Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How do you Ensure that all Students are Learning in Your Classroom?


Here's a typical interview question for teachers: "How do you ensure that all students are actively learning in your classroom?"

This question is quite complicated and expects you to answer:
  • Differentiation - do you do it & if so, how do you do it?
  • Assessment - you can't really answer this question without first showing that you know the students abilities & levels. How do you do that?
  • Table groups - how do you group students? Similar abilities or mixed groups?
  • Group work and/or individual work - how many minutes do you spend in each?
  • Technology - do you make use of the technology available to you? How?
  • Lesson planning - how do you plan your lesson to cater to all the needs in your classroom?
  • Exceptionalities - how do you adapt your lessons for all the needs of your classroom - SEN, ESL and gifted & talented are included in this.
  • And finally, student engagement - how do you engage all the students in your classroom?
Most new teachers answer this question by telling the interviewer how much fun their lessons are, focusing on student engagement but forgetting that having the students adore you is only one part of the equation.

Experienced teachers tend to answer this question with more emphasis on assessment & lesson planning.

In my experience, it's incredibly rare for any teacher to answer all aspects of this question in an interview. So if you do, well done! It is hard as you usually feel you have to answer as much as possible in a limited time frame. But if you prepare your answer before hand, make some point form notes then you should be able to provide the interviewer with a much better understanding of who you are as a teacher.

I was inspired to write this blog post after reading Sarah Ebner's blog today called, Teaching according to ability: do you, and your child, know what table she is on?

For more information about preparing for teacher interviews, please see:

Typical Interview Questions for Teaching in London
How to Apply for Teaching Jobs in England by email
52 Reasons to Teach in London, England
Teacher Job Vacancies in London, England

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Download a free chapter of the ebook,
Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians.Any questions? I'd be happy to answer it in our comments section below. Chances are someone else has the same question as you so please don't be shy!

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