Updated: Nov 13
Photo by Nathan Anderson
In my nineteen years as a principal of private schools, I have made mistakes in hiring quality teachers. Nothing dangerous, but the kind of mistakes when I look back, want to slap myself silly. What was I thinking? There are no guarantees on my future hires. I am praying for God's wisdom as I begin the process of hiring future teachers as our small and humble school grows.
I will have background checks on the new teachers. I used to use the Arizona's Department of Public Safety for criminal background checks. The background checks are reliable but I have decided to get more information before making the final decision on a new teacher.
Trusted Employees is a company I found through our insurance company. They perform a multi-state criminal check, a sex offender registry search, and a county criminal check. In addition, they will check on known aliases, a social security verification and a 10-15 year address check.
The basic qualifications for a teacher here at Maricopa Christian Academy are: a Christian who is an active member of an evangelical Christian church: at least a bachelor degree, preferably not an education degree: and someone who is a hard worker.
The reason for making a visible effort in not hiring a teacher with a degree in education. Almost every teacher I have hired with an education degree, even though positively experiencing the superior results of our education methods, gradually slide to a public school whole group instruction method. That is when they quit looking at students as individuals and begin talking to them as a group. Why?
There are two reasons for this change. One reason is the fact that it is hard to break old habits. And the second, to teach every student in your class as a group working on the same goal each day is much, much easier than the instruction of each of your students working on their individual goals daily.
All new teachers will be in training status for one to two years. After a teacher's training has been completed, a decision is made to have the teacher candidate become an official teacher or it is time to go our separate ways.
So how do I know how to hire a teacher. The people I hire will be intensely invested in positively teaching our students. What does that look like? Someone who is an advocate for her students. Someone who daily works diligently to mold her students into a confident and skilled learner.
After learning how to successfully use our instructional methods, a teacher is then taught how to break the instructional rules when it best benefits the student. This requires a knowledge of a student as well as the materials, the tools, of instruction.
Hiring someone to be apart of our school is a very important decision. A decision that greatly affects our students and families as well as me.
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.