Op-ed: My solution to the teacher shortage? Hire my former students
by PRP Group, on 05/03/2023
According to data from the National Association of Educators of Young Children, 80% of childcare centers are understaffed. As preschools around the city try out different solutions to their staffing issues, I’ve been working on mine for years: Hire my former students.
I know that I can trust them because I’ve known them since they were children. When I hire them, I know that they’ll be ready from day one to teach using the playful, inquiry-based approach that makes Brooklyn Preschool of Science special—because they learned it directly from me.
The first step for any school to use this long-term hiring strategy is forming long-lasting relationships with its students. I met two of my current teachers, Paul Choe and Hayat Dhobany when they were kindergartners and I was their science teacher. I got to know them not only as students but as people. As I do with so many of the hundreds of children who start at BPOS each fall, I made a point of keeping up with them over the years. Because we had kept in touch, when Hayat was 16 and needed a summer job, I hired her as a counselor at the science camp I ran as “Carmelo the Science Fellow.”