March 28, 2019
Logistically speaking, the recruiting and retention of students and teachers are separate processes. However, on some level, they share an intersecting end goal: creating a productive community of learning where both students and adults can thrive. Naturally, the ‘pitch’ parents get when considering schools for their child is student-centric, but sprinkling in a few insights about teacher development, diversity and retention could offer a significant value add. When researching schools for my son, I heard a lot about curriculum and student outcomes, but I found it far less common to receive meaningful information about teachers. Statistics like teacher to student ratio and credentials are important, but only scratch the surface.
What Else do Parents Want to Know About teachers?
As I researched schools for my son, I could visualize how he would spend a typical day at school but felt disconnected from the adults who would guide him through it. As a parent, who happens to work in talent, I know that the productivity, diversity and general well-being of school staff, particularly teachers, directly impacts students. In addition to tier rankings, class size and test scores, I wish schools shared more information about their staff.
How Schools Can Draw on Talent Topics to Differentiate Themselves with Parents
The same value proposition schools pitch to prospective teachers is also of value to parents. Teachers want to know how they will be compensated, prepared and supported in order to do their job of serving students well. Schools can differentiate themselves by proactively sharing this information, that parents would love to hear, but don’t always know to ask. Children spend approximately 1,000 hours per year at school, and as a parent, I want to know more about the adults they’re with. Schools should consider referencing the bright spots they promote when recruiting teachers when recruiting students as well. Below are a few recommendations for what to share and why it matters.
These things show up on my radar because I am a parent who happens to work with schools on talent. However, as teachers continue to voice their concerns nationally about work environment and wages, talent will be a topic that’s top of mind for everyone. For me, and other parents, it could prove to be a deciding factor in the decision to join one school community over another. If schools are already sharing this information with potential teachers, why not share it with potential parents too?[The research cited in this post is sourced from The Wallace Foundation and The Learning Policy Institute.]