“The best means of improving a school system is to improve its teachers. One of the most effective means of improving the teacher corps is by wise selection.”
—Ervin Eugene Lewis, Superintendent of Schools, Flint, Michigan, 1925
Great teaching matters: Bob Marzano, author of What Works in Schools, says, “It is clear that effective teachers have a profound influence on student achievement”.
One of the principal’s most important responsibilities is to hire teachers, and other staff members who will develop programs to meet school needs and be dedicated to helping students achieve success.
There are important steps that should be taken when looking for a new teacher. Following these steps can assist you in hiring great teachers
At this stage, the administrator should decide on sourcing option, establish pre-screening procedures, interview procedures and hiring procedures for the vacant position, it also includes interview questions preparation. Then go find the great people, and encourage them to apply. Talk to your colleagues about potential candidates. Get the word out that your fantastic school needs another fantastic team member.
2. Create an Interview Team:
When choosing those to be on the interview team, the administrator should strive to get a heterogeneous group as much as possible in term of age, gender, status, and attitude. Beyond that, suggested makeup of the team should include, Principal or administrator, team lead, member of department, one teacher, two parents, two students, one secretary.
3. Training of Team Member
Once you have selected your interview team, they must be trained for the interview, each interviewer needs to have a clear understanding of the objectives of the interview and the selection criteria to be used.
4. Criteria for Selection
Before the interview, it is important to list out the criteria for assessment and work through it with the interview team so that everyone will have a clear understanding of the areas of high importance and have a uniform grading template.
The interview questions should range from general to specific/professional questions. A few suggestions according to an article Education World , titled ‘The New Teacher Advisor’ are:
What is your philosophy of teaching?
What made you decide to be a teacher?
What do you think makes a good teacher?
Describe a typical day/class period in your classroom.
How would you deal with an angry/upset parent?
In what ways would you modify your classroom for students who are mainstreamed from special services?
What are some lessons/units you’ve planned?
How would you handle learner differentiation in your classroom?
After the interview, the grading for each interviewee should be harmonized and documented in order of performance.
5. Immediate Follow up of Applicant
Contact the successful candidates first by phone with immediate verbal offer and then follow-up letter to authenticate the offer and provide the applicant contractual terms. The screening team should set a deadline for the candidate’s final decision, this way if they do not accept, you will be able to move to the next best candidate on the list. The new teacher should immediately be enrolled in an induction program.
Furthermore, other important areas to consider are the Educational/academic background, evaluating educational program, demonstrated proficiency in communication and computer skill, work relationship with staff, students and parents.