A major problem in public education is HOW we hire teachers.

Written on
January 24, 2018
by
Peter Hostrawser

I like to keep my radar in the education game by sending out resumes and applying to other schools.  It’s a way for me to keep my options open and my finger on the pulse of the teaching profession in general.  Over the past few years, I have realized there may be a factor in achievement gaps and poor student performance as a result of the way schools seek out and hire teachers.  Simply put, the traditional teacher hiring process is far outdated.

Here are a few things I found to be outdated.

There is heavy reliance on the paper resume and cover letter.

The fact that many schools including the one I work in rely heavily on a resume stating things you have done in the past is not going to bring you great educators.  In today’s world, no successful business cares about what you have done in the past.  They care about what you are doing right now.  They care about your personal brand.  I do not know of one public school HR department that even knows what a personal brand is.

There is a mechanical approach to the public school hiring process.

Well over 80% of the applications I have recently filled out for school teaching and administration is on an automated system that looks like it’s out of the 1990s.  These automatic tracking systems look for keywords and the initial cuts are due to lack of a few terms.  Let that soak in a minute.  If I miss a few key terms on a resume, I’m out.  The school has no idea what potential hires are currently doing.  They know nothing at all about them.

There is too much reliability on GPA and Test Scores.

Most of the best teachers I know had no where close to a 4.0 GPA.  We can all admit that the public school system needs vast improvements across the board.  I hear school boards and administrations preach about how they need progressive thinkers and motivated teachers to change the norms.  The best teachers are those who didn’t go along with the status quo.  The teacher who aced the tests and received perfect grades are not the ones who want to change the box.  They thrived in traditional education.  Progressive education is foreign to them.

My advice to public school systems that want to break out of the box and create better learning environments for their students is to look at hiring in different ways.  Think about this situation.

Which one would you hire to teach your son or daughter?

  1. A teacher who filled out all the mundane forms and has a resume that says they have “skills teaching students for 3 years in business education.”
  2. A teacher who has a resume which is a link to a full-blown website, a blog populated with business and educational content, a YouTube channel telling the stories of current and previous student success, an Instagram and Facebook page delivering value to the readers and viewers teaching them about new trends in business and education.

I want the second person to teach my kids. I hope you would too.

It’s mind blowing how easy this is to choose between these two candidates yet school leaders want to sit back, stick to the old way of hiring and wish things were different for their struggling students.

I am in the profession of teaching because I realized high school sucked for me...and that showed with my GPA and tests scores.  I didn’t like it because it lacked authenticity.  I am in the game to change that.  The hiring process weeds people like me out.  The progressive thinkers are not looked at in most traditional educational systems.

It’s time to disrupt traditional school hiring processes.

​It’s time to #disrupteducation

Peter Hostrawser
Creator of Disrupt Education
Change Outdated Traditional Educational Systems #Blogger | #KeynoteSpeaker | #Teacher | #Designthinker Founder & Chairman @OPRFschoolofbiz #disrupteducation
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