10 Steps for Hiring Effective Teachers

Books

Mary C. Clement

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  • Copyright

    Praise for Praise for 10 Steps for Hiring Effective Teachers

    In my career as an administrator I have not seen such a thorough or comprehensive work on the hiring process. I never thought of the process as a year-round process until the author posed it that way, but it helps place the hiring procedure in a better light in course of our annual work.

    This book brings to light several processes, such as Behavior-Based Interviewing (BBI), that I will definitely be including in future interviews. I will ensure participants on future interview teams read this book in order to fully understand the integrity and the importance of the interview process. This book is clear, thorough, timely and well done.

    Marc Simmons, Principal
    Ilwaco Middle School, Ilwaco, WA

    Behavior based interviewing is the norm in the private sector, and is the best way to hire qualified people who are going to move your team in the direction you want and engage your learners in the content. This book brings that process of behavior based interviewing to the classroom, and helps you find those top people who are going to help move your department into the future.

    Glenn Waddell, Math Department Chair
    North Valleys High School, Reno, NV

    They say hiring a teacher is a multi-million dollar decision. 10 Steps for Hiring Effective Teachers will help you to create or refine your district's process of hiring teachers. When a multi-million dollar decision is being made you want the best process for obtaining the best teachers that you can. 10 Steps for Hiring Effective Teachers will put you on that path.

    L. Robert Furman, Elementary Principal
    South Park School District, South Park, PA

    Starting with the opening pages Mary Clement provides the reader with succinct, research-based targeted information on good hiring policy and practice. Her emphasis on behavior-based interviewing and involvement of other school stakeholders is well taken. The appendixes provide excellent tools to assist interview teams in identifying the strongest candidates. This book is a valuable tool in identifying the best teacher applicants.

    Lloyd Goldsmith, Professor and Program Director
    Department of Graduate Studies in Education, Abilene Christian University, TX

    Mary has intimate knowledge of the realities of the hiring process in schools and her suggestions for improvement are rooted in these facts. Dr. Clement provides practical, useful direction for school districts seeking to improve their hiring processes. This book will serve as a valuable guide for districts seeking to improve their hiring processes through the implementation of practical solutions. Dr. Clement has identified a need in the school community with this book, and she has filled the void with practical, useful solutions. The need for the book is long overdue. Mary provides sound advice about the hiring process, as well as detailed directions for improvement.

    Tim Neubert, Board President, Illinois Association for Employment in Education
    Human Resources Administrator, Veteran School District

    Preface

    Earlier in my career, I taught seminars for administrators on how to establish induction programs for new teachers. At the end of an all-day seminar, I asked the audience if there were any other questions or comments. An experienced principal said, “I learned a lot today about mentoring and inducting new teachers, but I realized that no one ever taught me how to hire the best new teachers. It seems to me that I need to know how to hire effective teachers before I implement a program of mentoring and induction for them.” With his comments, my research on the hiring of new teachers began.

    I found that the knowledge base on hiring was limited. There were some “how-to” articles in professional magazines, but research-based journal articles were somewhat scarce. As I spoke with administrators in workshops that I taught, the vast majority reported no training or coursework in how to hire while completing their leadership programs. Over and over I heard administrators say that when they had to hire someone, “we interview the way that we were interviewed.” Interviews were starting with, “Tell me about yourself,” and ending with, “Where do you see yourself in five to ten years?” Some principals stated that they were looking for characteristics, such as a love of children, enthusiasm, energy, or dedication.

    There has to be a better way to select new teachers than relying on gut feelings. As I researched hiring, I was most impressed with behavior-based interviewing (BBI), an interview style that has been long used in the business world. Much of my writing has centered on the value of BBI in the hiring of new teachers. I have also come to believe that teachers themselves can play an important role in the hiring of their new colleagues. After all, who is better prepared to ascertain the skills of a new teacher in a given discipline than a teacher in that discipline? Teachers should know the vocabulary, the curriculum standards, and the issues of their grade and subject with intimate knowledge. Their expertise can be put to use in the hiring process, and participation in hiring can lead to stronger teacher leadership roles.

    I believe that I have been asked inappropriate questions in every interview that I have ever had. All who hire must know that the only questions to be asked are those that ascertain the past experience, expertise, and training of the candidate. This book strives to share best practice in teacher hiring, with the end result of highly effective teachers being employed in classrooms where they can raise student achievement and make a difference. Having established hiring guidelines will also make the difficult job of new teacher selection an easier, more objective process.

    Put simply, structured interview and hiring processes simplify the hiring process and make the work much more reliable. The more measures that an employer has to evaluate potential candidates, the stronger the chances of hiring someone who can do the job assigned. These measures include a thorough application, review of recommendations, preliminary interviews, on-site interviews, and interviews with other teachers of the same grade and/or subject. In today's world of high-stakes testing and data-driven student achievement, a candidate who can document past work with success will be a teacher who achieves success with students when hired.

    How to Use This Book

    This book is grounded in the current knowledge base and research on teacher hiring, while I also use examples from my experience and those of a myriad of administrators who have participated in my workshops. Although I have written it for the audience of administrators who hire teachers, it can also serve as a resource for central administration and human resources personnel. Teachers themselves can use the book for their training if they are to serve in advisory roles in the hiring process.

    Arranged in chronological order, the chapters provide guidance for each step of the hiring process. The appendices provide templates for creating the forms needed for applicant reviews and interview questions. Some readers may want to begin with the appendices to see the practical applications available, and then go back and read the chapters.

    Publisher's Acknowledgments

    Corwin would like to thank the following individuals for their editorial insight and advice:

    • Dr. Marc Simmons

      Principal

      Ilwaco Middle School

      Ilwaco, TX

      Glenn Waddell

    • Math Department Chair

      North Valleys High School

      Reno, NV

    • L. Robert Furman

      Elementary Principal

      South Park School District

      South Park, PA

    About the Author

    Mary C. Clement has been researching the hiring of new teachers for over twenty years, and she received the 2013 Star Award from the American Association for Employment in Education for her writing in the field of K–12 teacher hiring. A professor of teacher education at Berry College, north of Atlanta, Georgia, she also directs the college's Center for Teaching Excellence.

    Clement's other books include The Definitive Guide to Getting a Teaching Job, Get a Teaching Job NOW, First Time in the High School Classroom, and The Induction Connection. Her articles have appeared in Phi Delta Kappan, Principal, Principal Leadership, American School Board Journal, Clearing House, and Kappa Delta Pi's Record. She has presented at ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development), National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), Phi Delta Kappa, and Kappa Delta Pi conferences, as well as internationally in China and Namibia. She was the 2012–2014 international president of Kappa Delta Pi.

    Clement received her doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and taught high school Spanish and French before her career in higher education.

  • Appendices

    Appendix 1
    Survey of Recent New Hires

    As our district strives continually to improve its hiring practice, we ask you to complete the following survey about your hiring experience in our school system.

    For each of the following, indicate your agreement or disagreement with the statement. A 1 indicates complete disagreement, and a 5 indicates complete agreement.

    Disagree 1————2————3————4————5 Agree

    • The job advertisement provided clear, correct information._____
    • The application process was clear and user-friendly._____
    • I gained valuable information about the position in the preliminary and/or on-site interviews._____
    • Everyone I met during the hiring process was courteous and welcoming._____
    • The time frame between application and hearing about an interview was appropriate._____
    • The time frame between the final interview and the offer was appropriate._____
    • I felt that I was recruited throughout the hiring process and that my skills were valued._____
    • Now that I am in my new job, I feel that the expectations of the position were clearly explained in the hiring process._____

    What suggestions do you have for the improvement of our school system's hiring process?

    Appendix 2
    Checklist for the Job Advertisement
    • ______ Decide on where to advertise: district website, AppliTrack or other for-profit site, state teacher job site, local newspaper, and within the district as mandated by some teacher unions.
    • ______ List all application materials needed: cover letter, resume, letters of recommendation, list of current references, proof of certification.
    • ______ List all required criteria for the job: specific certification and endorsements, experience with students of similar demographic backgrounds to those in the district, willingness to move from grade level to grade level. Listing additional considerations, such as “preference given to candidates with six hours of special education coursework” may be added.
    • ______ Provide easily accessible information about salary and benefits.
    • ______ Be specific about whom to contact if there are questions. If no one will answer questions or e-mails, state that in the ad. Example: Applicants should adhere to the steps in this advertisement for submitting all information. No further questions about the position can be answered at this time.
    • ______ Consider a line about “walk-in applications,” if those are not desired. Example: Applications that are brought to a principal will not be considered. Please follow the steps outlined in this position description.
    • ______ If there are deadlines for application and for a start date for the position, list those.
    • ______ Describe the district, its community, and other positives about the area.
    Appendix 3
    Template for Soliciting Teachers for the Hiring Process

    Name:

    Areas of grade and subject matter expertise:

    Total years of classroom teaching experience:

    Years in our school/district:

    • List previous experience with hiring, interviewing, or search committee work. (This may include work in fields outside of education.)
    • List any training you have had with regard to hiring or interviewing.
    • List other committees on which you have served in your school or district.
    • Why are you interested in reviewing candidate applications or interviewing candidates?

    I understand that this work is voluntary and that I will not receive monetary payment. _____yes

    I understand that I will need to complete training to participate in the hiring process. _____ yes

    I understand that I will need to adhere to strict confidentiality measures if I participate in hiring procedures. _____ yes

    Appendix 4
    Outline for Training All Involved in the Hiring Process
    • _____ Determine who needs training and who will provide training. (Consider training teacher volunteers and support staff.)
    • _____ Share the district's hiring philosophy.
    • _____ What are each participant's roles and responsibilities?
    • _____ Describe the time line for hiring; include how many new hires are needed and the grade and subject areas needed.
    • _____ Show a job advertisement. Explain the complete application and interview process. (Many teacher share misinformation with candidates, leading to difficult situations and potential legal issues.)
    • _____ Explain behavior-based interviewing and how it will be used in preliminary and on-site interviews.
    • _____ Explain the issues of prohibited questions in interviews.
    • _____ Share the decision-making process for hiring after interviews. Who is involved, and what is that time line?
    • _____ Use time in training to have teachers, administrators, and other participants complete the role-play scenarios from this book.
    • _____ Answer other questions about the hiring process.
    • _____ Inform participants about the orientation and induction programs for new hires. Ask for volunteers to participate in the induction of new teachers or to serve as mentors.
    • _____ Have all participants complete an evaluation form of their training.
    Appendix 5
    Role-Plays and Discussion Questions for Training
    • A member of the teacher interview team has just asked the candidate to describe how she has communicated with parents in her past teaching experience. The candidate answers by saying, “I am the parent of two children, so I know the information that I want from my children's teachers. I want to know …” With regard to the disclosure about her own children, can the interview committee ask a follow-up question about the family? What can the committee ask as a follow-up question to the candidate?

      Answers: NO. Even when a candidate reveals information about family, the committee cannot follow up with personal questions.

      The committee might follow up with a question requesting a specific example about parent newsletters, phone calls, or conferences.

    • Role-play a scenario where a candidate talks entirely too long about a question. Specifically, how would you, as an interviewer, diplomatically guide the candidate to quit talking?
    • You have asked a candidate to describe how he has worked to keep students actively engaged in difficult work. To your surprise, the candidate begins to cry. What is your reaction? What will you say and do at this point? How does this behavior affect your overall assessment of the candidate?
    • You have asked the candidate about her knowledge and interest in your school district. The candidate answers by explaining, in vivid detail, her recent surgery. What is your response to this explanation? If the surgery description is particularly embarrassing, does this influence your judgment of the candidate? What if the candidate's answer to this same question is a long description of her recent divorce as a need for a job in your district?
    • You have interviewed three people as finalists for a position. Two of the three have stellar credentials, communication skills, and experience. It is truly a toss-up between the two. How will you make the final decision? What might the discussion of a committee or of a principal and another building administrator sound like as this decision is made? (Role-play the discussion.) What about considering the life circumstances of the candidates? What if, even though you couldn't ask about it, you know that one candidate desperately needs the job due to family issues, while the other is married to professional with an income?
    • A candidate arrives at your school at 9:00 a.m. in jeans and a T-shirt and begins walking around the hallways, peeking into classrooms. He has an interview scheduled for 2:00 p.m. with you. A teacher reports that a stranger is in the hallways. Role-play the conversation with this candidate. (Hint: Perhaps the candidate says something like, “I wanted to get to know the school before our interview. I will go home and change before our two o'clock appointment.”) Will you interview him later?
    • A candidate has just interviewed with you, and her answers were stellar. She knows all of the vocabulary of teaching and is articulate about hot topics in education. However, in a follow-up phone call to one of her references, the department chair does not speak highly of the candidate. The department chair speaks of the assignment given the teacher and of how many semesters the candidate taught there. Role-play your conversation with the department chair about the candidate. How does this conversation influence your decision?
    • A candidate comes to your school for an interview at 10:00 a.m. and has wet hair. His career clothes are appropriate. Should the wet hair affect your consideration of the candidate?
    • A candidate with excellent letters of recommendation and two years of experience is interviewing with you. She speaks with informal, colloquial language, including grammatical mistakes. How does the candidate's language affect your decision to hire? What if the candidate's language mirrors that of the community in which the school is located? (Consider, perhaps, the use of “y'all” or other regional dialects in certain parts of the country.)
    • A candidate for a position working with preK, kindergarten, or first grade arrives for an interview wearing denim pants, a bright T-shirt, and a colorful vest. He shares that this is normal dress for school, as teachers of young children need to be ready for paint spills, milk stains, and reading time on the rug. What is your reaction to the candidate's attire?
    • Many candidates do overshare. What is your reaction to a teacher who states her marital or family status early in the interview? (This might include stating her relationship with a gay partner.)
    • You have asked a question regarding the candidate's interest and knowledge in your district or school. He smiles and replies, “I am interested because you have a job opening.” What is your reaction to this answer?
    Appendix 6
    Template for Cover Letter and Resume Evaluation

    For each of the following, rate the item based on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest score.

    Very poor/unacceptable 1——2——3——4———5 Excellent quality

    • Cover letter is well written and states qualifications._____
    • Cover letter is free of grammatical, spelling, and usage errors._____
    • Candidate states at least one success with students or candidate's own education._____
    Resume
    • Resume is easy to read, clearly written._____
    • Resume is free of grammatical, spelling, and usage errors._____
    • Certification/licensure match job advertisement._____
    • Experience matches job opening._____
    • Resume highlights accomplishments with students or in previous job or college program._____
    • No gaps in education or work experience._____
    • Resume captured the reader's attention for a positive reason._____

    Other sorting criteria to personalize the template: (experience with diverse populations, etc.)

    Appendix 7
    Prohibited Questions

    (This sheet may be distributed and placed on tables when committees interview.)

    • You may not ask questions about the following topics:
      • Nationality
      • Race
      • Gender
      • Sexual preference
      • Family
      • Children
      • Religion
      • Disabilities
    • Questions may not be asked as small talk. You may not say:
      • “What a pretty ring. Tell me about it.”
      • “What a unique scarf. Does the pattern mean something?”
      • “You look so familiar. Where have we met? Perhaps at my daughter's school?”
      • You may not comment on a visible injury, pregnancy, use of a cane, wheelchair, or other physical issue.

    What can be asked if the candidate discloses family or other personal information?

    • It is still prohibited to ask a follow-up question about that personal information.
      • Example: Candidate states, “I am job searching in your district because my husband's job brought us here.” It is prohibited to ask, “What does your husband do?” or “Have you already purchased a home here and settled in?”

    You may ask only questions that ascertain pertinent job skills, education, and experience.

    Appendix 8
    Preliminary Interview Template

    Reminder: Inform candidate that this is a preliminary interview. Inform of the position(s) that are open, and other details of application to the district that must be completed.

    If the candidate is at a job fair or in a video interview:

    Unacceptable Acceptable Target

    • Attire and grooming.________ ________ ________
    • Basic interpersonal skills.________ ________ ________
    General Questions
    • Tell about your most successful teaching experience. ________ ________ ________
    • Describe the classroom management in a room where you have worked.________ ________ ________
    • Tell about one lesson that went well and why.________ ________ ________
    • How have you met individual students’ needs in your classroom?________ ________ ________
    • How do you know that students are learning?________ ________ ________
    • Add a question about the specific position. We need a first-grade teacher. What are two of the most important curricular standards to meet with this age?________ ________ ________
    • What do you know about our district, and why do you want to work here?________ ________ ________

    Rate the candidate's command of spoken language.________ ________ ________

    Notes:

    Appendix 9
    Preschool Interview Questions

    Ask the same questions to each candidate, and in the same order.

    Unacceptable Acceptable Target

    • Attire and grooming.________ ________ ________
    • Basic interpersonal skills.________ ________ ________
    • Clear, correct language use.________ ________ ________
    Questions:
    • Describe a preschool classroom where you have worked and how it was arranged.________ ________ ________
    • Describe specific procedures and routines in the classroom where you worked.________ ________ ________
    • Explain a lesson that you have taught that went well, and why it went well.________ ________ ________
    • What are specific curricular standards that need to be met by three-, four-, and/or five-year-olds?
    • ________ ________ ________
    • What are some behavior issues that you have dealt with, and how did you deal with those issues?
    • ________ ________ ________
    • How have you managed student behavior with this age group?________ ________ ________
    • Describe an activity that is developmentally appropriate for five-year-olds that will not work with younger students.
    • ________ ________ ________
    • How have you communicated with parents about their children?________ ________ ________
    • How have you used parents as volunteers?________ ________ ________
    • How have you differentiated learning for students?________ ________ ________
    • How have you assessed students’ work, overall progress, and readiness to move to kindergarten?
    • ________ ________ ________
    • Why do you want to work in our preschool?________ ________ ________

    Add other questions specific to your school. These may include questions about working with at-risk students, migrant children, English language learners, and so on.

    *** What other questions do you have about this position or our school?

    Notes:

    Appendix 10
    Elementary School Interview Questions

    Ask the same questions to each candidate, and in the same order.

     Unacceptable Acceptable Target

    • Attire and grooming.________ ________ ________
    • Basic interpersonal skills.________ ________ ________
    • Clear, correct language use.________ ________ ________
    Questions:
    • Describe an elementary classroom where you have worked.________ ________ ________
    • Describe the procedures and routines in a classroom that created a well-run atmosphere.________ ________ ________
    • Describe a classroom management plan that you have used that worked well.________ ________ ________
    • Explain your experience teaching to the Common Core State Standards with this age group.________ ________ ________
    • Describe a lesson built on a standard and how you planned and implemented that lesson.________ ________ ________
    • Characterize your work with the teaching of reading.________ ________ ________
    • Outline how you have integrated subjects.________ ________ ________
    • Explain a lesson that students really enjoyed and why they enjoyed it.________ ________ ________
    • How have you differentiated your instruction to meet students’ needs?________ ________ ________
    • How have you used technology in your teaching?________ ________ ________
    • How have you assessed students’ work?________ ________ ________
    • How have you determined that students are ready for the next grade level?________ ________ ________
    • Give an example of how you have communicated with parents.________ ________ ________
    • Characterize your work with other teachers and/or administrators.________ ________ ________
    • What is your interest in teaching in our school?________ ________ ________

    Add other questions specific to your school. These may include questions about working with at-risk students, migrant children, English language learners, and so on.

    *** What other questions do you have about this position or our school?

    Notes:

    Appendix 11
    Middle School Questions

    Ask the same questions to each candidate, and in the same order.

     Unacceptable Acceptable Target

    • Attire and grooming.________ ________ ________
    • Basic interpersonal skills.________ ________ ________
    • Clear, correct language use.________ ________ ________
    Questions:
    • Describe a middle school classroom where you have worked (grade, subject, student population).
    • ________ ________ ________
    • Describe the classroom management plan in a room where you have worked.________ ________ ________
    • Tell about your experiences with team teaching or team planning.________ ________ ________
    • Describe a lesson that you taught that was successful and why it was successful.________ ________ ________
    • Tell about your experience developing lessons to the Common Core State Standards or other standards.________ ________ ________
    • How have you assessed student learning in a variety of ways?________ ________ ________
    • How have you integrated reading strategies into your subject?________ ________ ________
    • How have you differentiated instruction to meet the needs of students?________ ________ ________
    • Describe the maturity levels of middle school students.________ ________ ________
    • What have you done to help middle school students get or stay motivated on academics?________ ________ ________
    • How have you determined that students are ready for the next grade level?________ ________ ________
    • Give an example of how you have communicated with parents.________ ________ ________
    • Characterize your work with other teachers and/or administrators.________ ________ ________
    • What is your interest in teaching in our school?________ ________ ________

    Add other questions specific to your school. These may include questions about working with at-risk students, migrant children, English language learners, and so on.

    Ask the candidate:

    *** What other questions do you have about this position or our school?

    Notes:

    Appendix 12
    General High School Interview Questions

    Ask the same questions to each candidate, and in the same order.

    Unacceptable Acceptable Target

    • Attire and grooming.________ ________ ________
    • Basic interpersonal skills.________ ________ ________
    • Clear, correct language use.________ ________ ________
    Questions:
    • Describe a high school classroom where you have worked (grade, subject, student population).
    • ________ ________ ________
    • Explain the basic procedures and routines in a classroom where you have worked.________ ________ ________
    • Describe a classroom management plan (including rules and consequences) you have used and why it worked with teenagers.________ ________ ________
    • Describe a lesson that you taught that was successful and why it was successful.________ ________ ________
    • Tell about your experience developing lessons to the Common Core State Standards or other standards.________ ________ ________
    • How have you used technology in your teaching?________ ________ ________
    • How have you assessed student learning in a variety of ways?________ ________ ________
    • How have you differentiated instruction to meet the needs of students?________ ________ ________
    • How have you motivated students to graduate?
    • ________ ________ ________
    • Give an example of how you have communicated with parents.________ ________ ________
    • Characterize your work with other teachers and/or administrators.________ ________ ________
    • What is your interest in teaching at our school?________ ________ ________

    Add other questions specific to the discipline and your school (see Appendices 13–18 for sample questions). You may include questions about working with Advanced Placement courses, at-risk students, migrant children, and English language learners.

    Ask the candidate:

    *** What other questions do you have about this position or our school?

    Notes:

    Appendix 13
    Subject Matter–Specific Questions

    Choose from these questions to add to the general template for a grade level.

    English/Language Arts
    • What strategies or methods have you used to improve student writing?
    • Describe a rubric or criteria sheet for evaluating a student's writing.
    • How have you prepared students for the standardized tests in English, reading, or language arts?
    • How have your past students scored on standardized tests?
    • Describe your work with developing lessons based on the Common Core State Standards.
    • How have you chosen the books that your students read?
    • Characterize your approach to the teaching of grammar, phonics, or other topics.
    Mathematics
    • Characterize a typical math lesson that you have taught.
    • How much time during a typical lesson do you spend guiding students’ practice and providing feedback?
    • What is a hot topic in math for this grade level, and how have you addressed this topic in your classes?
    • What are some of the most important topics to cover with this grade level in math?
    • What have you done to ensure that students do their work?
    Science
    • Describe how you have used labs in past science classes that you have taught.
    • How have you used technology in past classes that you have taught?
    • Give an example of a hot topic in your field of science and how you have taught or dealt with that topic (e.g., biology and evolution).
    • How have you encouraged and motivated students to learn science?
    • What are some common student complaints about science, and how have you dealt with them?
    History/Social Studies/Government
    • When your class is required, how do you interest students in it?
    • Describe a typical lesson, explaining how you have used group work or other activities.
    • How do you stay current in your field?
    • How have you helped students improve their reading and writing skills in your class?
    • Which curricular topics are important “big” topics in your class?
    Foreign Languages
    • During what percentage of a typical lesson do you speak and use only the target language (the foreign language being taught)? Why?
    • Characterize your teaching of grammar.
    • How have you incorporated culture into your lessons?
    • How do you keep your command of the language current?
    • There is much debate about how to teach a foreign language. Describe your overall approach to teaching a language.
    • How do you help parents assist their child in learning a language?
    • How have you used technology in the foreign language classroom?
    Appendix 14
    Health and Physical Education Interview Questions

    Ask the same questions to each candidate, and in the same order.

     Unacceptable Acceptable Target

    • Attire and grooming.________ ________ ________
    • Basic interpersonal skills.________ ________ ________
    • Clear, correct language use.________ ________ ________
    Questions:
    • Tell about your specific experience teaching PE.________ ________ ________
    • Tell about your specific experience teaching health.________ ________ ________
    • Many students do not want to participate in PE. How have you motivated students to do so?
    • ________ ________ ________
    • How have you planned lessons? What has guided your lesson planning?________ ________ ________
    • Describe your classroom management for PE classes. What consequences have worked well with the students you have taught?________ ________ ________
    • Childhood obesity is a huge issue. How have you worked with overweight students to encourage and support a healthy lifestyle?________ ________ ________
    • How do you assess students and assign grades in PE courses?________ ________ ________
    • How have you differentiated instruction or changed the environment to meet the special needs of students in PE?________ ________ ________
    • How have you motivated students to graduate?________ ________ ________
    • Give an example of how you have communicated with parents.________ ________ ________
    • Characterize your work with other teachers and/or administrators.________ ________ ________
    • What is your interest in teaching at our school?________ ________ ________

    Add other questions specific to your school's student population.

    Ask the candidate:

    *** What other questions do you have about this position or our school?

    Notes:

    Appendix 15
    Art Interview Questions

    Ask the same questions to each candidate, and in the same order.

     Unacceptable Acceptable Target

    • Attire and grooming.________ ________ ________
    • Basic interpersonal skills.________ ________ ________
    • Clear, correct language use.________ ________ ________
    Questions:
    • Describe how you have done long-term planning.________ ________ ________
    • Characterize the types of artwork that students have done in your past classes.________ ________ ________
    • Describe a typical lesson that you have taught and why it went well.________ ________ ________
    • Art classrooms have special arrangements. Describe a well-organized classroom in which you have worked.
    • ________ ________ ________
    • What is a good classroom management plan for an art classroom?________ ________ ________
    • Since art is not assessed on standardized tests, how have you assessed student work and assigned grades?
    • ________ ________ ________
    • How have you motivated students to work in art?________ ________ ________
    • How have you accommodated students with special needs in an art classroom?________ ________ ________
    • Give an example of how you have communicated with parents.________ ________ ________
    • Characterize your work with other teachers and/or administrators.________ ________ ________
    • What is your interest in teaching at our school?________ ________ ________

    Add other questions specific to your school.

    Ask the candidate:

    *** What other questions do you have about this position or our school?

    Notes:

    Appendix 16
    Music Interview Questions

    Ask the same questions to each candidate, and in the same order.

     Unacceptable Acceptable Target

    • Attire and grooming.________ ________ ________
    • Basic interpersonal skills.________ ________ ________
    • Clear, correct language use.________ ________ ________
    Questions:
    • Describe your experience with marching band, concert band, chorus, or general music classes (choose appropriate ones).
    • ________ ________ ________
    • Describe a typical class that went well and tell why it went well.________ ________ ________
    • Band and chorus rooms have special arrangements. Describe a well-organized room where you have worked.________ ________ ________
    • What constitutes a good classroom management plan for band/chorus?________ ________ ________
    • Have you taken students off school grounds for performances, and if so, what were the special rules for those trips?
    • ________ ________ ________
    • How have you worked with parent groups and/or been involved in fund-raising for music?________ ________ ________
    • How have you accommodated students with special needs in music programs?________ ________ ________
    • How have you assessed students and assigned grades? Why is this important?________ ________ ________
    • Characterize your work with other teachers and/or administrators.________ ________ ________
    • What is your interest in teaching at our school?________ ________ ________

    Add other questions specific to your school (e.g., requirements to take the band or chorus to events and competitions, the need to raise funds to keep these programs).

    Ask the candidate:

    *** What other questions do you have about this position or our school?

    Notes:

    Appendix 17
    Special Education Interview Questions

    Ask the same questions to each candidate, and in the same order.

     Unacceptable Acceptable Target

    • Attire and grooming.________ ________ ________
    • Basic interpersonal skills.________ ________ ________
    • Clear, correct language use.________ ________ ________
    Questions:
    • Describe the classroom(s) where you have worked and the type of supports you provided students.
    • ________ ________ ________
    • Tell about your work with (fill in the special student population here, such as autism, ADD, or another special population).
    • ________ ________ ________
    • Characterize your work with total inclusion, mainstreaming, or pull-out programs.________ ________ ________
    • Describe a lesson that was successful and why it was successful.________ ________ ________
    • How have you used technology to support student learning?________ ________ ________
    • Outline your work with one student's IEP.________ ________ ________
    • Describe your work with RTI (response to intervention).________ ________ ________
    • Discuss your work collaborating with other teachers.________ ________ ________
    • Describe a positive experience communicating with parents or guardians regarding their child.
    • ________ ________ ________
    • Describe assessments that you have used.________ ________ ________
    • What is your interest in teaching at our school?________ ________ ________

    Add other questions specific to the discipline and your school (see Appendices 9–16 and 18 for sample questions). You may include questions about working with Advanced Placement courses, at-risk students, migrant children, or English language learners.

    Ask the candidate:

    *** What other questions do you have about this position or our school?

    Notes:

    Appendix 18
    ESOL/ESL Interview Questions

    Ask the same questions to each candidate, and in the same order.

     Unacceptable Acceptable Target

    • Attire and grooming.________ ________ ________
    • Basic interpersonal skills.________ ________ ________
    • Clear, correct language use.________ ________ ________
    Questions:

    (Note that ESOL and ESL are used differently for different programs and the names vary by region of the country. In these questions, English for Speakers of Other Languages [ESOL] was chosen, but English as a Second Language may be easily substituted.)

    • Describe the classroom settings where you have worked with ESOL students.________ ________ ________
    • Characterize your approaches to teaching ESOL.
    • ________ ________ ________
    • Explain methods of teaching that have worked well in your past teaching.________ ________ ________
    • Describe a classroom management plan that you have used.
    • ________ ________ ________
    • Describe a lesson that went well and why it went well.
    • ________ ________ ________
    • How have you used technology in your teaching?________ ________ ________
    • How have you assessed student learning in a variety of ways?________ ________ ________
    • How have you differentiated instruction to meet the needs of students?________ ________ ________
    • Give an example of how you have communicated with parents or guardians.________ ________ ________
    • Characterize your work with other teachers and/or administrators.________ ________ ________
    • What is your interest in teaching at our school?________ ________ ________

    Add other questions specific to the discipline and your school. Questions may include knowledge of the culture of the immigrant groups in your district.

    Ask the candidate:

    *** What other questions do you have about this position or our school?

    Notes:

    Appendix 19
    New Teacher Orientation and Induction Workshops
    • Make the orientation very welcoming, with snacks, a luncheon, a gift bag, and door prizes.
    • An introduction can be a usable activity. Have new teachers introduce themselves as they will on the first day with students.
    • Don't read long handouts or the faculty handbook to attendees. Ask a question and have participants find the answer in their materials.
    • Use activities where teachers are paired for discussion.
    • Use small groups for discussion and role-plays.
    • Have at least one “make it and take it” activity, such as making a poster of the classroom management plan.
    • New teachers should learn the guidelines for the mentoring program and then meet their mentors before school starts.
    • Allow at least one half day for new teachers to work in their rooms with their mentors. Provide guidelines for this time, including making a seating arrangement, making a seating chart, and planning routines and procedures.
    • Provide the dates, times, and agenda for the monthly induction seminars that will follow throughout the year.
    • The monthly seminar topics should include parent communication, grading, classroom management, working with special education students, differentiation, time and stress management, standardized test preparation, and finishing the school year.
    • Evaluate the orientation and seminars.
    Appendix 20
    Ten Steps for an Effective Mentoring Program
    • Plan a budget and guidelines for the program. Inform/get input from experienced teachers, district administrators, and the school board. Consider the confidentiality of the program in the guidelines (e.g., mentors serving as supporters only, not as evaluators).
    • Appoint a mentoring director who schedules events and pairs the trained mentors with their new teachers.
    • Work with the local teachers’ association/union to solicit mentors (as volunteers or for a stipend).
    • Train the mentors in collegial supervision, tenets of adult learning, hot topics in the district, and the roles and responsibilities of serving as a mentor.
    • Schedule a luncheon during the new teacher orientation for mentors and their new teachers to meet.
    • Allow time for the pairs to work together in the new teacher's classroom before the school year begins.
    • Plan time for the pairs to work together throughout the year.
    • Have follow-up training for mentors to share about their work at least once during the year. New teachers will share during their scheduled induction seminars throughout the year.
    • Document the work of the mentoring program. Consider research about retention or student achievement.
    • Have both mentors and new teachers evaluate the work of the program. This includes an evaluation of the mentor by the new teacher.

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