A good early education teacher is hard to find, although there are plenty of those who claim to be professionals. An interview is a good way to sift out undeserving candidates and choose the ones with the most appropriate knowledge and background. How to conduct it and what questions to ask? We’ve tried to make a short list for you.
Tell about yourself. What is your education and background?
Obviously, you need to know if a person has relevant education and experience in early childhood education. Usually, a bachelor’s degree and state certification are enough. Naturally, if a person has Master’s or PhD, it is even better.
What additional training opportunities have you used?
Early childhood education is not an area you can master in four years, so ideally, a teacher should be learning for her entire life. A person who claims to know everything there is to know about teaching does not understand the main thing – everything changes, and if you don’t change, sooner or later you get obsolete.
What is teaching for you?
Listen carefully. There are no right or wrong answers to this question, but a person MUST have a reason to work as a teacher. If she cannot come up with anything besides ‘I just like it’, she is hardly a deserving candidate.
What are the strengths that help you be a good teacher?
This question is related to the previous one and must reveal what a person recognizes as features of a deserving teacher. Make sure your opinions correspond. Excessive self-criticism in the answer is not a good sign. You need a teacher who is confident and believes in her abilities.
What challenges have you experienced during the years of work? What experience have you gained?
If a teacher cannot come up with anything – she is not trustworthy. Every person makes mistakes, and it is better to acknowledge and learn from them than to deny their existence.
Do you end the day covered in paint and glitter?
This is the question to relax a little bit. According to Richard Cohen, an early childhood educator simply must have glitter in his eyebrows by the end of the day – it means he is doing the job right.
What were your greatest previous achievements in early childhood education?
Even the smallest advances have to be a great joy for an early childhood educator, and remembering the moments when children demonstrated achievements made with the help of their teacher is a sign of a real enthusiast.
What does professionalism mean for you?
What do you learn from your students?
How do you communicate with parents and what do you require from them?
What do you do if a lesson doesn’t work out as planned?
Make sure you can establish a contact with the person while interviewing and see that children are her real passion. Otherwise, even a PhD in the relevant area won’t make a good teacher.