Preschoolers are valuable assets in the educational system. By stepping into the world of schooling, young children are learning for the first time how to navigate the ever-changing world.
With that said, preschools need effective teachers that can successfully educate preschoolers in many learning areas than one. However, schools may find it difficult at times to find and hire professional individuals to take on the job. That’s why it’s important to ask the right questions in the interview. By asking the right questions, no stone would be left unturned, and hiring management can make a great selection when choosing a preschool teacher.
In this quick guide, we’ll show what areas to keep in mind, as well as what kinds of questions to ask, when interviewing potential teachers for preschoolers.
Refer To The Principles
“When hiring preschool teachers, you’ll need to refer to the principles that revolve around preschool education,” says Thomas Macarthur, a teaching blogger at Nextcoursework and Phdkingdom. “Principles help to not only understand the role, but to also see if candidates wield and value the same beliefs when it comes to teaching preschoolers.”
To put this in further perspective, consider the following principles:
- Preschool teachers must foster an inclusive and welcoming environment that’s supportive to all children. No child should be left behind due to race, gender, family background, etc. Understand that ALL children have their own strengths, needs, and interests.
- Preschool teachers must provide meaningful engagement for all families, regardless of their background, neighborhood, demographic, and so on. Like children, ALL families have their own strengths, needs, and interests.
- Preschool teachers must get acquainted with all children and families, show the upmost respect for them, and build positive relationships with each of them.
With that said, here are some of the best questions to ask when discussing the principles:
- How do you measure student success?
- What are some of the best ways to manage a classroom when things become disruptive?
- How do you maintain positivity and learning in the classroom?
This leads to the next point: Teaching philosophy.
Understand Candidates’ Teaching Philosophies
There is right or wrong philosophy to believe in when it comes to teaching to preschoolers. In fact, many teachers will have their own unique ways in teaching students. Much of their philosophies can come from their own experiences in their favorite subjects. So, it’s not unusual to look inside the heart and soul of an educator.
With that in mind, here are some good questions to ask about teaching philosophy:
- Describe your teaching or education philosophy. How would you describe it?
- What is your favorite subject growing up? And how would you apply that passion in your teaching?
- As you organize the classroom, how would you prioritize duties?
- How do you approach a student who is reluctant to learn? How would you help them achieve academic success?
- What are some of the greatest challenges that children are facing today?
- How does your teaching philosophy fit into the mold of diversity and positivity in school?
- What is one great success that you have had as a teacher?
- What kinds of challenges do you face as an educator? And how have you overcome said challenges?
Teaching philosophies are great windows in learning how well an educator will perform in the classroom.
Be Specific In Your Questions
Now, it’s important to be specific when asking questions to candidates. This ensures that you learn enough information about the people looking to be the next preschool teacher in your school. With that in mind, consider ask the following questions:
- What inspires you to teach preschoolers rather than older students?
- How would you make the preschool classroom more interesting?
- How would you take on language development in your teaching preschool?
- What would be the biggest challenge when working with small children?
- How would you keep records of your teaching endeavors in a preschool setting?
- What is your plan when communicating with parents?
These types of questions are extremely important for the interview, because they help an interviewer get to know the interviewee. In other words, you’ll get an idea on how the candidate will fare in the classroom setting on a day-to-day basis. With these questions, your candidate should give you an in-depth understanding of how they’ll operate as an educator.
Next, take your candidates through various scenarios. In other words, have them step into the shoes of an educator, if they were to work for your school. Consider asking them operational and situational questions such as the following:
- What do you do when you see two preschoolers misbehaving and fighting?
- What would you do if you see a child showed act in defiance?
- Suppose you see a child who might appear neglected by his or her family. What type(s) of action would you take to ensure the safety of the child?
- What would you do if saw a child get hurt while playing during recess, or while doing activities in the classroom?
As you can see, these operational and situational questions give you a taste of what to expect from the candidate should they be selected for the job. By asking these questions, you’ll know how well the candidate will perform in the classroom.
Look Into Behavioral Aspects
“Behavior is at the forefront of working with preschoolers,” says Nancy Wiseman, an educator at Origin writings and Dissertation Writing Services. “Preschoolers are prone to behaving and misbehaving at any given time. The teacher must be able to handle any situation, including behavioral issues from preschoolers. So, as a hiring manager, you’ll need to ask candidates questions on how they handle certain behaviors from preschoolers.”
With that said, here are some behavioral questions to ask in your next interview with candidates:
- How would you describe your handling of misbehaving children?
- When was there a time when you had to deal with concerned and aggressive parents? How did you come to a calm resolution?
- What was one group activity that your students enjoyed doing?
Behavioral aspects show you how various educators respond to different situations in the classroom.
Listen For Great Responses
Finally, nothing makes the interview more effective than listening to your candidates as you interview them. Listen to how they approach each question, and if whether or not their answers were wholesome.
Here are some of the signs to look for:
- How confident is the candidate when they answer your questions?
- How do their answers relate to the questions asked?
- Are there any questions that they hesitated on? If so, what are they?
- How is the candidate physically? (Consider the person’s body language.)
As you can see, much consideration is needed when interviewing future preschool teachers. While asking basic questions in an interview is key, it’s still important to ask in-depth questions like the ones that we’ve discussed here.
By following this quick guide, not only will you know what kinds of questions to ask candidates, but your hiring management will be sure to choose the right person for the job. We hope that this guide is beneficial in your hiring endeavors.