For Future Teachers In this tight labor market, many principals have to review hundreds of quality candidates. Separating the good from the bad can be a question of, well, asking the right questions. We asked our “Principal Files” principals to share their favorite questions to ask as they screen potential good leaders ask great questions pdf for an opening. The questions they provided get to the heart of an applicant’s skills and passion.
Included: Thirty great questions for future teachers. This hiring season, principals everywhere are sharpening their questioning techniques and taking another look at the questions they ask job candidates as they ready for the interviewing marathon. In interviews assistant principal Chris Vail conducts, he looks for one primary characteristic — enthusiasm. So what kinds of questions are principals preparing? Interview questions cover a wide range of topics. I’m looking for many things when I hire a teacher,” said Patricia Green, principal at Cedar Heights Junior High School in Port Orchard, Washington.
I seek a candidate who can truly communicate with students, parents, peers, and our community. I find people who truly love teaching, then I know I have found folks who see each day as an opportunity to help others learn and grow instead of people who think about coming to ‘work. Finally, I seek team players who are able to relate their subject areas to the world around them in order to help students understand the why’s behind the what’s they are learning. But how do principals discern whether candidates for teaching positions possess those qualities they seek?
They ask thoughtful and challenging questions, such as the ones Education World’s Principal Files team members have been polishing as they get set to schedule interviews. Twenty Great Questions to Ask Future Teachers Once the meeting-and-greeting is done and everybody is settled in, the first questions in an interview usually fall under the category of “tell me more. Tell-me-more questions give everybody a chance to relax a little as they provide job candidates an opportunity to put their best feet forward. I’ve read your application and resume, but what are the most important things I should know about you, your life, your experiences? What I’m looking for when I ask that question is whatever the person really wants to share with me,” principal Tim Messick told Education World.
Besides the basic responses, “I’m looking for candidates to get away from the ‘canned’ responses. I’m interested in hearing what the candidates feel is most important. I’m looking to learn how they see themselves and what they value about themselves. I have found that folks are often very candid and straightforward — very insightful — in their responses,” added Messick, who is principal at Providence Day School in Charlotte, North Carolina. This question generates a wide range of responses,” added Bridget Braney, principal at Orchard Hill Elementary School in South Windsor, Connecticut. There are no right or wrong answers, but the answers can be very revealing.
Although much of what they have accomplished is listed on the applications, this opportunity to share tells me a little about them and makes them feel welcome,” said Betty Peltier, principal at Southdown Elementary School in Houma, Louisiana. It’s good for me to know about their background and interests when I am introducing them to teachers on the staff. Additionally, this informal chatter gives me insight into how the candidates present themselves. You have been hired as the newest member of our teaching team. In fewer than five minutes, how would you introduce yourself to a group of parents, students, and teachers from our school?
The only thing you want to be sure to do is to indicate how your education, training, and work experiences have qualified you for your new role. Green is looking for candidates to share their specific qualifications for the job, but she also is looking for other things. Often, their passion for this career, as well as their ability to build rapport with others, is evident in their responses,” she said. I also get a chance to see how the candidate acts in an impromptu situation and how well he or she communicates under pressure. At Irving Elementary School in Kewanee, Illinois, principal Ellin Lotspeich uses her opening interview questions to try to get to see what is in a teacher’s heart.
Who has most influenced you to become an educator, and how did they influence you? I believe that personal life experiences in education relate directly to the type of teacher someone will be,” Lotspeich told Education World. The candidate’s response to that question should come from the heart, and it will give me insight into the ‘heart’ the candidate will draw on as he or she relates to students. With the background information out of the way, it’s time to dig a little deeper. It’s time to get a sense of what kind of teacher the applicant will make. Some principals, like Les Potter, prefer to interview candidates who have teaching experience. I am fortunate I can get experienced applicants,” said Potter, principal at Silver Sands Middle School in Port Orange, Florida.
I can get a better read on them because I can check references. Principal Chad Moorehead of Lewis County High School in Hohenwald, Tennessee, often asks job candidates, “What role do you wish to play in the lives of your students? Moorehead has heard a wide variety of responses to that question. I am especially interested to hear applicants say that they consider themselves to be role models.