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The Future of Work in K-12 Education

By March 17, 2021No Comments
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Across the country, education has undergone a tremendous pivot to digital learning in an extremely short period of time. As schools negotiate a return to in-person learning, reopening poses the question of keeping portions of digital remote learning. As a result, demand for teachers with digital fluency and proper digital hygiene habits will inevitably increase.

Additionally, public pressure for schools to expand both DEI hiring initiatives as well as DEI training across schools has never been higher. This begs the question: what does the future of hiring in education look like with heightened digital learning as well as increased pressure to hire the “right” candidates?

The future of work is invested in behavioral integrity

The shift to digital learning has required teachers and staff to adapt to remote conditions, inevitably, teaching from personal space and further blurring the lines between professional and private lives. This requires rigorous digital hygiene practices for teachers who may be used to more traditional boundaries. This means that hiring objectives in the future for instructors, should schools choose to continue incorporating more elements of technology as well as part-time digital learning, must include rigorous care for online engagement over video chat tools as well as social media.

Recent years have seen a rise in the implementation of training programs that include sensitivity training, anti-bias, and anti-racism training. This demonstrates a change in emphasis from not only pedagogical performance but to behavior as well. A candidate may be highly qualified and desperately needed, but how are they performing their duties? In order to sustain a steady increase of diversity and inclusion hires, schools need to be thinking about how to create ideal conditions for those hires to stay. This involves not only hiring teachers who will create a positive, inclusive working environment for a diverse range of hires but ensuring that all administrators and support staff are working to create the best possible environment as well.

On top of that, increased scrutiny on public education means schools cannot afford to hire teachers that will pose a risk for controversy. Public relations controversies such as this teacher who was fired for a racist facebook post or this school board member who was asked to resign after following an offensive social media post mar the reputation of an institution and pose a risk for losing donors, prospective students, and other income streams. 

The demands of modern hiring in education require just as much behavioral integrity as performance ethic. The trouble is, from a hiring perspective, how can school boards ensure the consistency of a candidate’s character?

Screening can help navigate change

One of the clearest metrics of a candidate’s character is their behavior, and behavior is best measured through a track record. Personal and professional references may not give the clearest picture of a candidate, and everyday behavior doesn’t show up on a criminal background check. Another solution is needed. Fortunately, social media screening has emerged as a viable supplement to hiring practices interested in more closely honing in on a candidate’s character. As more and more of public life moves into the digital sphere, social media reports have become a useful tool for higher education institutions to more closely grasp candidate behavior, specifically potentially problematic business-related behavior like intolerance, violence, and sexually explicit material. As the premiere social media screening service, Social Intelligence partners directly with educational boards and other screening agencies to create an efficient, comprehensive battery of screening tools to better serve the needs of hundreds of schools across the country.

As school districts negotiate the future of public education, Social Intelligence is proud to be able to provide them with tangible, achievable structural changes that will have lasting effects on future generations of both teachers and students.

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