Trying to find math inside everything else

A few weeks ago I went on an interview, and I was trying to think about the part at the end when they always ask ,”Do you have any questions for us?” I used to never ask questions then, but I realize now that I am interviewing them as much as they are interviewing me. (This is especially true when you already have a job, as opposed to first getting one.) Most of the time my questions come from previous experiences with things that were lacking – much like my questions during apartment viewings while home-hunting. But since my experiences are not universal, I reached out to the #MTBoS for some suggestions, and got a lot of good ones back. Here’s a bunch of the ones I liked, courtesy of Kate Nowak, David Wees, Tina Cardone, Shannon Houghton, Anna Blinstein, Jonathan Claydon, and Brian Palacios.

  • Describe your students. (And take note of what kind of language they use.)
  • What are class sizes like?
  • What is your school/department working on improving?
  • What math curricula have you adopted?
  • What is your approach to students who failed previous math courses?
  • What would my schedule look like? (Prep time/number of courses/number of sections/length of classes)
  • What is [math] PD like here? What is the school’s PD priority?
  • How do important decisions get made?
  • Tell me more about the parent community.
  • What kind of technology is available for teacher use? For student use? How reliable is it?
  • Do you believe that all students can meet the standards?
  • What is the school struggling with right now? What is it excelling at?
  • What is discipline like at the school?
  • How is lateness/attendance? What policies are in place to handle it?
  • How much autonomy do I have regarding lesson plans?
  • What’s one thing you would change about the school?
  • What do you love about working here?

Comments on: "Questions for an Interview" (2)

  1. This is a great list! I do a lot of interviewing and always appreciate when people ask good questions.

  2. My absolute favorite interview response to “Do you have any questions for us?” came from someone who we ended up hiring a few years ago. It was the best question the candidate could have asked, in my humble opinion. They asked: “We all have things we’re personally working on getting better at as teachers. As I told you, I’m still working on X. Could we go around the room and each of you share what specific thing (or things!) you’re working on improving in your classroom?”

    From the question alone, I knew this was The One for us. And for the teacher interviewing, s/he could see if we are a reflective department with members who are thoughtful, okay at admitting where we suck, and have ways we’re trying to grow.

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