As the leader of an elementary school in rural Arizona, Ms. Clara Thigpen is always on the hunt for excellent educators to join her staff. Unfortunately, like for many rural schools in our state, these educators are next to impossible to find. Notes Ms. Thigpen, “Resumes don’t come to us. They used to when I was an educator in Indiana, but that does not happen here in our small rural community.” Ms. Thigpen has a strong vision for the quality of educators that she wants to join her dedicated and close-knit team—the kind of team that any educator would want to be a part of. However, because of a lack of exposure for her school and community coupled with Arizona’s teacher shortage, she doesn’t have access to a vast pipeline of candidates. That’s where OneTeacher comes in.
When Ms. Thigpen met Erin Tobin, OneTeacher’s Founder & CEO, at an event focused on improving Arizona’s teacher pipeline, she knew Ms. Tobin was someone with whom she wanted to work. “She came off as a trustworthy person, and I absolutely like that she has a background in education and knows the characteristics of a good teacher,” Ms. Thigpen remembers. After solidifying a partnership with OneTeacher, there’s so much more that benefits Ms. Thigpen and her schools than just Ms. Tobin’s trustworthiness and experience.
First, Ms. Tobin has a team of seven educators behind her working tirelessly to find, screen, analyze, and cultivate the educators Ms. Thigpen so desperately needs. Hiring an additional eight people to work solely on recruitment isn’t something that makes sense for Ms. Thigpen and many other schools across Arizona, but with OneTeacher, that’s essentially what Ms. Thigpen has done.
Second, by digging into their growing candidate pipeline of over 100,000, OneTeacher flooded Ms. Thigpen’s vacancies with pre-screened, pre-matched candidates from which she and her team could interview and hire. This enormously increased candidate pool has meant that offers were made to candidates not out of necessity, but by choice. This ability to be selective has paid off, and one of Ms. Thigpen’s OneTeacher hires in particular “is AMAZING! I’ve never seen one like her. Academically and classroom management-wise she’s strong. Her benchmark data from the first benchmark was very high too!”
Data is incredibly important to Ms. Thigpen and her team, and OneTeacher’s focus on data is the third thing that they find so valuable about their partnership with OneTeacher. As a school leader, Ms. Thigpen simply doesn’t have time to do it all, and the fact that OneTeacher analyzes candidate responses to determine the attributes most predictive of success is hugely beneficial in hiring the best candidates for her school’s context.
As a result of this strategic partnership that supports Ms. Thigpen’s already strong team, all of her students are currently being taught by a qualified, permanent teacher–no long term substitutes–and the school has increased their letter grade to a B! Ms. Thigpen knows that “academic achievement happens when we have the right people on the bus,” and now she does. However, in a state plagued by a teacher shortage, this isn’t something all schools can say–especially those in rural communities. With OneTeacher’s deep understanding of the unique and incredible nature of schools like Ms. Thigpen’s, she knows the same can be true for her students again next year.