Interviews for Special Education Teaching positions are designed to determine candidates’ professional spirit and can be tough to answer.
But a candidate can be successful in an interview if s/he pays attention to the questions asked and has prepared somewhat.
But every interview is different; for positions that require much in terms of skills and qualifications, one needs to prepare for questions that are aimed at one’s ability to perform a job.
For instance, the position of a special education teacher will require a little more than a regular school teacher.
At an interview for this position, you may be judged on your knowledge of disabilities and emotional disorders so you must have information on these and should be able to talk intelligently.
You will also need to show your compassionate side – as compassion is a prerequisite of working at this position.
Let us look at some of the questions (with appropriate answers) that you may be asked during an interview for the position of a special education teacher.
See also: Special Education Teacher Resume
Special Education Teacher Interview Questions and Answers
What strengths do you bring as a special education teacher?
I am very expert in assisting and facilitating students with various learning tasks and bring 5 years of experience in the field. I am a strong motivator and also a compassionate person.
As a special education teacher, how do you ensure the success of lesson plans?
It is a given that special education is nothing like regular education, which means that all lesson plans designed for a special education class need to cater to the individual needs of students. For me, differentiated instruction is the route to success here.
I rely highly on adaptation methods such as modified materials, possibly with pictures and ensure that these are incorporated into lesson plans for efficacy.
Tell us a little about your students.
I have been fortunate in working with many students with diverse special education needs. I have had the opportunity to deal with students diagnosed with ADHD, autism, emotional and speech orders, and physical handicaps.
Why do you feel that special education teachers need to work well with others?
Handling special education means excellent communication skills. It is essential to get along with every individual that is part of a special education program. It is only through getting along that the objectives of a program are met.
Describe an unfortunate experience you may have had in this role.
It is unfortunate that despite skills and experience, one cannot possibly help every student in rehabilitating.
There was a student who had an emotional disorder, and his parents were sure he didn’t need a psychologist, so he was brought to the institute where I worked.
After six months of continuous therapy, the child had a breakdown because he was unable to cope with how we were handling him. His parents finally agreed to psychological counseling, but it did leave me upset for a while.
How do you adapt your lesson plans and material to meet the special needs of students?
After assessing each child thoroughly by applying various evaluation techniques, I develop a lesson plan utilizing differentiated instruction, which covers the learning styles of the majority of the students. I then also develop IEP’s for some students as needed.
Describe a challenging experience as a special education teacher and how you dealt with it?
I had an eight years old ADHD child in my classroom once. Rest of the children were having different problems and did not disrupt the lesson. He would make loud and sudden noises that disturbed the other children and also upset some.
I developed a short-term strategic plan based on negative reinforcement that worked wonders for the child, and his behavior became under control within a month.
Specify the students you have been working with?
I have worked with physical handicaps, ADHA patients, children with autism, mental retardation, Down’s syndrome and children with learning disabilities.
Do you think teamwork matters when it comes to special education?
Definitely! Special education demands more teamwork than a regular teaching position since the job requires collaboration with other teachers, mainstream teachers, instructional aides, parents and management on a regular basis to develop and implement unique teaching strategies to cater for the children’s special needs.
What is RTI?
RTI stands for a response to intervention. It is a data-based process of diagnosing and assessing learning related disabilities and to determine the appropriate instructional style to which the student responds well. In other words, it is a research-based intervention to enhance and facilitate the process of learning among children with special needs.
What is a multi-tiered approach? When do you implement it?
The multi-tiered approach is a teaching model that enables the teachers to pay attention to the needs of all the students in the classroom. The method divides the requirements into three tiers in the shape of a pyramid, beginning to form universal needs, moving up to the second tier, offering group targeted interventions to enable better learning.
What is the “individual with disabilities act?”
The individuals with disabilities act is a federal law that governs and dictates the policies applicable in early age interventions for children with special needs.