Parkway e-News Story

Students Interview and Select Their Teacher

When Jennifer Rushing came to interview for a teaching assistant position at Wren Hollow Elementary, she was met by a panel of fifth graders in the interview room.

Carter Beierman, Lauren Bles, Sneha Chandra, Nathan Greenwalt, Jack Litteken and Jami Carpenter  recently participated in a student-led interview process with a little help from Principal Matt Miller.

The students interviewed three teaching candidates. Each student asked one question, and practiced their interpersonal skills during the interview including active listening, making eye contact and using their loud voice. After the interviews, students reflected on each candidate’s strengths and areas of concern.

When asked why he thought to include students in interviews, Miller said “Every child is a leader at Wren Hollow, and we just find opportunities for them to apply their own leadership skills. Student-led interviews naturally made sense. The kids know what they need in a teacher. They were actually spot on with their feedback on the candidates!”

Miller, the new principal at Wren Hollow, says he will continue to invite students to participate in interviews for all positions. He also plans to invite students to join other school and district committees.

Rushing says the interview experience as a candidate was great for both her and the kids.

"The students who were involved in the interview recognized me on my first day, and were so excited to see me. They said, "You got the job!" or "Hey, I voted for you!" You could tell they were very proud to be a part of the process and of the decisions they made together,” she said.