6 Interview Questions About How to Run a Classroom (Plus Tips)
The steps that can be taken to help students learn and act well in class are called “classroom management.” The school’s hiring manager may use your interview to learn more about how you work in the classroom and how you get along with your students. If you’re looking for a job as a teacher, it can help to know why and how to answer these questions from hiring managers. This article looks at six classroom management interview questions and gives you some sample answers that you can use as a model for your own answers.
How to run a classroom: 6 questions and sample answers
Here are some questions and answers about how to run a classroom that you can use to prepare for a meeting with a hiring manager or principal:
1. How do you discipline disruptive students?
Students who don’t pay attention are a normal part of the classroom, and the hiring manager may ask you this question to find out how you make sure that all students can learn. In bigger schools where there are more students in each class, the principal may want to make sure you can handle disruptions so that students can learn. Because of how they act, many students are a distraction, and the principal may look at your answer to see what you do to help those students learn, too. To answer, tell me how you create the best environment for students to learn and how you get students who are causing trouble to go in a different direction.
Example: “When a student is acting up in class, the first thing I do is give them some space so they can calm down and get back to learning. This could be done by taking them aside or giving them a moment alone in the hallway. When I had a teaching assistant with me, the assistant would take them away for a moment and help them calm down. I would talk to them after class, go over the material they had missed, and help them think of ways to avoid the problem in the future.”
2. Do you keep things in order in a certain way?This question could be asked by the principal or the person in charge of hiring to find out how well you organize and get along with others. There are many ways to keep order in the classroom, such as how the room is set up and how you talk to the students. By asking this question, the hiring manager or team can learn more about how you teach and see if it fits with the school’s philosophy of education.
Example: “My favorite way to keep order in the classroom is to use a call-out-and-answer method. I try to use words and phrases that my students will find fun and interesting. As an elementary school teacher, it’s important to make learning and keeping things in order fun so that students will want to take part.”
What would you do if a student threw a pencil at you while you were writing on the board or briefly paying attention to something else?
The person interviewing you might make up a situation to see how well you can run a classroom. Here, the student may do something that makes you angry or sad, and the interviewer may want to know how you handle that. It can be hard when other students know more than you do about what’s going on. By telling the principal or hiring manager how you will do things, you can show that you know how to run a classroom.
Example: “In this situation, keeping my cool is the first and most important thing to do. First, I’d tell them that throwing things in the classroom isn’t safe or helpful. I would keep teaching the lesson until the end of class, when I would give the student a chance to say what they were sorry for. If they didn’t want to, I’d give them pieces of paper and ask them to tell me who had thrown the pencil without telling me their names. I would talk to the student after class about how they behaved and try to figure out why they did what they did.”
4. How does the way you run your classroom depend on your teaching philosophy?
A teaching philosophy is a personal statement about how you feel about education and how you want to work with students. You can use it to figure out what to do and how to run your classroom. For instance, if your teaching philosophy is based on openness and communication, you might set up your classroom so that all of your students can talk to each other and to you.
Example: “My cover letter shows that my teaching philosophy is based on the idea that everyone needs to learn in a healthy way. Because of this, I try to find ways to include students of all levels in my class. I make sure there are things to see, hear, and do in my lesson plans and classrooms. I also make sure the classroom has safe, quiet places where students can go when they need a break.”
5. How do you like to run a classroom?
The way you run your classroom can show the hiring manager what you care about and what you want to do. They may want to know more about how you describe your approach and what your top priorities are when planning how to run the classroom. This information can help the principal or hiring team decide if you are a good fit for the job or not. There are many ways to run a classroom. You can be authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, or indulgent.
Example: “I would say that the way I run my classroom is authoritative, but not authoritarian. I like to use everything I know when I teach, so I put a lot of emphasis on rules and good behavior, but I also try to keep my students interested and have fun. I like to have meetings with my class at the start and end of each day to talk about our goals and the work we’ve done. I give my students clear chances to talk about their education and what they think about it.”
6. Tell me about a time when you did a good job of running your classroom.
The interviewer can learn more about you by asking you about your approach and having you talk about hypothetical situations. But they might also ask you to show them how well you handle things. To see if you are a good fit for the job, they might want to see proof that you have run a classroom before. To answer this question, think of a time when the way you ran your class helped your students focus on learning and growing, and describe what you did.
Example: “When I started teaching, I had a group of kids who all knew each other and liked to talk. I tried to talk to them and tell them that their talking made it hard for others to learn and made it hard for them to learn, but they couldn’t stay quiet for long. I tried giving them their own rooms, but that made them even more confused. Instead of trying to stop them from talking, I focused on the fact that they liked to talk and built talk time into each lesson. I gave each student one minute to say what they were thinking. After that, we all went back to the lesson without getting off track.”
How a teacher should do an interview
As a teacher, your interview is a big chance to show the hiring manager what you believe in and how you teach. People usually do things like show up on time, dress well, and follow up after the interview. Some practices are more about teaching than about doing. Here are some tips for teachers who are going on job interviews:
- Make sure you show how much you enjoy teaching. You can try to show how much you want to teach by how you answer each interview question. Think about talking about how you connect with your students, how you do things differently, and why you wanted to become a teacher.
- Tell me what you’re doing to learn. As a teacher, it’s important to keep learning and looking for more information so you can give your students the best experience possible. Talk about the classes or certifications you are taking to keep learning during the interview.
- Try to be sure of yourself before the meeting. Focus on having good posture, making good eye contact, and smiling as ways to become more confident. If you do this during the meeting, you and the interviewer may both feel more comfortable.
- Bring some examples of what you teach. This can include things like your lesson plans, your certifications, and the things you’ve done as a teacher. If the hiring manager or principal asks how you plan your lessons, you can show them an example while you talk about it.