In an Opportunity Culture, districts and schools offer new roles that extend the reach of excellent teachers and their teams to more students, for more pay, within recurring budgets and without forcing class-size increases. The new roles put districts in a much stronger position to hire great teachers—but only if they recruit and select well.
We’ve posted two new toolkits to make that work easier, walking human resources officers and principals through the steps to great hiring, informed by the experiences of early Opportunity Culture districts. These tools are useful for any district hiring teacher-leaders, team teachers, blended-learning teachers, elementary subject specialists, and advanced paraprofessional support—not just Opportunity Culture positions.
The Recruitment Toolkit, downloadable as a PDF, walks districts and schools through the major steps of a successful recruiting effort. It explains why districts that rely on passive strategies—expecting candidates to find out about available positions and apply—will not get the recruitment results they want.
The toolkit addresses key details, such as the timing of recruitment, which ideally begins each year no later than March, to attract a large pool of excellent candidates and capture their interest before they commit to other jobs. Strong recruitment enables districts to attract great candidates regionally, even nationally, who could be a perfect fit for Opportunity Culture or similar roles—including those not actively seeking a new job.
Once schools and districts have a pool of great candidates, what next?
The Teacher and Staff Selection Toolkit provides a four-step guide to help districts and schools select teachers and staff members from competitive talent pools. Districts that have created an Opportunity Culture have seen a surge of applications, even in high-poverty schools. This toolkit helps leaders adapt to a higher volume of applications and the opportunity that volume offers to become very selective in hiring.
The selection kit helps leaders screen and prioritize candidates for these new roles, which require new behaviors and skills beyond those needed in a one-teacher-one-classroom setting. Each step includes a set of considerations, action steps, and links to relevant tools and resources.
And if you haven’t already, take a walk around the Opportunity Culture website! We’ve revamped it so you can easily find the answers to the big questions about an Opportunity Culture:
- What is an Opportunity Culture?
- Where is this happening?*
- How do teachers benefit?
- How can policymakers help?
* The short answer: The first Opportunity Culture schools in Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Nashville, Tenn., have been joined so far by many more Charlotte schools, and schools in Syracuse, N.Y.; Big Spring, Texas; Cabarrus County, N.C.; and Indianapolis, Ind.; as well as others to be announced. Check out what teachers at the first sites say about their new jobs!