Since kindergarten is a difficult class to manage, your interviewer will surely be interested in how you are going to discipline your soon-to-be students and how you are going to handle a particular situation. He or she will be interested in your techniques and strategies for managing children at this age.
Why would he or she be interested?
- to see how you deal with young people;
- to know if you are really fit for a kindergarten classroom setting;
- to analyze your philosophy on classroom discipline; and
- to determine your classroom management techniques and strategies
How would you answer this question?
1. Prepare your answer by listing all of your classroom management techniques and strategies a day or days before the interview. By the time you received the invitation for an interview, you should have already prepared possible answers to these types of questions. Make a list of your disciplinary methods that will surely meet the interviewer’s expectations.
2. If this is not your first time as a kindergarten teacher, cite an example in which you were able to handle a difficult situation, e.g., when you heard a child saying a bad word or when you caught one boy picking a fight with his classmate.
If it is your first time, still cite an example, but make sure to illustrate it clearly with the interviewer. Make him or her picture a scenario wherein you are able to deal with a very tough kindergarten classroom situation.
Use words that could actually describe the scene that you are expecting. This will help you make him or her visualize you as a professional kindergarten teacher.
3. Remember that you are dealing with children of young ages. Don’t make your rules and regulations too complicated and hard to understand. Be creative enough to make your guidelines sound nice and playful. Use kind words that can convince the children to follow the established rules.
Don’t make your punishments too harsh because this will surely make an impact on them, but also don’t make giving rewards a habit. Learn to be objective in making decisions, and strictly enforce the “no favoritism” rule.
4. Be firm and consistent when you answer this question. The interviewer will also look to see if you are firm and consistent in your answers. If he or she notices that you are not, this might kill your chances of getting that job. He or she might think that you will also fail to be firm and consistent when you’re inside the classroom.
The best way to handle a kindergarten classroom is to set directions and consequences. Require the students to follow you and your classroom rules and regulations. Encourage them to listen and be attentive to what you are saying.
This job is tough yet fulfilling. You will be one of their first partners in learning and achieving. Be gentle, yet strict; soft, yet firm. Balance is the key to a healthy classroom environment. As a kindergarten teacher, you need to be the perfect combination of kindness and authority.