The prospect of needing to hire teachers in the middle of the school year provokes monstrous headaches for most Division Heads. No matter how solid your faculty community is in September, circumstances can change at any moment. Medical leave, unexpected departures, and necessary firings all affect your school’s ability to keep your students taught by the best instructors available—and the pool of teachers available to jump into your school in the middle of the year is significantly smaller than that for September starters.
Still, there are some unconventional and creative ways to accommodate your immediate need for qualified applicants without skipping steps to properly vet your incoming teachers. Here are four ways in which you can lessen your midyear hiring headache.
After Winter Storm Jonas paralyzed much of the East Coast on January 23, school cancellations for slippery roads, power loss, and facilities damage were rampant. Remembering the storm-tossed winter of 2013-2014, during which the United States saw a “polar vortex” causing double-digits of school days missed, the question of snow days arises once again—and whether they need to be “made up” at all.
Successful educational programs require hard work and (occasionally) difficult changes. It can be daunting to keep and sustain the sort of drive needed to make them take hold and become permanent. But, that doesn’t mean you should allow excuses or circumstances to prevent you from trying new initiatives to improve your school. Here, then, are seven common excuses that shouldn’t stop you from starting difficult changes—along with the one reason you should halt any initiative before it gets off the ground.
It’s easy to get caught up in the details and duties of your own division. Faculty meetings, evaluation and coaching, professional development, and perennial "fires" all demand your attention. But when you’re one Division Head of several in a multidivision school, you have to think beyond your own area. You must understand how your particular “cog” turns in the overall “machine” of the school, and how your students’ needs change as they age.
Source readers, we’d like to introduce you to Katie Johnson. By day, she’s an art director from Austin, Texas. By night, she’s the founder and CEO of the Monster Project. Her organization fosters imaginative play by sending student-created drawings of monsters to professional designers all over the world. These designers then create their own versions of the students’ prototypes and return them to the schools, so students can see how their monsters—and their own creativity—can “grow up.”
Report cards: One of the few things that parents are guaranteed to read. It’s a unique opportunity for your teachers to communicate—clearly and authentically—with both students and families. This semester, evaluate your students with more than a letter grade or a percentage; it’s time for teachers to tell families what they really need to know.
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