Staffing season always brings wonderful surprises. The meeting of new educators and the opportunity to reconnect with others whom I have worked with in other settings is exciting. I continue to be impressed with the preparation that candidates do prior to our time together. Whether it is the creation and sharing of digital resources or the collection of information about our school that has been captured by scrolling through our school Twitter feed or connecting with current staff members. The extra work never goes unnoticed and is always appreciated.
As is the case with most interviews, once the formal interview questions have been asked, we always provide the candidates with an opportunity to ask questions about the school and/or the assignment ~ and tonight was no exception.
As we fielded those candidate generated questions about our school goal, our tapestry of diverse learners, our inventory of technology and our school team, I couldn’t help but wonder what an interview format would look like if the candidates were provided with the responsibility of asking rich questions vs our traditional format of having them answer a prescribed set of school generated questions. Would we gain a better sense of the candidate’s fit for our SAC team? Would we gain a better sense of their classroom practice? Would we gain a better sense of how they would embrace collaboration opportunities?
I believe that you can learn a great deal about a person by the questions that they ask. Do they have an inherent sense of curiosity? Are they truly excited about learning something about a new topic? Are they asking questions that lead to a conversation or ones that can easily be answered with a simple Yes or No?
Just as we expect our educator’s practice to evolve and be responsive to changing needs, we need to ensure that our practice, as school leaders, also changes and evolves to keep us current and pushing not only our thinking, but the thinking of those around us. Maybe that next level of thinking in terms of interviews is not grounded in creating the next best question ~ it’s more about creating the space where candidates can ask better questions.
If you were applying for a position at a school and you could ask only one question, what would it be?
Come write with me….