Moses Chilufiya once said, “A school without teachers is like a ship without a sail.” Great teachers can set schools and students on a course for success, but finding great teachers is easier said than done. Do your new recruits have more in common with Alfie Vickers than Socrates? Here are three simple mistakes to avoid in teacher recruitment.
1. Low starting salaries
Most schools offer new teachers low starting salaries and save the big(ger) bucks for when teachers renew their contracts. However, salary increases actually have almost no effect on teacher retention, but they have a huge effect on getting teachers to accept a job offer. In other words, teachers join for salary, but stay for development, training and their friends. If you want to recruit good teachers, offer them a good salary.
2. Too much too soon
Accepting a job offer in another country is a big decision. You care about tight deadlines and recruitment targets, but your candidates don’t. Give recruits time to think over their decision, make them feel like their experience and qualifications are valued by your school and offer them the opportunity to speak to their future colleagues.
3. No support
Moving abroad can be exciting, but it can also be very stressful. Alleviate as much of the stress as possible by giving your would-be new teachers everything they’ll need to be successful outside the classroom. Transport cards, accommodation, orientation tours of the city, introduction to social events. All of these can help teachers adapt to their new home.
A lot of time in education is dedicated to helping the good become great, be it students in classes, or teachers in training. But how much time do we spend getting the right person in the door? I’d bet not enough. English educator Sir Ken Robinson says, “There is no school in the world that is better than its teachers.” If you want your school to be great, start by hiring great teachers.