How to Interview a Teaching Assistant

Teaching assistants aid teachers in meeting the needs of their students. They are used in lower education to work one-on-one with special education students, and in higher education to facilitate small group work and take care of technical tasks, such as attendance. When interviewing a teaching assistant, the teacher or hiring committee needs to ensure that the assistant is a good match for the teacher, and that she will be able to fulfil the duties associated with the position.

Discuss why the candidate is interested in the job. If she is truly committed to helping people learn, she will likely be able to explain why she is interested in the position.

Ask the prospective teaching assistant to share ideas for helping students. While you will provide many techniques for him to use, it would be helpful if he is capable of modifying lessons and adjusting teaching to accommodate student needs. Ask him to discuss what he would do to help students. Or, provide him with specific examples and allow him to explain how he would respond.

Inquire about previous teaching or training experience. Explore any previous education experience, as this improves the likelihood that she will be able to perform the duties associated with the job.

Ask the candidate about her time as a student. This question allows you to determine the candidate's overall feelings about education and school.

Inquire about long term plans. If you intend to utilise a teaching assistant for several years, it may be advantageous to hire someone who intends to remain in the position for a long time instead of having to interview and hire a new individual yearly. Also, many individuals work as teaching assistants as a gateway to obtaining a full-time teaching position or to continue their education. If the individual plans to continue her education, it is good to know of this goal upfront.

Explain how the assistant will interact with students on a daily basis. Describe a typical day, allowing the assistant candidate to understand what she will be responsible for doing if she is selected for the position.

Describe any special responsibilities that the teaching assistant will be charged with handling. If there are any responsibilities unique to your teaching, share these upfront to ensure that the prospective assistant is willing to complete the required tasks.

Explain clearly whether the position will be full or part-time. Forty per cent of individuals who work as a teaching assistant only work part-time, reports the Occupational Outlook Handbook. If the position is only going to be part-time, explain this clearly during the interview process to ensure that a part-time position is acceptable to the applicant.

Ask about salary needs. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that teaching assistants earned £9,971 to £22,087 as of 2008. Make sure that the salary you are offering is acceptable to any job candidates.

Consider the individual's approachability and professionalism. Teaching assistants work one-on-one with students, so it is vital that the individual maintain professionalism and act responsibly and politely.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.

Try our awesome promobar!