Want to Find Great Teachers?

Let’s first start with the mistakes that school districts make and then offer strategic solutions that will really work.

  1. Don’t rely on central office to find great teachers. Human resource offices are about following rules and procedures and filling openings.  Having lots of applicant files doesn’t guarantee anything.  Your goal is to recruit the best and this will require the personal time commitment of the principal. 

    • Contact the academic departments of universities and let them know you are looking for “star teachers” to recruit to your campus. Cultivate relationships with these key individuals
    • Attend national teacher conferences in order to scout great talent     
    • Keep a notebook of star teachers in other districts and recruit them
    • Ask your teachers to bring back names of great teacher presenters at conferences

  2. Don’t wait until an opening occurs. Remember that you are competing with other schools!

    • Keep a roster of retirement-eligible staff each year in order to anticipate openings
    • Ask reliable teachers to keep you informed of “rumors” about people who might be leaving
    • Identify teachers that are hard to replace such as math and science
    • Start your recruiting efforts in the fall before the anticipated opening

  3. Don’t simply replace people for the same position.  Sometimes an opening presents the opportunity to do something different and maintaining positions locks in the past.

    • Set an expectation with staff and central office that every position vacated is up for review
    • Identify instructional needs that link to student achievement needs
    • Shift more staffing into high needs areas such as math and science
    • Use vacated positions as an opportunity to sunset outdated programs

  4. Don’t succumb to the pressure of hiring friends and neighbors of the staff and community. This is an ineffective practice that will not bring the best teachers to the district.

    • Communicate the expectation that children deserve the best teachers available
    • Make the selection process competitive
    • Recruit outside of the region and state
    • Design campus web pages that attract young professionals to your community

  5. Don’t rely solely on the application and interview process to make your selections.

    • Insist on observing finalists demonstrate their skills by visiting their schools or by having them teach a class on your campus
    • Invite faculty to assist in assessing the instructional skills of the finalists
    • Ask finalists to submit evidence of student and parent satisfaction of their teaching
    • Require out of state candidates to submit a video of a lesson

    Want to get other ideas on finding great teachers? And how do you "close the deal" when you have located a great teacher?

    Get the answers and more great ideas at our School Leaders Talk Shop:
© 2009 - LLC
Website Design by 123Triad Web Design