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Astor Collegiate's future reporters sharpen their interview skills

Usually when I visit the schools, I’m the one asking questions. Today, students at Astor Collegiate Academy in the Bronx interviewed me.

It was Career Day, and in classrooms throughout the high school, fellow visitors and I had to account for what we do and why we do it.

After hearing a bit about how I ended up at GothamSchools and what I do each day, students discussed what makes a good interview question. One student suggested that a good question “makes the person you’re asking explain something,” and her classmate said it also “leads to another question.”

Then students took on the role of interviewers. Here’s a sampling of what they wanted to know about journalism:

Do you get to travel a lot?

How do you decide what to write about? (At the end of each class, I asked students for suggestions on what we should cover. Suggestions ranged from “students’ relationship way math is taught in our school” to “why the cafeteria food tastes like plastic.”)

Do you choose your own stories?

How does it feel when your editor gives you feedback on your work? How does it feel to be asked to change things?

Did you study journalism in college? Did you always know you wanted to write?

Have people ever refused to talk to you?

Do the articles you write and the places you go to write them change you?

Students also wanted to know if they can write articles. The answer is yes, and we hope they will! We’ve published student writing in the past, including Khaair Morrison on the importance of student Metrocards, Audrey Bachman and Sarah Deceus on high school admissions, and Bryan Stromer on special education reform.

Students interested in writing for our community section should e-mail

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