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Hiring and Teacher Induction

Yoli Vega

Concordia University Texas


Hiring and Teacher Induction

Mr. Silverman, principal of Salinas Elementary, spoke to me regarding his hiring

practices and what he looked for in an applicant. He stated that Judson ISD has an online

application process that every applicant must complete before he even gets the opportunity to

review the application. The process includes a screening through Talent Ed. which also vets an

applicants references prior to the application getting viewed by a principal.

Mr. Silverman stated that he looked at an applicants qualifications through their

application more so than through their resume because in his opinion, it levels the playing field.

When you have 90 applicants for the receptionist position, it can be a very daunting task. Mr.

Silverman also declared that he prioritized applicants through word of mouth. Who you know

can often get your foot in the door, so to speak. Once candidates are selected, interviews are set-

up with no fewer than three and no more than six applicants at a time. Time blocks are given to

potential applicants to let them choose an interview time. This is usually all done online. Mr.

Silverman prefers to conduct interviews with a panel, but tries to keep the interview committee

small with no more than four people. His preference is to choose people who will have a broad

picture of what is needed to be on the interviewing committee. He did mention, however, that

the committee for interviewing an assistant principal consisted of six people. His reasoning for

keeping the interviewing committee small was that discussion could prolong the decision

process. One of Mr. Silvermans absolutes during an interview is to not deviate from the list of

questions posed to the applicants. A standard list of questions is used. This way everybody gets

asked the same questions. He also allows the applicant to see the list of questions (have the list

in front of them during the interview) so they can prepare in their mind how they want to answer.

He doesnt enjoy seeing people stress over how to answer. The questions can be multi-part.

The committee submits their recommendations; however, the ultimate decision is Mr.

Silvermans. Once a decision has been made, the applicants current supervisor is contacted.

This is a district requirement. If the applicant is a certified teacher, their current principal is

contacted (not the assistant principal). The recommendation for hire is processed through Talent

Ed. with a date and time. Human Resources then verifies the certification of the recommended

applicant and only they can offer an applicant the position. Principals are not allowed to offer an

applicant a job.

For Mr. Silverman, it all comes down to whether the applicant has a good work ethic, do

they have heart, who they are as a person, and what they are able to offer in the way of students

and the school. He doesnt want anyone who is overly intense.

When asked about teacher induction, Mr. Silverman stated that Judsons induction

program was loose and that it was hard to keep good mentors. He also explained that it was

mostly about developing relationships. On this point I can truly agree as I have been a mentor

for the past several years and building a bond of trust so that new teachers know that they can

come to you and feel confident youre there to support and help them in any way you can. On

my former campus, the induction of new teachers was taken very seriously. Brand new to

teaching teachers are assigned a mentor teacher. Experienced teachers new to the campus are

assigned a buddy teacher. New teachers meet on a regular basis as a group with the campus

lead mentor teacher throughout the entire school year. The mentors assist their mentees with

learning their way around campus, helping with lesson planning, how to set-up their electronic

grade book, and just being there for support. This is generally a two year plan.