The key to overcoming the teacher shortage?

‘Grow your own’ candidate pool, hiring expert says’

As a new year approaches, K-12 schools are gearing up for one of their toughest seasons: teacher and staff recruitment. With the U.S. Department of Education reporting teacher shortages in nearly all 50 states in 2015-2016, and with no indication it will improve, school leaders are looking for fresh approaches to finding and attracting the best and brightest educators for their classrooms.

According to Marna Robertson, retired assistant superintendent at Dickinson ISD in Texas, and an expert on teacher recruitment, the time has come for schools to nurture the growth of their own future teachers.

“As school districts, we need to work on growing our own,” Marna says. “We’ve got to make a better connection between school districts and colleges and universities; we’re not doing a good job talking to each other. Educators should be going to colleges, speaking and doing panel discussions to show university students what teaching is really like.”

Once a student expresses interest in teaching, schools should nurture the relationship, which isn’t time consuming when the right technology is in place, she says. “PeopleAdmin is a good mediator for maintaining that relationship because solutions like SchoolSpring can be used to build profiles and match people,” she says.

Marna used PeopleAdmin’s K-12 job site for years. She understands how SchoolSpring benefits job seekers by allowing them to create profiles, customize job alerts and track applications, and simplifies work for employers by posting open positions to popular job sites and attracting more than 800,000 visitors each month.

“SchoolSpring allows real connections to be made.” And it’s connections, Marna says, that lead to promoting teaching as a profession and making sure that the school today’s new teachers want to join is yours.

Another way to grow your own, Marna says, is by exploring teaching careers with current K-12 students.

“Getting the best and the brightest to go into education starts at the middle school and high school level,” she said. “That might mean providing technology and experiences through elective courses or allowing older students to work with younger students and see how they can make a difference. Show teaching as an attractive profession.”

For more insights and advice from Marna, read Proactive hiring: Q&A with Marna Robertson, Retired Assistant Superintendent, from our Connections newsletter.

K-12 Education

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