A Day in the Life
The Broad Residency Class of 2016-2018
Tulsa Public Schools
Director, Talent Initiatives
I wake up and check emails to answer any quick hits. I resolve outstanding issues from the prior day and review my daily to-do list.
I shower and get ready for work. I spend some time talking with my wife about her plans for the day.
I drive to one of our schools for a Reading Partners tutoring session.
I prepare for the tutoring session, including collecting lesson plan, books and materials. I pick up my second grader from class.
I tutor my second grader using the Reading Partners curriculum, which includes reading comprehension, word analysis and fluency.
I walk my second grader to class and write a summary of the tutoring session.
On the ride to the office, I respond to my boss, the chief talent officer, about updates to a presentation to which I contributed that was used by the superintendent. The presentation focuses on a compensation and benefits comparison between our district and other districts in the region. She wants to update a few analysis charts with retirement and out-of-pocket health care costs, given some questions that were raised during the superintendent’s presentation.
I prepare for a team meeting. The final agenda includes revisions to the teacher employment application, updates to the application tracking system, revisions for the recruitment data dashboard, applicant cultivation strategies and communications and marketing plans for teacher recruitment.
I join the meeting to discuss and plan for all the items on our agenda. We identify gaps and incorporate them into our plans.
I catch up on emails, grab a bite to eat and review materials for an expedition team meeting.
I attend the expedition team meeting to discuss our instructional core with the superintendent, cabinet staff and initiative managers for the five-year strategic plan. I work with other talent management leaders to identify commitments for recruiting teachers who are aligned with our instructional core. I leave the meeting having made three commitments.
I catch up on emails and respond to telephone calls. I make plans to visit with one of our university partners from which we recruit some of our highest-performing teachers. I analyze data about teacher recruitment efforts, including setting benchmarks for recruiting goals. I plan the agenda for a meeting with a community leader about increasing the representation of teachers of color in the district.
I join a conference call to learn about the features and benefits of an online teacher recruitment platform. The platform could give the district nationwide exposure to teachers considering relocation, which would be a benefit to us given the state’s teacher shortage and our high attrition rate among novice teachers.
I review my tasks/commitments from the day and plan my priorities for tomorrow morning. I respond to emails for which I’ve been thinking about responses.
I drive to a community meeting facilitated by the superintendent about converting one of our schools into a partner school that will be operated by a community organization.
At the end of the meeting, I call it a day!
I wake up, check emails and answer any quick hits. I resolve outstanding issues from yesterday and review my daily to-do list.
I spend some time talking with my wife about her plans for the day as we get ready for work.
Most mornings, I enjoy catching up on the latest NPR news during my drive to work. Some days, I need something to take my mind off national and local politics, including ongoing conversation about low wages for Oklahoma teachers. So I switch to another station for some music.
I review today’s schedule and make notes for two important meetings. One meeting will explore a partnership with a regional property management company to offer housing discounts to district teachers. The other meeting is with one of the state universities about tuition assistance and professional development for our paraprofessionals and teacher assistants.
I huddle with my team to discuss our goals for the meeting with the regional property management company.
I meet with the chief executive officer, executive vice president and vice president for sales of the property management company. The original plan was to gauge the company’s interest in offering housing discounts to new teachers as a way of attracting talented teachers to Tulsa. The CEO, who is also a board member of one of the local universities from which we recruit teachers, makes us an offer that we didn’t quite expect: generous discounts on move-in and rental fees for new and existing teachers. We commit to connect the company with another urban school district in the state. It’s a good meeting.
On my return trip to the office, I mentally review the prior meeting and my talking points for the next meeting.
I meet with the university representatives about recruiting student teachers and the tuition assistance and professional development requests. The district employs several hundred paraprofessionals and teaching assistants, many of whom have degrees or some college credits. My team is developing a strategy to convert as many of them as possible to full-time teachers. This conversation is one in a series of conversations about creating affordable pathways to obtain a teaching certification.
I’m off to the next meeting, led by the chief talent officer and supported by TNTP, about talent management successes and challenges from the prior year, including recruiting and retention concerns. Several slides are presented to initiate discussions about the need for teacher retention as a means of reducing our annual recruitment needs. One pain point during the meeting is about the mismatch between our teacher population, which is not very diverse, and our student population, which is extremely diverse. I commit to coordinate an analysis of our recruiting process to identify factors that may influence the diversity of our teacher pipelines.
We discuss some findings from the prior meeting about teacher selection. Most were not surprising and a few confirmed some concerns I discovered during meetings with colleagues across the district. I make a mental note to look more closely at the details of the findings at a more convenient time.
I check in with a colleague on increasing our recruiting pipeline of special education teachers. Several schools recently announced vacancies and we have not been able to find enough certified special education teachers.
I have a quick conversation with my team to review a data analysis about teacher recruiting. We will use this for a presentation to the talent management subcommittee of the board of education.
I grab a snack from my desk. I did not intend to skip lunch, and my stomach is not happy.
I don’t think this meeting was supposed to run more than an hour, but it does. We discuss the talent management department’s data needs for hiring new teachers. We review the new recruiting dashboard and identify corrections and enhancements. It’s an awesome tool, and I’m excited to see the finished product! We also discuss tracking teacher vacancies, including a demonstration of a web-based tracker, and the need for a long-term solution for filling these vacancies.
I’m back at my desk, thinking about the day while catching up on emails and making notes on follow-up actions. By 7 p.m., I realize that the law of diminishing returns is kicking in and I decide to head home.
I take a scenic route home so that I can decompress from the day before getting home, where I have a family waiting for me.
I eat dinner, catch up on the day’s happenings and chill with my family. For a few minutes, I consider sifting through additional emails, but I remember the law of diminishing returns and decide that my day needs to end with a shower and my head on a comfy pillow. No NPR tomorrow!