What it Really Takes to Select Your Next Teacher


Matteo Romano, Staff Writer

As students return from break, there will be some new faces about the campus, but instead of new students, they will be those of potential staff members for next year.

Hiring season has begun again at our school, and there are quite a few positions open for hirees. A new art teacher will be brought in to replace Mr. Madres, a new Spanish teacher will be brought in for the rapidly expanding Spanish department, an instructional technologist will be hired, and also a new English teacher.

Candidates for these positions will be in and around the campus in the next few  weeks, and there are quite a few things that people who will be doing the hiring in the upper school, like Mr. Seldis, will be looking for.

“Ideally, they should have a masters degree, so very highly qualified, and also they should have worked in another independent school similar to ODA,” says Seldis.

It’s not only the higher ups in the school who will be judging candidates as they visit through the school. Students will be given a chance to have a class with the potential hire, in which they can see their teaching style, and then give feedback about what they think about the teacher or staff member.

“We like to have the student body interview the [potential] faculty member… like four or five students,” says Seldis.

Students other than the ones in the interview group have opinions about what they would like in a new teacher, though.

“I want someone who has a good note taking system and class plan… someone who doesn’t give busy work,” says sophomore Cole Chalhub.

As mentioned earlier, the students will have an opportunity to see if the teachers match up to their expectations, but this is only one part of the interview process for the candidates.


A typical day is from 8:30 to 3:30, and it goes something like this:

8:45-9:30 → Interview with Head of School

9:30-10:15 → Interview with Head of Upper School

10:15-11:00 → Interview with Assistant Head of Upper School

11:00-11:10 → Break

11:10-11:55 → Interview with Athletic Director

11:55-12:40 → Teach Class

12:40-1:15 → Lunch with the heads of all Upper School departments

1:15-2:00 → Interview with Director of Technology

2:00-2:45 → Interview with Upper School Academic Dean

2:45-3:30 → Interview with Director of Student Activities


As one can see here the candidates have a long day in store for them when they arrive on campus, and many teachers you may have now have gone through the very same process.

“It was a long day, but everyone made it easy for me, and it went very smoothly,” says Mrs. Rozanes.

Mrs. Rozanes is one of many recent hires who have come to the school in previous years, and the idea of having to teach a class is constant throughout the experiences of most all candidates.

“It really comes down to personality. Are they going to be right for ODA? Is ODA going to be right for them,” says Seldis.

Many students have opinions on what kind of person they want to have  teach their classes, and it’s not all based off of material and style. Many seem to want someone who cares and is understanding of the needs of the student.

“I want someone that understands how many other commitments I have on top of school, and can adjust to that,” says sophomore Gus Mahler.

As this week comes to a close, we will have a potential candidate for a Spanish teaching position visiting, and over the coming weeks, a few others will be on campus. As decisions are made on who to hire for the positions, students can still voice their opinions to the current faculty, serious or not, on how to change the future landscape of the school.

“I like teachers who can tell good jokes… someone who makes things fun,” says sophomore Matt Jones.