Going to a New School: Interview Questions

My wife and I aren’t moving this upcoming year, but we are thinking of moving sometime in the future just to get closer to family (so if you have suggestions in one of NC, VA, or MD, please let me know!).

One of the great things about being a math teacher is that we are interviewing the schools about as much (if not more!) than they are interviewing us.  My poor wife is a Social Studies/History teacher, and she was much more worried about getting a job than I was.

What I’m interested in is putting together a list of questions I’d like to ask a new school before going there.  So here’s what I’ve thought of and I hope to continue improving this list to “cover my bases” when we decide to take the plunge.  Note: these questions are not necessarily in order from most important to least–though that’s something to definitely think about.

  • How many students per class on average?
  • Which/how many subjects will I be teaching?
  • How often are teachers asked to change subjects (from year to year)?
  • What kind of technology access is there in the classroom?
  • How often do students/classes have access to computer labs or other technology?
  • What kind of testing is required of the students?
  • How do teachers/administration interact with and use this testing?

This is just a quick list, if you have other good questions, or even improvements to these questions, please let me know!

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4 Comments

Filed under Teaching

4 responses to “Going to a New School: Interview Questions

  1. mrdardy

    Here at my fourth school, so I’ve thought about this, and I think a BIG question is this:

    How much common planning time is there during the day/year for teaching in the same department or teaching the same subject?

  2. I am just reflecting at how remarkable the difference is. In our area, regardless of what subject you teach (even math), it’s immensely difficult to get a job as a teacher. It makes sense for you to interview the school, but I guess that hasn’t been a reality for us here!

    • Sorry Jim, where’s “our area” for you? I guess I was in NC when our professors wanted all of us to feel confident all 30 or so in our class would get jobs. They really were only confident about the Math + Science teachers getting jobs, but I believe every eventually did.

      I suppose it might also help for interviewees to imagine that they are “interviewing the school”, because it might help them look more prepared, professional, and desirable to that school. Perhaps.

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