17 3rd Grade Teacher Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a 3rd grade teacher, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

A 3rd grade teacher is responsible for teaching basic subjects, such as math, science, and language arts, to students in the 3rd grade. They also help students develop social and emotional skills.

In order to become a 3rd grade teacher, you will need to have a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. You will also need to complete a teacher preparation program. In addition, you will need to be licensed by the state in which you wish to teach.

If you are interviewing for a 3rd grade teaching position, you will likely be asked questions about your teaching experience, your teaching philosophy, and your knowledge of the subjects you will be teaching. You may also be asked questions about your experience working with students of different ages, your ability to manage a classroom, and your ability to develop lesson plans.

To help you prepare for your interview, we have compiled a list of questions commonly asked during 3rd grade teacher interviews, along with sample answers.

Are you familiar with the state curriculum for 3rd grade?

The interviewer may ask this question to see if you are familiar with the state standards for 3rd grade and how they align with your own teaching philosophy. Use your answer to highlight any specific aspects of the curriculum that you find beneficial or interesting, as well as how you plan to implement them in your classroom.

Example: “I am very familiar with the state curriculum for 3rd grade because I have used it in my previous position. The curriculum is a great resource for teachers because it provides us with clear objectives and expectations for each subject area. In my last role, I found that the curriculum was especially helpful when planning lessons because it gave me an idea of what concepts students should be learning at each grade level.”

What are some methods you use to keep your students engaged in class?

Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your teaching style and how you plan lessons. You can answer this question by describing a few techniques you use in the classroom, such as encouraging students to participate or using technology to make learning fun.

Example: “I find that keeping my students engaged is one of the most important parts of teaching. I do this by making sure they understand what we’re learning before moving on to new material. For example, if we are learning about animals, I will start with an introduction to different types of animals and then have them practice identifying different animals based on their characteristics. This way, they get plenty of practice applying what they’ve learned.”

How would you handle a student who is consistently disruptive in class?

Interviewers may ask this question to assess your classroom management skills. They want to know how you would handle a challenging student and whether you have any strategies for encouraging students to focus on the lesson at hand. In your answer, try to highlight your problem-solving skills and ability to keep the class focused despite disruptions.

Example: “I’ve had experience with disruptive students in the past, so I understand that it can be difficult to maintain control of the classroom when one or more students are distracting others. When I encounter a disruptive student, I first try to get their attention by calling them by name and asking them to come to my desk. If they continue to disrupt the class, I will send them to the principal’s office.

In my previous position, I also used positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior. For example, if a student was quiet during class, I would give them extra time to complete an assignment. This helped me manage disruptive students while still maintaining a positive learning environment.”

What is your teaching philosophy?

Interviewers ask this question to learn more about your teaching style and how you plan to implement it in their school. When answering, think of a few key principles that guide your classroom management and instruction.

Example: “My philosophy is that every child deserves an education that challenges them while also making learning fun. I believe that students learn best when they’re engaged, so I try to create lessons that are both educational and entertaining. For example, I once had a student who was afraid of the dark. To help him overcome his fear, I created a lesson on astronomy where we learned about different constellations and talked about what it would be like if we could see those stars from Earth. He loved the lesson, and he no longer feared the dark.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to be a mediator between two students who were arguing.

As a teacher, you may be called upon to help students resolve conflicts. Employers ask this question to see if you have experience in conflict resolution and how you would handle it. In your answer, explain what steps you take to help students work through their disagreements.

Example: “I’ve had to step in between two arguing students before, but I try to avoid doing so as much as possible. Instead, I usually let the students know that they can come to me at any time during class if they need help resolving their disagreement. If I do have to intervene, I first make sure both parties are calm and listening to each other. Then, I listen to both sides of the story and ask questions to clarify details. Finally, I find a solution that works for everyone.”

If a student asked you how old you are, how would you respond?

Interviewers may ask this question to see how you handle personal questions. They want to know that you can be honest and respectful when answering a student’s question, even if it is not related to your job duties. In your answer, try to show the interviewer that you are mature enough to handle age-appropriate conversations with students.

Example: “I would tell them my age because I think it’s important for students to understand that their teachers are real people who have lives outside of school. If they asked me why I chose to become a teacher, I would explain that I love working with kids and helping them learn new things.”

What would you do if a parent contacted you about their child being bullied by another student?

Bullying is a serious issue in schools, and the interviewer wants to make sure you have a plan for how you would handle this situation. Your answer should include steps you would take to ensure that the bullying stops immediately and that the student who was bullied feels safe and supported.

Example: “I would first speak with the child who was being bullied to see if they are comfortable telling me what’s happening. If not, I would talk to their parents about my concerns and ask them to help me get more information from their child. Then, I would meet with the other student and their parents to discuss the behavior and find out why it’s happening. I would also call a school-wide meeting to address the issue of bullying and remind students that we do not tolerate any form of harassment.”

How well do you handle criticism?

Interviewers may ask this question to assess your ability to accept feedback and use it to improve your teaching. When answering, consider how you have used criticism in the past to grow as a teacher.

Example: “I think that receiving constructive criticism is an important part of being a teacher. I always welcome my principal’s feedback on my lessons because I know they can help me make improvements. In the past, I’ve also asked for feedback from parents and students so I could learn what they thought about my class. This information has helped me understand where I need to change or improve.”

Do you have any experience working with special needs students?

Interviewers may ask this question to see if you have experience working with students who have special needs. They want to know that you can handle a classroom of diverse learners and provide them with the support they need to succeed in your class. In your answer, share any experiences you’ve had working with special needs students. Explain how you helped these students learn and develop their skills.

Example: “I worked as a substitute teacher for two years at an elementary school where I taught third grade. One student in my class was diagnosed with autism when he was five years old. He struggled with social interactions and communicating his thoughts verbally. However, he excelled in math and loved puzzles. I used visual aids and hands-on activities to help him understand concepts and communicate his ideas. By the end of the year, he could write full sentences and speak clearly.”

When is it appropriate to give students homework?

Homework is a controversial topic among parents and teachers. Some argue that it’s an important way to reinforce concepts learned in class, while others believe it takes away from family time. The interviewer wants to know how you approach this issue as well as your reasoning behind it.

Example: “I think homework should be given when the material being taught can’t be completed during the school day. For example, if we’re learning about fractions, I would give students practice problems to complete at home so they can learn how to solve them independently. If we were reading a book together, however, I wouldn’t assign any homework because we are already practicing the skill of reading.”

We want our students to be well-rounded. What are some hobbies or interests outside of school that you would recommend our students to pursue?

Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your teaching philosophy. They want to know how you would encourage students to pursue their interests and passions outside of school. In your answer, explain what hobbies or activities you think are important for students to develop.

Example: “I believe it’s very important for children to have a hobby or interest that they can pursue outside of school. I’ve seen firsthand the positive effects these pursuits can have on a child’s self-esteem and confidence. For example, one of my former students was really into drawing. He loved creating his own characters and comic strips. When he got older, he pursued art classes at a local community college. Now, he is an illustrator for a major publishing company.”

Describe your process when giving out grades.

Interviewers want to know how you grade assignments and tests. They also want to see if your grading process is fair, so they can determine whether or not it’s worth changing. When answering this question, explain the steps you take when grading and provide examples of what each step looks like in practice.

Example: “I give out grades based on a combination of homework, quizzes, projects and tests. I start by looking at all of the students’ work for that week and tallying up their scores. Then, I calculate the average score for each student and compare it to the standard deviation. If a student has performed above the standard deviation, then I’ll raise their grade. If they’ve performed below the standard deviation, then I’ll lower their grade.”

What makes you the best candidate for this position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications for the job. They want to know what makes you stand out from other candidates and why they should choose you over them. When answering this question, make sure to highlight your most relevant skills and abilities that match the job description.

Example: “I am the best candidate for this position because I have a passion for teaching children. Throughout my career as a teacher’s aide, I’ve seen how much kids enjoy learning when their teachers are enthusiastic. I love seeing students light up when they understand something new or accomplish a goal. I also think I would be an excellent fit for this role because of my communication skills. I can explain concepts in a way that is easy for kids to understand and always try to answer questions thoroughly.”

Which teaching methods do you prefer to use?

Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your teaching style and how you plan lessons. They want to know if you prefer a hands-on approach or an active learning method, for example. When answering this question, explain which methods you enjoy using the most and why. You can also mention any other methods that you are comfortable with.

Example: “I find that I am most successful when I use a variety of different teaching methods in my classroom. For instance, I like to start off each day by having students complete a quick activity to get them ready for class. This helps me gauge where they’re at developmentally and gives me an idea of what we’ll be covering that day. Then, I move into a lecture format where I teach new concepts and ideas. After that, I give students time to work on individual assignments while I walk around and provide support as needed.”

What do you think is the most important skill for 3rd grade students to learn?

This question can help interviewers understand your philosophy on education. It is important to show that you value the skills and knowledge students need to succeed in school and beyond. You can also use this opportunity to explain how you plan to teach these skills to your future class.

Example: “I believe that one of the most important skills for 3rd grade students to learn is organization. In my last position, I started a classroom management system where students would earn points for good behavior and completing their work. At the end of each week, they could spend their points on small rewards like stickers or pencils. This helped them develop organizational habits early so they were prepared for more challenging assignments later in the year.”

How often do you update your lesson plans?

Interviewers may ask this question to learn about your teaching style and how you plan for the school year. They want to know if you are a teacher who plans ahead or one who prefers to create lessons on the spot. Your answer should show that you have a system in place for planning ahead, but you can also adapt to changing circumstances.

Example: “I like to start my school year with detailed lesson plans for each subject I teach. However, I understand that things happen throughout the day that require me to change my plans. For example, if a student is absent, I will adjust my lesson plans to accommodate their absence. I find it’s best to be flexible when creating lesson plans so I can make changes as needed.”

There is a bug in the classroom and the students are getting nervous. How do you handle this situation?

Interviewers want to know how you handle unexpected situations. They also want to see if you have a plan for handling them. In your answer, explain what you would do in this situation and provide an example of how you handled it in the past.

Example: “I would first ask the students to remain calm while I take care of the bug. Then, I would find out who is afraid of bugs and talk with them individually about their fears. Next, I would get rid of the bug by either taking it outside or killing it. Finally, I would reassure the students that they are safe and there will be no more bugs.”


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