Questions about teaching

I’m thinking about being a public school math teacher through a teaching fellows program such as New York City Teaching Fellows.  I’m hoping that teaching could be a convergence of my technical knowledge, desire for social change, and belief in transformation and experience with teachers being important to me.  Still, I’m not 100% sure this is the best way for me to do these things, so I’ve compiled a survey of questions that are important to me.  If you’re a teacher, can you comment on this post with your answers?  If you want to give me feedback by e-mail or phone, just e-mail me and I’ll get back to you.  If you know someone who is a teacher (or who was a teacher and decided to do something else), can you please forward this to them?

Why did you decide to teach in a public school?

What are some elements  of your identity and personal history that have caused tension with your students, what are some that have created unity?

In what ways were you able to develop your own curriculum?

How has standardized testing and other aspects of NCLB affected your classroom experience?

What are things that affect your classroom that you feel are beyond your ability to change?

How have you been able to incorporate personal interests or passions (playing music, cycling, etc.) into your teaching?

What were some things that were different from your expectations about teaching?

How does your teaching affect social change?  How does you teaching fit in with other community organizing/activism you do?

What things have been most frustrating, disappointing about teaching?

Do you feel like your values and ideas are shared by fellow teachers?  By the administration?

How have you tried to make what you teach relevant to the community where you teach?

How have you collaborated with community groups or national movements?

How much time does teaching take up in your life?  How are these hours spent?

How do you set boundaries to make time for your personal life?

In what ways are you involved in your school outside of your classroom?

Anything else you want to add?