The hiring season is again upon us for the next school year. Whether you are applying for a teaching or administrative job, the information outlined below will give you insight on what employers use to screen applicants and also look for when hiring the best and brightest.
1. Applitrack: Robost online application system used by many school districts that allows users to upload resumes, cover letters, certifications, and other credentials crucial to securing a job. Users can transfer application materials from one job application to another with a few clicks.
2. Google Drive: Leveraging the power of this cloud based application allows users to easily create and share cover letters, resumes, and best practice classroom artifacts.
3. Social Media: Follow schools on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to gain insight on the culture of learning. Those institutions who "tell their story" well are typically the places you want to be as a new hire. Also, it is incredibly important that potential candidates show they are connected to the world of education through various social networking sites.
4. Online Portals: Find jobs on services such as K12Jobspot, Indeed, LinkedIn, and NJSchoolJobs.com. Most online newspapers will have ads in the Sunday edition as well.
5. Digital Portfolios: Know that employers look for evidence of digital fluency in such areas as blogging and being able to use web based tools such as LiveBinders and Evernote. Showing evidence of how these tools are implemented to impact students success is imperative as well. Even more impressive is a candidate's ability create a website highlighting their experience with services like Weebly or Google Sites. The information provided on these websites sometimes determines if a candidate moves on to the next round.
Hopefully the information above will shed light on how a person lands a job in the technology based society we now live in.
We often hear of how people should be more involved with their communities and schools in order to promote the success of students. Jason Fuhr exemplified the true meaning of being an involved citizen who was deeply committed to academic and athletic excellence. He served on two different boards of education over a thirty year time period and attended hundreds, if not thousands, of events supporting student-athletes of the South Hunterdon Regional High School District. While attending athletic events or bumping into Jason on the street, he would always have a stash of root beer barrel candies in his pocket eagerly awaiting to hand them out to people. On several occasions during and after my high school career, I can vividly remember having conversations with Jason and then that night emptying my pockets only to find a root beer barrel.
Successful schools and tight-knit communities are the way they are because of people like Jason who volunteer their time for the greater good. You always felt better after speaking with Jason or sucking on one his famous root beer barrels. It was all we knew growing up in Lambertville, NJ. Every Saturday morning on game day you could count on Jason being there to help with transporting football equipment and taking care of the game balls. He always understood the importance of giving back and making sure everyone knew how proud he was of all the accomplishments of that little high school in Lambertville. This sort of pride and passion became contagious and made our good school great.
There is no doubt that we need more people like Jason Fuhr entrenched in our schools. He made all of us better people by constantly modeling kindness, generosity, and sincerity. His support through the years will never be forgotten. It will be weird not seeing him around town anymore. Seems as you get older many of the people who were apart of the fabric of your community ride off into the sunset leaving a legacy that is truly untouchable. Ultimately though the void left open is filled by another person who is just as caring and supportive. This is the great thing about schools that are so successful and truly put kids first. They find ways to engage stakeholders in the educational process and improve school culture. As I look back on my time in high school I now know why it was so special. Because of people like Jason taking time out of their busy lives to make ours better. Thanks for all that you did Jason. Rest in peace my friend.
Recently Starr Sackstein and I experimented with a Google Hangout OnAir aimed at sharing perspectives on a variety of educational topics. Starr is a secondary school teacher for the New York City Department of Education. I am a K-8 School Administrator for the Chester Township School District in Chester, New Jersey. Our focus on this particular episode was to share perspective on the teacher evaluation process. Questions and issues pertaining to the pre observation conference, observation, and post observation conference were addressed. Feel free to leave comments about your perspective on the evaluation process. Starr and I look forward to bringing you more content in the future. Enjoy our first episode.
The NASSP Ignite '14 Conference in Dallas, Texas was an amazing opportunity for lead learners throughout the country to connect and learn from one another. There were so many outstanding opportunities to gain exposure to best practice ideas, that at times there were too many options. Learning from practitioners like Eric Sheninger, Dwight Carter, Derek McCoy, Daisy Dyer Duerr, Jimmy Casas, Jason Markey, Carrie Jackson, and host of others was just tremendous. One of the highlights for me personally was seeing Todd Whitaker and Annette Bureaux present together on their book The Ten Minute Inservice.
Networking and sharing were quite prevalent and allowed attendees to seek out best practices that in turn would promote the success of their students. For example, Dwight Carter shared multiple examples of how his students made school their own through beautiful artwork. He also touched upon how Gahanna Lincoln High School in Ohio takes advantage of collaborative learning spaces to ensure meaningful educational experience for students. To me, Dwight is a true leader who provides students with the autonomy to be themselves and be comfortable in their environment.
Todd Whitaker and Annette Bureaux provided a very funny and motivational talk on their recent book titled The Ten Minute Inservice. Annette brought to light the vast differences between effective and ineffective teachers. Todd passionately spoke to the importance of teachers being able to look forward to faculty meetings they truly value. A great quote by Annette really impacted everyone in the crowd: "Effective teachers blame themselves, ineffective teachers blame everyone else." Overall, their presentation and book titled The Ten Minute Inservice provides many ways that principals can engage staff in meaningful professional development.
Eric Sheninger's new book Digital Leadership debuted recently and his presentation at NASSP Ignite "14 was fantastic. He highlighted what it means to lead in the digital era. Eric provided examples of all the great things that are going at New Milford High School in New Milford, NJ. From flipped instruction to maker-spaces in the media center, Eric emphasized the importance of focusing on the pedagogy first and technology second. He also focused on leveraging the power of social media to tell your school's story. Towards the end of his presentation Eric shared a digital handout aimed at helping like-minded leaders impact schools.
To cap things off on the final day of the conference, I was fortunate enough to host a live #Satchat. Dr. Darin Jolly, Daisy Dyer Duerr, Laurie Barron, Jimmy Casas, and Eric Sheninger graciously sat on the set and shared their insight on Personal Learning Networks. The conversation was passionate and brought to light the many benefits of being connected as an educator through social media. You can find an archive of the Twitter discussion by clicking here.
All in all the NASSP Ignite '14 Conference provided hundreds of educators from around the country an opportunity to connect and learn from one another. Personally, I have so much to bring back to my school that will enhance the great things we do already on a daily basis. I will never forget the great times I had learning from and hanging out with so many outstanding human beings. There is no doubt that attendees came, shared, and conquered.
The Winter Olympics are starting in a few days and I am totally pumped! Why you ask? I get to watch my cousin Chris Creveling compete for the United States Speed Skating Team. There are not too many times in life that you are able to watch someone you know go for the gold. As an added bonus, Kyle Tress, a person I somewhat grew up with in Lambertville, NJ is on the U.S. Skeleton Team. Looking past all the glory and adulation is a common theme of perseverance. Chris and Kyle stayed the course and dared to succeed in order to get to this point in their lives.
On a occasion teachers and administrators are faced with tough decisions when a student makes poor choices. Over the years I have second guessed myself on the consequences handed down. Whether it was a student who used technology inappropriately or misbehaved on the bus, I always wonder was the penalty too much or too little. The decision always came back to ensuring that all students learn in a safe environment.
There is no doubt I have made mistakes and will continue to second guess myself when discipline is imposed. What is the appropriate consequence? Take for example a student who misuses a website or device. Is the appropriate action to suspend them from using technology for a period of time? Would the same decision be made if a student used a pencil innappropriately? I can see the newspaper headline now: School Prohibits Student From Using Pencil in Math Class (No Way Would That Ever Happen).
The fact remains that when a major discipline issue is dealt with, administrators and teachers need to work together in order to appropriately ensure the child is held accountable and able to still thrive in the future. Effective communication with the parent and student is crucial as well. Emotions may run high, but at the end of the day it's what's best for that particular child. So what do you say? Please leave your thoughts on appropriate discipline. Who knows, the insight you share could help someone who is in a tough spot.