It's that time of year. Teachers are announcing their departures, applications are pouring in, and interviews are taking place. How can you help guarantee that the candidates you consider hiring will be committed to creating inclusive classrooms?
Here we suggest nine questions to include in any interview to give the committee a chance to hear about the candidate's past experiences with LGBTQ+ students as well as their commitments to inclusion and activism.
We have organized the questions into three sections based on the sample interview question sheet we found from Northern Illinois University. We found their Diversity and Equity questions to be thoughtfully laid out as well as informative. The questions below are our own.
Commitment to Diversity Questions (mindset, attitudes, philosophy)
1. Tell us about your views and experience in including social justice into your curriculum (listen for topics, specific examples that are developmentally appropriate).
2. Tell us about a time when you supported or helped a child navigate their identity development, or how you would do so.
3. Why is it important to include social justice curriculum in elementary classrooms?
Hypothetical Situations Questions
This give the candidate an opportunity to talk out loud about their thought process. These are less about the right answer and more about problem solving, genuinely knowing what they would do and how they would seek guidance.
4. How would you support a student who told you they didn't feel comfortable using either the boys' or the girls' bathroom?
5. How would you respond if a student said “Boys can’t play with dolls?"
6. Our school is gender inclusive. Can you speak to some of the ways you would support gender inclusivity in your classroom?
7. What steps would you take if a student came out to you as transgender or nonbinary?
Performance or Experiences Related to Diversity Questions (past experience or training that can be demonstrated)
8. Tell us about your experiences supporting young LGBTQ+ students.
9. How do you pursue growth, reflection and education on anti-bias and social justice topics?