Interview questions: The Win-Win Classroom

Possible interview questions for Dr. Bluestein:

• The way schools were run in the past didn’t seem to be a problem back then. In fact, it seems as though there were fewer problems back when I was in school (or when my parents were in school). You’re saying that that model doesn’t work so well any more. Why not?

• How are the needs of an Information or Service Economy different from an Industrial or Factory Economy, and what does that have to do with schools? How has the role of the school changed in the past, say, 50 years?

• What are some of the obstacles built into the system that make it difficult for us to create win-win schools?

• You recommend “keeping the big picture in mind.” Why?

• When you talk about making schools win-win learning environments, are you talking about making it easy? Do you mean that we should never challenge, correct or restrict kids?

• Win-Win really has a lot to do with authority relationships. Are teachers in win-win classrooms really in charge?

• How are win-win authority relationships different from win-lose (powering or permissive) structures?

• How does a teacher (or parent) go about establishing authority in a win-win environment?

• So many kids are so far behind academically and there is so much pressure on teachers to cover academic content. Isn’t it enough for schools to just teach?

• How is a busy teacher supposed to squeeze in “connecting with kids” and why is that so important? Why is a sense of community important in an academic environment?

• What do you mean by the statement that “there is no such thing as unmotivated behavior”?

• What about learning for the love of learning? Why should teachers have to motivate kids?

• You don’t seem to like the rules-and-punishment model very much, even though it’s pretty much everywhere you look. Don’t schools need rules and structure?

• How are boundaries different from rules?

• You recommend shifting from threats that emphasize negative consequences to “promises” that emphasize positive outcomes. Is there really any difference?

• Why is follow through so important?

• You advise against giving warnings and asking for excuses. Isn’t that a little harsh? What if a kid really does have a bad night?

• How can we make schools win-win when it comes to academics and curriculum?

• What’s the best way to deal with failure?

• Assessment and test performance have taken on a great deal of importance over the years. What do you see as the role of assessment?

• Many teachers—and parents as well—complain about the amount of testing their kids have to deal with. What’s the problem here?

• Despite all the legislation and pressure over the past few years, we seem to be leaving a lot of kids behind. You talk about teachers “getting away with success.” Is it really possible for all kids to be successful?

• You talk a great deal about differences in how kids learn, and in some pretty basic things that affect their bodies and brains, and in turn their behavior and their performance in school. Can you give me an example?

• You have an entire section on increasing positivity. Why is that so important?

• A few years ago, there seemed to be a trend to praise anything a child did. Is this what you mean by being positive?

• What are some of the other ways teacher (and parents) can be more positive?

• If teachers do become more positive, will they still be respected as an authority figure?

• What are some of the problems with praise? What do you recommend as an alternative?

• How will creating win-win schools reduce social conflict, teasing, harassment and bullying?

• How does a win-win classroom support kids’ emotional growth and development?

• What do you recommend to teachers when it comes to building positive relationships with parents?

• What are some of the suggestions you have for school administrators?

• How can teachers take care of themselves through this type of transition?

• A lot of your ideas make a lot of sense. If educators are seeing improvements in the culture of their classroom, in the behavior of their kids, and in their students’ achievement, why wouldn’t they all want to try to make these changes?

Feel free to ask about any other issues related to teaching or education, or about any of Dr. Bluestein’s resources included on this site.

Check out Dr. Bluestein’s Media Policy.
Learn more about this book: The Win-Win Classroom: A Fresh and Positive Look at. Instruction & Classroom Management

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© 2012, Dr. Jane Bluestein

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