With schools across Canada struggling with staff shortages, one thing is clear: Many people are wondering how to recruit, engage and retain teachers in this challenging job market.
We have a few ideas plus branded thank-you gifts designed to bring teachers into your school—and welcome them back year after year.
Ask for recommendations
One of the best resources when trying recruit teachers are the staff who are already in your building. Educators with decades of experience are sure to know potential candidates from conferences, networking and other educational experiences who are looking for a new challenge.
New teachers can be an equally great resource as their former classmates graduate and start searching for their first teaching jobs.
If someone provides you with a recommendation, give a branded thank-you gift, such as a cooler tote or a phone stand and cable organizer. And if their contact becomes a hire, give them a pair of wireless ear buds with a charging case as an extra show of gratitude.
Reach out to past teachers
People move on from their teaching jobs for a variety of reasons, from salary to caring for family members to pursuing other job opportunities. If you had a great educator who elected to leave, look at their exit interview and consider whether their reasons for exiting might now be solved, making them more willing to rejoin your school. For example, their child has reached school age, or your school has updated its pay structure.
Re-examine teacher salaries
Factors including a two-year pandemic, shifts in government and what’s known as “the great resignation” may be affecting teacher salaries and benefits in your state or local community. Do some digging to determine if your educators are getting paid what they’re worth in today’s market. Then take steps to address any shortfalls you find.
Give teachers a bigger voice
When it comes to knowing what teachers need to succeed, all too often the last people anyone asks are teachers themselves. Give them the opportunity to have their voices heard by:
- Holding monthly gatherings with school administrators.
- Inviting them to school board and PTO meetings.
- Sharing surveys that allow them to voice new ideas or recent concerns.
Show your appreciation for staff who give regular input with branded thank-you gifts like a sling bag or planting kit.
Provide mentors (and leadership opportunities)
Studies have shown that more than 90% of first-year teachers who received moderate to high levels of mentorship were retained by their school. That’s good news for teachers and schools.
Providing new teachers with mentors gives them the opportunity to ask questions, discuss classroom challenges and triumphs, and use in-person observations as a learning tool.
Bonus: Long-time teachers looking for a chance to use their leadership skills or take on a new challenge are in a perfect position to serve as a mentor. And if you need tips on how to start a mentorship program, we’re here to help.
New opportunities to find new teachers
When you know how to recruit, engage and retain excellent teachers your school wins, the teachers win and, best of all, your students win. Good luck!