If you’re an educator you’ve most likely been interviewed at some point in your career. The interview, of course, is designed to assist the hiring committee in determining whether or not a particular candidate is the best “fit” for the position being interviewed for. Give or take a few, a teacher has always been able to expect to see this traditional set of questions during an interview.
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why did you decide to become a teacher?
- What is your teaching philosophy?
- What type of classroom management structure would you implement?
- How have you used, or how will you use, technology in the classroom?
- Would you be interested in participating in after school activities?
- Are you a positive and energetic person?
- What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses?
- Explain your assessment practices.
- Describe your ability to work with others.
These are all good questions but if we really want to hire the kind of teachers needed today, I would like to suggest that we replace at least some of them with the questions listed below. I’ve included my thoughts on why we should ask each question.
Do you consider yourself to be a risk taker? (Give an example to back up your answer.)
We want teachers who are constantly trying new things and learning from their mistakes.
If I were your principal and we were setting goals for next year, what would they be?
We want teachers who are forward thinking and those who are able to articulate a vision of education in the 21st century.
What is the last educational book you read? Why that book?
We want teachers who are continually honing their craft, using a variety of professional resources to consider new approaches.
If you could create the ideal school, what would it be like?
We want teachers who can envision the schools of tomorrow, ones that align with more engaging and flexible learning environments.
How do you deal with failure? (Your own and that of your students)
We want teachers who are resilient and teachers who build resiliency and a growth mindset in their students.
How will 21st century competencies be developed in your students? (Provide examples both with and without technology)
We want teachers who will prepare students for the world they will enter, designing learning experiences to support the building of important 21st century competencies.
Have you built a Personal Learning Network (PLN)? Why or why not?
We want teachers who are broadening their perspective and learning from colleagues across the hall and throughout the world.
In what ways will you challenge your colleagues and the principals thinking?
We want teachers who are not afraid to challenge the status quo and able to stretch the thinking of others.
How will you differentiate instruction to meet the needs of diverse learners in your class?
We want teachers who can find ways to meet the ever growing diverse needs in todays classrooms.
Take 10 minutes to prepare yourself to lead the interview panel in a conversation about an emerging educational topic of your choosing.
We want teachers who are ever looking for way to improve the educational journey of their students and teachers who can support and defend their ideas with sound research and judgement.
My father always told me, “Be careful what you ask for because you just might get it.” As far as I’m concerned the teacher interview is a perfect place to start asking for and getting what we want.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Please share any other questions you think should be included.