14. The Hiring Season: Department Accountability #Edblogaday

I love this time of year.  I love it because it warms up, people smile at each other more, and I can wear sandals.  This is also the time of year that I start thinking towards next year.  I don't know if all teachers do this but it seems to be my pattern. I start reflecting on all the things that I want to do differently, tweak and retool for next year.

Now, I have to be 100% honest here.  I have NEVER taught the same curriculum two years in a row.  My first 5 years of teaching I was in an alternative HS with 12 week trimesters so over 5 years I wrote roughly 30 different courses. It was quick and dirty planning and the style I developed meant that on paper I didn't necessarily write down every step I was going to make through the lesson.  I also didn't need to. My years of theatre training have served me well as a teacher.

Last year, I co planned with three other teachers to build the new 10th grade Global Lit curriculum.  I struggled with this kind of co planning.  My process had been so organic that writing lessons that others could use and follow was challenging for me. Having to learn to put down on paper all the things I was doing, so someone else could do them was hard.  I learned a lot last year.

This year, theatre class grew from a semester to a year long course and I took on AP Language and Comp for the first time.  New curricula, again. I was also working solo and I found it difficult to not have people to really collaborate and be held accountable to.  I do like planning on my own though and I was back to working and creating in a way that I felt the most fluid and effective.



Why do I go through all this?  Well, yesterday we had interviews with two prospective teachers because it is that time of year- The Hiring Season.   We are going into our 4th year and will be fully staffed, as well as having 4 grades for the first time.  I facilitated two interviews as the majority of our department sat with me, listening and taking notes on the responses from both candidates.  As the senior teacher, it's interesting to see and watch at the group dynamics and how this powerful team is developing at our school.  The person we chose to bring in needs to compliment but at the same time be able to work independently and confidently.  It is good to hear the thinking and concerns that my colleagues have. I feel protective of them and want to see our department continue to grow.

I have been thinking a lot about what I have to offer our department.  They are strong, confident, independent, leaders in their own right, two will be mentoring new teachers in training next year in a program with the network we belong to- one, moving into his second year will just continue to get better with time and experience.  I think a lot about what we do need as a department and how we can develop.  The new person we add to this mix will have a dynamic job and a powerful group of people to work with.  I reflect on my process and my contributions and I know I have so much more work to do on myself and as a colleague, collaborator and teacher leader.  Only time will tell.  Hopefully, we choose wisely.


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