How to Host a Montessori Job Fair
The following is a guest blog by Melanie Withers, who helped put on a recent Montessori Job Fair in Colorado. The MadMen welcome guest blogs by Montessorians trying new ways to reach out and bring folks in.
We know the Montessori world is relatively small and wanted bring in great talent to employ and network with other Montessori schools, so Monarch Montessori hosted the first Montessori Job Fair in Colorado. We had 11 public and private schools with programs ranging from nido to upper elementary come and promote their school while interview amazing candidates. Many came out of the woodwork to get back into Montessori while others were looking for a new opportunity. This first job fair was small scale, but the participating schools were happy with the people who came in and next year we will be ready to have an ever larger event. The other great piece was that a few of the schools were smaller compared to us, so they were learning about our growing pains in becoming a public elementary while others wanted to add a nido program and were thrilled to see ours. Here is the link to the Job Fair webpage: http://www.monarchm.com/Montessori%20Job%20Fair.html
The idea for the fair came from our principal, Nancy Radkiewicz who is now in the process of hiring as we are growing our school. She saw the need to reach out to get really great candidates. We are fortunate to be in a great location and have the resources to host the event at our school. We reached out to all the Montessori schools in Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico. We advertised this at two Montessori conferences, one in Florida and the other in Arizona. I posted it on NAMTA, AMI, getmontessorijobs.com, and craigslist in all the Colorado markets and in the surrounding states. Craigslist was our strongest pull to the event. 11 schools participated, including our own two, and we had about 15 candidates. The best part of the event was the community and connections that we made with other schools.
Logistically, next year we will do it for just one day and get the school committed before we advertise to the teachers. We will also do it in February when other schools begin planning for the fall.
A gentleman who stopped by the fair wrote us the next day about his thoughts about the job fair. He is a 4th grade teacher in Denver Public School with no Montessori experience who, before coming to the job fair, was considering getting his Montessori training. Now he really wants to pursue the Montessori direction and take a step back into school to further his teaching career.
“Despite the pressures of being at a job fair and making first impressions, my three hours in Monarch Montessori were still the most comfortable and at home I have felt in a school since deciding to pursue an educational career path! My interactions with staff from all the schools were warm, relaxed and helpful. Everyone seemed to legitimately want to help me succeed.”