New Teachers Are Coming
May 2, 2010 Teaching 2494 Views
Amid the spring rush and the closing weeks of this school year is the need to hire new teachers. It is an exciting time. The new teachers are important to the success of the students. There is limited time to invest in the important activity. How do you make the best use of the time available?
The teachers are one of the more important assets of a parochial school. They are actually a portfolio of assets. When we think about a portfolio, we realize that each asset is unique with its own set of pros and cons. At the same time, there is an average for the portfolio. The portfolio average is the results of quantifying pros and cons of each teacher. What is the average of your portfolio?
What are the top 3 - 5 measures that tell you a teacher is good for the school and the students? What are the quantitative measures that are useful for defining the average? Now you also know what to look for in the candidates.
One of the goals of portfolio management is to improve the average each time you add an asset. What should you look for in a resume and cover letter that tell you the candidate has the potential to be above average? What are the interview questions that will confirm the candidate is above average?
Having at least three candidates for each opening is a time saver. It will take more time to interview candidates this year but it will help you make a better choice. The better the decision this year the lower the turnover rate next year. Over the long-term, it saves time.
Only interview candidates whose resumes suggest he or she will raise the portfolio average.
Invite two or three of the teachers who are in the top of the portfolio to participate in the interview process.
Provide the interviewers with questions that will help them determine if the candidate has the potential to exceed the portfolio average.
Delay discussing the candidates with the interviewers until all of the interviews are complete (avoiding an early discussion lowers the potential for an interviewer to become publicly committed to an early bias).
After all of the interviews are complete, rank the candidates by their potential to raise the portfolio average.
Involving some of the current teachers in the process brings additional objectivity to the decision-making. It also creates an investment on the part of the interviewers in the final decision. The investment will help increase the coaching and assimilation.
Using the portfolio method has four other benefits.
The board is more likely to allow a salary variance, if necessary, when there is quantifiable information available on the impact the primary candidate will to have on the school.
It is unlikely that the new hire will immediately be a top the portfolio. However, knowing how they rank against the portfolio allows you to tailor a training program that will help them realize their full potential sooner. That same training will also help other teachers realize more of their potential for greatness.
Most of the teachers are aware of the quality of the teachers around them. While most of them have avoided using a rigorous process to rank themselves, they are aware of their general ranking. They either are satisfied with their ranking or are currently doing something to improve their standing. As the average improves, they will feel challenged to do more to sustain their relative position. Overall quality will improve.
As the quality of the portfolio rises, there is more time available for things other than staff management.
As the asset value of the portfolio increase, there will be an increase in reputation, enrollment, retention, donor generosity, and sustainability.