Every student who wants to apply to the college of education at MTSU has to be interviewed by a bunch of different people. I’ve been asked by several students to do this. I don’t really know the purpose of the interviews, but every student explains it like this: “You just ask me about why I want to be a teacher and then you fill out a form.”
I’ve decided that “Why do you want to be a teacher?” is the stupidest question ever. In fact, I can’t hardly imagine a worse question. So I have been thinking about what questions I am going to ask students instead. Here’s my rough draft of possibilities:
- What’s your most meaningful learning experience (// in school // out of school)? Tell me about what you learned and how you learned it. What made that learning experience particularly meaningful?
- What role did other people play in helping to make that learning experience so meaningful? Are there other factors that helped?
- Of all the skills and knowledge that a teacher needs to engage students in such meaningful learning (like the one you described), which skills do you believe are most important // believe take the deliberate practice to develop?
- What do you think great teachers do throughout their careers to develop these skills? What do you see yourself doing over your career to ensure that you continually work to develop this set of “hard-to-develop” skill set?
- In the short term, what goals have you set for yourself? Why are these goals important to you? What specifically are you doing to work toward those goals? How will you know if you are or are not making progress toward those goals?
- Tell me about something that you understand well now, but really struggled to understand early on.
- Tell me about your biggest fear / worry in becoming a teacher. Why does this worry you?
- Outside of teaching and school, tell me about three things that you value most about the yourself and the life you lead. Why do you values these things? How did you come to value these things? What impact does this have on others around you?
I’m hoping you all will weigh in and help me figure out what’s best to ask.