One of the careers with the highest turnover rate in the United States is education. Teacher salaries are often not comparable to professionals in other fields and some of the best teachers leave the field in order to make a decent living. Teacher retention and even filling the vacancies is an uphill battle for some school districts. Here are some ways to fill those positions with quality educators.
- Advertise, advertise, advertise! Potential employees will never find you if they don't know there is a position open at your school. Word of mouth is a great way to get quality applicants, but advertising to the masses is the best way to draw from a substantial pool of teachers. Do not rely solely on newspaper advertisements, either. In this day and age technology is more likely the way people are going to read job vacancies. Check to see if your State Board of Education has a website to advertise openings in your area. There are several other sites dedicated solely to publishing teaching openings in districts across the country. See the side bar of this article for some of the more popular websites.
- Be sincere when interviewing applicants. There is nothing more off-putting than an interview that makes the potential employee feel like they are just another resume. Be friendly and sincere. Take the time to really show them around the school and introduce them to other teachers in the building to give them a sense that they will have support and feel welcome if they do get the job. Shuffling a line of applicants in and out quickly may leave the teacher feeling unwanted.
- Interview as many people as possible. Just because the resume isn't exactly what you are looking for doesn't mean that the teacher isn't right for the position. Conduct interviews with all potentially qualified applicants. Otherwise, you may miss an excellent educator who may have something you didn't realize you were looking for in a candidate.
- Consider candidates with alternative licenses. The "alternative licensure" stigma may put you off, but really these teachers may be even better than you had hoped. Generally they have work experience in the field they teach, which can only enhance the learning environment for the students. Most states require them to take the same pedagogy courses as a traditionally licensed teacher, so do not discount them completely! Oftentimes they have made the effort to switch careers and actually want to be teachers.
Overcoming the problem of less than average salaries for the teaching profession can be challenging for a school district to find quality teachers and fill open positions. Keep looking! There are great educators out there who need good jobs. Prove to them your school is the place to be with sincerity and open-mindedness.