What Makes Mexico Public Schools A Great Place to Work!

What Makes Mexico Public Schools A Great Place to Work!
Posted on 02/07/2018
Dr Templeton picture

 

This was a question that was posed at a recent administrator meeting consisting of principals, assistant principals, directors and central office administration. We were working on the development of the district’s strategic plan and one goals of the plan is to be able to recruit and retain outstanding teachers and staff members to serve our students. The research is pretty clear about the incredible impact of a highly effective teacher on student learning. Every student deserves to have a highly effective teacher who designs and delivers engaging lessons that lead to skill development and knowledge in the content. We know, however, that not every student gets the benefit of a great teacher every year. We believe that for our students, their chances are better than many, when it comes to receiving great instruction. For Mexico Public Schools to continue to grow and thrive we have to keep seeking these potentially effective teachers, entice them the come work for us, work to make them as effective as possible through professional development and then create an environment that makes them want to stay in the district long-term. We have to do this in a job market where competition for good candidates is growing faster than the supply of teachers graduating from college.

It is the time of year, when retiring teachers make their plans known, while some other teachers decide that they are going to leave the district for other opportunities. The district has started posting job opportunities for the 2018-19 school year with hopes that we will be able to get a jump start on the competition and find those teacher candidates who will prove to be effective educators to the students of Mexico Public Schools. Over the past five years the district has hired anywhere from twenty to forty new teachers per year. For a district that employs around two hundred teachers, this number is higher than we would like for it to be. While some turnover is healthy, our hope would be to keep voluntary turnover below ten percent per year. In order to make this goal a reality, we must do our due diligence in the selection process to ensure that we hire people who can be successful and who consider Mexico to be a place they would like to work. Additionally, we have to make sure that we offer competitive compensation and provide support for teachers.  While the district offers comparable compensation to most of the districts in the area, it doesn’t set Mexico apart enough to be the motivating factor for a person to choose to work for the district. Instead our challenge is to make the work environment one that fosters a teacher’s sense of purpose. We have to provide the supports that lead to job satisfaction. In short, we have to make Mexico Public Schools a great place to work.

How do we answer the question of why would someone choose our district over others? We have a tremendous induction program that provides a great deal of support and professional development to first and second year teachers. We provide opportunities for teachers to continue their education by offering tuition reimbursement for graduate classes, as well as, access to discounted tuition from the University of Missouri for first and second year teachers. Our district has access to technology within the classroom that allows for teachers to create engaging lessons. We have committed principals who work hard to help teachers succeed. The community of Mexico supports the schools with resources and volunteerism. We support the needs of all students through our Bright Futures partnerships and those who care about children. Lastly, when you work for Mexico Public Schools, you have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of a diverse student population that benefits from your influence as an educator. That opportunity...the ability to have a meaningful impact on the life of a child. That is the one that matters most.