Teacher Shortage Resources

No doubt, we are in a crisis in filling classrooms and schools with qualified and passionate teachers (and administrators), but there are things that we can do now to avoid the catastrophic shortage of qualified and effective educators. Salary and working conditions MUST be part of the conversations, but they are not enough to attract & keep highly effective and passionate educators in our schools. Every school district is feeling the pinch in the reduced number of applicants, particularly in certain subject areas. Now is the time to put together a recruitment plan. Recruitment and retention must be a year-round focus. If you need any assistance, I am happy to help!

Critical Strategies and Ideas to implement

  • Incentives & Programs (financial, Including multi-year contracts), opportunities for growth, recognition, and reward programs.

  • Scholarships/Loan Forgiveness

  • More flexible schedule

  • Relocation expenses assistance & housing allotment

  • Child care assistance

  • Strong mentorship program

  • New Staff Academy

  • Ideal (Teacher to Students) Match

  • School-wide Culture Improvement ( class size, teacher prep time, salary, availability of resources)

  • Stay conversations

  • Support, support & more support for staff

  • Be loud & proud about your staff ad school accomplishments

  • Leadership Opportunities for Teachers

  • Alumni Database

Track & Analyze Data

  • Number of openings expected

  • How many applicants and quality hires each recruitment strategy produces (i.e. employee referrals, job fairs, social media, etc.) Where is our applicant pool coming from? Where do our new hires come from?

  • Candidate experience metrics (i.e. dates for when they apply, hear back, interview, etc.) How quickly are we able to move a candidate from application to hire? What is our offer acceptance rate? What are the top reasons our candidates decline offers?

  • Exiting staff: dates, demographics, and exit interviews to gather trends.

Create a Recruitment Calendar

  • Start as early as possible. The strongest teachers are often the ones who are looking for positions earlier than most. Start recruiting for openings as early as November even if they are just projected positions.

  • Inclusion of all events that impact recruitment. Set timetables for staff employment commitments, non-renewal of contract,

  • Year-round focus through engagement of all staff. Create systems and structures that involve as many staff members as possible in recruitment efforts (i.e. employee referrals, Facebook campaigns, hosting events)

  • Ensure consistent messaging throughout the year in terms of recruitment.

  • Personalize video messages to candidates

  • If your organization does not have a strategic recruitment calendar, bring in an expert to help create the calendar, train the staff on implementation, and hold staff accountable for shifting to an earlier execution timeline.

On-line Marketing

  • In today’s internet-driven world, online and social media marketing are here to stay. High-performing schools strategically take their marketing practices to the next level.

  • Clarify your value proposition, what specifically sets your organization apart. Make sure all staff have this information to share.

  • Create marketing material that highlights what makes your school great. What sets you apart from others?

  • Target who you want (marketing materials should reflect what type of candidate you are looking for)

  • Keep information up-to-date. All job descriptions(and links) should be current.

  • Use social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, to build a brand and to recruit aggressively and strategically. Ask staff members to share job opportunities and recruitment information on as many social media sites/pages as possible.

  • Utilize on-line job search sites for job postings far and wide

  • Social media strategy is not just about having a Facebook or Twitter page, but about strategically commenting, responding, and reaching out to prospective candidates. Engage with people about job opportunities.

Pipeline Programs

  • Employee Referral Program. Create a program or procedure for employees referring candidates with some type of recognition or incentive. Introduce the Referral Program early to staff. As staff to tap into their networks.

  • Internal Pipeline Programs. These programs often include a summer experience or a year-long apprenticeship that allows individuals to get into the buildings, experience the culture, and build skills to become stronger teachers. Paraprofessionals can be supported through accreditation requirements.

  • University Partnerships. Say yes to field experience (pedagogy) students and student teachers. Very often, you can recruit them as they graduate. Work with professors and deans to identify graduates with the highest potential.

Job/Recruitment Fairs/Shadow Days

  • Hiring Fairs/ Recruitment Events offer an opportunity to brand your school, not necessarily hire people.

  • Visitor Days for prospective employees are an opportunity to experience your school culture

  • Community Events. Strategically invite prospective teachers to get a flavor for your school. Bring the community in for events. You never know what qualified people will walk in your school doors.

  • Professional Development. Invite prospective staff in for free PD days. Pair them up with a passionate leader or staff member to catch the school vibe.

  • Follow-up with communication to keep the conversation going.

Rigorous Hiring Practices

  • A clear procedure and timeline of the hiring process should be communicated with the prospective candidate.

  • A pre-determined evaluation tool or character traits should be determined and communicated with all people on the interview panel.

  • A variety of stakeholders should be on the interview committee.

  • All processes should include at minimum: an application, phone interview, in-person interview and sample lesson, and reference check

  • Candidates should conduct a sample lesson, receive feedback, and then re-teach a portion of the lesson. ( to gauge the ability to be reflective)

Build a Community Around Talent

  • Bring in an expert to lead the group and grow skills around best practices.

  • Come together 1x/month to discuss best practices, current openings, anticipated needs, etc.

  • Create an online resume portal open to be featured on local town or city websites.

  • Create a city-wide teacher marketing campaign featuring best practices/staff.

Connect with me:

Michele Rispo Hill