Questions I'd Want to Ask My Potential Employer

No, I'm not looking for a new job, but I was just recently asked: What should I ask a potential employer in an interview?

When you are interviewing for a job that you will spend countless hours working at, it's important to be aware of the situation you're going into. As a first year teacher looking for any available job, I would have probably been too nervous to even think about asking these questions, but I want you to know these are things you can and SHOULD ask your potential employers. It shows that you are knowledgeable and serious about your profession. 

 

Here are some of the things I would want to know:

School/District Details

Is this choral program primarily managed by the building level principal, a district fine arts coordinator, or a choral program coordinator located at the high school?

How long is a typical class period at this school?

How long is the typical planning period for exploratory teachers in your building?

What are the fine arts programs like in this school district?

How do you as an administrative team feel about the arts in your school? Do you feel that the arts are a vital aspect to the overall well-being of your school culture and environment?

Choral Program Structure

What is the schedule like for this position? What will I be expected to teach on an average day?

What is the typical gender break down for the choral program? Are these students in mixed or split gender classes?

What kind of repertoire are the students in the choral program used to performing

What sort of events/activities did the previous director do with the students during a typical school year?

How many concerts does the choral program typically have per school year?

Funding and Budgets

How are funds appropriated for the choral program? Are they received through district or school funding, or are they solely raised by the choral program?

Do you have any idea what the typical expenditures are for this choral program?

Does the school/district support the choral program in attending field trips to performances, adjudication, etc.?

Are students charged a fee for operating costs of the choral program? If they aren’t currently, would the school be in support of adding this?

Will I receive an annual budget for the purchase of new music to meet student curricular needs?

Facilities and Equipment

What sort of equipment will be at my disposal either in the chorus room, or performance venue?

  • Microphones, monitors, sound amplification for performances

  • Piano(s)

  • Classroom technology (smart projector, iPad, TV, Bluetooth speaker, etc.)

  • Video camera

  • Risers

  • chairs

Is there an auditorium that students perform in, or another venue that performances are held in?

Does the choral program have specific uniforms for students to wear during public performances?

Professional Development and Support

Does the school/district provide any support to help teachers attend professional development conferences at the state/region/national level?

Does the school/district provide any funding to help maintain membership to professional organizations that are required in order to participate in any state events like all-state chorus, CPA, etc.?

Does the district provide supplemental pay to music teachers for extra hours of before/after school rehearsal to prepare for concerts, etc.?

I've based all of these questions off of real-life experiences that have impacted either my program, or a colleagues program. You can decide what you can and can't handle, but knowing is half the battle. Teachers, what would you add to this list? Let's help each other out!

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