It’s hard to hire “proficient” teachers, write David Krulwich and Kenneth Baum, principal and former principal of Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science in the South Bronx. Successful teachers tend to be happy where they are, they write in Chalkbeat.
Instead, their school looks for teachers who are eager to improve.
The two are co-authors of The Artisan Teaching Model for Instructional Leadership.
At the initial interview, “successful candidates are able to describe in good detail one of their favorite academic classes that they have ever been a part of (as teacher or as a learner) and, without prompting, link their enjoyment to the way the teacher made the students think in new ways,” they write.
Then candidates teach a “demo lesson” and participate in a four-hour debrief of that lesson.
This is where we test for the key quality of reflectiveness and the ability to receive feedback in a team-based format and immediately translate that feedback into improvement. This, we have found, is the single biggest indicator of potential for growth.
. . . We’ve found that in almost all demo lessons (especially with new teachers), there is a definite lack of student interest and higher-order thinking, something that, as we mentioned earlier, we expect. The question is, how quickly does the candidate acknowledge this, and to what extent does the candidate, with our help, make her lesson substantially better?
After about 20 minutes, high-potential teachers “are starting to think about what they could have done differently,” write Krulwich and Baum. “By the end of the four-hour total experience, the candidate has been frustrated, challenged, helped, challenged more, and improved.”