Teacher Recruitment Challenges

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School districts and educational institutions have unique hiring challenges

 

When making hiring decisions, schools face complex recruitment processes involving multiple stakeholders, competing priorities, and an extended period of time off during the summer.

 

Address Teacher Shortages

The teacher shortage is real—and growing. There’s been a dramatic drop in both the number of people graduating from education programs and the number of people enrolling in and completing teacher preparation programs. Furthermore, high-poverty schools suffer the most from teachers shortages with the right credentials. We need to do better. This is our future.

 

Fewer people are interested in teaching

Change in number of people awarded degrees in education, and enrolling in, or completing, teacher preparation programs.

 

Teacher Interest

 

Source: Digest of Education Statistics (National Center for Education Statistics 2018) and Higher Education Act Title II State Report Card System (U.S. Department of Education 2017a and 2017b)

 

Hiring Regulations Differ Depending on School & District

The manner in which teachers are hired differs considerably depending on the school and the district. Sometimes teachers are chosen by just the principal. Other times they’re interviewed by a principal and department chair. Sometimes they’re interviewed by principals and hiring committees and candidates receive a conditional offer from a panel of teachers, pending approval from the principal or Board of Education (BOE). Managing feedback from different people to reach a hiring consensus can be difficult.

 

Conducting Background Checks

Teachers interact with young students on a daily basis. That means the screening process needs to be extremely thorough to protect those who are underage. Your best bet when finding a teacher of reputable character is to ask around. What are others saying about certain candidates? More specifically, what are previous supervisors, peers, and students—especially children—saying about the job applicants? Shaping young minds is what this profession is all about. Let’s not short change it in haste.

 

Reducing Bias and Increasing Diversity

We need to address the teacher diversity gap so we have more equity in hiring. Regrettably, 82% of teachers are white. But that’s not representative of the population as a whole. Structured digital interviews helps mitigate that. One study showed structured interviewing is a decent predictor of teachers’ likelihood of remaining in the classroom and their ability to improve student test scores. Other research showed that a district’s applicant rating system correlated with teacher effectiveness.

 

Limited Hiring Window—Especially in the Summer Months

June through September are the busiest recruitment months for those seeking work in education. School administrators experience a surge of hiring in the spring (and into the summer months) as they try to fill teaching positions for the fall.

 

Finding Substitute Teachers and Tutors

The U.S. and many other areas of the world are experiencing a shortage of substitute teachers. Finding substitute teachers and part-time staff is a frequent reality in the field of education. The nature of the job necessitates substitute teachers, who get calls early in the morning if they’re asked to work. For that reason, they only have a few hours to prepare lesson plans. You need to make sure they’re prepared and you have the right people lined up to step in when needed.

 

Making the Most of Career Fairs

Because of the nature of the school year, teaching job fairs tend to take place in the summer months. Graduates from the education program are keen to get work in the fall, but this too often requires sending recruiters to job fairs to find new teachers. It’s expensive and inefficient, especially if you’re flying recruiters or graduates to preliminary interviews. Technology makes it so much easier to reach out to recent graduates and start building relationships with them as potential future teachers.

 

Continuing Adult Education

School no longer ends in high school. The popularity of lifelong learning and the rise of online education introduces more varied teaching settings than ever before. More and more, online universities are recruiting for adult education facilitators or lecturers. But it can be difficult to find people who can teach adults.

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