Originally written for the Salamanca Press, published March 28, 2013
It’s almost hiring time again, for those of us lucky enough to have any positions to fill. With four elementary teachers retiring, we are replacing three and the advertisement for the positions has a closing date of April 5, 2013. Which means my amazing assistant, Maureen Pitts, will be inundated with hundreds of applications and resumes soon.
Hiring is one of the most important jobs that we have. One of the two primary factors in your child’s success at school is the teacher standing in the room, the other is the parenting. We take interviewing very seriously with three phases of interviews, including a lesson taught to our students. We are on a mission to improve our instruction at RCS, so we’re looking for the best of the best—teachers who have high expectations for themselves as well as for students.
Hiring is also one of the most difficult jobs that we have. No matter who we hire, someone who didn’t get the position is upset, angry, disappointed. And likely so is the unemployed candidate’s family. In small communities like ours, everyone knows everyone and everyone has an opinion. However, just because you love someone doesn’t mean that person is the best fit for our position or the best candidate for the job. I’m glad you think so, loving that person and all, but we work hard to look at the candidates objectively and to hire the best, most qualified person.
You may think the candidate is hired because of who he or she knows, but I can guarantee those connections only get someone a possible foot in the door at a first interview. After that, you’ve got to be the best in the interviews and lesson—no matter who you are.
Here’s what’s interesting, there will be readers who get what I’m saying and readers who refuse to accept it. And if you’re a candidate for a teaching position who’s convinced yourself that you’re NOT getting positions because of 100 reasons other than your own skills, abilities, resume, or performance, then we definitely don’t want you working at Randolph Central.
In other words, the best employees take personal responsibility. They own it, including their own mistakes. They don’t make excuses. They don’t look around to see who else they can point at for the error or believe in an external locus of control. The best employees have high expectations for themselves and when they fall down, they are already analyzing why and how so that they can do better the next time—before they even hear from me or one of the building administrators.