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any suggestions for answering this interview question? Options
Drag0npeaker
Posted: Thursday, August 31, 2017 3:37:04 PM
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Joined: 7/18/2017
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Last year, my friend had an interview for a teaching job. One of the questions he was asked was:

How do you deal with both racial discrimination and sexual harassment in your classroom?

He was struck dumb with surprise. He didn't know how to answer it.

In two weeks, he's going to interview for a teaching job again at a different school.

If this question came up again at the next interview, how would he answer it?

Please give him some ideas. Thanks a lot for your help.
whatson
Posted: Thursday, August 31, 2017 4:09:48 PM
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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Which country/political unit is the interview going to ... er ... peak?

If I were a lame 'un, I wouldn't advertise it.
philips daughter
Posted: Thursday, August 31, 2017 5:33:19 PM

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I agree with whatson. Situational ethics, you know. My first reaction was that like any type Infractions it must be punished swiftly. Children try out things to see where you stand. Maybe they just feel entitled. However, I'm a grandmother, not a professional. I know there is always politics going on when you have to deal with school. I've seen teachers turn a blind eye. I hope your friend would be unbiased and brave.
thar
Posted: Thursday, August 31, 2017 5:58:26 PM

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This sounds like an eminently reasonable question to me.

I would be worried about employing any teacher who can't at least give a response.

This happens, and it is the teacher's role to set the appropriate environment, using their own skills and within the school's policy and behavioural procedures.


I would be more worried that your friend is not prepared for these questions. An interviewer is not expecting a 'perfect response' (if it were that easy,the problem wouldn't be happening) - but some understanding that it happens, some indication of their personal disciplinary style, some professional knowledge of best practice, and the indication that they understand the importance of working within school procedures - these are things that are very important for a school to select the right teacher for them.

So, sorry if this sounds harsh and judgemental. I don't mean to come off that way. And I am no school interviewer! But is your friend ready to teach if they have not considered their role in relation to racial discrimination and sexual harassment? Along with homophobia,sexual discrimination and bullying in general.


There is no right answer - there rarely is. Others may give you loads of good advice. But a school is looking for acknowledgement of the scope of the teaching role - and that is more about attitude.

Wilmar (USA)
Posted: Thursday, August 31, 2017 7:27:34 PM

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Location: Vinton, Iowa, United States
I think the appropriate answer has something to do with following the school's policies for dealing with such sensitive issues, and his certainty that the school will be clearly define what the expectations are and what the process is to be. These are not issues for which individualized reactions are appropriate, meaning that it is not my opinion that matters on what should be done -- that will only lead to legal issues. These needs to be dealt with appropriately and consistently, and that can only be done if the staff is trained exactly on the expectations and process for dealing with such.
jacobusmaximus
Posted: Friday, September 01, 2017 3:29:06 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/17/2009
Posts: 10,958
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Location: Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
Drag0npeaker wrote:
Last year, my friend had an interview for a teaching job. One of the questions he was asked was:

How do you deal with both racial discrimination and sexual harassment in your classroom?

He was struck dumb with surprise. He didn't know how to answer it.

In two weeks, he's going to interview for a teaching job again at a different school.

If this question came up again at the next interview, how would he answer it?

Please give him some ideas. Thanks a lot for your help.


I find it interesting that the question is "How do you...", rather than "How would you....".

An honest answer to this question might well be, "I have been fortunate enough not to encounter an instance of either so I would want to familiarise myself with this school's policy on such matters. However, such offensive behaviour must be discouraged and reported to the Head of Department as a matter of urgency".


I remember, therefore I am.
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