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A 3-Part Exercise to Help Principals Make Better Hiring Decisions


principal hiring teachersHiring teachers is tricky business, but it becomes even trickier when a teacher suddenly announces his or her departure a few weeks—or even days—before the new school year begins.

When teachers move on unexpectedly, it’s easy to panic, but by deciding earlier in the school year what kinds of teachers we want to hire, we can avoid making careless decisions that conflict with our standards.

We’ve been reading The Rookie's Playbook: Insights and Dirt for New Principals and came across a three-part exercise to help you predetermine who you want to hire.

After answering the eight questions below, answer them again, only substitute the word “good” for “excellent.”  

  • Good teachers can talk to me about their subject matter or their classrooms in the following ways…

  • Good teachers demonstrate to me that they are passionate about students by doing these things…

  • Good teachers demonstrate to me that they are passionate about teaching by doing these things…

  • Good teachers say the following things about classroom management…

  • Good teachers must have the following qualities for me to hire them…

  • The following qualities are deal-breakers, no matter how excellent the teacher is…

  • These are the strengths that I personally have; I want to see them reflected in the behavior of the teachers I hire…

  • Good teachers demonstrate that they are good colleagues by doing and saying the following…

Now that you’ve completed parts one and two of the exercise, do the reverse: Replace the word good/excellent with the word acceptable. This will give you a wide spectrum of answers that illustrate your values about teaching and learning. When it’s time to hire a new teacher, refer back to your answers.

Photo credit: Nathan Stephens

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