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Dominoes and Puzzle Pieces: The realities of staffing

Dominoes and Puzzle Pieces: The realities of staffing


My Vice Principal and I began the process of staffing back in November. All staff have to declare their intent to return at that time so that we can begin to post positions, make internal changes and create a plan to move forward. This plan must be fluid because things can change up until the last minute. Staff do have the opportunity to change their minds and remain if there is a position still available or they may intend to stay but their circumstances change and they find themselves in a position in which they must move on.
Often times just when you think that you have all of the dominoes lined up, one falls and you have to start all over again.
This has happened this year a couple of times. We have offered jobs and they have been accepted but then something happens….they thought housing would be adequate but then decide it will not work for their family, there is an issue with a work visa, they talk with their family at home and change their mind, they are afraid of the reality of the risk, they cannot bring their dog or cat etc. When one of these dominoes falls then we have to go back to the beginning, set them all up and try again.
This means going back on our recruiting site, reviewing resumes, organizing and conducting interviews, checking references and doing a recommendation for hire.
Once you are almost finished with the staffing process and you have all of the pieces lying in front of you it is time to put them all together.
So much thought goes into just how those pieces will fit together. Our staff work in grade level or subject teams so we want to do our best to create balanced teams that are able to collaboratively work together. We really do not know our new hires and can only go by their resumes, interviews and references to make our decisions. It is important that teams have a balance of experience, skills, knowledge and personalities. Putting an extreme introvert with a team of all extroverts may mean that the introvert feels uncomfortable sharing thoughts and ideas or taking a risk. Having all new teachers means that there is no one on the team that has any historical knowledge and that there may be a lack of direction. We need a balance of leaders and followers, free thinkers and organized/logical thinkers, or courageous risk takers and quiet observers. Building teams is a challenge and we do our best to fit the pieces together to support the teachers, create a team that is collaborative and ultimately move both teacher and student learning forward. This is no easy task.
Fast forward to now……
We started with 19 positions to fill and here we are with the last 4-5 remaining. We have many of the pieces of the puzzle together but are still waiting for the right fit for a few teams. Our goal is always to have our staffing complete by March 1st so we can begin the transition process with new and leaving staff. With 4 days to go we will be making some difficult decisions! Fingers crossed we can have it all completed by March 1st!
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