1.Why do you think you’re qualified to be an education assistant?
An education assistant is a subordinate position that requires applicants to work well with their immediate supervisors and children. This question asks applicants if they’ve thought about the reasons they want to be an education assistant and what they bring to the position. What to look for:
Applicant’s’ interest in being an education assistant
What qualities applicants bring to the position
Experience dealing with children
“I previously worked at an after-school program for primary students. As I worked there, I realized I enjoyed working with young kids. I believe that as an education assistant I’ll have the ability to play a more hands-on role in a child’s day-to-day learning and transfer some of my enthusiasm for learning to my students, making school a more enjoyable experience for them .”
2.What role do you think an education assistant plays in the classroom?
An applicant should discuss what role they believe an education assistant plays daily in the classroom. This question ensures applicants fully understand the role and responsibilities of an education assistant. What to look for:
Whether applicants know the expectations of the position
How important they think the education assistant role is in the classroom
Examples of how the education assistant aids the teacher
“The education assistant’s job is important because it allows the instructor to devote all their efforts to offering as much instruction, attention and assistance as possible to the students. As an EA, I would handle the more repetitive tasks, such as grading documents, supervising tests and arranging documentation, so the teacher can concentrate on the larger role of teaching and ensuring students are learning the information.”
3.If a small group of kids is constantly disrupting the class by laughing, talking and passing notes, how would you handle the situation?
As an EA, there might be times where the person will need to discipline a student or deal with behavioral problems. This question shows if applicants are capable of handling a difficult situation on their own. What to look for:
Ability to manage conflict
“If students were interfering with the class and didn’t appear to be focusing, I would follow whatever disciplinary action the teacher and I had agreed upon previously. In most cases, this would involve separating the disruptive students on opposite sides of the classroom. By separating them, they are still a part of the learning environment without being able to disrupt the rest of the class.”
4.Does it matter if kids find school fun and enjoyable?
There is no right or wrong answer to the question. The goal is to get an idea of the applicant’s ability to think critically on the topic of education and teaching and offer an informed opinion on the subject. What to look for:
Their philosophy on education
Critical thinking skills
If the applicant can succinctly articulate their position
“While not required, I think having fun is an important part of making children excited about learning. If the students are excited to come to school each day, it makes teaching them easier and, I feel, makes them more likely to engage in the classroom and retain the information being taught.”
5.If the teacher does something you strongly disagree with, how would you handle the situation?
Education assistant have to interact with many people throughout the day, so conflict will happen from time to time. This question aims to see if applicants understand ways to deal with conflict with their immediate supervisor while still being able to express their concerns. What to look for:
Understanding role in a hierarchy
“If the teacher and I were to disagree, I would bear in mind that it is their class, so they have the authority and the last word. With that said, If I were passionate about a topic, I would schedule a time to speak with them either before or after class and argue my position respectfully and clearly.”
6.Tell me about a time you effectively convinced a child to complete an assignment they didn’t want to do initially.
Education assistant have to know how to work with kids even when they don’t want to do their work. This question allows applicants to demonstrate their ability to work with students when they aren’t cooperative. What to look for:
Conflict resolution skills
Interpersonal skills with kids
Ability to encourage students
“In my last position at the after-school program, we regularly completed various arts and crafts projects. In one case, there was an origami project one child was struggling to complete, and she announced, rather loudly, that the project was stupid and she wasn’t going to finish it. Instead of being frustrated with the child, I picked up the pieces, sat her down and explained we could complete the project together. Walking her through it, we completed the project and she couldn’t have been more proud of herself.”