Opening a new charter school is challenging, yet energizing in so many ways. Over the past few months I have worked as the primary contact of the school. Often times it can feel a bit isolating. However, beginning the process of hiring staff to join me on this journey is exciting. Knowing we are creating a team energized by each other, willing to become trailblazers in school reform, and eager to think from a new perspective gives me a sense of hope and confidence in the work we will embark on with our students at Health Leadership High School.
As an experienced principal, I approach the process of hiring new teachers with a bit of uncertainty and hesitation. I always hope to bring in teachers with positive attitudes, teachers that are enthusiastic about their contribution to their school and society through their work as a classroom teacher. As I look at bringing on new teachers to our staff, I also have to be cognizant of the effect the culture of the school will have on the teachers’ ability to work with students.
Often new teachers coming into the culture of the school are affected by veteran teachers. Their colleagues influence these new teachers as they navigate the culture of the school. Colleagues disenchanted with the work of the school may have a damaging effect on these new teachers and their longevity in the field of education.
In addition to bringing new teachers into an established culture of the school, I often had little choice in the teachers I could hire each year. District offices often give principals a ‘must-hire list’ that includes teachers who need to be placed in other schools due to budget constraints at their current school, as well as other issues that may cause them to be placed on this list. Prior to hiring teachers who apply directly to the school or may be applying from outside of the district, I must hire these teachers who are often placed to work in my school. This process of placing teachers in schools forces the school leader to Continue reading…