I have been interviewing applicants for employment for many years now. I used to be fooled by a certain type of applicant who presented extremely well at the interview. Unfortunately a few months after hiring the applicant, things did not go as well as we had hoped. With my experiences in mind and knowing that many of you are operating your schools with very small staffs and also knowing that you do not do many teacher interviews in any given year, let's look at a couple of simple ways which will protect you from hiring a teacher who is not a good fit.
How not to be fooled
"First impressions matter. Experts say we size up new people in somewhere between 30 seconds and two minutes." Elliott Abrams
I agree wholeheartedly with Elliott Abrams. You and I are accustomed to sizing people up in a very short time. Essentially we are using the same skill set which we use in the classroom. As we teach, we are constantly assessing how our students are absorbing and understanding the material, right? We have honed that skill set very finely. So bring it into play when you first meet an applicant.
Trust your instincts
You have to trust your instincts and your experience when you are interviewing teachers for your school. I put that at the top of my list for interviewing anybody, but even more so when interviewing teachers. Something on a resume or an answer to one of your questions might trigger a doubt
How sustainable is your school? This article is written with small to medium-sized schools in mind. Larger schools are able to plan and use professional resources of all kinds in order to ensure their sustainability for the future. On the other hand small schools typically have limited resources to begin with. So with this in mind I want to look at three aspects of how your school runs and offer some suggestions as to how we can make sure it will be running for many years to come. In other words let’s make sure that your school is sustainable and will continue to be sustainable for many more years.
We are going to look at two types of day schools: for profit schools and not for profit schools. A large number of primary schools are what we would describe as for profit schools. These are the kinds of schools which a well-intentioned, visionary educator has established because she believes in a certain style of teaching and wants to reach certain kind of clientele in her local area. I use the description of well-intentioned advisedly because many of these wonderful people have great pedagogical ideas but lack the business experience to make their school become an ongoing reality. Here are some practical steps that the owner of a small primary school to take to make sure that her school stays viable.
Develop a business plan
When you started your school, you knew that it was not enough to simply think that you could
This article originally started out as an overview of the top private school Facebook pages. However, as I began my research, I discovered that the Facebook private school landscape was in worse shape than I had first thought. What am I getting at? Simply that apparently many private schools are not implementing the measures necessary to create an effective Facebook presence. That is a shame because creating an effective Facebook presence is something which can scale to match your resources of both time and money. Put another way I literally cannot think of one good reason why even the smallest private school shouldn't be taking advantage of all that Facebook can do to help market your school.
Build brand awareness
Am I beginning to sound like a marketing professor? If so, I will plead guilty on the one count: my thrust is very definitely marketing. But, no, I am not a professor nor have I ever been. The closest I ever got to that august title in academia was Adjunct Instructor. But I digress. This short video gives you an idea of what is involved.
Marketing is critical for any small business. Every school has to pay attention to marketing. Marketing comes in many forms. Which ones you use depends largely on your and your budget. Marketing informs current and future parents of your existence.
Marketing drives your future intake of students. For many private schools even five or ten empty seats can have a huge impact on
I think that any young person who pursues excellence in anything is probably going to come away from that experience with very healthy doses of discipline, structure and purpose. Whether your child wants to be a really good hockey player or the best app writer ever, he will have to decide on his goals and figure out how to get there. That's what military schools are also very good at doing. They offer the kind of rigorous discipline and structure which is every bit as demanding as the kind of athletic preparation a top-ranked runner gets, every bit as focused on teamwork as the members of the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra are, for example.
We know that discipline produces good results. It is never enough to be a genius and have a myriad of wonderful ideas and projects nobody else has thought of unless you possess the attribute of discipline. All those wonderful ideas and projects will come to naught without discipline. Fortunately discipline can be taught. Military schools have discipline figured out. They know how to teach discipline. And, no, I am not talking about the popular image of kids in a military school somewhere being yelled at every minute by some nasty drill sergeant. Those days are gone. Military schools these days are filled with students who want to get ahead academically and make something of themselves. Military schools allow that to happen.
The kind of discipline which you will find at military schools is the kind which
Getting into a private school is a time-consuming process. There are many details to keep your eyes on. In particular you need to keep your eyes on the calendar and all the deadlines set by the various admissions departments of the schools to which you are applying. Most of the time you will be applying to two or three schools depending on the grade level your child will be entering. This further complicates the process because you will most likely end up watching three or more sets of deadlines. The best advice which I can offer as you deal with applying to schools is to begin the process as early as you can. Do not put things off until the last minute.
With the objective of helping you prioritize all those deadlines let's look at the most important ones.
The admissions fixed deadline
What I mean by a fixed admissions deadline is that your child's application must be submitted and completed by a date certain. Most private schools have their fixed admissions deadlines occurring on January 31. Some schools position their admissions deadlines a week or two earlier. The issue with fixed admissions deadlines is that you simply do not want to miss them. This is particularly true when you are applying to a selective school which was far more applications than it has places for. If your application is submitted after the fixed deadline, it will more than likely be placed in a pile with the other late applications. These might