When it comes to a topic as complex as staffing innovation, it’s hard to know where to begin. Here are four simple guiding questions that can help you successfully focus your efforts:
Organizations spend billions of dollars each year on professional training for their employees. You read that right, “b” as in billions! A study by the Association of Talent Development reported that organizations spent $164.2 billion dollars in a single year. If you think only large for-profit companies spend this kind of money on professional training, you are incorrect. A study by TNTP reveals that the 50 largest school districts spent an estimated $8 billion in one year alone.
In today’s world, people like to use random numbers and data points to label a school and its performance. This lazy attempt to help the average person understand a school creates many false positives and even more false negatives. These labels instantly make news that the school leader then has to explain to students, parents, staff and prospective staff members. And because labeling is all too common, every school leader should be ready to tell their own story, the full story or the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey used to say.
Have you ever hired a candidate, then later scratched your head and asked, why did I do that? Take heart, most people have. And if we’re really honest, most people have done this multiple times. The reason? More often than we care to admit, the fault lies with the interview process. And why is that? It could be for a number of reasons, but for the sake of brevity, let’s focus on the most obvious examples.
Every industry or organization has its challenges, and public education is no different – especially in North Carolina. Our students are falling farther and farther behind when compared to their counterparts globally. And when one looks at the achievement gap that exists with students of color within the United States, this is a dilemma ripe for dramatic action and change. As we know, there is no silver bullet for these complex issues. Fortunately, the solutions do not need to be complex. Simple, calculated and actionable solutions, designed to have a dramatic impact, can pay big dividends.
Merriam-Webster defines “by-product” as:
- something that is produced during the production or destruction of something else, or
- something that happens as a result of something else
Every year, many districts and schools face the challenge of being fully staffed with capable, talented educators. And every year, we talk and talk about it, but are we really doing anything different to bring different results?
Q: What is at risk?
A: In short – nothing. Absolutely nothing. We all know traditional professional development or professional learning is not the best model. It is not effective. I like to call it “sit and forget.” Yet we spend enormous amounts of money sending teachers and school leaders to conferences and workshops each year. Even if your best teachers try to implement what they’ve learned, who is there to tell them if they are doing it correctly or not? So I ask, how are they to improve exactly?
Every school district has the need each year to hire great teachers and most, especially larger urban school districts, find that to be a major challenge. They spend significant dollars on recruitment efforts, but still face massive problems achieving this goal.