Someone asked me earlier today “if you were a principal of a new school and you were hiring teachers, what would you look for?” Once I got past my “What would Chris Lehmann answer?” moment, I connected back to a post I read yesterday titled “Never Read Another Resume” by Jason Fried, whose book “Rework” is sitting in my Kindle waiting for me. Aside from paying much more attention to cover letters than resumes (as in “can this candidate write?”) I loved this snip about the questions that get asked in interviews.

During interviews, we love when potential hires ask questions. But all questions aren’t equal. A red flag goes up when someone asks how. “How do I do that?” “How can I find out this or that?” You want people who ask why, not how. Why is good — it’s a sign of deep interest in a subject. It signals a healthy dose of curiosity. How is a sign that someone isn’t used to figuring things out for him- or herself. How is a sign that this person is going to be a drain on others. Avoid hows.

I think that’s one of the first things I’d look for, people who are asking why. Why are we using blogs in the classroom? Why is this in the curriculum? Why are we making this decision? So much of the “how” stuff is figure-outable on our own that I wonder why we spend time on it.

Why don’t we take the millions of hours that teachers sit in workshops asking “how” and instead let them learn that stuff on their own and spend those hours asking “why”?

Just asking.