Compiling a list of questions to ask- review them!

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by giraffe326, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Aug 18, 2013

    Alright. Tomorrow is the big day ;)
    I'm trying to come up with my questions to ask.

    1. How is collaboration encouraged? Is it required? Do teachers initiate it? Common Plan times? (I always ask about collaboration, but depending on the questions in the interview, I phrase it differently.)


    2. I noticed that you are proposing a technology bond in November. How does the district plan on spending that money? (I normally ask about technology, but they have a $36,000,000 bond being voted on in November, so I thought it would be good to work it into my question.)

    3. What about xx school district are you proudest of? (Thanks to the member [can't remember who] that suggests this. I've only ever used it once and it was in a small town. This district has 9 elementaries, but I think I'm going to pull it back out.)

    4. Besides your recent budget deficit, what challenges is xx school district facing? (Appropriate to comment of the budget deficit? It is silly for them to comment on it since I already know. Plus, by knowing they have a deficit, aren't I showing that I keep up with their district?)

    Any other suggestions?

    The principal who has been the contact person for me is new to the district. I actually emailed him last year at his old district. I began the interview asking him if he used to work in the other district. He took over for a P that was publicly non-renewed. BIG article in the big newspaper about it. They were accusing her of the mistreatment of students and staff. Is it appropriate to ask him if there is a moral issue at his school and how he plans to rectify it? Or should I steer clear of the subject? I want to appear informed, but since he will be just one P on the panel, I'm not sure.
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 18, 2013

    I think asking about staff collaboration and teamwork will give you an idea of morale. I wouldn't ask about it directly and definitely not as connected to the admin turnover. Not sure I'd ask about the deficit either...your other questions show you have done your research!

    Other ?s:

    Pd opportunities
    Clubs/ committees where you could be helpful
    Parent involvement/ communication
     
  4. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Aug 18, 2013

    I think your questions are really, really good. I don't have any others, but I'd be careful about how you phrase "is collaboration required?" I understand you're wanting to know because you want to work for a school where teachers DO work together, but I don't want your panel to think you're afraid of being forced to collaborate. Does that make sense?

    On a side note, what are you wearing tomorrow? :p
     
  5. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Aug 18, 2013

    I change how I phrase the collaboration question. Sometimes they reference it in a question directed to me. I was just throwing random thoughts out there. I've never used the word required. I usually ask if there is scheduled collaboration time.

    As for my wardrobe, my navy suit, colorful purple/aqua/yellow top, and nude heels.
    The top is in this picture- it actually goes really well with my navy suit. (Obviously not the sweater, but the shirt underneath)
    [​IMG]
     
  6. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Aug 18, 2013

    Good suggestions. I've asked about parent involvement in the past, but I know this district has a very high rate of parent involvement.
    I know there are only 2 district PD days. But I could phrase it into including whether attending conferences is encouraged.
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 18, 2013

    In terms of pd, I'm meaning OTHER opportunities: are there PLCs, teacher book groups, a staff developer, inservice workshops?
     
  8. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Aug 18, 2013

    Gotcha. Thanks.
     
  9. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Aug 18, 2013

    I agree with most of the suggestions, especially about steering clear of the admin difficulties. I don't think I would bring up negative things.

    When I interviewed at a school some years ago, my research showed that they had received a school score of F the previous year. I told the principal that I was aware that they were facing challenges and I felt I had some skills that would positively help with those challenges. He knew what I meant.

    You are going to do great! We all support you.
     
  10. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    Aug 18, 2013

    When I ask about district challenges, I usually phrase it in the form of "what are your goals for the school/district?" This usually gives me an idea of what their challenges are based on what they're trying to improve, without having to ask directly.
     
  11. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Aug 18, 2013

    I like asking about collaboration. Maybe phrase the collaboration question along the lines of "I really enjoy collaborating with my grade level team and having the opportunity to share ideas and lessons with each other. Is there common planning time within grade levels or other opportunities for me to collaborate with my team."

    I also agree about asking about clubs you can sponsor. And if you already sponsored a club at your last school then begin the question with that like "At my last school I really enjoyed being the yearbook coordinator, what opportunities are there at this school for me to become involved outside of the regular school day?" Or if you didn't sponsor a club, mention one you'd like to do if possible. Meaning, try to make it personal to you as opposed to just a vague question.
     
  12. charlottesome

    charlottesome Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2013

    I would try to stick to 3 questions, tops. Maybe you can pick, over the course of the interview, which questions you want to hone in on. Also, comb through their website and pick out a question related to that. For example, "I noticed on your website that you want to increase your number of proficient students to 95%. How will the person in this position play a part in that?"

    I once had an interview (2nd interview) where the first question they asked me was about a video embedded in their website. They never told me watch the video, I just knew to uncover any and all info available to me prior to the interview.
     
  13. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Aug 18, 2013

    Is your interview still a district-level interview, or is it for a specific building within the district? You might focus your question more on the specific building, as opposed to the district, if it's a building level interview.

    I agree to ask about PLCs and book studies. Those are BIG at my school. I might not ask about the "moral issue" directly but ask about the "climate" of the school instead.

    Good luck!
     
  14. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Still district level. In this area, it is the norm for your panel to be all of the elementary principals. Teachers rarely serve on the panel.
     
  15. gutterballjen

    gutterballjen Comrade

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    Aug 19, 2013

    I always ask what the biggest challenges their students face. I've been told its a good question many times. :)
     

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