We think that teachers should always be treated like the rockstars they are. But that’s a double-edged sword. Because of their school “celebrity” status, we can sometimes get a little tongue-tied when it comes time to snag some quotes.
So if you’ve got a mod that needs some teacher insight, a spread offering a look ‘behind the curtain’ about teachers, or if you’re writing an article on a specific teacher and are looking for some pizzazz, you’ll need to ask some great questions. And we’ve got just the list.
Set up a time for the interview, take a moment to brush up on your interview skills, and then take the bull by the horns with these quote-baiting questions for teachers.
About Life Outside of School
- What is one of your hidden talents?
- What would the students be surprised to find out about you?
- What’s a typical Saturday night like for you?
- How often do you accidently start speaking Spanish at home? Lecturing about fractions? Correcting grammar? [personalize to their subject].
- What are some pets you’ve had or would like to own?
- What is your dream vacation?
- How do you spend your summer breaks?
- What are your “trapped on a desert island” books or movies?
- What would your last meal be?
- What can you cook to perfection? Are you willing to share the recipe?
- If you won the lottery and decided to give up teaching, what would you do instead?
About School Life
- What are some traditions or superstitions you have for the First Day of School?
- What makes a ‘good day’ at school?
- How do you show your school spirit?
- What accomplishment fills you with pride so far this year?
- What is your favorite dish from the cafeteria?
- What sort of morning routine do you have to get jazzed for class?
- How do you keep things fresh? [particularly good for seasoned teachers]
- What inspires you?
- How does technology make teaching more simple or difficult?
- Are there any embarrassing teaching moments you’re willing to share? What are they?
- What’s the best/worst thing about being a teacher?
- In which other teacher’s class would you like to enroll, even for a day? Why?
About the Students
- What current trends are baffling to you? Why?
- So many students admire you. How do you make those connections? [*note: question should only be asked if the teacher is universally known for making great student connections]
- What differences do you see in your morning students versus the afternoon classes?
- If you could pass on any wisdom to your students, what would you share?
- How do you remember all of your students’ names?
- What’s a school sport or activity you enjoy watching?
- If you could take the students on a field trip to anywhere in the world, where would you take them?
- Why do (or don’t) you friend former students on Facebook?
Along the Lines of a Specific Article or Theme
- What kind of driver were you when you first got your license?
- If you were to be given a superlative when you were in school, what would it have been?
- Our yearbook’s theme this year is [….], how do you work to bring that to life in everyday classes?
- What song should students listen to when doing work for your class?
- What is your first memory from school?
- When or why is (or isn’t) a picture worth a thousand words?
- How do you think students will remember you and your class?
About Nothing—Just for Kicks (or Mods)
- How long would you survive a zombie apocalypse? Why?
- In which Hogwarts house would you be sorted?
- If you could grow up in any decade, which would you choose?
- What are your thoughts on astrology? Do you know your sign?
- What are your must-have smartphone apps?
- Did you see the new Star Wars on opening night? What memories do you have from the first movie you ever saw in theatres?
- Is there a quote or saying that you live your life by?
- What would your perfect party look like?
- What is your spirit animal?
- What song do you know all the lyrics to?
And there you have it—48 yearbook questions that you can choose from to build an interview with a teacher. It’s important to remember that an interview is a conversation. Keep it natural, and use your time wisely. It’s better to get five quality responses instead of a dozen one-word answers. If you see a hook, run with it. Don’t be afraid to veer a bit off course when the opportunity presents itself. Wherever the conversation goes, these questions are a great start to an intriguing spread or mod, and can add some wonderful insight from your teachers to this year’s book.