In this assignment, you will interview a teacher and write a 3 to 4 page (double-spaced) summary of what you learned. Your purpose is to summarize your interview so that your reader may be able to envision the teacher as a person with a distinct educational philosophy and experience.
Interview a current or recently retired teacher who has had at least 3 years of full-time experience in K-12 classrooms. Among the questions you may want to consider asking are:
Why did the teacher choose to enter teaching? How attractive was the profession to prospective teachers at that time? What were the other career paths available; were any others seriously considered? Does the teacher have any regrets about becoming a teacher?
What professional education did the teacher have? How helpful was it in learning to teach? At what point did the teacher feel comfortable as a teacher?
What were/are the teacher’s goals for the education of students? Have these goals changed over time?
What career moves (school buildings, grade level, special students, subject matter, etc.) has the teacher made? To what extent were those moves voluntary? For current teachers, are further moves desired? If so, what are they, and why?
What have been the major joys and frustrations of teaching? What would help increase the joys and minimize the frustrations? On what issues does the teacher feel strongly about making changes in the way that schooling occurs now?
Have you ever encountered an ethical dilemma in the course of your work? What was it/how was it solved?
How did/does the teacher learn about his/her students’ lives and needs? How similar are the backgrounds of the teacher and his/her students? What have been the teacher’s experiences with “culture shock” in working with students from different backgrounds?
What are some favorite memories from the teacher’s classroom? Does the teacher tend to remember individual students or activities, or are the memories more general?
What does the teacher think of current “hot issues” in education such as Common Core? How does the teacher take action to address new reforms that impact his/her classroom?
What are the main features of the teacher’s approach toward teaching? What has the teacher learned from being a teacher?
What are one or two of the most helpful teaching tips you would share with a beginning teacher.
After collecting your information, think about what you have learned about this teacher. Focus on a few themes that best characterize what you have heard. Do not try to be all-inclusive. Be sure to protect your teacher’s confidentiality by using a pseudonym and masking identifying details.