Background Checks

In today’s educational landscape, the importance of conducting thorough background checks for teachers cannot be overstated. Each individual entrusted with shaping young minds carries a profound responsibility to educate the country’s children safely. In educational institutions across the industry, background checks are the most important steps a school district can take when hiring new teachers.

From kindergarten to higher education, the implications of overlooking this critical step can be far-reaching. An incompetent teacher could be hired, resulting in decreased quality of education for students, or worse, a dangerous individual could slip through the cracks of your hiring process and gain access to the vulnerable children inside your schools.

A comprehensive background check not only verifies qualifications but also uncovers any red flags that may compromise the safety of students and the integrity of the learning environment.

As a trusted partner in background screening solutions for diverse industries, Barada Associates stands at the forefront of safeguarding schools across the nation. With over 40 years of industry expertise, our commitment to excellence is unwavering.

We employ cutting-edge technology and boast a vast network of national partners that help us provide detailed, accurate, and fast background check processes for school employees and potential new hires. From criminal records to employment history verification and more, we’re a top partner to help protect colleges and universities, school districts, and other institutions.

Our tailored solutions ensure that you and your hiring managers have the necessary tools to make informed hiring decisions, mitigating potential risks and fostering a culture of trust and security.

Read on to learn more about the compelling reasons why every school should prioritize proper background checks for teachers, and call Barada Associates today for a consultation about your background check needs.

Can Schools Fire Incompetent Teachers?

While the answer to the question might seem obvious, in many instances it’s not nearly as obvious as one might think. To begin with, there are only three reasons why a school corporation can fire a tenured teacher: incompetence, immorality, or insubordination.

So let’s suppose that the school your child attends catches a teacher inappropriately involved with a student. You would think the teacher would be immediately fired, but sometimes that doesn’t happen. More often than not, the teacher involved in this type of situation is given two choices: resign or be fired. Which option do you think most teachers choose? Of course, they resign!

The Importance of Reference Checks as Part of Comprehensive Background Checks for Teachers

Even though the teacher could have been charged with a crime in our example scenario, schools seldom file a complaint with the local prosecutor. This means that if the offending teachers go to another school district for a new job and a criminal background check is completed, they still won’t find any red flags.

Even if the school does an employment verification background check and someone calls the previous school corporation and asks the logical question: “Why did so-and-so leave your school district?” the answer is going to be something like “resignation,” not termination – because, technically, that’s the truth.

Even if a court check is done on the offending teacher, no record will be found because, as mentioned previously, schools don’t normally file a complaint with their local prosecuting attorney. So, no court record exists.

That’s two important background screenings – criminal background check and professional background check – that have both failed. One way to solve this complex situation? Work with an experienced professional like the ones on our team at Barada Associates to administer comprehensive pre-employment background screenings for teachers and get a clear and total picture of your education candidate’s history.

One example is a reference check. While standard teacher background checks may miss a discrepancy in their record, reference checks can weed it out. This is because reference checks allow you to ask questions like, “Could this teacher have stayed?” or “Would you hire this teacher again?” which reveal more information about the reason behind a resignation that otherwise would not have come to light.

What Should Be Included in a Background Check for Teachers?

Background checks for teachers must leave no stone unturned. Barada Associates, with our extensive experience in the field, can provide all the essential elements that should comprise a comprehensive screening process, including:

  • Criminal Background Check: A nationwide criminal database search ensures a comprehensive overview of any past criminal activity, including convictions that may shed light on harmful actions toward children.
  • Employment Verification: Conducting a thorough employment history check helps to establish a clear trajectory of their career, uncovering any inconsistencies or gaps that may raise concerns.
  • Reference Checks: Contacting references, both personal and professional, provides valuable insights into their character, work ethic, and interpersonal skills.
  • Education Verification: This includes confirming their education, certifications, and any specialized training relevant to their teaching role.
  • Drug and Alcohol Testing: Incorporating drug and alcohol testing as part of the screening process adds an extra layer of assurance, promoting a safe and conducive learning environment for students.

A single type of background check is beneficial, but when packaged together, Barada’s background check process becomes an unparalleled tool for your hiring process. Contact us today to learn more about our education background checks.

What Kind Of References Should I Look For And What Should I Ask Them? 

When seeking references for teachers, it’s important to request references who can provide clear, true, and comprehensive insights into a candidate’s professional abilities, character, and ability to work safely with students. In the education industry, personal and professional references are all important, but a variety of professional references can often reveal more applicable information.

An important note is that most references should not be older than 10 years. A lot can happen in that time, and the candidate’s abilities, personality, and qualifications may have shifted since they worked with an outdated reference. Every school corporation hiring new teachers should ask each candidate for a teaching position to provide the names of at least two references: a colleague from that department, and the building principal.

Here’s why each of these references is important.

  • Former Supervisors/Principals: Individuals in these positions hold significant weight in evaluating a teacher’s performance and conduct in the classroom. Their firsthand experience with the candidate’s teaching methods, classroom management skills, and ability to collaborate within the educational community offer valuable perspectives.
  • Coworkers & Fellow Educators: Colleagues can offer valuable insights into the candidate’s teamwork skills, adaptability, and contributions to the school environment. Their observations of the candidate’s interactions with students, colleagues, and parents provide a holistic view of their interpersonal abilities and commitment to their job role.

Other professional references could include additional school employees such as secretaries, librarians, and school district administrators.

When contacting references, it’s essential to ask targeted questions that delve into the candidate’s strengths, areas for improvement, and overall suitability for the teaching role. Inquire about their teaching style, communication skills, approach to student engagement, and ability to address diverse learning needs. You can also ask references to provide information that gives you insight into a candidate’s reliability, professionalism, and commitment to ethical conduct.

By asking candidates to provide a wide range of references, you can gain a better understanding of their entire experience and qualifications.

Who Else Should I Talk To Outside Of A Candidate’s References?

Beyond candidate references, engaging with school administrators like principals or department heads – whether an applicant provides those contacts or not – provides insights into overall performance, collaboration, and adherence to school policies.

Conversing with other applicable contacts from their resume can provide additional insight. You can also ask for personal references which include family, friends, church leaders, and others. These external stakeholders complement reference information, offering a comprehensive assessment of the candidate’s suitability for the teaching role.

How Can A Background Check Company Help Make The Hiring Process More Secure?

An experienced background check company plays a pivotal role in enhancing the security of the hiring process for educational institutions. By offering comprehensive screening solutions tailored to your specific needs, we help reduce the number of bad hires and the need to fire incompetent teachers.

Here’s how Barada Associates can contribute to a more secure hiring process:

  • Thorough Screening Processes: Barada Associates employs rigorous methodologies to facilitate comprehensive background checks on prospective teachers, including verification of credentials, employment history, and criminal background checks.
  • Nationwide Database Searches: Utilizing advanced technology, we have access to nationwide databases for background searches to uncover any past criminal activity or sanctions.
  • Customized Solutions: Understanding the unique requirements of educational institutions, Barada Associates offers customized screening solutions that align with industry standards and regulatory requirements, providing peace of mind to hiring managers that we do right by your school and everyone in it.
  • Efficient Turnaround Times: With efficient processes in place, we deliver accurate and timely results every time so that background screening is a help and never a hindrance to your hiring process.

By partnering with Barada Associates, educational institutions can increase their chances of timelines of hiring a skilled, safe, and qualified teacher for their school staff.

Contact Barada Associates for Professional Teacher Background Checks

Since 1979, Barada Associates has offered education employment background checks across the country to optimize hiring and protect employees from bad hires. Our services are not just for teachers, as we can tailor our solutions to any industry, but we specialize in criminal record checks and educational institution verification for employees at public and private schools alike.

Contact our experienced team today for a consultation and quote for the unique services you need, including a cohesive teacher background check.