Sunday, August 4, 2013

Hire Ground in School Hiring #edchat #savmp

With the school year only a few weeks away, this administrator is finally about to wrap up the process of hiring all the staff I need for the year.

It all started this spring...

Due to changes in grant funding, a para-educator getting a teaching job, and one of my best teachers leaving to become a principal, I found myself finishing the school year in June with three unanticipated openings. Now, many hours later, many resumes later, many interviews later I am just about done. Two candidates have signed on and the last one has a little more work to do to make her final decision.

The process of hiring is time-consuming and one of the most important tasks for a principal.

It starts with creating the ad. In Vermont, most schools use to post jobs and collect resumes.

Aspiring to be a connected principal, I use many of the built-in features of school spring instead of just printing resumes and going old-fashioned route. I let schoolspring manage the process for me wherever possible first by setting up evaluation rounds where, as resumes come in, I evaluate them based on their experience education and other factors.

Then, I select the best of the group (three to five candidates usually) and let SchoolSpring do the work of setting up interviews. I have to choose dates and times, but then SchoolSpring sends emails to the candidates. The day before the interview, I make sure that the team has seen the resumes and knows the schedule.

The team, what team? Well, I rarely interview alone. You see, I truly believe in collaborative decision-making. I have seen the power of the group in making better hiring decisions than I would have alone. So, I gather a tem to interview.

My interview process pretty typical. I usually add my favorite question, "What are you reading these days?" Or, "What is your favorite book?" I am fascinated by the range of answers. Some candidates think I am asking about professional reading. Others gush about the latest best seller. Last year, one candidate blushed, stammered, and said, "Fifty Shades of Grey." Two women on the team blushed too and admitted they were reading it too. I hired her.

The are many things to look for when hiring teachers and paraprofessionals, but I have one characteristic that outweighs everything else: attitude. I've written about attitude before (here and here.)

I am not willing to hire even the most brilliant skilled teacher if I detect a bad attitude. This is how I maintain the hire ground.

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