I know, all of my posts of late have to deal with the start of school. One of my colleagues called me today asking if I had any “x” teachers that I knew of; I didn’t off hand… But truth be told, if I didn’t have someone who was top notch, I wouldn’t recommend them.
I’ve seen too many administrators settle and hire someone with a pulse because they need compliant with the law, they totally forgot about it over the summer, or just don’t really care. It makes me ill.
Just about every hire I’ve made (with the exception of two) I’ve put through hoops of fire to make sure they are THE best. You can ask anyone I’ve hired (except those two) on how knit picky I was in their interviews. Of the two that I hired because I was in a pinch: one is no longer in education (that I know of) and the other is still there (that I know of) because no other professional is willing to take such a pay cut. As much as I try to put it in the past, I’m extremely hard on myself when I make stupid decisions and act in haste; i.e. when I hire useless people.
Knowing that every person employed in a school effects a student experience in some way, shape, or form, how can one sleep at night knowing that they didn’t try to get the very best?
Some make an argument that the talent you draft will solely be based on zip code. That’s malarchy. No matter where I’ve worked where I was in a capacity to hire — from the shacks to the shoreline — you hire the best. Yes, socioeconomic status will have some factor (hiring good people may require opening the wallet) but it’s not THE factor. I ensure that I need to have a connection with the person I hire and I need to believe in them. If you don’t find the best fit, you repost. You use every avenue you can to find the best, from tweets to advertising in The Times. You never settle it comes to our learners and our future. Ever.
This is really one of my core beliefs. I don’t believe in hiring someone because Daddy is on the BOE & nobody else will hire you, or hiring a Board Member’s relative for the same reason. So far, I’ve found that those people who rely on family to get them a job end up being long term disappointments. If you’re one of those people, do yourself a favor and earn your job, don’t expect it just because of who you know or entitlement. You’ll thank yourself later on knowing that you got it on your own. Be warned: if you come to me and start dropping all local names and that you know so-and-so from… I’ll stop you mid sentence and point you to the door, where one of my secretaries will escort you out. Bye Felicia!
Back to the message; if you’re in that hiring position, don’t just hire because you need to, hire because it’s what’s best for our learners. Hiring a pulse is a disservice to our future.