Congratulations, you just graduated from college. Graduation was last week, family in town to celebrate and there comes that awkward question again, “Where are you teaching next year?” The look on your face is one of a frozen statue or maybe one of the memes with big surprised eyes. You have no answer and you may be starting to worry, if only a little bit.
Don’t stress! There a few things that most new teachers aren’t aware of during the furious hiring season that district know all so well. The wheels on the bus go round and round but when it comes to the pace of hiring in K-12 education, is not so fast. There are several factors that impact the speed of hiring for school districts and it has nothing to do with the quality of the candidates coming out of teacher preparation programs.
First, the budgeting process in some districts is a very slow methodical one. Because school districts are funded by public tax dollars, the planning for staffing is sometime arduous and painful. Salaries and benefits are normally the largest budget item for a school district. If it is not a good budget year, cuts may occur to staffing.
School districts that have collective bargaining agreements sometimes include set external hiring timelines to allow for internal employees the opportunity to via for vacancies before new candidates can be selected. This slows down the hiring process for the school district therefore hiring may not occur until June, July, or maybe August. Although this can be frustrating for a new candidate, don’t worry you might appreciate it once you become that experienced employee.
Attrition may not occur fast. Some school districts have built in their contracts with teachers that they must notify the district of their intent to return by a certain date. if they have the language employees may find that those set dates are not really set in stone. Other school districts don’t use that language in their contracts therefore teachers may resign or retire the day before school starts.
These things are situations that you can’t control, so don’t stress about them. You are going to be a great teacher and principals are looking for a candidate just like you. Keep your resume updated and keep interviewing with school districts. Don’t have your phone on silent because you never know when you are going to get that call. Welcome to the Teaching Profession.
Supervisor of Personnel Management - High Schools
East Baton Rouge Parish School System
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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