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Interview Questions

So, I’ve been talking to teachers and administrators about where our school is going lately.

The discussions have led me to spiral in on two primary questions1:

1. Given the inability to offer financial incentives, how else do you attract and retain superior teachers?

2. What immediate evidence should be apparent to show that your campus is an effective learning environment?

How would you answer these if you were interviewing for an administrator position at a new school? (or conversely, if you don’t administrate, how would you like your administrator to answer this question?)

1 If you’re a teacher at my school, don’t be surprised if you see these questions come to you via some other way. I’ve been meme pushing, which I do much better in small circles than here on the big giant interwebs.

{ 2 } Comments

  1. Greg | June 19, 2008 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    I am not a teacher, so my observations and $5 gets you a venti coffee at Starbucks.

    1. Allow them to teach. Design roadblocks (or even hire “blockers”) to run interference on anything that gets in the way of teachers teaching. In every job I have had, spending hours dealing with non-job related BS is frustrating.

    2. Is there any immediate evidence? It seems to me that it is more of a state of “being.” While I would imagine all the processes share some commonalities, “learning campuses” could look very different one to another.

    I am reminded about the story of Midnight basketball. Some adults in an urban community had the school gym opened at midnight on Saturdays so young people could play basketball instead of hanging out in the street. Very successful. Somebody came up with the idea of making federal funds available for Midnight Basketballs around the country.

    Stupid idea. Why? It was the involvement of the adults in the community that made the difference, not the basketball. Many communities may have had just as much success with acouple of bicycle police ridding around all night. Each case is different.

    BUT, you are asking the right question. Best of luck. Be careful, somebody might elect you to the Board of Education!

  2. dkzody | June 20, 2008 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Superior teachers should not have to put up with bureaucracy and be allowed to do the good job they do. Don’t keep putting roadblocks in their way.

    A walk through the campus should see students in class, engaged in their learning, not just staring into space. Teachers should be working with students, not sitting at a desk, staring at a computer. Engaging students in conversation should make you happy, not wondering, “what the heck is going on here with these kids.”