So you’re going for an interview to apply to be a special ed teacher. It is a wonderful, exciting, nerve-wracking time! You have everything ready, but what should you ask? Knowing which questions to ask during a special ed teacher interview can help you make your decision about whether a school is going to be a good fit for you or not.
The questions below will give you a good sense for the type of environment and expectations that will come with the job.
Depending on how the interviewers answer, you may be able to see some significant red flags before the end of the meeting.
Don’t be afraid to jot down the questions and refer to them when it’s your turn to ask questions. It shows you have given them some thought and are prepared – two things that make a great impression!
The Best Questions to Ask During a Special Ed Teacher Interview
1 – What curriculum does the school use?
2 – What types of supports are provided for the position?
3 – Are there paras?
4 – Is there a co-teacher?
5 – What is the school’s philosophy on least restrictive environment (LRE)?
6 – How does the school push special education students to the achievement level of their non-disabled peers?
7 – What is the school’s philosophy on a more restrictive environment?
8 – How long did my predecessor work here in this position?
9 – How many students will be on my caseload? or What is the average caseload?
10 – Tell me about the types of disabilities that may be present in one setting.
11 – Will I be the only special ed teacher in the school/department/grade level?
12 – How many students does the team have to process for new IEPs?
13 – Why is the turnover high?
14 – What is the population of students with EBD?
15 – Is there consistent admin support and what does that look like?
16 – How are difficult situations between families and staff resolved?
17 – What is the percentage of new teachers to veteran teachers?
18 – What is your philosophy or approach as an admin?
19 – What grade level will this position serve?
20 – Will I be providing push-in or pull-out services?
21 – How inclusive is the school with adapted curriculum students?
22 – How are students with disabilities referred to?
23 – What is the school’s philosophy on how and who can learn?
24 – Are mentors available?
25 – What extra duties are required?
26 – Who is responsible for academic evaluations and testing?
27 – Is there time allotted for paperwork each week?
28 – What type of person are you looking to hire? Who would do well in this school/position?
29 – What’s your response to behavior specifically in the special ed setting?
30 – What is the protocol for IEP writing?
31 – Is extra prep time/reserved time made for IEP writing?
32 – What is the retention rate of paras and teacher aides?
33 – May I see the classroom?
34 – How would your special ed teachers say you support them throughout the day and year?
35 – Is there a de-escalation program that the school uses?
36 – Is there a team that manages restraints or does everyone get trained?
37 – What does a day as a special ed teacher look like for your district?
38 – When are IEP meetings typically held?
39 – Who is responsible for writing behavior plans?
40 – What opportunities are available for professional development?
41 – What is the hardest part of this position?
Any questions that you ask will give you insight into what to expect from the school and the position. Take the time to find out the answers to the questions that will directly impact you and your ability to teach and thrive in that position.