Interviews for teaching assistant position may not be dedicated learning grounds but they do teach us a lot. A successful interview gets us the job – an unsuccessful one prepares us for the next one. A teacher assistant interview is a win-win shot! Being afraid of an impending interview is pointless. If you don’t gain a job out of it, you will gain valuable experience that you can use to prepare for a subsequent interview. So whatever you do, never miss an interview on account of it is not important!
The interview process is hard without a doubt. One sits down for hours, sometimes days to prepare for questions that may be asked. Often, we are not even sure of what questions we will be asked – just a hint of possible ones. But slaving away at understanding concepts particular to our job descriptions and then preparing answers to possible questions is the only way of making sure that we do somewhat well at an interview. This struggle however, is not fruitless.
A teacher assistant for example, will spend quite some time determining what type of questions she will be asked. Some will be targeted at her personality and ability to handle students’ behavior – others will be aimed at determining how well she can impart education alongside a lead teacher.
What follows below is a set of interview questions and answers for a teacher assistant position:
Teacher Assistant Interview Questions and Answers
Why should we hire you?
You should hire me because my profile is in exact synchronization with your demands for the job. Additionally I offer 3+ years of relevant experience and K-12 Certification.
In a teacher assistant role, what do you intend to achieve eventually?
Eventually, I would like to work as a lead teacher. But as a teacher assistant, I want to make a difference in the lives of young people by nurturing them emotionally and providing them with a solid basis on which to develop on.
What has been your experience in assisting teachers in the classroom?
I have been working as a teacher assistant for 3+ years now and have experienced different facets of working at this position. From handling student behavioral problems and managing research work, to handling classroom instruction on my own, I have done it all.
Explain a typical day in the life of a teacher’s assistant?
A typical day begins with preparing the classroom for day’s activities followed by welcoming the kids. Other tasks include facilitating the teacher in implementation of the lesson, collecting and marking home assignments. Supervising the children in play time and providing one on one tutoring sessions to students who need assistance or extra help.
Why did you choose teaching assistance field?
I chose this field because I enjoy being around children and I’m particularly good at understanding their leaning styles. I enjoy discovering different effective ways of teaching and implementing the same.
Share an event where you did beyond what was expected of your role?
Last year the school was planning the annual parent’s day function and the class teacher went on sick leave a fortnight before. The admin was cancelling the performance (mime) of the class due to her absence when I stepped-in and volunteered to prepare the students for the same. The children were very happy, the mime was well prepared and also won a prize at the event.
What are your three strengths as a Teacher Assistant?
My strong communication skills, patience and knowledge regarding learning disability protocols are the three main strengths that support me in this role.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of your job?
Although I enjoy my job in its totality, that includes all aspects, but my favorite element associated with the job is the satisfaction that comes when my efforts enable a child to understand or achieve something. It’s an unparalleled feeling of contentment and achievement.
What strategies do you use to maintain discipline in the classroom?
To maintain discipline, I usually find keeping the students engaged and counsel them regarding classroom rules enough. If needed, I utilize behavioral strategies or ‘time-out’ occasionally.
What do you do if a child’s academic performance is not up to the mark?
I try to identify the reason of under achievement. Once the issue is identified I address it in the most appropriate manner after discussing with the class teacher and the child’s parents or guardian.
Do you think team work is important for a teacher’s aide?
Yes, teaching strategies cannot be implemented by a single person. Every person associated with the child’s academics including all the teachers, the class in charge, the home teacher and the child’s parents have to work in collaboration to ensure proper learning is taking place.
Share a difficult situation in your professional life and how did you handle it?
In 2011, my class was went on a hiking trip. The children were walking in a line and I was in charge of the seven kids at the end. I was walking behind them when one of the kids had an asthma attack. I called for help and immediately provided Basic Life Support. The child was taken back under supervision within minutes
Which did you enjoy more; Primary School or High School?
I thoroughly enjoyed working with both levels. However, now I look more forward to working at the High School level.
Why High School?
I found a High School environment more challenging and informative in terms of learning from experience. With the fast paced environment, I felt I can challenge myself to achieve what may at first seem impossible to do. I have also gotten many chances to overtake classes when the teacher is unavailable and this experience of direct interaction with children has been very enlightening.
Tell us about a situation where you had to take a decision on your own without the teacher’s guidance.
One day it so happened that the teacher, due to some personal circumstances, was unable to take class and asked me to be in charge. That day was discussion day over a certain history paper the class had taken earlier and I was honestly not prepared for such a situation. However, I was determined to make it work. I decided to the put the class in groups of two to exchange their papers, discuss and jot down points. And during this activity, I was able to make my own understanding of this paper and at the end of the activity we were able engage in mutual discussion that proved very fruitful.
How do you maintain student motivation?
Maintaining student motivation is probably the most challenging part of my work. But if one understands that each student’s motivational factor and trigger is different, it is not too difficult to manage. I make it a point to connect to each student on a personal level to understand his or her motivational trigger and then plan things accordingly.
Do you believe that children with special or additional learning needs should be part of a regular class? Why or why not?
I do believe that they should be part of regular classes. The reason for this is the fact that if they are isolated, they feel abandoned which is not good for their morale. Also, students learn from each other – children with special or additional needs have specific talents that regular children lack at times and the learning is quite profound both ways.
Where do you see yourself after 10 years from now?
After 10 years, I see myself as a successful university professor at a well reputed university.