A StoryCorps interview consists of 40 minutes of uninterrupted recording time for meaningful conversation between two people.
No matter how well you know one another, preparing for the interview beforehand will help make it an even more powerful experience for you both. Take a few minutes before your interview to think about questions you would like to ask and memories you would like to preserve.
The following suggested questions are designed to help you get the conversation going but we also encourage you to come up with
Great Questions for Teachers
Questions about career
- When and why did you decide to become a teacher?
- Tell me about your first day as a teacher.
- How is teaching different from what you imagined it would be?
- Tell me about a time when you felt proud to be a teacher.
- Tell me about a time when teaching made you feel hopeful.
- What have been the most challenging moments in your career?
- What are the funniest moments you’ve experienced in the classroom?
- Have you ever thought about changing your career? If so, why didn’t you?
- How would your students describe your teaching style?
- Who was the best teacher you ever had? What did you learn about teaching from him/her?
- What’s an example of something you’ve done in the classroom that really motivated your students?
- What has helped you develop as a teacher or what do you need to support your professional development?
- Tell me about a time when you mentored someone.
Questions about students
- Who are your most memorable students?
- Is there a student who has taught you the most? Tell me about that student, and what you learned from him/her.
- Tell me about a time when a student surprised you.
- Is there something you would like your students to know about you, that they don’t already know?
- How would you like your students to remember you?
- How do you help students realize their potential?
- How do you define success? What are some things you have found effective in helping students to succeed?
Questions about school
- Tell me a story that illustrates what it is like to teach in your school.
- Is there a colleague working with you now whom you couldn’t do without?
- How has your school changed in the time you’ve been teaching there?
- How is the school you teach in now different from the school you went to growing up? Similar?
Questions about lessons learned
- What would you, as a student, think about you as a teacher?
- Looking back, what advice would you give to yourself in your first year of teaching?
- What lessons have you learned from your colleagues?
- What is the most important lesson you hope to pass on to your students?
Great Questions for Students
- What do you think makes a great teacher? Tell me a story that shows why you think that.
- Tell me about a teacher who had a significant impact on your life.
- Tell me about a time when a teacher pushed you to achieve excellence.
- Tell me about a time when a teacher made you think hard about something other than your schoolwork.
- If you could tell your teachers something about yourself that they wouldn’t know otherwise, what would it be?
- Tell me about a time when a teacher made you see yourself differently.
- How do you want your teachers to remember you?
- Is there someone you have met either in or out of school who has taken on the role of a mentor or teacher in your life?
Great Questions for Friends or Colleagues
- What is your first memory of me?
- What makes us such good friends, or why do we work well together?
- How would you describe me? How would you describe yourself?
- Where will we be in 10 years? 20 years?
- Do you think we’ll ever lose touch with each other?
Great Questions about School
- Do/Did you enjoy school?
- How would your classmates remember you?
- What are your best memories of grade school/high school/college/graduate school? Worst memories?
- Was there a teacher or teachers who had a particularly strong influence on your life? Tell me about him/her/them.
- What would you change about your school?
Great Questions for Anyone
- What was the happiest moment of your life? The saddest?
- Who is/was the most important person in your life? Can you tell me about him or her?
- Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you?
- What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life?
- What is your earliest memory?
- What are you most proud of in your life?
- How has your life been different than what you’d imagined?
- Do you have any regrets?
- What does your future hold?
- Is there anything that you’ve never told me that you want to tell me now?
- Is there something about me that you’ve always wanted to know but have never asked?
- What words of wisdom would you like to pass on to me, your children, or future generations?