From the Red Carpet to the Big Top—schools find inventive ways to recruit new teachers during the 2018 Snapshot Events
GMSD’s annual Snapshot Events are an entirely new twist on the idea of a job fair. Each school sets up their annual teacher recruitment event with a unique flavor, but they all have the same purpose–to show interested employees the personality and feel of their school. “And, that’s something special about Germantown Municipal School District,” said Human Resources Supervisor Elissa Stratton. “What makes the Snapshot series so amazing is that potential employees get to witness the entire school community and it really gives them a picture—or snapshot—of what it might be like to work there.”
Stratton explains that community in this case includes everyone from the principals and teachers to the students, school support organizations and the school board. “The teamwork approach in showing our potential teachers how the parents, the board, the staff and the students interact and what types of resources will be available has real value to our potential applicants. It’s what makes GMSD a world-class school system and it also helps us shine during the teacher recruitment season,” Stratton said.
This year Dogwood Elementary was so excited to welcome prospective new teachers to The Greatest School on Earth---Dogwood, riffing on the recent blockbuster film, The Greatest Show on Earth. The entire afternoon was themed and executed by over 25 teacher volunteers and members of the PTO. DES teacher, Alexis Sweda, said, “I couldn’t have been prouder of my coworkers as we came together to showcase all of the amazing things about Dogwood! We met so many awesome educators and look forward to next year!” Under the gym’s big top, each grade level setup a display of their curriculum and special activities. Student ambassadors provided guided tours of the campus, and the school admin met candidates for brief conversations. One visiting teacher said, “I loved the opportunity to converse with the student during the tour and get a chance to see the school through his eyes.”
At Houston Middle, the event was planned by a committee made up of teachers. For main organizer and Assistant Principal Jessica Woody the students really sell the school better than anything else. “I think Snapshots is an amazing opportunity for potential teachers to see how terrific our school is and how great our kids are,” she said. The standout activity at HMS is when the teacher candidates are interviewed by a panel of students. The questions range from serious to silly. “My favorite question is How many times this week did you injure yourself trying to dance in shower this week?" shared Woody.
Houston High School takes a more matter-of-fact approach. Their event focuses more on a roundtable discussion between current and potential staff members and a tour of the resources in the school available to faculty. “Everybody was so complimentary—they were so impressed with our school,” said Assistant Principal Kathryn Jones.
Riverdale really Rolled Out the Red Carpet with elaborate theming based on a journey into the movies. With Oscar-worthy games, activities complete with an escape room, and an army of student ambassadors, potential teachers left with a very good taste of everything that Riverdale has to offer. “Our teachers and PTO really get behind this event and enjoy the chance to showcase a great place to work,” said organizer and Assistant Principal Pam White.
Guests at Farmington Elementary School got to experience the hospitality of the PTO while enjoying a scavenger hunt across the building led by teachers. Assistant Principal Ashley Brasfield recognizes the importance of such events, “Once you step in our building, you can truly feel our family atmosphere. That is what makes Farmington so special. We want them to always remember that we love you here at Farmington”.
Each school also offers a moment for each candidate to meet and greet the administrative team and ask our human resources team any questions that might arise.
“We had over 200 people attend and enjoy our Snapshots this year and I can’t wait to see what our schools have planned for next year,” said Human Resources Supervisor Elissa Stratton.