Are our children truly safe? Can schools guarantee if their teachers, staff, administration etc are responsible and dependable?
Children spend an average of 8 hours at school. That time is spent among teachers, fellow students and administrators. Parents enroll a child in a school and then entrust the school management with their children’s safety. Up until now, school was one of the safest places a child could be. However the recent spate of sexual abuse incidents at schools (here, here and here) has given rise to a few disturbing questions about the safety of our children.
Schools cannot absolve themselves of responsibility when the children they are supposed to take care are at risk of potential harm.
It is imperative that schools start following a stringent employability check list that completely vets an employee in order to do all that they can to make schools a safe space of children.
Here are 5 points you can keep note of, when hiring new employees.
1. Look for people with the right qualifications
If you are going to look for a new Geography teacher, you are obviously going to look out for someone who has had at least some experience teaching Geography. That way you can be sure that they are capable of doing they were hired for. You cannot hire a Physics teacher and expect them to teach Geography when they don’t have any prior experience doing so. Checking for required qualifications is one of the most important steps in the recruiting procedure. The applicant should complete and submit a job application form before any further proceedings in the hiring process. Any application can be taken to the next level only after the qualifications of the applicant match the job description.
2. Check For Relevant Experience
Find out how much experience the applicant has with regards to the job he/she is applying for. You can verify their experience and ability too by checking with their past employers. If you are hiring a teacher who has no prior experience, then you can probably hire him/her on a trial basis. You must also remember that sometimes applicants might say that they have plenty of experience, yet they might mention that they have switched many jobs in a short period of time. If the check discloses that the applicant has switched many jobs in a short period, then you may dismiss his/her application.
In addition to identity checks, background checks are also important. You need to know if a potential new teacher has a criminal record or even a history of bad behaviour. If your background does turn up a serious criminal offence or even complaints about bad behaviour, assaults etc, then you can deny the applicant a job based on what you have found. You can also give them the benefit of doubt and ask for a reason why. If you find their reason to be reasonable, you can perhaps hire them on a trial basis.
4. Observe And Understand How Comfortable The Person Is With School Students
You can learn a lot by observation; give the applicant an opportunity to interact with the students and other staff members. Observe his level of comfort with the students and the staff members. Ask the opinion of the applicant about the any improvements to be made. Know his level of interest in the job by observing the applicant’s way of interaction.
5. Speak To Past Employers
Before proceeding further and appointing the applicant ask him for the contact details of any two professionals who worked with him or who know him. Having professional references help you know more about the applicant and also help in case of any emergency.
Did you find the article useful? Please give your feedback in the comments section below!