9 Chapters
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6 What Comes After the Interview

Daresh, John C., Daresh, Bridget Solution Tree Press ePub

Once an interview process is complete, committees face the task of determining which candidates they want to continue pursuing. It is important that groups are able to reach consensus on the status of candidates. In order to do so, there are a number of processes to complete and topics to consider. Here, we describe these and provide helpful questions to guide you through this decision-making process.

Remember that the process of finding good teachers to add to your school (or at least replace departing staff members) is not simply finding someone to take a job. If a school is truly committed to providing excellent educational opportunities for children, teacher selection can be a powerful tool to ensure that what takes place in the classroom leads to learning. Simply finding people who meet the minimal standards associated with a particular opening is only a start to improving the school in its effort to address the learning needs of students. In this chapter, we suggest some actions that might ensure that the interviewing process leads to hiring and keeping high-quality teachers.

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1 Why It Is So Important to Help Rookie Teachers

Daresh, John C., Daresh, Bridget Solution Tree Press ePub

Jane Crewe is like most school principals today. She never seems to have half the time needed to do what people expect her to do in her school. In her five years on the job, she has learned that people expect principals to be miracle workers and do more with fewer resources each day. That is why she is frustrated when she reviews her teacher roster for the next year and suddenly realizes that she will be leading a school with four first-year teachers without prior experience outside student teaching. Two members of this new group went through alternative teacher certification programs at a local university, one left a career as an investment banker when that line of business began to lose its appeal, and the other is entering the classroom after twenty years in the U.S. Air Force. This means that Jane’s school, Kingsley Elementary, will now have eighteen teachers (out of forty-six) with three or fewer years of experience on staff.

Jane is not frustrated simply by the fact that she will be working with several new teachers. There were a few years when she had even more rookies. This anxiety is unfortunately common among the principals in the Gulf Streams Local Schools, a school system currently facing not only growth in student enrollment but also numerous departures by many experienced teachers who are either retiring or seeking positions in neighboring school districts that pay more for experience. What adds to Jane’s frustration is that, at the most recent principals’ meeting with the superintendent, they were told each principal would be expected to submit a plan for helping newly appointed teachers in their schools. Susan Shamonsky, the superintendent, made it clear that she looked at the new teachers entering the school district as a key ingredient to creating one of the most highly respected systems in the entire state.

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5 How to Draw Additional Questions From State and National Standards

Daresh, John C., Daresh, Bridget Solution Tree Press ePub

Numerous lists of effective teacher characteristics have been adopted as standards to guide certification and licensure. These standards represent sets of performance expectations by teachers. As such, they would hardly be appropriate for direct use in the interviewing process. However, they may serve as the basis for areas of potential development for those who work in classrooms. In many cases, they have been used as the basis for evaluating performance of teachers in their jobs, and in some cases, standards have also been used as guides for teacher professional development activity. They may also be used as a way to determine the potential skills and abilities desired in job seekers. In this case, they can serve as frameworks to be used by administrators or others who need to gauge potential performance through the questioning process suggested in the preceding chapter.

The Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) standards were developed by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) primarily to guide the development of future teachers. There are ten standards ranging from knowledge of subject matter to classroom management to the development of partnerships with colleagues, parents, and the community. Following are the standards as described by the CCSSO (2011), accompanied by examples of interview questions based on the standards.

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2 How Your Values Define Your Task

Daresh, John C., Daresh, Bridget Solution Tree Press ePub

In the first chapter, we noted how critical it will be to find, hire, and keep good teachers to ensure effective educational programs for all students. We also noted that the principal of each school will be a factor in the teacher recruitment and hiring process. The days of site-based management are here, and activities like selecting new teachers will increasingly be an action shifted from central offices to individual schools.

In this chapter, we consider an extremely important part of the teacher selection process that relates directly to principals. Simply put, the ways in which the right teachers can be found for an individual school will, in large measure, be determined by the values and beliefs of school leaders.

Principals have always been expected to monitor their teaching staffs to determine as early as possible the likelihood of any turnover for the next school year. Keeping an eye (and ear) open to who may be retiring next year or which teachers may be looking for jobs in other districts or seeking transfers to other sites in the school system has always been an important part of the principal’s job. The principal should be able to predict where new teachers might be needed; there is a need to maintain a constant eye on who might be back next year or who may be ready to leave.

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9 Final Reflections From New Teachers

Daresh, John C., Daresh, Bridget Solution Tree Press ePub

The basic argument of this book is that the selection of new teachers is both a responsibility and an opportunity for a principal to move his or her school to excellence. Other members of the school community are also important partners in the selection of teachers who are likely to add to the quality of a school and help pursue its goals and objectives.

But the one voice not reported until now comes from the “customers” of the searching, interviewing, hiring, and supporting actions noted throughout the book. This last chapter offers comments often made by people who have gone through the selection process from the other side of the interview. Teachers who have recently gone through the frequently frustrating process of finding and getting a good job are full of stories about their experiences. The items listed here came straight from responses to the question, If you could advise the people who hired you in terms of what were (or what should have been) questions and issues to ensure that the best applicants for teaching jobs would be hired, what things would you suggest to improve the process?

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