What School Districts Look for When Hiring Teachers

Hunter Jolley
Hunter Jolley

I have sat in on dozens of interviews and sorted through hundreds of resumes during my time as an assistant principal, in hopes of finding the perfect teacher to fill my staffing needs. Although having a good resume filled with years of classroom time and varied extracurricular experiences is good, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get hired on the spot. One key for teachers is to know what school districts look for when hiring teachers.

Am I a Good Fit for the Teaching Job?

It’s not just about having a degree, or even experience. It all comes down to fit and purpose. Will this person be beneficial to our program and school culture? Do they share the same vision for students and education that we do as a school? Are they motivated and enthusiastic about this profession? Is this a craft for them, or an art? You see, many things can be taught. I can teach you how to be a better educator. I cannot teach you to be nice, kind, empathetic, energetic, engaged, or motivated.

Importance of a Well-Rounded Resume

When I pour over resumes, I look for people who are well-rounded, who are willing to be part of my team of movers and shakers. Individuals who are not afraid of extra duties or extended opportunities to build meaningful relationships with the students they serve are always at the top of my list. In interviews, I seek key pieces of information. I always ask the same simple questions: What is your expectation of yourself in your classroom? How do you build or formulate a path of success for even the most distressed student? The answers to these questions are key as I examine a potential hire.

What I Seek in a Teacher

Hiring is like a marriage. Can I trust this person? Are they as passionate about this as I am? Are they going to be faithful to our efforts? Can I see myself with this person five years from now? How can we grow together?

I think it’s vital that both the employee and employer be able to answer these questions before a final decision is made. When I want to hire a teacher, I’m not concerned with your GPA, your “credentials,” or your “know-how.” I instead want to know that this is your calling, this is your life-blood, and that being a teacher is part of your DNA. Show me that you want to work with children, that you love kids, that you love this profession. Give me your passion, or simply don’t waste your time in applying.

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