There are five elements to an effective interview:
Conducting the Getting to Know You Interview
Opening the Meeting
Begin by explaining the purpose of your meeting and the structure of the Classroom Check-up process. Indicate that you will collect information from the teacher and observe in the classroom during the coming week. Then, you will set up a second meeting, ideally within a week or two after the first meeting, when you will share the information you gathered and help the teacher develop a plan based on that feedback.
Using Effective Listening Skills
- Open-ended questions: These are questions that require more than a single word response (like yes or no). Open-ended questions are a primary tool for eliciting change talk in motivational interviewing.
- Affirmations: These are verbal or non-verbal behaviors that convey acceptance, support, and encouragement for the teacher.
- Reflections: These are statements (not questions) that paraphrase comments made by the teacher. Simple reflections may repeat or rephrase what the teacher said. More complex reflections involve guessing at intended meanings or implied feelings.
- Summaries: These are two- or three-sentence responses that try to link together a series of big ideas that were expressed during earlier parts of a conversation or that serve as a transition to another topic.
Honing Your Skills
The following video provides an example of a Getting to Know You Interview. Watch this brief interview and then answer the self-reflection questions below.
|Ideally, the coach is comfortable with silence and allows space and time for the teacher to reflect on the questions. Even in brief interactions, it is important to appear calm and patient and not to rush the pace of the conversation.|
|The coach is relaxed and sits in close proximity to the teacher. He smiles and nods his head. His tone of voice is calm and reassuring.|
Values Card Sort Steps:
- Print the Values Card Sort procedure and 20-30 value statements in advance of the first meeting with the teacher. Add any additional values you think would be important to your work with the teacher.
- During the Getting to Know You Interview, ask the teacher to sort the cards into three piles:
Pile 1 = Very Important Pile 2 = Important Pile 3 = Less Important
- Ask the teacher to pick out the three most important values from the Very Important pile.
- Invite the teacher to discuss why the final three values are their most important values.
- Write down the values and keep in mind the discussion of why the teacher selected these values in future meetings and discussions with the teacher.
- When do I do it? You can do the card sort at any point during the first interview. We typically do it after the first set of interview questions about teacher experiences and background.
- How long does it take? The Card Sort usually takes about 10 minutes to complete.
- Why should I do it? Discussing values is a way to learn a lot about a person in a short period of time. Most teachers find it very engaging and challenging. The Card Sort often evokes strong emotions, passions, and interest in changing, growing, and learning. Don’t be surprised if the teacher becomes emotional when discussing their values, as this activity taps into important ideologies for individuals.
- What is my role? Your task is simply to listen to what the teacher says, reflect back what you hear, ask clarifying questions as needed, and validate what you hear (e.g., “That makes perfect sense,” “I can see why that is so important to you”).
Reflection & Tips:
References to Other Relevant Resources:
Herman, K. C., Reinke W.M., Frey, A., & Shepard, S. (2014). Motivational Interviewing in Schools: Strategies for Engaging Parents, Teachers, and Students. New York: Springer
Reinke, W., Herman, K., & Sprick, R. (2011). Motivational interviewing for effective classroom management: The classroom check-up. New York, NY: Guilford Press.