You will interview a veteran classroom teacher, one who has been teaching for a minimum of five years.  After completing the interview,  write a two-page critical reflection/summary paper based on the answers the teacher gave to the questions asked during the interview.

Develop a list of questions (you may use the questions below) to ask the veteran classroom teacher.

You paper include the following:

  • Background information on the teacher interviewed
  • Summary/reflection of the information elicited during the interview process


When completing this activity, you may want to record your interview if the teacher allows it.  This will help you to capture a complete response.  If not, you should do your best to write down the entire response.  Your final paper should begin with the teacher’s background, then include a summary of his/her responses, and conclude with your reflection of the teacher and the insights you have gained from the interview.

Possible Interview Questions:

Curriculum/Subject Knowledge:

  • Do you prefer homogeneous or heterogeneous grouping? Why?
  • What does individualized teaching mean to you?
  • How can you tell students are learning? Which evaluation techniques do you use?
  • How do you individualize the learning process in your classroom?
  • What are some ways that a student in a group can show you s/he has mastered a concept?
  • In which curriculum area are you particularly strong?
  • If you were asked to obtain in-service experience in one area of the curriculum, which area would you choose?
  • What are some of the ways that you present materials to students, such as in social science?
  • How do you integrate technology into your teaching and students’ learning?
  • What do you think a teacher needs to know in order to begin lesson planning for a class?
  • What four key components do you believe you must include in a lesson plan?

Instructional Techniques:

  • Describe any school experience you have had, particularly in student teaching (or in another teaching position) that has prepared you for a full-time position at a school?
  • Describe any innovative projects you have been involved in developing.
  • Give an example of how you have used cooperative learning in your classroom.
  • How you accommodate the different learning styles of the students in your classes?
  • What do you consider to be your strengths and how will you use them in your teaching?
  • What two core teaching strategies do you use to achieve your desired results?

Classroom Management:

  • How do you set standards for acceptable performance in your class at the beginning of the year?
  • How do you get students to do what you want them to do?
  • Describe your system of classroom management.
  • How do you help students develop in self-discipline? Can you teach this skill?
  • In your opinion, who should be responsible for the discipline in the school?
  • If a student is disrupting your classroom, what steps would you take to solve this problem?
  • What is your opinion about individual vs. total class punishment?
  • Compare negative and positive reinforcement and describe the affects of each.
  • Describe a typical student in your class with reference to his/her developmental stage, study habits, attitude towards learning, and his/her behavior characteristics.
  • How do you assist a student who has been tardy to become punctual?
  • Describe your classroom’s physical environment.

Parent Relations/Communication:

  • Describe some ways you inform parents of what is going on in your classroom.
  • How do you involve parents in your classroom?
  • How do you update parents on the progress of their child?
  • In your opinion, how effective are parent conferences in solving student problems?
  • Describe how you become acquainted with parents and students.
  • What would you tell a parent who complained about his/her child not having enough homework?
  • What information do you include in your Open House presentation?

Personality, Personal Attitudes/Professionalism:

  • Why did you want to teach?
  • Describe an “ideal” teacher.
  • Why would you want to teach in a certain School District?
  • What is wrong with education today? What is right?
  • What do you expect from the school principal, psychologist, and superintendent?
  • What would your closest teaching associate say about your relationships with students?
  • What are your greatest teaching strengths? What are your greatest weaknesses?  How do you overcome these?
  • How do you collaborate with other teachers/staff in your school?

Teacher Relationships with Students:

  • What kind of students do you like to work with? What type of students could you teach most effectively?
  • How would you deal with a student who ridicules a given assignment?
  • How do you help students experience success?
  • How would you differentiate instruction for students?
  • What procedures do you use to evaluate student progress besides using tests?
  • How do you challenge the varieties of learners, both slower and advanced, within the same class?
  • How much do you need to know about your students in order to be most helpful to them?
  • What three things do you most want to know about your students?
  • In what major ways do you most want to influence the lives of your students?
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