Monday, July 11, 2011

Four things I would include when interviewing potential teachers and principals.

1. How do you use your Person Learning Network (PLN) to learn?

2. What are your views on rewards to control classroom behaviour?

3. Share your thoughts on using “punishment” (like detention) in a classroom.

4. Share your views on homework.


  1. Thanks Brian. Good questions. How many of our teacher training institutes do you think prepare pre-service teachers to be able to respond to any of these? Almost like they try to weed out any viewpoints on these critical issues.

  2. Hi Tom, thanks for your comment. Indeed, I wonder the same. How do these institutes prepare the new teachers?

  3. I love the questions. However, I'd be more flexible with a teacher on #1 and less flexible on the others. Some phenomenal teachers haven't branched out into a PLN or don't know how that term is defined. That's the job of good PD - to help them get connected.

    I'd add a few more:
    1. What are the essential characteristics of a good teacher? (I'd silently be looking for humility, nuance, empathy)
    2. When a kid is out of control, who do you blame? (a bit of a trick question - it's probably no one's "fault," but more a symptom of a broken world and a chance for redemption)

  4. Great thinking questions, Brian. Responses would truly show a lot of what a candidate's teaching philosophy is. Additionally, I would ask what their view is on the role of the teacher in the 21st century classroom.

  5. Thanks for this post. As an academic in a college preparing preservice teachers for a career in teaching, I can honestly say that we do indeed do what we can to prepare them for job interviews and a multitude of aspects of teaching.

    I am teaching an ICT subject this semester; I will be pointing my students to your first question, to open up discussion about what schools are expecting of new teachers today.


  6. I'm on an interview committee, and we ask what are their best teaching practices and why? Also, 'What is your plan when a lesson completely misses the mark?' Another huge question I feel we learn a lot about potential candidates from is 'What would you say is two of your weaknesses that you know you continue to work on in the classroom?'. We have gained some really honest, unscripted, seemingly insightful answers. Beware though that there are some out there who feel they have NO weaknesses ... AT ALL! I know, right? But you might get that, so be ready! Nice orig blog and ext posts!

  7. I'd be stumped at #1. I don't really understand the term!