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Interview Questions for a Director of Curriculum & Instruction

by Sara Mahuron

The director of curriculum and instruction assumes a key role within an education system. She has the responsibility of developing curriculum, improving instruction and overseeing the administration of this process. Interview questions for this position generally focus on a candidate’s ability to perform tasks related to these responsibilities. Also be prepared to discuss how you meet the qualifications for the position, which may include teacher certification, a master’s degree and several years of administrative experience.

Curriculum Development

Curriculum and instruction directors design and modify the framework for curriculum change. They assess curriculum needs and integrate learning standards, the community and individual learners. Expect questions about how you'll develop the curriculum and manage textbooks, packaged programs, locally produced courses and materials. Be prepared to explain how you'll assess, design, develop, implement and evaluate curriculum. Interviewers may ask for examples of activities you've managed in the past and for a detailed explanation of how you've resolved problems with curriculum development. Be familiar with best practices in curriculum development, including working backward in the design process and aligning the curriculum with state standards.

Instructional Management

The curriculum and instruction director designs the framework for instructional improvement. She's responsible for evaluating the effectiveness of existing teaching practices and advising on personnel needs, recruiting and advising in the hiring process. Expect questions about how you'd improve instructional content, methods and outcomes. Interviewers may ask about professional development programs you'd implement to address specific problems and ideas for teacher in-service learning. Stress your interest in getting feedback from teachers, support for open communication and empowering staff to develop and improve student outcomes.

Administration

Curriculum and instruction directors may deal with personnel administration, budgets, publications, public relations, school plant design, proposals for funded projects, school leadership, school administration, community relations, recommendations for needed services and various committees. Interviewers may ask about your ability to communicate with different stakeholders, collaborate on projects, appoint appropriate personnel, manage budgets and provide leadership. Prepare examples of how you've handled similar tasks in the past, delegate duties and work with others. Focus on your accomplishments and strengths.

Personal Qualities

The interview serves the purpose of really getting to know you better. Expect questions about your personal qualities, ethics and values. Show that you communicate effectively, work well with other staff, are interested in school improvement and support colleagues. Study the school's website, paying close attention to the mission statement and the school's vision and motto. Learn what you can about the school's administration. Check out its report card to see how it's doing. Use this information to answer questions in a way that demonstrates your fit with the school community and culture.

About the Author

Sara Mahuron specializes in adult/higher education, parenting, budget travel and personal finance. She earned an M.S. in adult/organizational learning and leadership, as well as an Ed.S. in educational leadership, both from the University of Idaho. Mahuron also holds a B.S. in psychology and a B.A. in international studies-business and economics.

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