Hiring good teachers is a challenging yet crucial task for school principals. It shapes the quality of education and the overall school environment. You’ve likely hired teachers before, but refining the process can help you attract and select the best candidates. Here are some tips on how to hire good teachers for your school.

Before the Interview

Taking steps before the interview can significantly enhance your chances of attracting the right candidates. This phase involves effective marketing, strategic partnerships, and thorough preparation.

  • Market your school. Great teachers seek out great schools. To attract top talent, you can market your school effectively. Share your school’s achievements and positive aspects on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Highlight innovative teaching methods, student accomplishments, and community involvement. Additionally, aim for features in local newspapers or magazines to reach a broader audience. Showcasing these successes will make your school attractive to potential candidates. 
  • Create partnerships with teacher preparation programs. Forming partnerships with colleges and universities that offer teacher preparation programs can be very helpful. Student teachers often need to complete practicum hours or internships to graduate. By offering these opportunities at your school, you can build relationships with aspiring teachers and program coordinators. These connections can help you hire enthusiastic new teachers who already know your school’s culture and expectations.
  • Attend job fairs. Job fairs are great places to meet prospective teachers. Set up a visually appealing booth with brochures, pictures, awards, and examples of student work to showcase your school’s unique qualities. Bringing current teachers to help with mini-interviews can give candidates a real sense of the school’s environment and community. 
  • Form a hiring committee. Creating a diverse hiring committee can make the selection process smoother. Include staff members, parents from the parent-teacher association (PTA), and other stakeholders. This team approach ensures different perspectives in evaluating candidates and helps build a consensus on the best fit for your school. 
  • Review résumés closely. When looking at résumés, search for essential qualifications and relevant experience. Consider the candidate’s teaching philosophy, classroom management skills, and their commitment to professional development. This initial screening is crucial for identifying potential fits for your school’s needs.

During the Interview

The interview process is your chance to evaluate candidates in depth. It involves multiple stages to get a comprehensive understanding of each candidate’s suitability.

  • Conduct thorough interviews. A multi-stage interview process can provide a comprehensive evaluation of candidates. Start with an initial interview involving other classroom teachers and stakeholders. Then, follow this with a group interview where candidates discuss professional readings and share their responses. This interaction can show how well candidates might fit with your current team.
  • Implement shadowing and demonstration lessons. Invite candidates to shadow current teachers to observe the classroom environment and school culture. This experience allows candidates to understand the expectations and dynamics of your school. Additionally, ask candidates to submit and teach a lesson plan. Watching their teaching style and how they handle classroom interactions will provide valuable insights into their abilities.
  • Provide constructive feedback. After the demonstration lesson, offer candidates constructive feedback. Assess how they reflect on and respond to this feedback. This step is crucial in determining their openness to professional growth and their ability to improve their teaching practices.

After the Interview

Following up after the interview ensures you maintain engagement with top candidates and make informed hiring decisions. This phase also involves showcasing your school’s environment and completing necessary checks.

  • Give a campus tour. After the interview, give your candidate a tour of your campus. This is a great job for student council members or other students and demonstrates your school’s commitment to student leadership. After the tour, bring the candidate back to the front office, inquire if there are any more questions, thank the candidate for their time, and walk them to the door.
  • Follow-up promptly. If you say you will call with an answer by a certain date, be sure to do so. But before you offer even the most promising candidate a position, conduct a thorough reference check. Many principals have left interviews excited about a candidate, only to discover poor or falsified references.

We know how hard it is to find really good teachers, and we understand the pressures you face. Learning how to hire good teachers is not just about filling positions; it’s about building a thriving educational community. By refining your process through effective marketing, creating strategic partnerships, attending job fairs, forming a diverse hiring committee, conducting thorough interviews, and supporting new hires, you can ensure you attract and retain the best teachers. Remember, the foundation of a great school lies in the quality of its teachers. By following these tips, you can create an environment where both teachers and students will excel.

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References:

  • https://www.naesp.org/sites/default/files/Ellers_JF18.pdf 
  • https://www.naesp.org/sites/default/files/resources/2/Principal/2004/N-Dp50.pdf 
  • https://www.theprincipalsplaybook.com/educational-leadership/best-way-to-be-a-great-principal-hire-train-retain-great-teachers 
  • https://www.valdosta.edu/student/student-services/career-services/documents/interview-packet-for-teacher-candidates.pdf