Local principal finds talented teachers through Twitter
Each year it gets harder and harder to recruit teachers. There are fewer people graduating with education degrees, but one principal went outside the box to find talented teachers.
Last year, Warrington Elementary Principal Dave Schmmitou had to replace nearly half of his staff, 13 teachers. It wasn't an easy task.
"Historically this has been a transient staff in this building," said Schmitou. "We are a school that serves a struggling population and I would argue our teachers have to work a little harder than teachers in other buildings. It's a place where they will step their foot in the door and leave for some place they perceive to be a little greener."
Rather than sit back and hope for teachers to apply. He went fishing, well in the sea of Twitter. Twenty percent of the users are in education. He used witty ads with our best assets to draw them in.
The adds say, "We throw the nets out and say we're hiring. If you want to teach on the beach , come on down! Want to see the Blue Angels every Tuesday and Wednesday at recess? Come on down!"
He also utilized hashtags and asked influential people in education to retweet him.
He said, "We utilize a hashtag here, the one we use is #WEgotthis. The "WE" is for Warrington Elementary. You know, it's us trying to brag about something we are doing here."
It worked. He was able to bring in several teachers with teaching experience and advanced education degrees.
Schmittou said, "We hired teachers from Michigan, Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, one from Alabama, a couple from the outskirts of Florida. We are literally trying to get the best to come here."
One of those teachers was Liz Ribaudo.
"Showing the beach, come teach by the beach," Ribaudo said. "It definitely worked. I love the beach and I love it here, it was a great decision."
She has a masters in education and moved here from Illinois. "I was following him on Twitter and seeing the stuff he was posting. It sounded like they were looking for great teachers and trying to make a change and I was excited about that."
Schmittou said he plans to keep using twitter, but he's not stopping there.
"We got to do start using Snapchat and Instagram to get the new teachers just graduating from college."
Principal Schmittou said that he helps find the teachers and gets them to apply. The school district still has to do a background checks and all their regular hiring protocol before the teacher actually get the job.