Hiring for Dispositions

Next Generation Superintendent Effectiveness Standards: A Leader-Scholar Community

              Transformational Change Through Dispositional Hiring Practices

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    Superintendent Randy Poe

Leading transformational change in your schools starts at the point of appointment—hiring the most effective teachers, administrators, and staff. Decades of research, as well as our practice, tell us that educator dispositions—those human elements that allow some teachers to transform the lives of the students they touch--are primary factors in achieving high levels of college, career, and life readiness. Even though we, the educational leaders, know that positive, student-centered dispositions are necessary conditions for teacher success and student growth, their importance has been traditionally undervalued or overlooked in most hiring processes. Within the next decade, the greatest opportunity for impacting the learning, growth, and development of our students will come from shifting the emphasis from focusing only on providing professional development to current teachers to hiring only those teachers who, in addition to significant knowledge and skills, possess effective dispositions in the first place.

As anyone in school administration knows, a significant portion of our time spent on personnel issues involves a small number of people and most of these issues revolve around attitudinal or dispositional concerns. That is why recruiting the right people is the front line to affecting long-term transformational school change. In this module, K-12 administrators will learn how to add dispositional hiring practices to the screening and selecting processes in their districts. Specifically, administrators will learn practical steps for launching a district-wide process that includes: 1) training principals to identify and hire for effective dispositions, 2) training school-based decision-making council members to learn about and then screen for dispositions, and 3) establishing pre-employment dispositional screening questions.

This training module provides a starting point for using dispositions in the hiring process. In effect, it chronicles a multi-year process to integrate dispositional hiring practices in the third largest school district in Kentucky. This module includes materials, training, and rationale as well as videos of teachers who possess dispositions that create positive teacher/student relationships that lead to high academic achievement. The videos can also serve as training tools for experienced teachers looking to improve their craft. It is hoped these materials will help benefit more students by hiring more effective teachers. An extensive (and ever growing) resource area is included to provide additional background, materials, and research.


Link to Ky NXG Superintendent Effectiveness
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21st Century Superintendents – Planning for the Next Generation