TIES Inclusive Education Roadmap RETIRED
Selection of Staff for Inclusive Education
Building an inclusive education system includes selecting and hiring staff at the district and school level who work to implement the organization’s inclusive mission, vision and practices. Recruiting and hiring staff who have the beliefs, knowledge and skills to be collaborative team members, implement evidence-based inclusive instructional practices, and work to create equitable inclusive programs is core to the success of effective organizations.
Selection is a critical component of building and sustaining effective educational programs. Ideally, the recruitment of new employees yields candidates who have the beliefs, knowledge and skills to be strong members of an inclusive team. We also know that there will be times when there are no candidates with these types of characteristics in the pool. In these cases, it is important to attract candidates who (1) believe in the strengths and assets of all children, (2) will be invested in creating equitable inclusive organizations that include students with disabilities, including those with significant cognitive disabilities, and 3) who view themselves as continuous learners who are coachable.
Selection is a mutual process where the employer is selecting a new employee and the candidate is simultaneously selecting to be part of the organization. Recruiting new employees who embrace the beliefs and goals of the organization is an important part of building and sustaining inclusive education systems (National Implementation Research Network, n.d.)
To learn more about an interviewee and how they think through typical inclusive education scenarios, an interview team may include “role plays” or “behavior rehearsal” processes as part of their interview protocol. Role plays and behavior rehearsal provide the interviewing team the opportunity to observe how an applicant would (1) problem solve and respond to a situation, (2) use data to modify instruction, (3) engage students in inclusive environments, and/or (4) receive feedback and show an interest in learning. (National Implementation Research Network, n.d.) These are all characteristics that are central to strong inclusive education systems.
- At the district and school levels, how do recruitment and selection procedures for new staff (for example, administrators, special education teachers, general education teachers, coaches, specialized support personnel, and paraprofessionals) support selection of candidates who best align with the vision of inclusive education for all, including students with significant cognitive disabilities?
- Do the interview questions for all positions address how a candidate may or may not share the district and school commitment for equitable and inclusive education?As part of all interview processes at every level of the system, begin by describing the district or school in terms of its inclusive and equitable mission, vision and practices, culture of collaboration, along with the specific roles and responsibilities of the position. This communicates to the candidate the why and what of the organization as well as continually builds an ongoing commitment to the work of systems change. Here is an example of interview questions
- Do the job descriptions for each position align the roles and responsibilities of the position with the inclusive mission, vision and practices of the organization? Here are examples of the job descriptions for:
- How well do the administrators and teams who make the selections understand the skills and abilities needed for the different positions in an inclusive system?
- Do the selection protocols for decision making assess the relevant competencies for working in collaborative learning environments?
- How often are district or school selection processes reviewed to assure alignment with the expectations of the organization?