Open Forum

Job Interview

  • 1.  Job Interview

    Posted 29 days ago
      I am a new theatre educator who is on the hunt for my first theatre teaching job. I have a couple job interviews lined up, and I would love any tips or advice that anyone can give, both for the interview and for teachers just starting out.

       Thank you,
           Adam Hobbs

    Adam Hobbs
    Columbia SC

  • 2.  RE: Job Interview

    Posted 28 days ago
    The interview:  Be yourself and share your specific view and what makes you and your classroom unique.  I'm was a first time department chair last year and had to do interviews to replace a retiring teacher  We had two candidates.  One was nice, personable, and looked incredible on paper but didn't have a clear perspective or point of view about an arts classroom.  The other was good on paper (not as impressive as number 1) but had such a strong, clear point of view on the field and what her classroom and student rapport would look like.

    Teaching in general:  The single most important thing is:  Don't be afraid or ashamed to reach out for help.  Use this forum, use facebook forums, I've been at the high school level for 8 years and still have to reach out.  Whether it's to get new ideas, bounce ideas you have to get peer feedback, etc.

    If you have specific questions or want to chat about lesson plans or ways to run a theatre classroom, feel free to reach out to me at  I've got some successes and struggles I can share.

    Joel King
    Woodstock GA

  • 3.  RE: Job Interview

    Posted 28 days ago
    Edited by Garry Tiller 27 days ago
    Hello Adam!
    I recommend being prepared to share your teaching philosophy, your vision for the future of the program and remember to keep conversation(s) kid-centered/focused.

    Garry Tiller
    Theatre Arts Teaching Artist
    Sidwell Friends
    Washington, DC

  • 4.  RE: Job Interview

    Posted 27 days ago
    Welcome, Adam! 

    For the interview, these are questions I've asked in the past:
    What do you love about Theatre?
    What do you love about the prospect of teaching Theatre here?
    How do you vary your curriculum based upon students' ages or experience levels?
    How do you help students when they're disappointed in casting choices?
    How do you keep everyone in class engaged when, say, they're working in small groups or with a partner?
    How else do you see yourself getting involved at this school?

    For Teachers just starting out:
    Teaching will take as much time as you give it (especially if you're also directing productions). Give it all you've got and try your best to find balance in your life.
    Over plan your curriculum so you always have something to go to if an assignment/project moves faster than anticipated.
    Students want to feel like you care about them. So care about them. As people. Be friendly but not friends. I sometimes begin class by asking different students about their lives outside of school. "Did you have a good weekend? What did you do? How is your basketball team doing?" etc.
    Be understanding that they might have personal issues going on that you don't know about.
    Set an example as the role model and hold them to a high moral standard.
    Don't worry if they like you. It's important they respect you.
    It's ok to fail. Not every assignment will work. So change it next time.
    It's ok for students to fail. Sometimes they need help understanding what that means. Not every improv will work. They may forget their lines. Teach them about bouncing back, persevering, etc. They will learn just as much about life lessons as they will Theatre lessons. You will help them in ways you may never know. But know you've helped them become better communicators, creative thinkers, and collaborators.
    Expose them to challenging material and give them the tools to succeed.
    Remember that discipline is teaching. Be firm but fair. Explain why you're disciplining them and they will usually understand. "You know it's disrespectful to have your ear buds in right now, right?" "Let's be attentive and respectful while others are performing - then they'll be attentive and respectful for you too." etc.
    Always leave students with their dignity. I've had moments when I've become overly sarcastic, teasing students about material I've taught them that they've forgotten. I've occasionally apologized to students - "I'm sorry if I embarrassed you..." type of thing. I've gotten better at this over 23 years. 
    Try to be sensitive to things that are difficult for students - in class and in their lives. I've had students come out to me, cry to me about break-ups, confide in me about drug and alcohol issues, etc. Be prepared to tell students, "Maybe we should talk to the counselor about this. I'll go with you if you want."
    We are a special breed. Welcome to the club.