How Do You Recruit Effective Teachers?

The importance of hiring good teachers can’t be understated. Recruiting effective teachers doesn’t just mean better learning experiences and outcomes for your students but also a more professional, creative, and engaging work environment for the current and future staff at the school. While recruiting the best teachers may seem like an uphill battle, there are emerging, modern solutions for school systems to recruit teachers that will make a difference. Let’s explore some of the best practices for recruiting teachers using time-tested strategies and today’s innovative options.

What Does Research Say About Hiring and Retaining Teachers?

Research shows that hiring and employee retention are serious concerns for almost every school district in the United States. According to the Learning Policy Institute, from 2009 to 2014 there was a 35% reduction in the number of adults who enrolled in teacher education programs. This meant by 2014, there were around 240,000 fewer teachers headed to the classroom, even as the number of school-age children was projected to increase by three million students by 2026. To make matters more stressful for schools, 8% of the teaching workforce is lost each year as teachers change jobs before retirement age.

If you’re currently a teacher or school administrator, these statistics might be revealing but also ultimately come as no surprise. The question isn’t “how hard is it to hire good teachers,” because we already know it’s hard! Instead, the good news is that it’s still possible to attract great teachers to your classes and keep them as part of your school district for years.

How Do You Recruit and Retain Teachers?

Recruiting and retaining teachers for any subject area requires a careful search, as well as an honest analysis of any elements that might put an educator’s job satisfaction at risk. Here are four high-level steps to recruiting and retaining good teachers:

Start Searching Early: If you know your district needs to increase by a certain number of teachers annually or that someone is soon planning to retire or change jobs, start searching for a replacement as early as possible. Your teacher hiring plan and timeline could even include insights like when colleges or universities near you might be hosting job fairs or opportunities to meet candidates who could fit your needs.

Build a Professional Community: Outside hiring new graduates or people who apply for the roles, you can also build a referral network using the connections of your existing faculty. An employee referral program can be a great source of talent and bring you candidates whose character and work habits are already known to someone on your team. Additionally, working with local colleges and teacher training programs may enable you to host targeted recruitment events or interest sessions to find the teachers you need.

Address Causes of Burnout: Some of the biggest causes of teacher burnout are imbalances between performance expectations and the time and support teachers have to meet those expectations. Large class sizes and working more than 40 hours a week to keep up are common stressors for teachers. And unfortunately, that stress is often accompanied by lower-than-average salaries and benefits packages that just don’t stand out as attractive for many professionals after a few years in the classroom. While you may not be able to answer all these causes of burnout alone, being aware of the role they play in your school’s operations and how you work to support each other can help you attract candidates, set their expectations, and support them to success.

Stay Rigorous and Selective: Lastly, the whole situation we have summarized can leave many schools feeling like they must take any interested candidate. But ultimately, this can do more harm than good and even put the retention of more established faculty members at risk if their workload increases because of an inappropriate hire. Stay rigorous and selective in your hiring process. If you really can’t find someone who seems like a good fit, it may be better to work with an education recruiter or teacher staffing firm to widen your search.

Find High-Quality Teachers for Math with XR Technologies

At XR Technologies, it’s our goal to help passionate school leaders enable a better, more equitable math learning experience for their students. We believe that teaching math is a process, not just a person. Our data-driven curriculum and proprietary model allow each student access to personalized math education that meets them where and how they want to learn. Diversifying the teacher workforce and bringing benefits to every school, as a result, is our mission. Learn more about how you and your students can experience the XR Technologies difference

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