How do we get New Teachers?

by Brian Sabath ‘17

Plans are already underway for next school year as the 2013-14 school year comes to a close. Every year at Ignatius, teachers come and go, but the hiring process remains an enigma in the minds of most students.

The process begins with the most crucial phase: getting the word out. Posts on Twitter and Facebook are used to engage and inform potential candidates about open positions, in addition to more traditional ways of communicating job openings, such as ads in The Plain Dealer for those who are out of the social-media loop.

The next step in the process happens here at Saint Ignatius. The head of the relevant department meets with the other teachers in his or her department and discusses what “big questions” they would like to ask the candidates for the position.

The potential future Ignatius teachers then email their résumé to the Human Resources department. Once the school has made initial decisions about which applicants possess necessary qualifications, they contact those candidates and schedule an interview with them.

Then comes the vital stress test: prospective teachers are required to teach a lesson to a group of randomly chosen students. The students provide their feedback on how they think that the candidate performed while teaching a lesson. And so, in a small but meaningful way, Ignatius students play a role when it comes to teacher hiring.

The committee hiring the candidates is then asked to rank the individuals applying for the job. The committee of teachers winnows down the playing field to three candidates who are referred to Mr. Ptak, the Dean of Teachers, and Principal Bradesca, with whom the candidates have a formal interview.

“I look for what would make that person perfect for Ignatius. This goes beyond years of teaching experience and whether they’re a graduate or not,” Principal Bradesca said.

Contrary to much popular belief, Ignatius alumni are not given a “leg-up” or held to a lower standard than the other candidates. Principal Bradesca assures that the playing field is all even when teachers apply for a job here.

The hiring process can be biting and grueling. Something to reflect upon when sitting in a teacher’s class – they had to work hard to get here, the same as you, while displaying the character needed to succeed. Faith, for them as the student body, plays a vital role.

“There are two things that will push me over the edge and cause me to hire someone here,” Bradesca said. “First one is that they demonstrate an energy and love for kids; second, they need to demonstrate a love for Christ.”