Select candidates using competencies and a rigorous hiring

Creating an Effective Selection
Identifying characteristics of excellent teachers
Think about the most effective teachers with whom you have worked.
What characteristics did they have in common?
In the past, what methods have you used to determine if the candidates
whom you are considering have these characteristics?
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Build an effective school-specific hiring and selection process
Explore alternate interview techniques that expand the amount
of information you have to evaluate candidates
Create a hiring timeline with clear processes and turnaround
Developing a School Selection Model
Selection Processes
Creating a Hiring Timeline
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A selection model is a formal rubric used to evaluate potential hires
School Selection Model
What are you
looking for?
What does it
look like?
Identified criteria are called “Competencies”.
Example of one competency: Teaching Ability
Each Competency has examples of specific behaviors called
Examples indicators of Teaching Ability
•Conveys ideas and information clearly
•Provides reasonable examples of effective lesson-planning,
instructional strategies, and/or student assessment
•Possesses the ability to make content meaningful for students
How are you
going to see it?
Interview questions and selection components are aligned with
one or more competencies.
Candidates are rated.
How will you
evaluate it?
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Example of a four-point rating scale: (1) exemplary, (2) somewhat
strong, (3) somewhat weak and (4) poor or ineligible.
One model uses seven personal characteristics that research shows
good teachers demonstrate
Shows a trend of excellence in endeavors and focuses on concrete results
• Strong academic record/rigorous course of study
• Surpassed expectations in previous employment
• Sets and meets ambitious goals
• Takes on challenges
Committed to teaching and raising the academic achievement of students
in urban schools
• Active desire to teach “where needed”
• Believes that students of all backgrounds can and must learn at high levels
• Realistic expectation of challenges
• History of staying with employers/organizations
 Skills
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Demonstrates effective written and oral skills
• Resume/cover letter/portfolio displays mastery of written grammar,
usage and organization
• Speaks clearly and precisely
• Fluent verbal and written command of English
Bases current and future endeavors on lessons drawn from previous
• Reflects regularly on performance to identify areas for improvement
• Seeks and welcomes feedback from others
• Accesses resources to support self-development
• Demonstrates willingness to modify approach
• Recognizes and learns from failures
Personal characteristics (cont.)
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Analyzes situations thoroughly and generates effective strategies
• Discerns the presence and nature of problems accurately
• Develops creative solutions
• Approaches difficult situations logically
• Able to suggest multiple solutions to a single problem
Assumes accountability for reaching outcomes despite obstacles
•Focuses on capacity to affect situations rather than on external
•Takes initiative to solve own problems
•Demonstrated record of dependability
Respectful of others and sensitive to professional norms of
interaction in different situations
•Able to understand and assume the role and tone appropriate for
new settings
•Listens openly to differing opinions
•Aware of how one’s own background and assumptions can
influence interactions with others
•Remains positive and professional throughout interview
Is there a competency that is important to you that you don’t see here?
Another model evaluates candidates against three basic building
blocks for teacher success
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• Conveys ideas and information clearly
• Provides reasonable examples of effective lesson-planning,
instructional strategies, and/or student assessment
• Makes content meaningful to students in the district
• Sets concrete, ambitious goals for student achievement
• Indicates confidence that all students should be held to high
• Reflects on successes and failures
• Assumes accountability for classroom management and culture
• Conveys reasonable understanding of potential challenges
involved in teaching in a high-need school
• Demonstrates ability to deal effectively with negative student
• Persists in offering viable and realistic strategies to deal with
classroom management challenges
• Conveys willingness to try multiple strategies or something new
when things change or when confronted with challenges
3 competencies (cont.)
School Fit
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• Interacts with interviewer in an appropriate and
professional manner
• Respects the opinion of others
• Recognizes that families influence student achievement
• Demonstrates interests and skills that match the school’s
culture and needs
• Interacts appropriately with supervisors, colleagues,
parents and students
When choosing your competencies consider…
• What competencies will help me choose the most effective teachers?
• Which competencies include indicators that align with my school
vision and mission?
Selecting Competencies
Which 3-5 competencies do you feel are the most important to evaluate
potential hires? Why?
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Use a scale to rate candidates on each of the competencies in your
selection model
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Spend time creating your own selection model
Use the competencies you’ve identified to define your school-specific
selection model
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Determine which competencies you feel are most needed for any new
teacher at your school
Create a list of indicators for your competencies –the ways that
candidates can demonstrate their mastery of that competency
 Tip: Be specific. Concrete examples like “speaks clearly” or
“speaks with confidence” are better than vague indicators such as
“has presence”.
 Tip: Think of all the ways you might see evidence of this criteria,
including the candidate’s responses, their experience, their dress
and demeanor, etc.
Fill in your evaluation form with your competencies and indicators
Determine your rating system
Indicators and Competencies
Selection Processes
Creating a Hiring Timeline
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Creating a comprehensive selection process
An effective selection process should:
•Allow you to gather all of the evidence you need to evaluate a candidate and
determine if you will offer the candidate a position
•Provide adequate opportunities for a candidate to demonstrate his/her skills
and evidence of each competency
•Allow you to view a candidate though multiple lenses and determine their
areas of strength and development
•Offer the candidate an opportunity to learn about your expectations
regarding student achievement, their potential colleagues, and the student
•Utilize other members of your staff
•Be efficient
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Introduction to Selection Activities
Potential selection activities that you may consider using include:
Main Activities
Personal Interview
Supplemental Activities
Lesson Plan Submission
Classroom Observation
Writing Sample
Demo Teaching Lesson
Open House
Student Data Exercise
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Have you ever used any of these activities as part of your selection
process? How did you implement it? What did you learn from it?
Personal Interview: Allows you to gather evidence of your
competencies through questioning
Job Fair
School Site
•Allows candidates the opportunity to
see the school site and meet teachers
who may be in the building
•Establish a timeline to follow up with
the candidates to ensure that you hear a
response in a timely manner
• Follow resume screening guidelines
• Ensure everyone who is working with
you has a copy of your selection model
• Interviews may serve as an initial
screen to select candidates for follow-up
• With only have 10-15 minutes – identify
3 questions to ask all candidates
Phone Interview
•Use when the candidate is unable to visit the school in person or as an initial screen
•The interview should last 25-30 minutes
•Utilize your full selection model
•Schedule time before and after the call to review a candidate’s resume and your notes
•Incorporate information about the school into the questions
•Allow time at the end for candidates to ask questions about the school and community
•Consider connecting out-of-state candidates with a teacher to talk with them about life
outside of school
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Writing Samples: Simple to prepare
Advanced Preparation
• Create a set writing prompt (see
example on the right), and define what
the key characteristics of a good
response are
• Inform the candidate about the
requirement in advance
Day of Interview
•Give the candidate a quiet place to
complete the writing sample
•Give the candidate a “5 minutes left”
• Have candidate respond to a brief
scenario in writing
• Give candidates 20-30 minutes to
• Evaluate both the content and
grammar of the candidate’s response.
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•Evaluate both their response to the
question and their basic writing skills
•Ask the candidate to expand upon
their response during the interview
Writing Sample: A writing sample will allow you to see additional
evidence of a candidate’s verbal ability and problem solving skills
Sample Prompts
Possible Indicators
Questions that ask candidates for multiple
strategies to a problem make good writing
•Conveys ideas and information clearly
Example: Your first month in the
classroom has proven to be extremely
challenging. Your initial efforts at
establishing a classroom behavior
management system have failed. Many
students arrive to class several minutes
after the bell and verbal arguments break
out daily in your classroom. Your
assistant principal has stopped by several
times to help you regain control of your
•Focuses on student achievement/success
in suggested strategies
Share your goals for the coming weeks.
Be sure to provide clear, concrete
strategies for each
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•Addresses all issues raised in prompt
•Writes in complete sentences
•Employs correct syntax, spelling, and
•Conveys willingness to try multiple
strategies or something new
•Recognizes an individual teacher’s
capacity to ensure student success
•Describes students and parents
respectfully and non-judgmentally
Evaluating Writing Samples
Possible Indicators
Communication Skills
Demonstrates written
proficiency in English
• Few,
Critical Thinking
Analyzes information
accurately and generates
effective solutions to problems
•Identifies important issues in scenario
•Identifies relevant actions to impact desired outcome(s)
•Breaks down problem(s) and/or solution(s) into parts
•Logically structures response
•Provides effective solutions
•Presents ideas in a coherent manner
•Follows directions in prompt
Sets and meets ambitious,
measurable goals
•Discusses goals or goal-setting
•Sets ambitious goals
•Strategies are concrete and/or measurable
•Defines success as meeting goals with students
•Discusses tracking progress toward goals
Personal Responsibility
Assumes accountability for
reaching outcomes, despite
•Focuses on factors within teacher’s control
•Willing to increase effort/go beyond duties to help students
•Conveys responsibility for student achievement
•Willing to persevere with students despite challenges
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or no errors in language usage and mechanics
• Ideas understandable to reader/listener
Evaluating Writing Samples (cont.)
Possible Indicators
Respects others, and
interacts positively
and effectively in all
• Uses appropriate
Maintains high
expectations for all
students and is
committed to raising
academic achievement
in high-need schools
•Conveys belief that all students have the potential to succeed
academically, despite challenges
•Goals/strategies focus on raising student achievement (i.e. goals address
student achievement explicitly, or barriers affecting student
•Identifies potential factors affecting student behavior and academic
performance issues
•Maintains high expectations for students, despite challenges
Constant Learning
Reflects regularly on
performance and
accesses resources to
improve effectiveness
•Acknowledges areas for improving teaching
•Accesses additional resources to improve effectiveness or solve problem
•Seeks feedback from students or parents
•Seeks feedback from teachers, administrators or others
•Draws lesson from previous experience to apply to new situation
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and respectful tone
• Strategies/behaviors appropriate for educational environment/teacher
• Describes students, parents, community and others in a respectful and
non-judgmental manner
• Acknowledges the positive contributions of students and parents
• Welcomes contributions of others (parents, community)
Create your own sample prompts
Sample Prompt #1
Sample Prompt #2
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Writing Sample: If you choose to use a writing sample, be sure to
incorporate it into your final evaluation form
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Sample Lesson: Allows you to evaluate candidates’ teaching ability,
and ability to identify areas for improvement
Advanced Preparation
• Create a set of guidelines for the candidate
and define the characteristics of a good
lesson (see lesson review sheet in appendix)
• E-mail the candidate with the guidelines
(asking them to confirm receipt) at least 3
days before the interview
• If the candidate is presenting to students,
prepare the class’ teacher for the sample
• If school is out for the summer, have the
teacher present to you or your staff
• Consider having one of your staff members
(a content expert, grade level chair, AP)
observe and evaluate the interview
• Choose an “average” class for the candidate
to teach
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When to use
• If you have concerns about a
candidate’s teaching ability
• If you are concerned about a
candidate’s interaction with
• If a candidate is teaching a
particularly high-stakes
subject area
Day of Interview
• Evaluate their preparation for
the lesson, the content, delivery
and management of the lesson
• Ask candidate to discuss how
they think they did and what
they would change if they could
Evaluating Sample Lessons
Evaluating a Sample Lesson
The demo lesson gives you an opportunity to assess candidates’ potential to
lead student learning. You should see:
 Evidence of preparation
 Clear communication
 Accurate information
 Good time management
 Positive tone
 Attentiveness to class/listening skills
 Ability to adjust on the spot
 Creativity
• Did the candidate reach the stated objective?
• Was the candidate able to identify what worked and what didn’t and offer
suggestions for improvement?
• How did the candidate interact with students? Were they in command, respectful
and engaging?
• Did the candidate show evidence of good questioning techniques?
• Did the candidate attempt to incorporate different learning strategies or meet the
needs of varied learners?
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Sample Lesson Evaluation
Possible Indicators
Teaching Ability
appropriate knowledge
of content and
•Presents learning objective/goal
•Organizes lesson around beginning, middle, and end
•Breaks down concept/ideas into parts
•Content is accurate
•Demonstrates advanced preparation
•Monitors time
•Uses effective or relevant strategies
•Presents ideas in a coherent manner
Personal Responsibility
Assumes accountability
for reaching outcomes,
despite obstacles
•Maintains momentum toward lesson objective
•Demonstrates flexibility (dealing with unexpected/adjusting
•Checks for student understanding
Communication Skills
Demonstrates written
and verbal proficiency
in English
•Few, or no errors in language usage and mechanics
•Ideas understandable to reader/listener
•Speaks audibly and distinctly
Professional Interaction
Respects others, and
interacts positively and
effectively in all
•Interacts in a positive, respectful and appropriate manner with
other candidates
•Uses appropriate tone
•Subject matter/materials suitable for professional setting
•Listens openly to student questions and responds appropriately
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Sample Lesson: If you choose to use a sample lesson, be sure to
incorporate it into your final evaluation form
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Timeline: You may choose to use these additional components only
at particular times of year
Writing Sample
Sample Lesson
Sample Lesson
Open House
Site Visit
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Determining your selection process
What selection activities will you utilize this year and in what
order will they be conducted?
Keep in mind
• The selection process should have 3-5 steps
• Choose processes that allow you to see different sides of the candidate
or different competencies
• Choose processes that you can have other staff assist with
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Indicators and Competencies
Selection Processes
Creating a Hiring Timeline
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Sample Hiring Process – Efficiency and teamwork are critical
Candidate referred
HR Staff/Resume Received
Referral reviewed
10 min
Resume review
15 min
Admin Asst.
Candidate contacted for phone interview
Phone interview conducted
30 min
Phone interview evaluated
20 min
Admin Asst.
Candidate contacted for school site
interview or is rejected
Candidate completes writing sample
25 min
Writing sample evaluated
10 min
Inst. Facilitator
Candidate takes school tour
30 min
Inst. Facilitator
School-site interview is conducted
45 min
Principal, Dept. Chair, Inst.
Interview is evaluated
20 min
Principal, Dept. Chair, Inst.
Candidate is rejected or offered position
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Create Your Own Hiring Process
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How Long
Who is responsible?
Next Steps
Determine which components and activities you will use for your
school’s selection model.
Decide which competencies you will evaluate during each stage of
your selection process.
Finalize an aggressive hiring timeline that allows you to compete for
the strongest candidates.
Test your selection model (if possible) and reflect on its effectiveness.
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