The teacher shortage around the country is stressing School Leaders in all sectors and in all geographical locations.
Even this week, newspapers are reporting in increase in teaching position ads on sites like Seek of up to 40%. Some of us are old enough to remember not even needing to advertise.
It can leave us in a less discerning position about who we are allowing to teach in our schools, which is something of a devastating reality. We seem to have moved past looking for a great fit for our school and towards anyone with a qualification and a pulse.
That challenge is real and omnipresent.
I just want to remind our School Leaders that every teacher who lands in your school deserves a fighting chance at success. This means focusing more intently than ever on induction.
My advice is to induct for culture ahead of operationals.
Make sure each teacher knows:
- how you treat each other in your school.
- how you approach students who’ve erred in their conduct.
- how you resolve conflict.
- how instruction is geared around engagement above performance.
- how we speak to each other.
- how staff are expected to make a positive cultural experience.
- what great teaching (for both academic and social growth) looks like in your school.
- what mindsets, research and beliefs drive practice, conduct and decision making in your school.
And, if you’re not sure what the answers to these questions are, then this is the most important piece of work you need to get done before 2023 starts.
They can find out what time the bell goes, who to ring when sick, how to order some lunch, what’s on your computer servers, who sits where on your org chart and even what their programming requirements are by the simple transfer of that information in an email.
The how of succeeding as a teacher in your school should come before the what. When you and your new teachers get together, make sure that’s the focus.
Keep fighting that good fight,
PS. If you’re looking for a starting point on the how of teaching, Restoring Teaching is still (and will always be) completely free for every Australian educator who’s prepared to dip in for a little postage fee. You can order in bulk for your school by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or individually through the webpage.
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