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Peje 081

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Presentation with Rabbi Marc Baker to administrators of North American Jewish day schools on teacher recruiting, hiring, and retention.

Presentation with Rabbi Marc Baker to administrators of North American Jewish day schools on teacher recruiting, hiring, and retention.

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  • 1. HIRING Kick-Starting High Performance and Professional Development Marc Baker Gann Academy Peter Gow Beaver Country Day School PEJE Assembly 2008
  • 2. OVERVIEW
    • Principles
    • Mission-driven recruiting
    • Managing the process
    • The first year
    • Retention and the long term
  • 3. PRINCIPLES
    • Hiring is for keeps
    • Match is everything
    • Each hire is an opportunity for improvement and advancement
    • The student’s needs come first
    • Patience is a virtue
    • The hire isn’t over until the end of the first evaluation cycle—i.e., Year One
  • 4. LET’S TALK
    • What are the greatest challenges your school faces in recruiting and hiring new teachers?
    • What are some of things that draw teachers to your school, and keep them there?
  • 5. PREPARATION
    • Hiring is a campaign for institutional advancement, like fundraising
    • Making the Hiring Case
      • Needs determination
      • The hiring “self-study” (see next slide)
      • Case statement
    • Mapping out the campaign
    • Designating the Hiring Team, including “Hiring Central”
      • Clarify tasks and roles: clerical, invites, offers
      • Plan out the paper flow
    • The Budget (little-known facts…)
  • 6. THE HIRING SELF-STUDY
    • Use exit-interview data, if available
    • Reflection on success
      • Who are we?
      • Who has succeeded here? (“The successful teacher is …”)
      • Who has struggled here?
    • The unique challenges of a Jewish school
      • Dual curriculum
      • Community and identity
      • Calendar and pace
    • Needs assessment—beyond the obvious
      • Community needs on a cultural/moral level?
      • Broader programmatic needs and desiderata?
    • Of course, use your mission as a guide
  • 7. THE RECRUITING CAMPAIGN
    • Cast the widest net you can afford
    • Demand personalized service from wholesalers: agencies, college placement offices, fairs—you’ll get out what you put in
    • Walk the walk of diversity—find the resources and sources, and utilize them
    • Look for non-traditional sources: Troops to Teachers, Teach for America, unions
    • Build human connections and create links wherever you can: Israel, universities
    • (Long-term: Put yourself on the map by becoming a teacher training site)
  • 8. RECRUITING MATERIALS
    • Make “Careers/Employment/Working at …” webpages comprehensive and inviting
    • Make important work-related materials downloadable from your site
    • Consider task-specific print materials (does PEJE have a little monograph?)
    • Create links (digital or otherwise) to community resources that will help promote the cause (realtors, religious institutions, cultural and recreational resources)
    • Sell the advantages of your community
  • 9. THE PROCESS—order of events
    • Papers arrive, are reviewed 
    • Interesting candidate; make a note 
    • Preliminary interview with one key person — can be phone or F2F 
    • If positive, call back for extended interview at the school — candidate is a finalist, in for a real VISIT 
    • Collect response notes to the visit 
    • After finalists have all come, meet and compare notes 
    • Check references 
    • Make an offer 
    • If accepted, inform other candidates 
    • If not accepted, decide on Plan B
    • Nothing’s final until the background checks are in
  • 10. THE PROCESS—paper flow
    • Centralize at “Hiring Central” and create a generic e-mail address: “careers@communityday.org”
    • First reader a Hiring Team member
    • Treat “lone rangers” with respect; acknowledge independent inquiries in kind
    • Keep records
    • Designate a process for making “first contact”—who, and what content
    • Courtesy, courtesy, courtesy!
  • 11. THE PROCESS—first interviews
    • “ First impressions always last”
    • All interviewers need expertise
      • Talking points
      • Standard questions
      • “ Improper line of questioning” knowledge
    • Explain process to candidates; provide a rough timeline, if you can
    • Keep response records in a standard format (“Could you see …?” is the question to ask)
    • Have an internal process for deciding who moves through, then use it
  • 12. THE PROCESS—finalist visits
    • A formal employment application provides “for the record” material for reference and credential checks
    • Host function should be clear and congenial
      • Make time for food, water, restroom breaks
      • Be extra clear on expense issues
    • Don’t be afraid to mention challenges
    • Candidates should meet all prospective supervisors; peers and students, too
    • Sample lessons—pros and cons
    • Collect impressions from all interviewers in standard format; don’t elicit comparisons
  • 13. THE PROCESS—making choices
    • Check references! Reference checks must be professionally conducted and thorough
    • Strongly discourage rogue reference checks and informal feedback (“My wife’s brother knows…”)
    • Don’t be impatient; if you are in love but have rules, follow your rules
    • Be consistent! Give each finalist the same consideration; fill each position in the same way
    • Check references!
    • Inform unsuccessful candidates ASAP; be brave and do it right!
  • 14. OFFERS
    • Offer should be thorough: salary, job wrinkles, benefits—”informed consent”
    • Be clear up front about pre-school expectations (trainings, summer work, etc.) and expenses
    • Be circumspect about promises beyond the first year—stuff happens
    • Give folks enough time to take a deep breath and think things over (and hope that candidates—and other schools!—will do the same for you)
  • 15. HIRING MISCELLANY
    • Consider a bounty system for hiring referrals
    • Make sure that internal candidacies are considered, or be clear that they will not be—post consistently
    • E-mail chatter regarding candidates is a very, very bad idea
    • Clear candidate files when a hire has been made (unless you anticipate trouble; in which case, don’t)
    • Consider hiring work—fairs, interviewing—as leadership development
  • 16. AFTER YES
    • Contracts are tentative pending criminal background check; exceed statutory requirements; think ahead (driving? foreign travel?); credential checks may be well worth it
    • (If hire is international, resolve visa issues before you’ve gone too far)
    • Prepare “electronic induction”—e-mail, server access, curriculum map, other school e-resources
    • Have calendar and other resources available ASAP; knowledge is confidence
    • Map out and urge collaborative opportunities involving experienced and new teachers
  • 17. INDUCTION
    • Take the time to do it right
    • Priorities (think like an anthropologist!):
      • Culture and values
      • People and hierarchies
      • Language
      • Curriculum
      • Policies and procedures
      • Geography and resources
    • Another anthropological tip: Think of, support, and utilize each year’s intake as a cohort
    • A comprehensive teacher handbook is a huge benefit to all teachers
  • 18. WHAT NEW TEACHERS NEED
    • LOTS of academic and classroom management support
    • Trustworthy peers
    • Knowledge of local norms, local standards
    • Life-management support
    • Useful, focused, non-judgmental feedback
    • Ability to recognize friends and foes
    • Identity in the community
  • 19. THE FIRST YEAR
    • Establish the most thoughtful and focused mentoring program you can afford (time more valuable than $)
    • Be purposeful in assigning mentors
    • A formal, non-supervisory mentoring program is a great start; it’s leadership development, too
    • Create opportunities to share feedback
    • But if you can do more…
  • 20. A PROFESSIONAL COMMUNITY
    • (It’s about everyone; not just newbies)
    • Tailor benefits to age/stage needs (see NAIS Study)
    • After money and benefits, quality of professional culture is the main factor in retention:
      • Communication and transparency
      • A feeling of mutual support and pride
      • Shared sense of professionalism, competence, and respect
    • Evaluate to support professional growth
      • Goals-based and growth-oriented
      • Professional development-driven
      • Individually focused, but mission-aware
      • Not just correction, but commendation, too
    • Collaboration is professional development
    • (Newness is a golden chance to establish wonderful traditions!)
  • 21. WE’RE DONE
    • But now please tell your neighbor what two ideas or practices that you will take away from this presentation.
    • (We’d be interested to know, too, if you want to send us an email:
    • Marc: mbaker@gannacademy.org
    • Peter: pgow@bcdschool.org )
  • 22. RESOURCES
    • Handout notes from this presentation
    • NAIS Teacher Satisfaction Survey (2007)
    • Michael Brosnan, Guide to Hiring and Retaining Teachers of Color (AISNE, 2002)
    • NAIS Principles of Good Practice for the Hiring Process (2006)
    • Gow, An Admirable Faculty (NAIS, 2005)
    • Your school attorney or PEJE for special issues and circumstances

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