Sample Interview Questions for Health and Physical Education Teachers

The following are general questions that you MAY have to answer in an interview for a K-12 physical education job. These were primarily designed for the teacher applying for their first job fresh out of college. We recommend designing and bringing a professional portfolio so you can show samples of your work. Also, it may be helpful to review our interviewing tips as a part of your interview preparation. We have also included questions in health education and adapted PE that you might have to answer.

You as a Teacher:

Tell us a little about yourself. (Your background, why you went into teaching, you're teaching experience, etc.)

Why are you interested in this position?

Do you prefer teaching at the elementary or secondary level?

What is your best quality as a PE teacher right now? What do you need to work on the most?

What task do you find most difficult as a teacher? Please share with us why?

Your Physical Education Program:

What are the components of a quality physical education program? How would you prioritize these components, along with giving justification for your choices?

What are the top 3 goals of your physical education program?

As always, there is talk of cutbacks, and it seems we always have to justify a few of our positions, PE being one of them. What would you do to convince those in decision making positions that PE in our school is important and children are learning valuable things in PE?

Can you briefly detail what a 30-45 minute lesson would look like in your PE class?

Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum:

We have heard a lot about the "New PE" (i.e., Sports Illustrated and other popular press articles). What is this and do you plan on bringing this kind of PE to our district?

How would you describe a developmentally appropriate curriculum?

How do you provide for individual differences in your class?

Collaboration/Being a Team Player:

In addition to the PE position, we will have a ___________ coaching position open. Would you be interested in this?

Our parents are very active and involved in the education of their children. How will you work towards quality communication and dialogue with the parents?

How do you plan to resolve any conflicts that may arise with parents?

Our school is focusing on integration throughout the curriculum. How do you see physical education fitting into this?

Can you give me some examples of ways you feel that collaborative efforts between you and the classroom teachers could be achieved?

Do you have any ideas on how me might promote our PE program in the community?

Student Learning/Assessment:

Many of our teachers and parents don't think learning occurs in PE. Convince us that this happens and how you can demonstrate that learning will occur in your PE class?

How do you plan to assess your student's progress and your teaching in physical education?

There is a big push in our school district to significantly raise our physical fitness test scores. How would you go about doing this?

Inclusion:

How do you feel about the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in your classes? Are you open to this and do you have experience with this?

Technology:

Do you have any experience using technology in your physical education program? If so, elaborate on those experiences? How do you feel about it?

Do you see any advantages to having Internet access as a PE teacher? Give specific examples how you would use the Internet for your own professional development and with your students.

Our state is putting pressure on us to integrate technology into our curriculum? How can this be done in PE?

Classroom Management/Discipline:

How do you handle discipline problems? What are your classroom management strategies? What do you do to minimize discipline problems?

Professionalism:

What do you expect to be doing 1 and 5 years from now?

Could you elaborate on any of the current reform documents that have recently been recognized as guiding physical education today? (DAPE documents, Surgeon Generalās Report, Healthy People 2000, National Standards for Physical Education, NASPE PE Outcomes Project, etc.)

What professional organizations do you belong to? What professional physical education journals do you read? What is the last professional conference you attended?

Scenario Questions:

Our district is moving away from the more traditional approach to teaching physical education and moving towards the New PE where the emphasis is on more skill development. We would like to put together a promotional package that would explain this new PE approach. What are some of the things you would put in that package?

We just received this email. How would you respond?

Hi, my name is John Smith and I am a junior at Smith High School in Smith, MA. The student body has received word that Physical Education and Health classes will possibly be dissmissed to be replaced with other more "beneficial" classes. A group of friends and I are making a presentation to be presented to the school supporting gym and health classes. In the presentation we will support the classes and try and show all the possible positive effects that it has on the students. The students at our high school do not believe the classes should be replaced and thats why I am writing to you. We would be very grateful if you could reply with any possible stats, graphs, information, pictures, etc... that might help us in our task. Thank you very much.

Closing Questions for PE Teachers:

Are there other things you would like to share with us that will help us to understand you and your teaching philosophy better?

We are interviewing a number of other candidates for this position? Why should we hire you? As opposed to someone else?

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Do you have questions for us that you would like to ask?


Health Education Questions:

Developed by Yvonne Stephens and Christine Hopple, Ithaca College, May 2003

Your Health Education Program

  • How do you see the National Health Education and New York State Standards affecting your teaching?
  • Say we're coming to your class to observe. Would we see that your classes as being more teacher- or more learner-centered? Why? Give examples.
  • How might Skills-based Instruction influence how you teach? Can you give an example?
  • What would be the top three goals of your health education curriculum?

Collaboration/Being a Team Player

  • Choose one health content area. Using that content area, what are some ways you could you collaborate with four different persons, each one representing a different component of the Coordinated School Health Program?
  • What are some ways you might communicate with parents during the year?

Student Learning/Assessment

  • Give a few examples of an alternative assessment you might use with students (in a content area of student's choice).

Inclusion/Classroom Environment

  • What are two different strategies you could use to make your learning environment emotionally healthy for all students?

Technology

  • How might you use technology to assist you in your teaching? Give us a few examples.
  • Our district has as a goal that each content area will require students to utilize technology as a learning tool. How might you do this?

Professionalism

  • If you had to choose three health-related documents, on a national level, that have most influenced the type of health educator you have become, which ones would you pick, and why?
  • What professional organizations do you belong to? What professional health education journals do you read? What is the last professional conference you've attended?

Scenario Questions

  • A student in grade 7 calls another student a "faggot". How do you deal with it?
  • Your administration tells you that you should teach an "abstinence only" sexuality curriculum. A freshmen girls comes to you and confides that her boyfriend is pressuring her to have intercourse. What do you say to her?
  • You have a parent who calls you and tells you that he/she thinks that his/her child is using drugs. They want your help in finding this out. What do you say?

Closing Questions

  • We have one position open that involves teaching four classes of health a day and one of physical education. We're not sure if this will open up into a full-time Physical Education position, for a few more years. How do you feel about teaching in a position such as this?


Adapted Physical Education Questions:

  • How do you establish Present Level of Performance?
  • How will you establish the expectations of each child as far as gross motor ability?
  • Have you worked with children varying from physically impaired but mobile with assistive devices to wheelchair bound to non verbal to children with autism?
  • Do you modify the curriculum from the regular education students to meet the needs of the ESE students?
  • Will you follow the state curriculum frameworks?
  • Do you feel it is important to consult with the Physical Therapist and/or occupational therapist as to the abilities/limitations as well as expectations of the child?
  • What are your expectations from us as a school as far as providing equipment and/or support during A.P.E.?
  • What concerns do you have for teaching a diverse population?
  • Do you have any specific training specifically in Physical Education for Children with disabilities?
  • What is this candidate's perspective on the role of assessment for creatingan IEP?

    As the new APE teacher....

  • Identify assessment tools commonly used for a) screening, b)eligibility, c) present level of performance.
  • How does a child qualify for APE services?
  • What criteria would you use or develop to determine appropriate placements?
  • Who and how would you collaborate with when conducting school-wide fitness/motor testing?
    Provide an example of an inclusive teaching strategy you might use when "co-teaching" in the general physical education class.
  • Provide an example of a behavior management system that you might use when teaching.

    When working with....

  • Children with autism, provide an example of you might structure a lesson.
  • Children with Down Syndrome, can you provide a description of the unique attributes of these children and any contraindicated activities to avoid? 
  • Children with Spina Bifida, can you provide a description of the unique attributes of these children and any contraindicated activities/equipment you may want to avoid?

    As an advocate for physical activity and children with disabilities...

  • Tell us about your knowledge of sports for athletes with disabilities
  • Provide an example of how you would collaborate with parents, community members, etc.,
  • Provide an example of how you would plan for lifetime physical activity opportunities for your students

    Approach to working with other professionals:

  • What is your philosophy with regard to working with teachers, parents, and related services in developing and implementing the IEP?
  • Do you have professional preparation in the area of adapted physical education?
  • Are you familiar with individualized education plans (IEPs)?
  • Have you served on an IEP team?
  • What is your philosophy regarding inclusion?
  • Are you familiar with any federal legislation pertaining to the educational rights of individuals with disabilities?
    If hired, how will you serve as an advocate for individuals with disabilities and their parents?

  • As a collaborative member of the IEP team

  • What is the role of assessment when creating an IEP? What role do you envision taking in this assessment process for the district?
  • How would you facilitate collaborating with teachers, parents, and related services' personnel in developing and implementing a student’s IEP?
  • Describe your experiences in working with children with disabilities, such as physically impaired but mobile children or wheelchair bound children or children with autism.
  • How would you modify the physical education curriculum to meet the needs of the students on IEPs?
  • What are your expectations of the school district in providing equipment and/or support during APE?
  • What, if any, concerns do you have for teaching a diverse population?

Submitted by Eloise Elliott, Mark Manross, Todd Pennington and our Adapted PE Advisory board. Originally Posted on PEC: 5/23/00. Reposted on 9/14/10.
 
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