How To Hire The Best Teachers

Teachers are the key

Student experience and learning

Research has shown again and again that the single most important element in student success is effective teachers. Additional research has identified behavior themes that are common to effective teachers.

See: Impact of Teacher Effectiveness on Student Achievement

See: Behavior Characteristics of Effective Teachers

Positive and effective school culture

Teachers are the backbone of a school so it follows that a culture of excellence and supporting excellence in teaching is driven by the teaching staff in collaboration with administration. Positive and effective culture depends on quality teachers and effective leadership.

Problems with traditional hiring approaches

The “traditional” approach to hiring can take any number of forms but generally includes ideas like

  • Hiring people you know
  • Hiring referrals
  • Extensive interviewing

Unfortunately, in most cases, these are very subjective processes and tend to focus on selecting for reasons that are not tuned to finding the BEST teacher candidates regardless of where they come from.

What most leaders don’t know, yet should know, is what happens in the traditional hiring process.

The traditional hiring process is, at best, a crap shoot—leading to the right decision to hire a person who will significantly add value to the organization less than fifty percent of the time.

Read more here:

Traditional teacher qualifications have little influence on classroom achievement.

Teacher experience and education level are characteristics are commonly assumed to correlate with greater teacher effectiveness.

However, when the researchers analyzed student achievement data along with teacher qualifications, they found that a five-year increase in teaching experience affected student achievement very little — less than 1 percentage point. Similarly, the level of education held by a teacher proved to have no effect on student achievement in the classroom. These findings have implications for the way in which teacher quality and effectiveness should be assessed and valued by a school district.

Read more here:

Build a Quality Applicant Pool

Use a talent broker such as Edjoin

Services such as Edjoin (and a number of others) provide a “job board” service specifically for Education related positions. These services tend to attract large applicant pools and can greatly help in finding quality applicants.

Use An Objective Process

  • Determine and screen basic qualifications (experience, credential, etc)
  • Screen for Behavioral Aptitude (Sketch or similar)

Read more about the Sketch:

  • Screen using Structured Interview

Read more about the Structured Interview:

“A few years into my school leadership career, I set out to discover why so many hiring decisions that seemed so good during the interview process went awry. I wanted to know how we could consistently hire the best and most talented people who would make a sustained, positive contribution to our organization. Soon, after starting my investigation, I discovered the behavior based structured interview.

The structured interview has been around for a long time and has been used effectively by organizations to hire great people with great talent. The structured interview, because of its objective structure, enables the interviewer to overcome bias and interviewing from the emotional side of his/her brain and listen objectively and measurably to the interviewee, and in the end accurately predict the behavior of the applicant.

-Pete Pillsbury


The Final Step

The final step in the hiring process is the actual selection of the applicant you feel would be the best to fill the position you have open. In making this decision, keep focused on the objective, predictive data gathered by the screening Sketch and the Structured Interview. Go beyond the cumulative score for the structured interview and look for a balanced score—a plus score in all four major areas. In addition, determine objectively that the applicant has the knowledge and specific skills he/she will need e.g. math, science, English, etc.

Also, without opening the flood gates of subjectivity, use your reasoned judgment (not a committee) to determine the “fit” of the applicant’s affect e.g. does he/she present self in a way consistent with the values of your organization or community. In the end, put all the information you have gathered together, and select the applicant with the highest degree of predictability for high success.

Once the selection decision is made, monitor the performance of the new hire, provide him/her with support and opportunities to grow.

For more information, contact us at:
(831) 607-9478