The second semester is a busy time in schools. One big component is preparing for the following school year. That includes thinking about the staffing plan. School leaders send out intent to return forms to get an understanding of what people are going to do moving into the next school year. Educators who are planning to leave their schools should consider if they are the ideal team player another team school would want.
The executive director of the charter network I work for asked school administrators to read The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate The Three Essential Virtues by Patrick Lencioni who is also the best-selling author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. The three essential virtues are humble, hungry, and smart. In the book, Lencioni states:
A person who is not humble will not be able to be vulnerable and build trust, making them unable to engage in honest conflict and hold others accountable. And they’ll have a hard time committing to decisions that don’t serve their interests. A colleague who lacks hunger will not be willing to engage in uncomfortable conflict, hold peers accountable for their behaviors, or do whatever it takes to achieve results…And a person who is not smart about people will most likely create unnecessary problems in the entire teambuilding process especially when it comes to tactfully engaging in productive conflict and holding people accountable for behaviors.
Let me break this down. No one wants to work with a teacher who is selfish (not humble, who is lazy (lacks hunger), who causes drama (not smart). Some teachers who are fleeing their schools are doing so because colleagues and school leaders are tired of putting up with their behavior and have made it clear it will be difficult for them to stay at the school and not change their ways.
We have students who are behind academically and who are struggling emotionally. The last issue colleagues or school leaders need to deal with is a teacher who is not a good fit. Before teachers attempt to run off to other schools, they should be reflective. If the plan is to run and not change, then there is a possibility those same teachers will be on the run the following school year. These individuals think they are slick, but many times hiring managers at schools can see red flags a mile away.
I am one of the hiring managers at my school, but I have also been on interview committees at other schools. Some resumes look awfully shady. For example, the resume will have at the top that the person has been an educator for 15 years, but the person lists the places of employment without putting the specific school year he or she worked at those schools. Another item of suspicion is when the person does not have any recent references. If an educator lists on his or her resume three prior schools, but only put down the first principal as a reference; that’s problematic.
For every job I have accepted, I make goals for myself. We can always improve. Currently, I’m working on being more intentional about thanking and recognizing teachers. I’m not perfect; none of us are. With every career move, you should be adding value to the school, not becoming another problem to fix. Schools have enough problems already. Students’ futures are on the line. This is why it is important to get it right. Schools can’t afford to bring on board the wrong teacher.