Catholic schools are known for high academic standards and successful graduates. And while we often discuss our superior academic curriculum infused with core values, now we want to recognize the people who are actually delivering this excellent education. As you may imagine, Catholic schools have a very selective hiring process. After all, if we are going to have rigorous requirements and high expectations for our students, we have to have them for our teachers, too.
Typically, public schools have a multiple-step application process, which includes submitting college transcripts and a teaching certification. Once a person is hired, she or he usually goes through a background check and fingerprinting as well as a teacher orientation and safe environment training program. This is all pretty standard.
On the other hand, the application process for a prospective Catholic teacher involves additional screening, including an interview at the Archdiocesan level to determine if the candidate may be placed on the approved teacher listing from which Catholic school administrators draw. It’s common for any employer to request professional letters of recommendation, but Catholic schools also require one from the candidate’s pastor or parish priest. The application essay is different too. While a public school applicant is usually asked to write two short general essays on teaching philosophy, a Catholic school candidate in the Archdiocese of Hartford is required to write two essays specifically geared toward faith-based education:
- a statement indicating the applicant’s understanding of the purpose of a Catholic school, and how her or his personal qualifications for employment in a Catholic school will help advance the Archdiocesan Purpose and Vision for Catholic School Education and/or ministerial plan, 20†20 Vision: An Eye on Our Future.
- a statement describing the applicant’s familiarity with technology and its uses in education, including her or his understanding of 21st century fluencies and their impact on student preparation for college and career readiness.
Why do these requirements matter to you? Well, because the reason you send your child to Catholic school is so she or he can receive an exceptional, above-standard curriculum with an emphasis on moral education and service. In order to achieve this standard, the teacher guiding the education process must share our belief in the importance of 21s century fluencies and Gospel truths. Teachers have great influence over our students, and we take their faith very seriously.
So, does this application process mean that all Catholic school teachers are Catholic? Not necessarily. Catholic schools welcome students and staff from all ethnic, cultural and faith backgrounds. We pride ourselves on our diversity at all levels. But, does this process mean that all of our teachers share the commitment to a well-rounded curriculum that will not only teach our students to think critically in a global world, but also to become productive, virtuous citizens? Absolutely yes.
When it comes to hiring teachers and staff, the schools in the Archdiocese of Hartford invite not only the best, but also the right educators to join our family. In fact, over the years, many of our principals have won the National Catholic Educational Association Distinguished Principal Award.
We invite you to come in to any of our schools and meet our teachers. For in the words of Pope Francis, “Let us thank all those who teach in Catholic schools. Educating is an act of love; it is like giving life.”
Do you have a story of a Catholic school teacher(s) who had a large positive influence in your life? Let us know in the comment section!