Greening School Hiring
One way to ensure that school staff are environmentally friendly is through greening school hiring and human resource practices.
What does it take for a teacher to become a green teacher, irrespective of his/her own subject? It is natural that we cannot give something we do not possess. A green teacher who wants to empower students and sensitize them towards the environment should be a sensitive person. A green teacher goes beyond the cognitive domain to the affective domain by reflection, moves towards building new attitudes and values, and helps students to make decisions for action in life.
— Shyamala Srivastav
Greening School Hiring Practices
- Ensure that your job advertisements include the fact that your school is a Green School or has an environmental / sustainability focus. This will attract like-minded and like-hearted candidates, right from the beginning.
- Highlight your focus on green learning on your school's website — indeed, on the homepage. If you're proud of the gift you're giving your students, let your website visitors know about it.
- Develop a template of general Green School questions that human resource personnel, school administrators and/or hiring committees can choose from during interviews for any and all school positions, and perhaps even for contractors and suppliers. (See suggested questions below.)
Why Include Green School Hiring Questions in Interviews?
Including environmental education and sustainability-oriented questions in job interviews will serve to
- introduce potential employees to the fact that your school has committed to becoming a Green School
- gauge a potential employee's commitment to and possible involvement in the goals of your Green School initiative
and could serve as a preview of the candidate's attitudes (and not just toward the imperative of environmental stewardship and sustainability).
- Does the candidate respond in a positive or a negative way?
- Is the candidate optimistic or pessimistic?
- Does the candidate seem like a "doer" or a complainer?
- Does he or she show evidence of being part of the solution or part of the problem?
These attitudes and character traits could spill over into other areas of their work and "fit" at your school.
Green School Hiring Questions
- Our Green School initiative recognizes the importance of making sustainability and environmental stewardship part of everything we do as an educational institution. What do you envision being able to contribute to the Green School initiative, within your teaching/work and as part of the school community?
- How do you picture yourself helping our school meet/keep its commitment to being a Green School?
- How can we help you to support our Green School goals?
Whenever anyone submits a letter of interest or resume for a teaching position, one of the first things they receive from us in return is an email that describes ... how we expect our classroom teachers (and all of the school staff) to understand what sustainability is, and that they be willing to incorporate ideas, information, concepts, experiences, classroom activities, etc. connected to sustainability into their classroom teaching.
Ideally, we view ourselves as a school that teaches the head, heart, and hands of each child, with the ultimate goal of educating a child to be the most whole, most complete human being they can be (which may or may not have anything to do with academic achievement) and while also educating a child to understand that he or she is connected to, or has a relationship of some sort with, everyone and every living thing on the planet. I like to think that we will be doing some small part in bringing sustainability into the public education setting in a meaningful and purposeful way.
— Phil Arnold, Circle of Seasons Charter School
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