A few weeks ago, I wrote this post on how to attract great teachers. After you read today’s post, click back to what I just linked because you’ll want to download or screenshot an amazing tool called the empathy map.

My assertion was that using a tool like this will help you attract great talent to your school.

Some of you put out a job posting and wonder why you attract less-than-ideal applicants.

First, the post is highly bureaucratic and reads like a contract versus a piece of content built to attract amazing educators.

Second, the job posting is just like all the others you put out and all the postings other schools are putting out.

Use the empathy map to create something different.

My friend, Kyle Wagner, used the empathy map to attract talented educators to a program called the “Futures Academy.”

I really like what Kyle did with the “interaction with pupils” section as well as the six key points at the bottom of the page.

Can you see how Kyle’s job posting is a bit different and a bit better?

Compare Kyle’s document with LACKLUSTER EXAMPLE #1:

What’s wrong: both the description and essential functions are generic at best. It tells me nothing about your school’s mission, vision, and values. What do you stand for? Why would I want to work there? How do I know this is a place where I would thrive?


What’s right: If you don’t skim the job posting you might catch that this position has “the creative freedom to design the courses they have always wanted to teach.” That line sings! The whole posting should revolve around that, but it doesn’t.

What’s wrong: The rest of the post is generic. After the brief introduction, this posting describes salary and benefits next without going into the key responsibilities of the teacher. And the post has the gall to ask for a well-targeted resume, when this job posting is terrible in itself! That makes me question whether the line about creating a course you always wanted to teach is accurate or not.

The empathy map can be used not just to attract talent or to build programs. You can use it for crucial parent conversations, planning a graduation ceremony, advocating for more resources from central office, etc.

Another friend of mine, Jethro Jones, is using empathy to help leaders figure out how to reopen schools for SY 20-21.

Empathy is a key ingredient that highly-effective leaders utilize consistently. It’s also a main component of the mastermind.

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