The Right Fit
During your job search, you’ll want to obviously apply for only the jobs you want. For example, only apply for high school jobs if you don’t like kids. But once you get an interview, you still have a lot of questions to ask to make sure you’ll like the job. What a school demands of you varies quite a bit from school to school.
Which grades will I be teaching?
What level will I be teaching? For example, for grade four: 4/1, 4/2, 4/3, 4/4
- 4/1 will be the students who speak English best and pay attention
- 4/2 students will struggle a bit more
- 4/3 students will be more energetic or lazy, paying attention less
- Plenty of them are still very smart though
- 4/4 – Not good, uphill battle
Will I be asked to submit lesson plans?
- If you don’t know what a lesson plan is, it is an outline of how you expect your class to go.
- You outline an introduction, the core lesson and how you’ll teach it, and any activity or game you have planned. You’ll also list any materials (worksheets, books), you’ll use
- Plenty of schools do not require formal lesson plans and you can plan your lessons by jotting down notes on a napkin if you want, or totally wing your lessons off the cuff
- If you have to lesson plan, realize that means formally outlining 20 different lessons each week
How does grading work and what is the expect testing frequency?
- As a teacher, you have to grade work! So find out how many graded assignments they expect you to administer and assess.
- How often do you have to create and administer tests? Once a month? Once per unit?
Do the students have books? Can I see the books they use?
- This will give you an idea as to how well funded the school is
- If they don’t have books, that puts more pressure on you to create materials
- It also gives you an opportunity to see what kind of material you’ll be asked to teach
Can I print and copy often? Daily?
- Some schools don’t have the budget for you to print worksheets and diagrams all the time. This could make your job harder and you might be forced to pay for your own materials to be printed at times
What are the maximum weekly contact hours? (This is a VERY important question to ask!!)
- Contact hours are the hours spent actually teaching
- You likely don’t want to work anything more than 20 per week
- If you work over 20, you want to get paid and your contract should say at what hourly rate
What will my schedule look like?
- What time do you have to arrive? What time does the day end?
- Will you be askedtoperform any dutiesoutsideofteachingandlesson planning?
- Making sure you know if you’ll be asked-in on weekends, after school for clubs, etc.
- Can you leave when you have long breaks between classes?
The above is not a comprehensive list and is does not cover interview etiquette. Simply use it as a guide to the key questions you do not want to skip over.
More on Teaching…
For more on teaching, check out these guides: