We often read about how cultural fit matters within large offices, but it’s important to understand that cultural fit has the ability to shape a teacher’s effectiveness within their educational institution. Though school administrators must make sure to hire a person based on experience and skill, they should also consider how that individual will blend in with the school’s community.
How can cultural fit shape a teacher’s ability to positively impact their students’ lives? It happens in many ways. For example:
- Teachers who feel like they’re a real part of the school community are generally more positive and energized than those who feel distant or disconnected from their colleagues. This allows them to radiate this positivity in the classroom, spreading it to their students.
- Teachers who see eye-to-eye with colleagues and administrators are able to implement changes more effectively, and can convey ideas to students in a way that makes sense. If the teacher doesn’t understand the concepts that the school is enforcing, it will be hard for them to relay these ideas to their pupils effectively.
- Teachers who feel connected to their school are better able to collaborate with other educators, thus yielding more effective and cohesive lessons for students.
The culture within a school can be a tricky thing to identify, which is often why educators and those hiring teachers struggle to make sure that a new employee is the right fit. For example, some schools place a heavy emphasis on athletics, while others value making sure that all students feel included.
For those doing the hiring, understanding where your school’s priorities lie most heavily can help you to make better choices when it comes to finding the best cultural fit for a job. It’s also important to have an honest conversation with potential new hires. Talk with them about where they place an emphasis as an educator. What matters to them? What kinds of values do they try to teach their students? In what kind of environment do they see themselves teaching? This type of dialogue helps to sort out differences between candidates, who may have similar qualifications, making it easier to see who the ideal fit truly is.