Thursday, December 4, 2014

Help wanted: Educators who give that little extra

One of the things I look for when hiring a teacher is what extra efforts a candidate has done either in previous employment or as a preservice teacher. What did the applicant do to extend or enrich learning opportunities that he or she didn't have to do? Maybe it was volunteering to tutor, helping with a club or organization, or assisting with an athletic team, school play, or service project.

The reason this is important to me is that it shows how the individual is passionate about working with kids and not just looking for a job. To be effective, any professional has to go above and beyond in ways that aren't always rewarded in the pay check. This extra effort demonstrates a strong work ethic and a desire to contribute and leave a lasting legacy. A school is faced with many challenges day-by-day and to be successful we need team members who are willing to pitch in and pick up the slack.

Here is an illustration of the power of that extra effort. At 211° water is only hot. But at 212° water boils, and boiling water creates steam. With steam you can power a locomotive. Amazing! The extra degree makes all the difference between just hot water and a powerful force than can send a train down the tracks. Just that little extra.

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