Effective teachers make a difference in the lives of their students, not only on an academic level but often a personal one as well. Whether you are talking about the fifth grade science teacher or professor at the local community college, their effectiveness is directly responsible for good student outcomes. The problem today is it is getting harder and harder to find and keep qualified effective faculty members.
Understanding the Problems
The first step any school district or college must take is to fully understand why they are losing teachers and finding it difficult to bring fresh faces into the fold. The simplest answer is money, of course, but this does not give a complete picture as to why the most effective faculty members are leaving the profession or changing schools more frequently.
Top 10 Problems:
- Rural School settings
- Under performing students
- Lack of available work for spouses
- Hiring Delays- (most teachers do not want to wait until July for an offer)
- Poor to modest salary and no bonus
- Inappropriate distribution of under performing students – (most are placed with new first year teachers)
- Lackluster Mentoring program- sometimes a teacher needs to be mentored by an effective colleague
- Lack of effort to integrate new teachers with the social culture locally and on campus
- Heavy workloads
- Lack of interest in the geographical area
Addressing the Issues
No one school may be able to address every single recruitment issue stated above, however if they can accomplish just one or two recruitment goals there would be a vast improvement on the prospect pool. For example, schools rarely focus on the surround geographical area when reaching out for applicants, especially in rural areas. Adding a paragraph about clear lakes and streams, mountain biking trails or beautiful sunsets could peak the interest of more recruits.
Each college or school district will have to carefully assess their particular recruitment problems and then attack the biggest barriers first. Rural schools should focus a little more on selling the idea of freedom in the classroom, making a difference in children’s lives and simple living. (adding in a decent bonus would not hurt in any situation). While larger schools may need to zero in on better mentoring programs for new teachers and consistent advancement opportunities.
It should be noted that money is not the end all, be all when it comes to recruitment. Good salaries and regular bonuses do not hurt, of course, but these will only get your teachers in the door. The next battle on the forefront is learning to keep the ones you have and improve those who are ineffective.
Article provided by, K-12 Recruitment Group – a recruiting firm focused exclusively on filling K-12 administrative leadership positions throughout the USA
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