If I was interviewing for teaching staff…

Question_MarkRecently I was chatting to a principal about what we would look for in potential staff members if we had the opportunity to build a school from scratch.

I scribbled down some notes, and later copied them onto my Tablet. I tweeted it out on my #DoodlesByDan tag and within about 2 hours it had been retweeted over 100 times. It’s by far the most prolific response I’ve had to any of my tweets.

I thought I’d share the scribblings here with some further thinking around it.

1. I’m over teachers telling me kids have to “earn” their respect. No they don’t. Respect for kids should be the number one pre-requisite for being a teacher. I couldn’t care less what your qualifications are if you don’t get past this first question.

2. Research suggests that teacher expectation plays in important part in whether kids learn or not. If you don’t think kids can learn, then I think you’re probably right. They probably won’t. We can’t have teachers thinking like this.

3. Trust me… there are some teachers who turn up at 8:55 and leave at 3:25. They do exactly what they need to in order to comply with their job description and no more. Not for me thanks.

4. On my travels I meet many keen teachers who are excited to push their thinking, explore new, or old, concepts and research with the mindset that regardless of their ability as a teacher, they want (and are able) to improve. They have what Carol Dweck would call a Growth Mindset. Unfortunately I also meet the odd teacher (as in numerically not characteristically) who has no inclination to explore such things. You know what that’s cool. It’s just not what I’d look for in members of my team.

And that is a key word – Team.

This is certainly not intended to be in anyway definitive.

What would you include in your criteria?

2 thoughts on “If I was interviewing for teaching staff…

  1. Dan Sullivan Reply

    Happiness to get involved in a lively argument and nut things out to consensus and then buy into that consensus even if it is not exactly what they wanted. Schools work better with consistency (in curriculum, in assessment, in positive behaviour support) and teachers are too independent to impose consistency from above so you need people willing to argue and then be bound by a group decision even when they lose.

  2. karenjshep Reply

    Such inspiration and wonderful to see someone else who thinks this way. I once said while talking about respect with colleagues that respect goes 2 ways. Its not about us as teachers expecting respect…its about their being mutual respect…we as the teaching profession need to treat kids the way we also like to be treated and vise versa……
    Only if we could throw out the content for the 1st term of school…then focus on growth mindsets – develop the child and their misconceptions about themselves as learners- teach them the skills behind meditation and how to be in the present moment… Imagine the learning that would take place in terms 2,3 and 4..Our old school systems need to catch up with 21st century kids….
    Keep the message going out there Dan we need more people like you to get your messages across….

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