So here we are again, well into another season of recruiting and trying to find those perfect fits for ourselves and for our schools. Recruiting is tough in many ways, and with it comes a wide range of emotions, so many unknowns, so much excitement, and for many of us, a lot of anxiety. It’s a difficult time of the year as you learn that friends and colleagues have decided to chase new adventures, and as leaders you try and find those quality educators who will add value to your school…it’s tough. Other than being sad that a few great teachers/friends will be leaving our community, I actually like the process in many ways, and I enjoy the opportunity that we have to attract those inspiring individuals who will help lead us into the future.
I like pouring through CV’s and cover letters and professional websites, and it never ceases to amaze me how many seemingly outstanding educators there are out there looking to find a new home. I like meeting new people and having great educational conversations and I love that excited feeling that you get when you find a great match and you get ready to offer or accept a new contract. That said, it’s a lot of work and it can be exhausting, and it can take a toll on you both physically and emotionally. You see, the hard part isn’t finding a new job or a new teacher necessarily, it’s the time and effort and good fortune that it takes to find the right fit…that perfect match, and honestly, finding the right fit makes all the difference in the world!
I think the most important thing that we can all do when looking for a new teacher or for a new job is to be honest, and to know in your heart what it is that you’re looking for. You have to know yourself and your school, you have to ask the right questions, you have to have the courage to tell the truth and to paint an authentic picture of where you are in your career and where you are as an institution. I used to think that my job was to go out and find the best educators on the planet and to somehow find a way to get them to come to our community, and if I did that then everything would work out just fine. Well, that approach doesn’t always work because just being an amazing, master teacher doesn’t ensure success in a new environment. It’s about so much more than that…it’s about the community and culture that you have (or are trying to create), it’s about life outside of the school, it’s about where people are in their careers and where they are looking to find purpose, and it’s about personality. Finding the right fit is everything in my opinion, and it takes a lot of time…a little luck…and sometimes a lot of courage to hold out until that right fit comes along.
I want to encourage everyone this recruiting season to stay true to who they are, and to be prepared to say yes (or no) to only the schools and educators that seem like great fits…know yourself, ask the right questions, do your homework, trust your gut, and be honest. Just because you’ve heard good things about a school, or just because you have a solid recommendation from someone that you trust, doesn’t mean that it will work out in the end. We all want to find that perfect match that will inspire teachers to stay beyond that initial 2 or 3 year contract, and the way for that to happen is to do the work now, and to be informed, and to be authentic. Good luck with the process everyone and try to enjoy it…I want to wish all candidates and all schools success throughout this recruiting season, and I’m sending everyone my best energy and wishes for that perfect fit. You’ll know it when you find it I believe, and when you do, it’s only then that teachers and schools and communities can truly begin to lead and transform and inspire!! Have a wonderful week and remember to be great for our students and good to each other.
Quote of the Week…
This above all…To thine own self be true – William Shakespeare
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One thought on “Finding the Right Fit…”
I read your blog with interest.
I was retrenched years ago after 18 years at the last bank. 3/4 years at banks before that.
Born in Zambia (Northern Rhodesia back then!).
Started early schooling in SA. (Immigrated with my parents).
Completed all schooling in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia back then – also immigrated with parents).
Left there to resettle in SA in 1980 as a young man. My parents moved again and I chose to go with them. I consider myself an Euro-African (parents and grandparents also born in Africa). Some here do not accept that and I must go back to my ancestors in Europe. They fail to realise there are no ancestors anymore and in any event am I German or British. I suspect neither will accept me as I am a legal SA citizen besides they have such big problems with asylum seekers from Syria and North Africa that I will not be a welcome sight in any event. I consider myself African regardless of what they say. Don’t get me wrong it is only a small percentage really.
My contention is if the so-called free world accepts African-Americans then for goodness sake why not Euro-Africans. My small fight no doubt but I am adamant about that.
Anyhow back to teaching…
After years of retrenchment and not being able to find a supervisor/manager job I thought (it takes hard knocks sometimes!!) I always wanted to teach so why not now. So I enrolled at UNISA and began studying my BEd (Intermediate/Senior Phase). I had to get a job as I had used my money and had a young family and other responsibilities by then. The SA Ed Dept would not employ me even though I asked for petrol money only but needed to get experience. They rejected me twice. I eventually got a position at a private school. At first teaching 3 classes English & History to grade 8’s (first year high school). Then increased to include a grade 9 English and History class.
Loads of work but enjoyed my class time. At the end of the day there are many really nice youngsters. I never disliked any just liked some more. Does that make any sense?
Tell me do you teach in English or is it Spanish or what?
How did you get to Ecuador? Why Ecuador? I guess that you are US born/citizen. If not what then?
Email me if you care to.
Regards & GB,