Teacher Interview Question: How do You Motivate Students?

Excerpt from Road to Teaching: A Guide to Teacher Training, Student Teaching and Finding a Job

Another way of phrasing this question is, “How will you create a classroom environment that motivates your students?” You can take a number of approaches to answer this common interview question, such as: classroom management, learning environment, instruction, teacher and student relationship, and curriculum. One successful approach to answering this question is to address an overarching theme, such as establishing clear and high expectations for your students. Students will be motivated to learn and behave properly when they internalize the teacher’s expectations. For instance, if a student walked into your classroom on any given day

- Can the student expect a certain daily routine?

- Can the students expect to be treated fairly when discipline is used?

- Will the student know the overarching learning objective or essential question for a lesson?

- Can the student expect a curriculum that his challenging and relevant?

- Would an observer of your class see varied best-practice instructional strategies?

All of these provide an environment that encourages students to learn from you. In answering these questions try to create a visual picture for the interviewers of your classroom. In your depiction, explain how you set clear and high expectations from the start of class to the dismissal bell.


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