Interview Questions For YRDSB Teachers

By | November 18, 2015

I found this great resource as well as website that I thought were worth sharing with other Occassional Teachers at YRDSB who are being interviewed for Long Term Occasional Positions (LTOs) and recent grads who are trying to get on the supply list.

General Questions:  

1) Tell us how you would implement a Comprehensive Literacy Program in your class? How would you track each student’s progress?
 Oral program
 Language enriched
 Hands on activities
 Pre-teaching of vocabulary/activities
 Small and large group instruction
 Use of exemplars
 Student conferencing
 Student Generated Rubrics
 Modeled reading/writing
 Shared reading/writing
 Guided reading
 Independent reading/writing
 Student library
 Release of responsibility
 Success Criteria Checklists

2) At this school we have children with diverse needs, some speak no or little English, some have emotional difficulties and some come in with few literacy skills. How would you modify to include these students?
 Awareness of IEP and what children need
 Collaborate with E.S.L. teacher/classroom teacher, L.R.T.
 Become familiar with the community and school environment
 oral program
 Language enriched
 Hands on activities
 Visuals
 Volunteers
 Pre-teaching of vocabulary/activities
 Real life experiences
 Peer buddies

3) Many of our children are dealing with poor self-esteem which manifests itself with inappropriate behaviour. Please describe for us how you would create a positive environment in your classroom to support students.
 Rewards/incentives
 Differentiated learning
 Good news phone calls home
 Discipline with respect
 High expectations
 Humour
 Well established routines
 Character education
 Creating positive school climate

4) This assignment requires you to administer the Provincial EQAO Assessment. What experiences have you had that would assist you in preparing your students for the assessment and assist you in administering the assessment?
 Teach curriculum
 Practice questions
 Know your students
 Relevant feedback
 Reviewed assessments on Ministry website

5) Give an example of a time that you had a conflict with a parent or a colleague. How didy ou resolve this conflict? What would you do differently/the same if you had a similar conflict?
 Identify the issue
 Ask the person to restate their concerns
 Find common goals/areas of agreement
 Work from agreement to suggest a possible solution
 Work on a plan
 If the problems persists ask you team leader, principal VP, for assistance in resolving the issue
 Work the plan again as above or ask a supervisor to speak to the person on your behalf

6) How will you design an effective and engaging mathematics program? How will you know you are being successful?
 Access to a wide range of manipulatives
 Tools for sharing understanding
 Inquiry based questions
 3 part lesson
 gallery walk,

7) This school has a strong technology focus, how would you embed the use of technology throughout in all aspect of the curriculum.
 Co-learning with students
 Building capacity with students (leading the learning)
 Multiple ways of sharing understanding (voice threads, mirroring, airplay, voice recordings, video records, photography, documenting, blogging, appropriate app use)
 Bring in visuals

8) Self-Regulation is key to a successful FDK program. Explain what self-regulation means and how you will create a classroom environment that meets the needs of all your students.
 Awareness that the better a child can self-regulate, the better she can rise to the challenge of mastering complex skills and concepts
 Self-regulation can be defined as the ability to stay calmly focused and alert
 often involves – but cannot be reduced to – self-control
 Better a child can stay calmly focused and alert, the better she integrates information
coming in from different senses
 Establish rapport, get to know the children, interests, triggers
 Provide/teach clear structures routines
 Lots of choices

9) Can you tell us about a successful behaviour management strategy you have used in the past that helped engage a pupil or group of pupils?

This allows you to provide a theoretical answer – one that anyone who swotted up could give you – balanced with a personal reflection that shows how effective you are as a classroom facilitator.

The best way to answer a behavioural question is to use the following format – STAR.

Situation: The interviewer wants you to present a recent challenge and situation in which you found yourself.

Task: What did you have to achieve? The interviewer will be looking to see what you were trying to achieve from the situation.

Action: What did you do? The interviewer will be looking for information on what you did, why you did it and what the alternatives were.

Results: What were the outcomes of your actions? What did you achieve through your actions and did you meet your objectives? What did you learn from this experience and have you used this learning since?


Samples of Responses Using Intro/Content/Summary
1. What are the components of a comprehensive literacy program?
An example of an opening statement could be, ”Strong literacy skills are the foundation for educational achievement. It is very important that I provide a variety of literacy experiences in the classroom. A balanced literacy program provides variety and supports strong literacy skills.”
Supporting statements should address:
 The components of a balanced literacy program
 Teacher reading and writing models appropriate reading and writing strategies
 Shared reading and writing provides guided large-group practice
 Independent reading and writing allows independent practice for pleasure
 Guided reading and writing allows the teacher to work with groups of students with similar needs as determined by assessment

Assessment and evaluation strategies used to determine needs of students and achievement as it occurs – be prepared to discuss diagnostic, formative and summative assessment strategies to determine needs and learning achieved, particularly for guided reading and writing groups.

Classroom management – be prepared to discuss strategies for ensuring that small groups are able to work independently while you work with one small group of students.

The closing statement should summarize the importance of understanding how to effectively create a balanced literacy program and should relate to the opening statement.

2. If I were to walk into your class, what would I see happening? What would you be doing and what would students be doing?

Your opening statement should reflect your knowledge of student-centred learning, engaging students in active learning and the value of critical thinking and student inquiry. Supporting statements should reinforce the opening statement and provide examples.

Points to consider in this answer:
 Student engagement through use of a variety of instructional strategies and opportunities for all learners to be engaged demonstrating your knowledge of learning
styles and the need for inclusivity
 Variety of resources chosen to support learning
 Opportunities for students to practice the skills taught or demonstrate the knowledge they have gained by the utilization of formative and summative assessments/evaluations
 Interaction between you and the students, which facilitates student inquiry
 Enthusiasm of students as they pursue knowledge would be evident
 Evidence of learning visible through discussion and student work displayed in the

Closing statement summarizes and refers to the opening statement.

What to Expect from Occasional Teachers List Interviews

You need to pay $12 just to gain access to their application system on for 1 year. You will be required to bring originals and copies of all degrees/diplomas to interview as well as practicum reports. Here are a few tips on how to prepare:

  1. Be prepared to talk about your experience and why you decided to go into teaching.
  2. Be prepared to talk about a good/bad unit or lesson you’ve taught. Be sure to be very specific and mention curriculum expectations, success criteria, accommodations/modifications, assessment etc.
  3. Be ready to describe a typical day as Supply Teacher – be very detailed…..don’t assume that it is common knowledge.
  4. Behaviour Management – speaking about multiple exceptionalities and how your techniques take into consideration the needs of all your students.
  5. Assessment – familiarize yourself with the learning skills on the report card as well as accommodations/modifications you would make for people with learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities etc.
  6. Equity & Multiculturalism – Give concrete examples of how you would help make everyone feel welcomed and included in your classroom.
  7. Go through the board website and be familiar with their mission statement, values, and vision.


Suggested Items to Bring to your Interview:

  • Your portfolio – Don’t wait for the interviewers to ask to see your portfolio because they won’t. Perhaps attach a sample unit plan to your Apply To Education application. Alternatively, you can offer pieces to view as you answer questions (e.g. if you’re explaining how you would plan a unit, pass around your portfolio open to a sample unit plan you’ve created).
  • Copies of your résumé & cover letter. Even though you sent them in electronically when you applied to the post, the admin team may not have a printed copy in front of them during the interview.
  • A pen and paper to write the practicum part of the interview
  • Original copy of your OCT certificate with a photocopy
  • Original copy of your degrees/certifications with photocopies – this includes Behaviour Management training, pharmed certification as well CPR/First Aid

Another good resource: “5 Things You Think Principals Want to Hear (And What They Really Want to Hear)”:

4 thoughts on “Interview Questions For YRDSB Teachers

  1. N

    Thank you so much! This helped a lot in preparing for the LTO List Interview 🙂

  2. Kevin cauto

    Some people are natural performers. An interview is basically a performance, a show, a chance for you to impress. Sounds straight forward.I know I am a good teacher, but I find it difficult to impress in interviews.Teaching profession is vast.Thanks for sharing.

  3. Kevin cauto

    My interest in teaching day by day increasing but i was’nt any knowledge about teaching interviews. After visit this site i recognized the importance of teaching or teacher interview’s questions.Thanks for providing me significant of this site.

  4. Uma

    Thank you so much for sharing such a precise and ready to use format. Appreciate your support as a peer. It helped a lot to prepare for LTO position.


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