When I was in school, the same teachers at the school, when I was a kid, were still there when both of my sisters went to school after me. Some even stayed at the school until retirement. Unfortunately, school communities aren’t like this anymore. As a teacher, you can expect your grade level team or department to have a new teacher at some point during your career. At some schools, this is an every year occurrence, and at others, it can happen multiple times during the year. Schools aren’t stable, even good schools. Positive events like the increase of families in your school district could put an educator in a situation where he or she needs to look for a job. It is best to make an informed decision.
When interviewing for a job, someone on the interview committee normally asks, “Why would you like to work at this school?” I agree that is an important question. The interviewee should also have this question in mind, “Why is this job available?” This is why it is important to check out the job boards even if you don’t need a job right now. You need to know which schools are always posting jobs each summer and mid-year. It is not always failing schools or schools in low-income areas.
As an administrator, I can tell you the applicant pool is shallow at times. My job is to represent my school well, and if I perceive you are a good fit, convince you to join our team. Every school does this, but some schools are not a place where you want to work.
If you are a black educator, please ask questions about staff diversity. The turnover might be of black staff who are pushed out the door by white staff who don’t want to work with them. I asked an HR director at a school that offered me a job to give me the percentage of black educators in the district. The person’s face turned red, and I was never given an answer. I can’t tell you how many times I have been told during an interview that a particular district is looking to diversify its staff. That’s a great goal. When you have to put emphasis on that during my interview, it makes me feel that there is an underlining issue that is preventing black teachers from wanting to work there.
If a school district is constantly posting a job, something is probably not right. There may not be support for unruly students. The administration might be on a power trip. The pay is too low. The district is expecting you to constantly work outside of your contract hours. Whatever it is, be suspicious. If a job being constantly posted doesn’t bother you, go for it, at least you know upfront.
A school district could decide to shift teachers among the elementary schools in the district unexpectantly. Even if you don’t want to move, you might be forced to go to another school in the district or begin a job search. Checking out the job boards won’t hurt. You might also find an opportunity that is better than the one you have.