I wrote this blog to help educators get past an old dodge, used particularly in public education, that avoids the real reason why a teacher is looking for a job. The following example is based on a real-life incident.
A high school teacher was caught with a student in an entirely inappropriate situation. The teacher was given two options: resign or be fired. Rather than have a termination show on teacher’s record, resignation was the only option. Keep in mind that there was no prosecution in this example, so anyone doing a court check would not have discovered it.
The teacher moved to another community and applied for another teaching job. The school secretary called the previous school to verify employment, length of time employed and why the teacher left. The response to why the teacher left was, “Oh, he resigned.” The teacher in question was hired the next day.
What should have happened was that the following questions should have been asked:
- “Is this teacher eligible for rehire?”
- “Could this teacher have stayed if he had chosen to?”
- “Would you hire this teacher again?”
These questions would likely have produced a negative response. While it may be true that the teacher resigned, the real reason for his departure is far more egregious than might be disclosed initially. In most cases, a negative response to any of the previous questions will be enough to make a prospective educational institution think twice before making a job offer.
This is also a very good example of why a background check should never be done by anyone not trained do it—and why utilizing a professional background and reference checking company makes a lot of sense!