language arts teacher interview questions

As an educator, finding the best language arts teacher for their classroom is an important decision. It is important to take the time to ask the right questions during an interview to ensure the best candidate is chosen for the role. To help, we have compiled a list of the top language arts teacher interview questions. These questions are designed to help hiring managers get insight into a candidate’s qualifications, skill set, and experience. By asking the right questions, a hiring manager can assess a candidate’s suitability for the role and ensure the best possible fit. Additionally, the questions can be tailored to the requirements of the specific job and school district. With this in mind, here are some of the key language arts teacher interview questions that should be asked.

Background and experience are especially important as an English teacher, which is why interviewers often ask questions like:
  • What inspired you to become a teacher?
  • How would you describe your teaching style?
  • What teaching methods do you use?
  • What steps do you take to ensure your students understand the lesson?

ULTIMATE Teacher Interview Questions And Answers Guide

What is the best English lesson you have delivered so far?

Tests the ability to evaluate a good lesson. Also reveals teaching style and planning skills.

Describe a time when you collaborated with another colleague. What happened?

tests one’s capacity for teamwork, communication skills, and openness to learning from others.

Interview Questions for High School English Teachers:

Evaluates candidates passion for literature and their love for reading.

Interview with Lisa Butler, Middle School Spanish Teacher and Faculty Member at Harrisburg University

We spoke with Web 2 and Lisa Butler, a middle school Spanish teacher in Pennsylvania at the time of the interview. 0 in the Classroom at Harrisburg University. She know teaches middle grades social studies. Lisa graduated from Elizabethtown College with a BS in Social Studies Education before pursuing a master’s degree in learning technologies at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology.

lisa-butlerPlease describe what a typical day is like for you as a Spanish teacher, Lisa. I try to arrive at school by 6:45 AM so I have fifteen minutes to read the news or check Twitter for professional resources and enjoy my coffee. At 7 PM, I have an open door help policy; I encourage students to come in early for personalized help if they need extra help or practice. Normally, I have a few students a week take me up on the offer.

All my students have access to technology in the classroom. Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) and some netbooks are available to my sixth-graders. The eighth grade is 1:1 with netbooks. I update my home base, Edmodo, before my first class period. I publish the daily schedule, required materials, and/or links every day. Students can quickly catch up on their classwork and/or assignments if they miss class for any reason. Students don’t have to search through numerous websites for resources because they are aware of where to look to find what they need. Because I maintain a calendar for each class, they are also aware of upcoming and due dates.

I spend the majority of my day teaching Spanish to sixth- and eighth-graders. I occasionally also have lunch duty or a department meeting where we discuss the curriculum, common tests, or other matters pertaining to the department. Only a small portion of my day is dedicated to talking to parents and/or students. On Edmodo, students frequently ask questions, and parents email questions or concerns.

I assist with afterschool activities on some days when classes are in session. It is co-advising a BYOT club and a Spanish club this year. Other years, I’ve helped with Intermural sports and tutoring. On school grounds, that typically marks the end of my day. I could always be working on something at home, such as updating the class website, grading, planning, etc.

What aspects of your job are the most difficult, and how do you overcome them? Planning is one of the most difficult aspects of the job. The success of teaching depends on careful planning, which should include detailed plans B, C, and possibly D. This also entails changing lessons as needed to ensure that each student comprehends them. I’ve been better about not applying lessons to myself that didn’t work out. Finding ways to get better before the next class is a better use of your time and energy.

Another challenge is being a baggage handler. Many students enter the classroom with problems from outside that will hinder their ability to learn. It is upsetting when students lose interest in learning or become unfocused while doing so. In order for the students to put their personal issues aside and concentrate on their studies, you as a teacher must work especially hard to build relationships.

What you love most about being a teacher isn’t the fabled summers off, is it? Making students lifelong learners is what I like most about teaching. Since I am a middle school teacher, my aim is to motivate the students to learn as much as they can rather than to achieve complete mastery.

I still think back on the teachers I had in school who encouraged me to learn more and not just about what was covered in class. I firmly believe that students are accessing knowledge in different ways. When a subject really grabs their attention, I love playing the role of the guide and directing them to further information. If they want to learn about the past tense in sixth grade, they can have a real life preview thanks to the instant connectivity online. I’m not a knowledge gatekeeper trying to prevent them from learning. These memorable, unplanned learning experiences are more likely to inspire them to pursue knowledge throughout their lives, whether they are interested in learning Spanish, German, history, technology, or something completely unrelated.

For some students, learning a foreign language can be difficult. There are some lessons that are consistent over time, but for the most part, every year the lessons are tailored for the group of students I have. How do you make Spanish lessons relevant to your students’ lives and emphasize the importance of learning another language? I’ve heard it said that once you’ve taught for a while, you can just copy what you did before and you don’t have to put as much effort into planning. But, I am unsatisfied with just copying. There are so many wonderful ways to engage students in Spanish. It significantly alters their world when they hear or observe it. I adore it when there are Spanish-speaking portions in commercials, songs on the radio, and movies. But you can’t use these highly appealing items repeatedly without losing their appeal.

Beginning in the first week of class, I make an effort to have the students notice the Spanish around them. We typically talk about places they’ve seen Spanish before, like food cartons, instruction books, clothing labels, etc. I ask them to bring in a photo of something they discovered in Spanish around their home. I also make a Google form where I ask people if they know anyone who speaks Spanish and where they are from. The responses are automatically geotagged with the respondent’s name and country of origin. The sixth graders are ecstatic to run into familiar faces. They can find out who has a more diverse culture by conversing with the adults in their lives.

What is your best piece of advice for recent graduates preparing to begin a career as teachers? “Be ready to clearly articulate your learning goals and assessments.” Although we as teachers would like to believe that lessons are about teaching, many students and parents see them as being more grade-centric. Your job will be easier if you have clear assessment policies and expectations. Before entering the classroom, I wish I had been exposed to more assessment research and theories. We are reading How to Grade for Learning by Ken O’Connor in my professional discussion group. This would be a perfect pre-classroom reading. In the beginning of my career, not all of my assessments yielded the grades I anticipated. Additionally, not all submissions must be graded. I once felt as though I was buried under an avalanche of grading; today, I provide prompt and appropriate feedback rather than always assigning grades for assignments.

We sincerely thank Lisa for sharing her educational advice. Visit her blog, Adventures with Technology, for more teaching inspiration, or view Spanish Techbook, a digital techbook that she has created for her sixth-grade students to use in place of a traditional textbook. Finally, connect with Lisa on Twitter @SrtaLisa.

Do your homework! Prepare your own answers to these commonly asked questions to help you pass the interview test.

language arts teacher interview questions

by Dr. Mary Clement for NEA Member Benefits


Interview with Megan Favre, Texas Third Grade Language Arts Teacher

We recently had the chance to speak with Megan Favre, a third-grade language arts teacher in the Houston region. After 14 years of teaching in first-, second-, third-, and fourth-grade classrooms, Megan quips that she is an expert packer. She attended Louisiana State University for all of her academic degrees, earning a BS in Elementary Education, an MA in Curriculum & Instruction, and an EdS in Reading. She was less mobile due to her academic pursuits. During our conversation, Megan shared how she overcame her biggest professional obstacles, why she loves teaching, and her straightforward advice for aspiring teachers.

megan-favreWhat is a typical day as a teacher like for you? The simple version has me teaching reading, writing, and working with small groups while my students work independently. I love the Comprehension Toolkit for whole group reading instruction and a mixture of Lucy Calkins and the Six Traits for writing instruction. Reading The Daily Five changed my classroom management during small-group time. It answered the question for me of what are the rest of the students doing during this time that is academically meaningful.

Meetings, emails, resolving conflicts, fire drills, dealing with behavior problems, attending to a sick or injured child, forgetting something I needed to do, and finally laughing about it all with my teaching partner at the end of the school day are all part of the real-life version.

What aspects of your job are the most demanding, and how do you deal with them? For me, it’s the ones that require me to go beyond just teaching kids. There is no teacher who loves all the meetings, paperwork, and documentation. Because I enjoy creating lesson plans and teaching, it can be very tempting to ignore the aspects of my job that I don’t particularly enjoy. I’ve found that keeping up with all the paperwork will prevent it from becoming too overwhelming. It becomes more difficult to motivate yourself to catch up the further behind you are.

Which aspect of being a teacher do you enjoy the most? Without a doubt, getting to spend the day with children. I adore their distinct personalities and their enthusiasm for both big and small things. It’s simple to get overwhelmed or frustrated with all the teaching duties you have to perform that have nothing to do with these cute, little kids. The hugs and high fives I receive at the end of the day serve as a reminder of why I do this.

I certainly don’t have this one down pat, but I do learn a little bit more each year about how to successfully balance obligations at home and at work. The easiest and occasionally most difficult step you can take is to refrain from checking your email at home. The feelings that are triggered when you get an email about unfinished paperwork, a change you don’t like, or a note from a disgruntled parent keep you away from your family. Ignorance is bliss.

The best way to achieve balance is to count on the support of your family. Moms have unwittingly fallen victim to the unrealistic expectation that we should be able to care for our families while also working a demanding full-time job. That’s a recipe for a full-blown meltdown. The majority of us probably need more assistance but don’t ask for it. If your family doesn’t know what you need from them, they won’t be able to support you.

What advice would you give recent graduates preparing to enter the teaching profession? Don’t expect yourself to be perfect at everything at once. Choose the two most crucial subjects to teach in your classroom, then concentrate on developing those skills. I believed that small-group reading instruction and math would have the biggest effects on my students’ success when I first started teaching. As my confidence in those subject areas increased, I made an effort to advance my knowledge of writing and technology. New teachers more than make up for their lack of experience with enthusiasm. Make a plan and give yourself the time to grow.

When I first started teaching, I was only able to get assistance from the teachers in my hallway, so I also recommend exploring the world of teaching blogs. Teachers now have access to a global community of educators with new ideas and perspectives.

We thank Megan for sharing her wisdom and teaching experiences with us. To connect with her, visit her blog, I Teach. What’s Your Super Power? and follow her on Twitter @mjfavre.

Read about how to become a teacher in Texas.


What are the 10 most common teacher interview questions and answers?

More prep = less chance of a flub.
  • What are your strengths as a teacher?
  • What’s your biggest weakness as a teacher?
  • How do you interact with parents?
  • Why did you leave your last teaching (or other) job?
  • What’s your educational background?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • How do you handle classroom management?

What are the 7 most common interview questions and answers for teachers?

Most common teacher interview questions
  1. Why do you want to teach? …
  2. What makes you a good fit for this school? …
  3. What characteristics do students want their teachers to possess? …
  4. How does a teacher’s personality affect their success? …
  5. What part does discipline play in education, and what method do you use?

Why should we hire you as a English teacher?

“I’ll do the best job, and I’m confident, so you should hire me,” Since high school until now, my success has been established. I’m responsible and smart. This position requires someone that will work well without supervision.

How do I prepare for an art teacher interview?

Step 2: Prepare For the Interview
  1. Create a comprehensive teaching portfolio. …
  2. Make copies of your resume. …
  3. Practice answering some common interview questions. …
  4. Research the school and district in which you’ll be interviewing.
  5. Brush up on current education buzzwords. …
  6. Figure out where you’re going.

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