Interview Tomorrow

Tomorrow I’m interviewing at a school. I have to teach a lesson on the Age of Exploration.

I’m planning on bringing in some of the “eastern spices” from my spice cabinet, and talking about why this was such a critical issue for the people of Europe at the time.

Any advice?

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  1. I would embrace the quirkiness of the context and even mention it–of course not in a way that sound like you are trying to make up for something. They are hiring all of you, so I would provide kids an opportunity to continue the thinking with you after the class is over by creating a little wiki about it and point the kiddos to it–encourage them to push the ideas around on their own time.

    I might disagree with Shelly on the schools lack of planning. I went to a school that did this sort of thing and they did it to see how the teacher responded to kids, asked questions, and engaged the context–in an unnatural setting. Be yourself, be interested in them, and it never hurts to give them a taste of their own medicine–put the observers on the spot–“How does the school encourage academic freedom?” “Can you describe a time when the school leadership supported innovation? Maybe save that one for after you are hired:)
    Good luck,

  2. Not to be a bummer, but I did this sort of interview years back and it was one of the worst experiences of my life.


    I knew absolutely nothing about the kids in advance and thus didn’t have the capacity to really reach them and activate their motivations to learn. I felt like I could have been anyone; and yet at the same time, I felt like it was all about “me”. It was “my” interview; it had nothing to do with engaging with the kids. And therefore, it was an abyssal failure.

    I’d say that schools who think this is a good way to interview teachers are schools that don’t really understand the role trust and engagement — as opposed to lecture-lite dog-and-pony shows — play in the real nuts-and-bolts of whatever it is that we call “teaching”.

    Good luck.


  3. could you bring in a bland pre-exploration dish to pass around, for folks to sample, and follow that up with the spices.

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