Interview

17 Kindergarten Teacher Interview Questions and Answers

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

Kindergarten teachers are responsible for the early education and care of children who are five years old and below. They teach children the basics of reading, writing, and math, as well as social and emotional skills.

If you’re looking to become a kindergarten teacher, you’ll likely need to go through a job interview. To help you prepare, we’ve gathered some common kindergarten teacher interview questions and answers.

Are you certified to teach kindergarten?

The interviewer may ask this question to make sure you have the necessary qualifications for teaching kindergarten. If you are not certified, explain what steps you took to become certified and when you plan on becoming certified.

Example: “Yes, I am currently a fully-certified teacher in the state of California. I started my certification process right after graduating from college with my bachelor’s degree in education. I passed all of my exams within two years of graduation and completed my required hours of professional development every year since then. I will be renewing my certification again next month.”

What are some of your favorite things to teach in kindergarten?

This question can help the interviewer get a better idea of your teaching style and what you find most rewarding. It’s important to highlight skills that are foundational for future learning, such as reading, writing and math. You should also mention any unique or fun activities you enjoy doing with students.

Example: “I love introducing children to new things through hands-on activities. I think it’s so important to foster their natural curiosity at this age by exposing them to different textures, colors and scents. For example, when we study animals, I like to bring in some stuffed animals and other animal-themed toys so they can explore those items up close. Another favorite activity of mine is baking together. We make cookies every Friday, which helps reinforce math concepts.”

How do you handle discipline in the classroom?

Kindergarten students are often young and inexperienced, so it’s important for a kindergarten teacher to be able to handle discipline issues. A hiring manager may ask this question to make sure you have the skills necessary to keep your classroom safe and orderly. In your answer, try to explain how you plan to address misbehavior in the classroom.

Example: “I believe that every student deserves respect and kindness. I also think that consequences can help reinforce positive behavior. If a student is acting out or being disrespectful, I will first give them a warning. If they continue their bad behavior after the warning, I will take away some of their privileges as a consequence. For example, if a student is talking during class, I would tell them to stop. If they continued to talk, I would send them to the principal’s office.”

What is your teaching style?

Interviewers ask this question to learn more about your teaching style and how it aligns with their school’s philosophy. When answering, describe the methods you use in the classroom and explain why they work for you. You can also mention any certifications or training you have that support your teaching style.

Example: “I believe in a hands-on approach to learning. I find that my students retain information better when they are actively engaged in the lesson. For example, last year I taught my class about different types of animals. We talked about what makes an animal unique and then separated into groups based on our favorite type of animal. Each group researched their animal and presented their findings to the class. My students had so much fun and learned a lot from the activity.”

Provide an example of a time you had to adapt your lesson plan due to a student’s behavior.

Interviewers may ask this question to assess your ability to handle challenging situations. In your answer, try to demonstrate how you used your problem-solving skills and creativity to adapt the lesson plan while still maintaining a positive learning environment for all students.

Example: “In my previous role as a kindergarten teacher, I had a student who was very distracted during class. The student would often get up from their seat without permission and walk around the classroom. To help address this behavior, I decided to move the student’s desk closer to mine so that they could sit next to me and be more engaged in the lesson. This helped the student focus on the lesson and learn at a faster pace.”

If a student was struggling with a concept, how would you determine the cause?

Interviewers may ask this question to assess your teaching methods and how you identify students who need extra help. In your answer, explain the steps you take to determine what concepts a student is struggling with and how you plan to address them.

Example: “I would first observe the student in class to see if they are having trouble understanding the material or following along. If I notice that they’re not paying attention or participating in class activities, I will pull them aside for one-on-one instruction. If they seem distracted by something else, I’ll try to find out what’s distracting them so I can resolve it. If they’re simply having trouble grasping a concept, I will break down the information into smaller pieces and provide additional examples and practice exercises.”

What would you do if a parent was consistently disrupting your class?

Interviewers may ask this question to assess your conflict resolution skills. As a kindergarten teacher, you’ll likely have many parents visit your classroom throughout the year. It’s important that you can communicate with them effectively and maintain a positive relationship. In your answer, try to emphasize how you would handle the situation in a calm and professional manner.

Example: “I think it’s important for teachers to maintain open communication with parents. If I ever had a parent who disrupted my class, I would first speak with them privately about their behavior. If they continued disrupting the class, I would call the principal to help resolve the issue.”

How well do you handle stress?

Kindergarten teachers often have to manage a lot of different tasks at once. Interviewers ask this question to make sure you can handle stress and prioritize your work effectively. In your answer, explain how you stay organized and focused on the most important things. Show that you are able to balance many responsibilities while still being productive.

Example: “I find that I am naturally good at managing stress. When I first started teaching, I was overwhelmed by all the new information I had to learn. However, I quickly developed systems for staying organized and keeping track of my students’ progress. Now, I feel confident in my ability to take on more responsibilities as needed. I also know when it’s time to ask for help from other staff members.”

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 need extra attention. 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 classroom. In your answer, share any experiences you’ve had working with special needs students and how you helped those students learn and grow.

Example: “I worked as a substitute teacher for two years at an elementary school where I taught kindergarten. One student in my class was diagnosed with autism when he was three years old. He needed more one-on-one time than other students, but he also wanted to be included in group activities. So, I would pull him aside during lessons to work on individualized tasks while the rest of the class did group projects. This allowed him to feel like part of the class without overwhelming him.”

When is it appropriate to involve a student’s parents?

As a kindergarten teacher, you may need to communicate with parents about their child’s progress or behavior. Interviewers want to know that you can effectively communicate with parents and other stakeholders in the school community. In your answer, explain how you plan to keep parents informed of their children’s progress and what steps you take to ensure positive relationships with families.

Example: “I believe it is important for parents to be involved in their child’s education from an early age. I make sure to send home weekly newsletters so parents can see their child’s work and learn more about our classroom activities. If a student has behavioral issues, I always contact the parent immediately. I find that open communication helps build trust between teachers and parents.”

We want to promote a culture of creativity in the classroom. How would you encourage creativity in your students?

Creativity is an important skill to develop in students. It helps them think outside the box and solve problems creatively. The interviewer wants to know how you would encourage creativity in your classroom. Showcase your creative side by giving examples of how you’ve encouraged creativity in the past.

Example: “I believe that a child’s imagination is their most powerful tool. I always try to create a safe environment where they can explore their imaginations without fear of being judged. In my last position, I had a student who was afraid of bugs. He was so scared he wouldn’t even look at one when we were studying insects. So, I brought in some plastic ones for him to examine. After examining them, he realized they weren’t scary after all. This helped him overcome his fear.”

Describe your process when creating a lesson plan.

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your teaching style and how you plan for each day. Use examples from past experiences to describe the steps you take when creating a lesson plan, including what information you consider before planning a new class schedule or curriculum.

Example: “I begin by reviewing my students’ previous work and assessing their current knowledge of the subject matter. I then create a list of objectives that I want to cover in the upcoming lesson. Next, I determine which resources I need to complete the objectives, such as books, worksheets or other classroom materials. Finally, I organize the objectives into a daily lesson plan.”

What makes you qualified to teach kindergarten?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to learn more about your background and how it relates to teaching kindergarten. Use this opportunity to share any relevant experience you have, such as working with young children or tutoring younger students. You can also discuss what makes you passionate about teaching kindergarten.

Example: “I think I’m qualified to teach kindergarten because of my patience and love for learning. As a child, I was always eager to learn new things, and I would often ask questions that were sometimes hard for adults to answer. My parents encouraged me to keep asking questions until I understood the answers, which has helped me develop into an inquisitive learner who loves to discover new information.”

Which age group do you prefer to teach?

Interviewers may ask this question to determine if you are a good fit for their school. They want someone who is passionate about teaching kindergarten and will be happy in the classroom. When answering, try to show that you enjoy working with young children. Explain why you prefer this age group and what makes it so special.

Example: “I love working with kindergarten students because they’re at such an exciting time in their lives. They’re learning new things every day, making friends and developing their personalities. I find it rewarding to help them learn and grow as individuals. I also think it’s important to make sure they have fun while they’re learning. I believe my playful style of teaching can help keep them engaged and excited about learning.”

What do you think is the most important skill for kindergarten students to learn?

This question can help interviewers understand your philosophy about teaching and how you plan to support students’ development. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific skill or two that you think is important for kindergarten students to learn in order to prepare them for future academic success.

Example: “I believe the most important skill for kindergarten students to learn is how to read. Reading opens up so many opportunities for children as they grow older, from learning more about their world to developing an interest in literature. I would make sure my classroom was set up in a way that supports reading, such as having books available at multiple levels of difficulty and providing plenty of time each day for independent reading.”

How often do you update your lesson plans?

Interviewers may ask this question to learn about your teaching style and how you adapt to changes in the classroom. To answer, think of a time when you had to change your lesson plans last minute or make an adjustment to your curriculum. Explain what prompted the change and how it affected your students.

Example: “I usually update my lesson plans every week, but I have also made adjustments during the school year if needed. For example, one semester I taught a unit on animals where we discussed different types of mammals, reptiles, birds and fish. One day, a student asked me why there were no dinosaurs in our lessons. I decided to add a dinosaur unit to the end of the semester so that we could discuss all of the major animal groups.”

There is a new trend in education that advocates for students to learn at their own pace. How would you incorporate this into your classroom?

This question is a great way to determine how the candidate will adapt to new trends in education. It also allows you to see if they are aware of current educational practices and can incorporate them into their teaching style.

Example: “I think it’s important for students to learn at their own pace, but I believe that there should be some structure to learning. For example, I would allow my students to work on projects at their own pace, however, I would make sure that they were working toward a goal or objective. This way, they could learn at their own pace while still being held accountable for their work.”

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