Talent Talks

EdFuel’s blog on all things talent.


You Say Summer, We Say… School Leader Evaluation!

Sarah Morgan, Kelly Gleischman, Carrie Irvin
July 10, 2019

Happy summer, everyone! You may be thinking about pools and popsicles, but when the end of the school year rolls around, we are reminded that it’s time to evaluate the head of your school! (Well, ok, we think caps and gowns too.) One of the most important responsibilities of the board of a public charter school is to evaluate the Head of School. Boards are ultimately responsible for the academic, operational, and financial health and success of the school, yet they do not (and should not!) manage the day-to-day operations of the school, hire the staff, or teach the students. When you sit in the governance seat, the Head of School evaluation process is the board’s most powerful opportunity to exercise effective oversight and hold the school accountable for academic, financial, and operational success.

However, this is really hard! Board members aren’t at the school every day, and most of them have, in fact, never run a school. It can be difficult to gather enough data in a timely way to really know what’s working and what’s not. Plus, board members are busy! We hear from many of our partners that boards often struggle to conduct a professional, thorough, comprehensive evaluation that provides a clear and accurate picture of how well the leader is performing in their job, and that gives the leader actionable, timely feedback on their strengths and areas for growth.
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Register Today! Join EdFuel’s 2019-20 Peer Learning Community Cohorts in Washington D.C.

Kerri-Ann Nesbeth
June 27, 2019

Join us for an 8-month in-person peer learning community designed to accelerate education leaders who are change agents for the future

Each school year, EdFuel offers Peer Learning Communities (PLCs) that are designed to allow participants to dive deeply into various themes and functional areas. In monthly sessions, participants convene with one of our expert facilitators to share their experiences and raise problems of practice with peers in order to identify potential solutions.

PLCs are held in-person in Washington D.C. on a monthly basis from September 2019 to April 2020. They run for approximately 2.5 hours during the business day. Past participants include but are not limited to, teachers, school leaders and individuals working in education-focused non-profit organizations.

This upcoming school year, the following three PLC sessions will be offered…[Read more]


You Can’t Claim To Care For Your People and Ignore Their Mental Health

Kristina Campa-Gruca
June 13, 2019

“I need a vacation from my vacation.” I’ve heard this phrase from friends and colleagues and have experienced the pain of enjoying time off only to be bombarded by the work of catching up once I return to work. This year, I was determined that wouldn’t be the case. A few weeks ago, my family road tripped to my grandparents beachside hometown in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico to celebrate my brother’s 30th birthday. It was a celebratory and restorative break, and I returned feeling refreshed and ready for the work ahead.

In order to avoid that “needing a vacation from my vacation”, I created a Must-Do list that was essential in helping me identify and prioritize high-impact actions that would allow me to enjoy vacation while positioning me for success upon my return. For me, that list included completing all the work I would need for the first week back from vacation, clearing my inbox, cleaning the apartment, removing perishables from the refrigerator, and running countless loads of laundry.

Your list may be different, and to help get you started before you head out on vacation (or staycation!), the team at EdFuel has compiled their personal and talent-related Must-Do action items. Check out our list below! [Read more]


You Can’t Claim To Care For Your People and Ignore Their Mental Health

Kelly Gleischman
May 30, 2019

Today marks the end of Mental Health Awareness Month, and I wanted to take a minute to reflect on an issue that is incredibly important to me both personally and professionally. And this year, I’d like to reflect on it through the lens of the very people that our work is all about.

EdFuel’s mission is to empower education organizations to recruit and retain high-quality, diverse staff members through comprehensive and equitable talent management systems. We do our teachers, leaders, and staff members – and therefore our students – a fundamental disservice when we fail to recognize that part of creating an equitable and inclusive environment means prioritizing mental health.

The numbers on mental health challenges are staggering. The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that 43.8 million adults in the United States experience mental illness in a given year. Despite such high prevalence, nearly 60% of individuals with a mental illness reportedly did not receive mental health services in the previous year. Actual utilization of mental health services, while low across the board, is far lower for people of color: African American & Hispanic Americans used mental health services at about half the rate of whites in the past year, while Asian Americans utilized services at about one third of the rate….[read more]


The Power of Convening: EdFuel’s 2019 D.C. Talent Summit

Mary Mason Boaz
May 16, 2019

In many organizations, talent leaders often do their work in a silo or are members of very small talent teams where the chance to collaborate is limited. Additionally, talent leaders often take on multiple workstreams (recruitment, hiring, the retention…the list goes on!) and thus their time is scarce, which can mean that opportunities to grow and learn can be minimal. As a result, we hear from talent leaders about high levels of turnover on their teams, the feeling of stagnation or loneliness, and less effective practices because of limited time to grow and learn. 

Over the past several years, with support from the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results (SOAR) Grant through the Office of the State Superintendent of Education in D.C., we have had the opportunity to support talent leaders to overcome these challenges by offering a space for them to collaborate and engage with national best practices and experts in the talent space.  [read more]


The Connection Between Student and Teacher Recruiting

Raven Freeman
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. [read more]


Candidate Matchmaking: Steps to Ensure Candidates “Swipe Right”

Kerri-Ann Nesbeth
February 28, 2019

Skeptical about finding the right person who is highly qualified for the role? Have you been putting your organization out there? Wish it was as quick and easy as swiping right?  Here’s how to set yourself apart and ensure you find your perfect match!

Gone are the days of the online dating stigma. Whether using Tinder, Bumble, The League, or eHarmony (yep, it still exists), many people view online dating as a great way to meet someone. The data backs this up with 40% of Americans using online dating apps. It’s also reported that about 20% of committed relationships have begun online. Thanks to technology and algorithms, over the years online matchmaking has proven successful.

The same can be said for recruiting new talent for your organization. With the advent of online job postings, applicant tracking systems and social media, putting your organization out there no longer requires putting an ad in the local newspaper (unless that’s still your thing, of course). Technology has made it easier to build professional networks and connect organizations to the right people to fill their talent needs. However, similar to online dating,  we often hear schools and education organizations mention common pitfalls that can make candidate matchmaking quite difficult…[read more]


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Have a resource, problem of practice, or story that might be useful for others to learn about? Reach out to us at info@edfuel.org to let us know if you’re interested in contributing to Talent Talks, EdFuel’s blog on all things talent. We look forward to hearing from you!

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