Selection Criteria Habit
How to build your Selection Criteria Responses
Jobs come up quickly in schools, especially leadership roles. One minute, there seems like there is not chance for you to get any acting experience and then all of a sudden, you need to have an EOI ready in less than 48 hours.
A principal once told me that if I really wanted to be a Head of Department, I'd have already spent time writing my selection criteria and have something already ready to go at a moments notice, making the 48 hours notice a matter of fine tuning it before submitting it.
It was something that sat with me because part of me knew he was right. There was also part of me that didn't want to have something ready to go because then, there were no excuses about applying. That is another blog post for the future.
So what would it look like to have a selection criteria ready to go? This blog will share three ways to be actively working on your selection criteria, building on it and keeping it current.
Keep your teaching experience audit tool up to date
Keeping a record of all the things you do is important when trying to put together an application. I share here how I recommend you start your selection criteria writing journey with a Teaching Experiences Audit. My advice is that once this is done, come back to regularly and add to it.
The types of leadership actions you do in a short period of time need to be captured somewhere for future you. What action did you take to move a project forward? What issue occurred that needed resolving? What conversations did you have to keep the stake holders up to date and engaged in your project.
By regularly going back to the one document and adding to it, you are holding your self accountable and helping out future you that will need to use this information to elaborate on your leadership process.
Start with one story and finish it
Pick one story and don't move on until it is done. This advice is for many reasons. Feedback is a gift. By finishing going through the whole STAR model for a leadership story, you'll be able to get feedback on one whole section. By working through the full process, along with feedback, you'll find that you'll make less mistakes on other stories because you can apply the feedback from one to all of them.
If you do work a bit on all parts, you'll have to go back through all stories and implement the feedback you got in each one, thereby taking longer to get your selection criteria done.
By completely completing one story, you'll have get a win on the board. You'll be in the mindset that you've done it 'right' once so you can do it again. A win on the board will help you with momentum as well. You'll get quicker at capturing your thoughts, putting it in a structure, what kind of language to use and most of all, you're use of language will increase because you are using it so much.
Selection criteria can be quite prolifent with our professional jargon. Doing it often will keep that high level language front of mind and easier to recall when writing your responses.
Make a leadership date with yourself
Open you calendar and choose a time to sit down and do this work. Choose a time when you are at your best creatively. Some people work best in the morning, others afternoon and some late at night. What ever is best for you, choose a day and time to suit and put it in your calendar. Make the date at least an hour long, if not more. Set a reminder a few days before so you don't forget.
Perhaps you find a time that you are currently not 'maximising' and could use once a month to do so. I used to use my daughter's dance class. Parents weren't allowed to stay so I tried to get errands done but it was never very productive. One day, I decided to head to a local McDonalds and get a coffee and do some work. It became my favourite time of the week to do my big tasks, big picture plans and strategic thinking. I used that time once a month to keep all my selection criteria responses up to date.
Make an event of it. Need to get out of the house? Choose a café or coworking space. Set the scene. Do you need people around or do you like to be completely isolated? Do you need noise, how much and what type? I can't listen to music with words while working. I need my voice in my head and people singing at me isn't my ideal working scenario. I love rain sounds and Pomodoro timers to maximise my productivity.
During this time, I would update my teaching experience audit (it was now becoming my leadership experience audit instead). I would work on my selection criteria responses. I would also update any data I was tracking so I could show the outcomes of the projects I was putting in place. It was a great reminder that a leader is always paying attention to the data to see if everything is working as intended. Also, a leadership story that shows you are monitoring and tracking its effectiveness is very sexy on a selection criteria.
- Keep a running list of everything you are doing in your leadership projects
- Write one story to completion, including getting feedback
- Make a Leadership Date with yourself once a month.
If you'd like mentoring through this process, I help teachers transition from the classroom to school leadership roles. Book in a 30 minute chat to get some advice on your current challenges and I'll help you with actionable advice to get you the promotion you want.