Teacher Interview

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Directions: This field task is designed to have you learn more about a classroom teacher.

To professionally inquire about an opportunity to speak in detail with an individual, it is crucial that you explain the purpose of your desired meeting, and your objective. This can be achieved by explaining that you are students at CSUS, enrolled in an Urban Education course. State that the objective of the course is to:

Provide analysis of the following: historical, socioeconomic, and political factors influencing urban education; the distribution of opportunity in cities and their schools; and effective instructional and organizational practices that close the achievement gap, including multicultural education, the development of positive school cultures, and the use of community services and resources.

In addition, you should explain that you are interested in speaking with this person for about 40 minutes, and that he/she is being sought based on his/her commitment to teaching/service in our local schools and community. You should plan to take notes, and you should ask whether or not the individual will allow you to record your interview to ensure accuracy in the note-taking process. You must communicate that you will ensure that the audiotape is confidential, that the tape will be destroyed after transcription, and that this interview data is only for classroom learning/research purposes to ensure accuracy. Of course, the person can decline tapping, which is his/her right.

Based on your interview, you will write a 7-10 paged paper utilizing APA style, whereby you explore and discuss your search for knowledge and findings related to urban education. Students should use at least 5 sources (in class and outside sources) to support your inquiry-based approach in knowledge construction about urban education; one source must be scholarly. (Scholarly means an analytical essay or chapter from a peer-reviewed journal or from a book. Points will be deducted for a lack of scholarly research.) You must include a cover, abstract, reference page and adhere to APA standards. Some guiding questions are provided below.

Guiding Questions:

Provide biographical background information about the teacher, school board member or principal, e.g., schooling and professional background, career interests, philosophy on education.

  • Describe your personal experience and involvement with the public schools.
  • What is your view of public education’s purpose?
  • Why did this person decide to become a teacher?
  • In what ways does this person feel that he/she is challenged/supported in his/her work?
  • What is your personal educational philosophy?
  • What are your top five objectives for your work?
  • What long-range plan would you want to implement for the school district/school? (May include growth, curriculum, staffing, and/or parental involvement.)
  • What specific changes do you want to make in school district policies, programs, or the various school curricula being offered? If so, what changes do you want to make and why?
  • What is your view of the respective roles of the school board, the superintendent, school councils/PTA, and teachers in the development and selection of classroom curricula, textbooks, school counselors, etc.?
  • What is your opinion of the current school district policies towards students with special needs, i.e. mainstreaming behavioral problem students, English as a second language, breakfast programs, students who face the problems of poverty, family problems, etc.?
  • In what way has demographic and economic changes influenced the focus of your work?
  • What inequalities of opportunity along race and class lines have you noted in your work?
  • In what ways, if any, do you believe that your racial, class or gender identify shapes your views about education, and directs your focus?
  • What efforts/strategies have been utilized to ensure that the teaching force reflects the needs of populations within urban schools or low-income students in suburban schools?
  • What strategies do you advocate for/ or what strategies are being utilized by the teacher to strengthen home-school connections for students and their families?
  • Other questions you deem important

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