Your Mini Job Interview

A very good NYC-based charter school has a job questionnaire. Let's see how you do.

For each of the following mini-scenarios please state if you agree or disagree. There are no “right answers.” If you feel you want to elaborate on your answer you have the option of providing a short explanation in the space below.

1. In a writing class, a struggling student writes a sentence with good content but forgets the capital letter at the beginning of the sentence. You praise the student for the sentence content and choose to temporarily omit an acknowledgment of the grammatical error in order to preserve her self-esteem and ensure that she understands how strong the content of her sentence is and how good her ideas are.

2. A student does not turn in the daily reading log signed by a parent, but does complete the other parts of the assignment. You strongly believe this is because he is not getting help at home from his parents and further believe that the student is genuinely “trying.” You make a deal with the student to give the student full credit for the assignment and explain that he does not need to worry about getting a parent signature on future assignments.

So how did you do?

I found it interesting that they write "There are no right answers." Technically true. But certainly there are right-ish answers or they wouldn't bother with the exercise.

Here is what one of our trainees responded. In each case, I like her approach:

1. Disagree. This is a “right is right” moment where the teacher has missed the opportunity for further learning. There is room for praise of the student’s content without skirting around her mistake. I would go for something like this, “Wendy, the ideas in your sentence are great! I particularly like your reference to A Wrinkle in Time. Before we move on though, I want you to take another look at it for me and tell me what it’s missing.”

2. Disagree. Parent involvement in whatever capacity it is available is crucial to student achievement. At MATCH we are relentless about the consistent, proactive and reactive use of phone calls home to parents as a way to build relationships and “buy-in” with students. In this situation, I would talk to the student about his environment at home and then I would immediately follow up with a phone call home.