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Teacher Interview Questions

1.

a) Why did you decide to enter teaching?

I first began school wanting to be a lawyer, but I realized i was not good at math and they
required a lot of math classes. I then changed my degree to business administration and I did not
like those classes either. My dad has always been a high school teacher and some of my best
friends were going into education to teach also. I asked them questions and thats when I
changed my Major to education.
b) How many years have you been teaching?
My first year teaching was assistant teaching, and then I have taught three years as a teacher.
c) What grade levels and/or subject areas have you taught?
My first year I assisted teaching in fourth grade, and the past three years I have taught in first
grade and kindergarten.
2.

a) How is your classroom arranged to optimize learning?

First we learn by the Montessori training and our four standards we teach are...
a. Practical Life
b. Sensorial
c. Language Arts
d. Science and Geography
b) What are your strategies for effective classroom management?
We have two rules which are respect the environment and respect all living things.
I personally try to relate the consequences to the actions. Ex. Talking in a line=sit in the corner
quietly by yourself.
c) What types of lesson plans do you create? How do you incorporate state standards in
the curriculum?
We teach our Lessons from the Montessori albums, but since we are a public school we are
encouraged to create our own ideas. Everything in the albums are related to the state standards.
We as teachers just have to make sure we read over the state standards and relate them to the
lesson.
3.

For you, what are the most exciting aspects of teaching and your work?

Everyday being different and getting to know the kids personalities they have. I could be having
a bad day and a kid knows just what to say to put a smile on my face. Sometimes when Im gone
for a sick day Ill miss them so much, and when I come back the kids are all giving me hugs.
Who has given you the most support in learning to be an effective teacher?

4.

Linda Rome, who is kindergarten teacher. She plays different roles for me. Sometimes shes a
mentor, other times shes being a mother, my best friend, or a kindergarten teacher.
5.

How do you encourage involvement of parents and families in school and your
classroom?

At the beginning of the year I have a class copy, which allows parents to learn about the
Montessori program and parents are allowed to visit the classroom and ask questions. I also have
a weekly newsletter that goes out and informs parents about the progress of the students. I also
encourage parents to get involved by joining field trips, volunteering in the classroom, pitching
in a bringing in supplies for special events and helping the students.
How much time do you spend outside of the work day on preparation and grading?

6.

Grading is not applicable for kindergarten. As far as preparation goes I spend one hour a week
Montessori training and at least a couple hours a week beyond that.
What do you think are the most difficult challenges for teachers?

7.

We care but theres a lot of distractions like staff meetings, teaching Montessori at a public level,
preparing kids for ISTEP. You can easily get burned out.
8.

What do you see as the pros and cons of ISTEP? In what ways, if any, has ISTEP
affected your teaching?

I do not like ISTEP because it measures numbers not progress. I personally would like to see
growth versus achieving a certain success of a number. It puts a lot of stress to the teacher and
staff and it affects the students learning tremendously. Preparing for the kids is a struggle, and the
kids talk about it and how difficult it is. I have seem some teachers cheat the system because they
fear losing their job as a direct representation of their work.
9.

What are your favorite hobbies?

I love being outdoors, music, taking pictures, swing dancing, working out, basketball and sand
volleyball. I love boating in kentucky during the summer, taking naps and reading a good book.
10.

What motivates you to continue in the education field on a daily basis?

Being able to be involved in the community, have a great group of teachers and seeing the kids
every day.

11.

What made you first realize you wanted to teach?

After I changed my major the first two times I realized by the interest in my dad teaching and my
friends.
12.

How do you continue your professional development? What is required to maintain


your teaching license?

Im weekly doing Montessori training, staff principal meetings and being involved with the
magnet fair in the community. Every teacher is required to renew their license by having
completed so many credits every five years. Eventually you are required to attain your masters
the PHd as a professional continuing to develop.
13.

How do you know you are successful?

I dont know. Its difficult being in a public school following the Montessori training and
teaching. Its a much different program and they clash at times. Traditional school choices are
much different. I know when kids are learning Im successful. I always try to teach respect and
being a better person overall.
14.

What advice would you give to a future teacher?

Finding out early what you want to do and making a decision. Having a major in mind but
having another plan if it does not work out. I personally struggle at times and especially with
where Im at and what God wants me to do. I have a major in education and it was hard to find a
job once I graduated. When I did get a job I was first a teachers assistant and not in my own
classroom. I had to realized that God had put me in a place right now and thats where he wanted
me to be. Learning to trust him.

Accepting your calling in life is the precursor towards entering any professional field.
Everything that leads you up to that focal point will direct your decisions and what path you
choose to go forward with. The talents and gifts that Ms. Coleman possess have shaped and
molded her to be creative, alive, articulate, and committed in building a foundation for students
and future students.
Ms. Coleman, a third year kindergarten teacher, at Francis W. Parker school 56 in the
Indianapolis Public School district has traits that makes her rich. What makes her a rich teacher?
She comes from a different background, family, traditions, and values which set her apart from
her counterparts and other teachers.The uniqueness of each teacher provides for new learning
opportunities and growth for her and her students.
She first began her post high school college courses studying law. After consideration she
changed her major to accounting, then finally education. In her decision(s) to change her major
she personally discovered what she did not like. She committed to her calling after questioning
her dad, a high school teacher, and her best friend from college who is in the education field. The
choices you make today lead up to that point.
I first began college taking psychology classes with full intent to never change my major.
I wanted to become a counselor, but quickly changed my major after deep consideration of what
my gifts were. Im now immersed in the education field after concerning myself with what my
true calling is.
Ms. Colemans personal values of respecting the environment and all living things are
honorable to mention. She brings to the classroom an area which she can encourage and allow
the students to learn self discipline themselves and be in a creative learning environment. Ms.

Coleman does a great job being patient with her students and allowing the growth to take place.
This level of commitment is demonstrated in her classroom.
In the classroom she practices and teaches from the Montessori guidebook. Montessori is
an idea that allows the students to psychologically learn by hands on activities. The challenge in
a public school is providing state standards in the curriculum of the Montessori program without
getting burned out.
(Koch, 2012) One of the most important protections from burnout is being
reflective. (p.34)
When continually using the resources around you and learning throughout your career, and with
advancement of knowledge and level of experience you will avoid being burned out.
Learning about the Montessori program opened my eyes to teaching Ive never seen
before. It made me aware that everyone learns differently and the Montessori program offers
many ways to learn. In her classroom she has it set up by the Montessori method practical life ,
sensorial, language arts, and science and geography. (Koch,2012) Its a kinesthetic approach,
which allows you to actively explore activities and lessons hands on. (p.111)
Accepting the call of an educator reflects Ms. Colemans and my own past experiences
with teachers, coaches, mentors and parents. Im more driven now by the challenge ahead of me,
the opportunity to be a role model, and seeing the growth of a child..

Reference Page

Koch, J. (2012). Teaching Stories. Teach (p. 34). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
"One of the most important protections from burnout is being reflective."
Koch, J. (2012). Who Are Today's Students?. Teach (p. 111). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.