Thursday, June 4, 2009

Hiring Practices to Promote Culture

I recently stumbled upon the The Science Leadership Academy website. I noticed they had some employment opportunities…. I was intrigued by their top requirement for applicants, “to teach kids before they teach subjects.” Simple, but profound!

It is fairly accepted that elementary teachers get into education because they love kids, while secondary teachers enter the profession because they love their content. While deep content knowledge is important, it should not overshadow the need for a student-centered classroom. We typically assess applicants for their content knowledge, but no where have I seen so clear a statement about the type of culture a school is trying to cultivate than I did when I saw The Science Leadership Academy’s requirement.

It inspired me to think more critically about the hiring procedures we use in our office including job postings.

According to their home page:

The Science Leadership Academy is a partnership high school between the School District of Philadelphia and The Franklin Institute. SLA is an inquiry-driven, project-based high school focused on 21st century learning that opened its doors on September 7, 2006.
SLA provides a rigorous, college-preparatory curriculum with a focus on science, technology, mathematics and entrepreneurship. Students at SLA learn in a project-based environment where the core values of inquiry, research, collaboration, presentation and reflection are emphasized in all classes.

4 comments:

Michael Pauling said...

Students are part of the hiring process for all new teachers.

Michael Pauling said...

Video of his presentation at NECC.
How can he be a good principle wearing shorts and a t-shirt?


http://practicaltheory.org/serendipity/index.php?/archives/988-Progressive-Pedagogy-and-21st-Century-Learning.html

bairdito said...

Just a clarification that sometimes there is confusion between two of the newer schools in Philadelphia. Science Leadership Academy (SLA), which is the school where I teach, is a different institution from School of the Future which is associated with Microsoft. The links above seem to indicate that they are the same place.

Kelly said...

Thanks for the feedback. I changed the post accordingly.