Special education teachers face very unique challenges in the field of education, and because of this, recruiters at every level will evaluate candidates very carefully before extending an offer of employment. If you have recently earned your degree, it is time to prepare yourself for the interview process so that you know exactly what to expect. Not only will you need to show that you are a patient and effective educator, you must also show that you are an expert in dealing with children with disabilities and a specialist who can develop differentiated lessons.
- Online MSEd in Special Education (Ranked #11 Best Online Master’s in Special Education Program by U.S. News & World Report 2021)
- Online Master of Science in Special Education
- M.Ed. in Elementary Education and Special Education (ITL); M.Ed. in Special Education: Moderate to Severe (ITL); M.Ed. in Special Education: Cross Categorical (Leads to initial teacher licensure)
How to Score Points During Your Special Education Teaching Job Interview
You will need to possess the work experience and the educational background that is required by the school to even get a call to come in for an interview. Once you get that call, you will need to take a deep breath and start preparing. Like all interviews, you will be asked several basic questions when you are interviewing to become a special education teacher, but the answers that will score you the most points are ones that prove you have the knowledge and the background to be an asset. By taking time to predict the questions that you will be asked, you can develop possible answers in your mind so that the answers become familiar with you. This will make you look and feel more confident during the interviewing process.
What You Should Be Prepared to Discuss During Your Interview
A special education teacher will be an expert in physical disorders, learning disorders, emotional support, and academics. Because of this, a variety of different topics will be discussed during a single interview to assess the candidates knowledge, familiarity with teaching strategies, and experience with learning disorders. Here are some topics you should be ready to discuss during your interview:
Know the Classifications
You will need to show that you are familiar with physical and learning disorder classifications, and teaching strategies that are effective for students with specific disorders. Arming yourself with the types of services that may be available to students with specific disorders is also beneficial to show that know the resources that are available.
Be an Expert in Differentiation
What sets a candidate apart from another is when they show that that are an expert in differentiation. Your class will be made up of different students with different needs. You will need to individualize instruction and lesson plans for each one of your students and adapt your lessons for each student. Give the interviewer a picture of how you plan on doing this effectively and what resources you plan to use for effective adaptation of lessons.
Know the Duties That Go Beyond Teaching
Filling out paperwork and complying with laws are parts of your job that go beyond teaching. Show that you understand how to fill out an Individualized Education Program, show your understanding for Committee on Special Education meetings, and talk about your legal responsibilities so that you can show you are the whole package.
Being a special education teacher may be challenging, but it is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding careers in the field for the right person. If you want a job where every day is different from the next, this may be the job for you. The key to landing a job, is gaining the skills and then learning how to show that you are the right candidate to select. Prepare yourself for the interview questions, practice in the mirror, and be confident in your next interview.