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09 November 2004: Job Posting: Unreasonable Diligence and Paperwork Required (5 of 5)

After she gave me the job, the principal told me that it had everything to do with the way I answered that question.

She said it didnít matter if I was already a good teacher. She said I proved to her that I desired to be a good teacher, and she knew that with her help, I could be. When I think about that interview now, I wonder, how do you interview a teacher?

There are so many questions that get asked that donít reflect the quality of teaching, how can you wade through the ďHave you worked with Harcourt Math before?Ē and ask questions that really reveal the skill?

Can you gage the quality of teacher by asking what their studentsí test scores were? Can you gage their effectiveness in management by asking if they ever take away recess privileges? Can a teacherís dedication be judged by how many hours they spend outside of school prepping, grading, and organizing?

Iím pretty sure the answer to all of these questions is no. Iíve also had interviews where I was asked to comment on provided magazine articles, from the point of view of my teaching philosophy. Iíve had to teach sample lessons to rooms of adults. Though I expect some will protest, this seems to be getting closer to the kind of teacher interviews that will really reveal quality.

teaching quote of the day

Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.

- Chinese proverb

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