Teachers Wanted: Must be Prepared for Constant Change and Re-Training and In- servicing for the Rest of their Careers
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Michael F. Shaughnessy
Eastern New Mexico University
TOP TEN ADMONISHMENTS TO SCHOOL HIRING OFFICIALS
1. Be Honest. Discuss your students, discuss the resources that teachers have, and discuss the turnover rate in your district and be selective in who you hire
2. Be Up-Front- Talk about the morale at the current time and your guesses, hunches and beliefs for the future.
3. Be Sincere- School systems want and need teachers and hiring officials should reflect this. But also indicate that teachers are expected to coach, do the school newspaper, sponsor the cheerleaders, be assistant track coaches, help with the chess time, and the school year book, just the hem of the list..
4. Stay honest!. Applicants at Columbine High School in Littleton Colorado , may know what transpired there a few years back. But there may have been incidents in Idaho , or California or other states in the Union . Should applicants be aware of these things? We will leave this to the reader to decide, remembering always, our prisons are full of Kinder Kids...someone perhaps could have said a kind word, somewhere,sometime,even changed the direction of a child even if the "parents appeared to have little or no interested". IT ONLY TAKES ONE TEACHER, ONE TEACHER WITH THE RIGHT STUFF, TO CHANGE THE LIFE OF A CHILD !
5. And 5 th ,no hiring official can take the fifth amendment!
6. Be Realistic- No hiring official can predict what will occur over the next 5, 10 or 15 years. During the Reagan administration, no one could have predicted that " A Nation At Risk " might evolve into No Child Left Behind. One should not be optimistic, nor pessimistic, but realistic.
7. Be Up Front- Often teachers are hired at the last minute (I know I was.and not once but twice) and hiring officials need to be wise, prudent and judicious about what they say to recently hired teachers. If classroom management is paramount and important, that needs to be communicated. If " full inclusion" is the order of the day, that needs to be stated. If sports, and homecoming events and the like are the most important items on the agenda, let that be said.
8. Be sure to mention " Highly Qualified" and what that may mean today, tomorrow and years down the road. I suspect that teachers are going to have to undergo much more rigorous training in the future as the world becomes more complex and teachers more accountable to get pay raises
9. Be cautious, since student's lives are literally in the hands of teachers. Witness the recent teacher who compared George Bush to Hitler. Well, any straight thinking Martian knows that Hitler had a moustache and George Bush does not. But in all seriousness, one wonders about the malleable, shapeable minds of children and what the rantings and ravings of some individual might do to the thinking processes of children and adolescents. And witness a teacher in Florida who apparently had some type of sexual alliance with a student. How will that student's emotional and psychological life be affected by this alleged " bi-polar" teacher who cannot seem to gratify her urges appropriately.
10 BEWARE ! on both sides of the desk when asking questions to determine "who to hire"!!!!. THE FAINT OF HEART NEED NOT APPLY!