The special education teacher job is very challenging as compared to the other teaching jobs.
This unique profession requires adapting lessons and adjusting educational materials to the needs of each individual child, as well as consistently monitoring his/her progress; to maximize the child’s potential. Therefore a special education teacher requires much insight into each personality, as well as a large pool of techniques to work from. In the process, one develops expertise in a variety of special education fields.
Herein are presented interview questions specifically related to the special education field.
You can also refer to the following articles for further information:
This article brings the 10 frequently asked special education job interview questions and suggests tips on answering these questions.
Special Education Teacher
Interview Questions and Answers
► Why did you choose a career in special education? Why do you want to work with children with special needs?
Be honest. What indeed did motivate you? Perhaps it was a need to work with those that have the biggest need. Maybe the impact you could have, watching transformations of personality and ability. Or was there someone in your life who benefitted from a S.E. teacher, which inspired you? Express yourself enthusiastically.
You will be asked about the variety of challenges in your experience. Specify the disabilities and disorders that you’ve been working with, such as: physical handicaps, speech disorders, language and processing difficulties, autism and Aspergers spectrum, ADD and ADHD, behavioral disorders and others.
► What is your philosophy?
How do you set your teaching goals for special education? How have you monitored the progress of each child? How would you define success in special education teaching? Tell us about success/failures stories. Speak about articles you have read, and techniques you have observed. Of course, include your own – especially the more fascinating examples.
► What is your greatest achievement?
Prepare your presentation of this matter. Review it with a colleague and even some friends to ensure a lucid, clear and to the point delivery.
Tell us about your past professional team work in programs such as support colleges: education teachers, special education administration, speech teachers and social workers. How did you take the assistance and support of these staff to enhance student achievements, meet their special needs and to reach your students potential? If you have many such examples to share, list them and consult with a colleague to select just a couple which present you in the best light. You want to bring out your strengths as will be shown through your description of your dealings.
How would you ensure that each individual child receive the maximum support he needs? How would you utilize and adapt class lessons and educational material to meet the learning abilities of each individual child? Use your experience, and utilize techniques you have observed or studied.
► Professional Meetings
Have you conducted (or participated) in CSE, Committee on Special Education meetings? Describe your role in these meeting. Mention note taking, comments you responded to, thoughts it generated, what you gained from the meetings.
► Education Plan
Have you written IEP or participated in meeting for writing Individualized Education Plan? If you have, bring an example or two with you and show the interviewer.
► Regular Education Programs
Should students with disability participate in the regular education programs if possible? Use your experience as well as current approaches to formulate a direction. Clarify that you can go either way, according to the director and associates.
► Special Qualities
What particular skills and qualities can you bring for us? What are your strengths? How would you contribute to our workforce and to the teachers’ teamwork and our team effort? Use professional words, and include whatever applies to you: dedication, perseverance, creativity, enthusiasm, diligence, firmness, determination, passion, zeal, etc.
Six Tips to answer the above questions
- Talk about the factors and values that are most important for you working in special education.
- Review related material in this field. Prepare special stories related to particular children and the way you enhanced their capabilities.
- Express your desire to work with kids with special needs and the reason for that – helping others, pleasure in reaching goals and the emotional thrill in seeing the progress of the kids.
- No work is flawless, especially in this field. You can talk about past difficulties and how you handled these difficulties.
- You can also relate a failure and your lesson learned; be brief with this, and sandwich it b between success stories. You may want to review your choice with an experienced colleague.
- Special education teachers are team players and therefore require collaboration with professional staff. Demonstrate your teamwork skills by narrating your past successful interactions with colleges and how you’ve managed with the team work to benefit your students.
Job Interviews for Teachers