Science is one of the building blocks of a robust and comprehensive education, and it’s fair to say that the 1.2 million science teachers in the United States have a vital role to play. Your love of science and teaching makes you a perfect candidate to become a science teacher and focus on a career in education. Learning the skills and knowledge necessary for the role is the first step.
Interviewing for science teacher jobs is stressful. Preparing and understanding the best questions to ask will help you determine if the job is the perfect fit for your teaching career. Before accepting the position, you’ll know what’s expected of you and the school’s standards.
Fortunately, you’ve found this helpful resource to learn about the eight questions you should ask when interviewing to become a teacher. Continue reading to ask the right questions, and start your dream job today!
1. Is There an Established Curriculum?
The first thing you should ask when walking into your interview for a science teacher job is whether there’s a set curriculum for the class. You deserve to know if you’ll have freedom with the curriculum before accepting a job at the school. A rigid curriculum limits the authentic content you can include when teaching your students.
It’s also the most effective way to determine if you must use textbooks of the school’s choosing. The grading rubrics are also essential to ask about during your job interview. You deserve to know how much input you can provide when preparing to teach your students the basics of science.
2. What Resources Are Provided?
It’s also wise to ask about the resources you’re provided to do your job as a science teacher. Some schools lack the money to provide resources to teachers, resulting in teachers spending increasing amounts of their pay to purchase these resources. You’ll know what to expect when you ask if the school provides the necessary resources when you’re hired.
A lack of supplies will limit your ability to teach your students. Ask about everything, including basic office supplies like paper, staplers, and pens. The more minor expenses add up with teaching jobs, and it’s best to find a school that supplies the necessary resources.
3. What Technology Is Available?
The technology you access in the classroom is a significant factor to consider when interviewing to become a science teacher. Technology opens new doors for your students to grasp the concepts you teach in the classroom.
Much of the learning process occurs using digital technology. Ask if you’ll be issued a personal computer or laptop for the year to aid in lesson planning and teaching your pupils. Also, ask if classrooms come equipped with Smartboards.
A Smartboard or projector is essential for educational equipment, especially for teaching science courses. Ensure you’ll have the best tools to provide a substantial education to your students.
4. Do You Offer Professional Development?
Professional development is something to value when applying for science teacher jobs. You’ll want to continue investing in yourself to further your career and become the best teacher possible. Professional development is a requirement to maintain your teaching license and keep up with the latest teaching trends.
The best schools provide access to conferences and seminars where you can network and learn the latest tips for your teaching career. Ask if the school funds those developmental opportunities for your future. It’s also worthwhile to ask if the school hosts any professional development events on campus.
5. Are Graduate Degrees Valued?
Many states want teachers to pursue a master’s in education. Returning to school to earn a master’s or doctorate isn’t cheap, and it’s wise to ask the school if they’ll provide financial assistance to help you achieve your degree and further your knowledge.
It’s also an excellent way to earn higher pay when working in education. Teachers with advanced degrees earn more money as a reward for learning the latest trends and teaching methods for science teacher jobs.
6. How Often Are Meetings Held?
Time is a valuable commodity in the teaching industry, and your responsibilities extend beyond the classroom when working as a science teacher. An overlooked question that you should ask during your interview is the frequency of staff and faculty meetings.
You’ll be required to attend these meetings, but knowing how often they occur is helpful. It’s best to ask about the expectations within those meetings, so you know what to provide. Your participation could involve updating the staff on changes in your department and issues regarding your students.
7. How Does the Admin Support Teachers?
The administration at your school has a significant impact on your job as a science teacher. Ask about how the admin supports teachers, especially in emergencies and situations like the COVID-19 pandemic. The administration should assist teachers in every way possible to educate students effectively.
8. How Long to Become Tenured?
You’ll learn much about a school by diving into the staff turnover and retention rates. Schools with poor morale will have low retention rates since teachers and staff don’t enjoy working there.
Asking about the tenure offered provides a light at the end of the tunnel and something to look forward to. It’s also wise to ask about the other criteria you must meet to become a tenured teacher. Ask the interviewer about the number of teachers and staff members currently tenured by the school for their services and experience.
Prepare to Interview for Science Teacher Jobs
Interviewing for science teacher jobs is stressful, but asking the proper questions will help you find the best schools and opportunities for your teaching career. Ask about the resources and technology the school provides to teachers. Learn about the curriculum and determine if you can alter it.
It’s best to ask about personal development opportunities and advanced degree financing. Ask for clarity about how the administration supports its teachers and staff.
Pursuing a career in education is rewarding and fulfilling, but taking the first steps to achieve that goal is challenging. Read more of our Education and Career blog content to find the best tips and roadmaps to further your career today!