Hello everyone, although I have many thoughts about the leadership (or lack of it) being shown amidst the Covid 19, looting and rioting situations, I am taking a break from that topic until I get my thoughts a little more organized. This week I was introduced to some research from John Hattie which I found very interesting – and a little counter cultural. I particularly liked his challenge of the system when he stated that in his opinion and research it seemed like much of what gets debated about school systems doesn’t really matter that much……
Of course when making that statement he was being somewhat facetious – but only somewhat in my opinion. In his comment he was referring to four specific areas that are often discussed and that much personal development time is dedicated to:
- Structural Supports
- Attributes of Students
- Deep Programs
Hattie also mentions that in his opinion a desire to share a passion with students is a key characteristic / trait of the most successful teachers. I agree with his assertion and the more I thought about it the more I began to wonder about the hiring process for teachers and how a leader might go about interviewing for the skill of “passion’.
I don’t have the answer to that question yet but it does seem to me that much of the current hiring process is focused on the “pedigree” (i.e. certifications, degrees, research projects, papers being published, etc…) of applicants and doesn’t include enough focus on some of the softer skills – like an ability to convey passion, ability to work with a variety of students, teaching / mentoring experience outside a school environment, etc… While the pedigree pieces are an important indicator of a candidate’s abilities, it seems like exploring competence in some of these additional skills would be just as important to ensure that the most qualified individuals are selected. Similar to what Hattie mentions in the video about the areas mentioned above, I wonder if this is because the pedigree pieces are the more visible items.
Thanks for reading and commenting.