prevent misbehaviour before it arises. I believe that discipline works best when it is a learning experience for the student, focusing on their best interests.
I lay out clear consequences according to student behaviour, highlighting both reward and disciplinary actions. In my experience, yelling, shaming and condescension only create further disruption. Instead, I calmly and discreetly advise students to meet with me after class to discuss their behaviour and why it is inappropriate. If this escalates to an unacceptable level, I involve the headteacher or parents."
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3. Can you provide an example of a time you have used effective classroom management techniques?
Though discussing hypothetical situations can help an interviewer understand your approach to classroom management, they may also ask for examples of your previous experience within the classroom. Real-life examples can help to support your competence in handling various scenarios within the classroom. A good answer demonstrates that you have a clear aptitude for the position. Select a situation that shows a strong classroom management strategy that helped students to focus on their learning and development and describe what you did.
Example: "When I first began teaching, I found that some of my students were struggling to engage with the learning materials I selected for each lesson. This led to a lack of focus throughout the session and caused the students to talk to each other, further disrupting the class. I tried taking a disciplinary approach to address the problem, which only seemed to disengage the students further. Instead of berating students for their lack of engagement in my lessons, I decided to change my lesson structure to meet the individual needs of my students.
Each lesson begins with me outlining our learning objectives for the class to provide structure, followed by a group discussion surrounding to draw on their communicative nature. In the final portion of the class, I provide an opportunity for free learning, where students can choose from a range of materials such as textbooks, audiobooks, charts, flashcards or videos. I found that providing a clear learning plan, providing an opportunity for discussion and allowing students to study in a way that best suits their individual needs promoted greater focus and improved learning and growth."
4. Can you describe your classroom management style?
This question helps interviewers determine whether your values align with their educational institution. As educational values and objectives vary between different schools, understanding your approach to classroom management and teaching methods can help employers assess whether you are the right fit for their facility. It also provides an opportunity for you to demonstrate your experience in the classroom and examples that highlight your classroom management techniques.
Example: "*I like to involve my students in all aspects of their education to encourage greater engagement with their learning. Not all students learn in the same way, so I find it important to provide the freedom to explore different methods, activities and materials that can maximise each individual student's potential.*
Though I like to encourage freedom within my classroom, I do believe it is important to remain in control of the learning environment so that students learn to be respectful and observant of what behaviours are acceptable. I often use seating charts which I update frequently to encourage students to get to know all of their classmates. I find this also increases concentration as students are better able to focus on their work if they are not regularly interacting with their friends."
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5. What is your approach to involving parents in your classroom management strategy?
Parents often play an integral role in their children's educational growth, where parental involvement can aid in providing extra support for children who are struggling to improve their performance. Interviewers might ask this question to understand what kind of communication methods you use to ensure that parents understand expectations in the classroom and how they can support their child's learning and behavioural needs. Describe to the interviewer how you create a dialogue with parents and provide examples of how you involve them in your approach to classroom management.
Example: "I find that building a relationship with the parents of my students from the beginning of the school year is important for maintaining educational growth and improving academic performance. My approach is to create an open dialogue from the beginning of the year and invite parents into the classroom to discuss our goals for the year and outline my expectations for student engagement, punctuality, attendance and behaviour. I ensure that I fully explain how rewarding students for meeting expectations and following disciplinary routes is important.
I find that this approach encourages parents to instil the same values into their children that we do within the school and helps them to support both students and teachers in building a positive learning environment. I send out regular progress reports for all of my students and arrange both face-to-face and telephone meetings to discuss both improvements and concerns. I have seen students perform much better when teachers and parents support learning and good behaviour both in and out of the classroom."
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