Happy National Charter School Week, excellence lovers! Today we turn our extended attention spans to a fiercely urgent question: what if there was a way for teachers with enhanced excellence to find their perfect school match? And better yet, what if this dating service weeded out all of the duds—the dirty, low-expectations public schools that can be such a buzz kill for a young excellence lover? At last our dream has come true! myEDmatch.com uses the cool fun vibe of online dating to bring together “best-fit teachers and schools.” Best of all, these “best-fit” teachers don’t have to worry about being mis-matched or “ill-fit” with a LIFO-lifer loser school. Excellence lovers only please!
Date this school
The idea for making the search for a “best-fit” job more like the search for a “right-fit” mate came from an alumni of an organization called Teach for America, which places young people of enhanced excellence in two-year long trial relationships with failed and failing public schools or outstanding and innovative charters. While the young people have the option to marry, few do. Alicia Herald, founding executive director of Teach For America – Kansas City, explains that the inspiration for myEdmatch.com struck while she was enhancing her own excellence at an executive MBA program and also searching for dates online. “What if there was a way to combine the idea of online dating with human capital in education?” Intriguing – can you tell us more?
Numerous studies show mission and culture fit are key to a teacher’s satisfaction and school performance. But despite the evidence that fit matters, there is no easy or systematic way for teachers to find a school that’s a good fit. That is, until late one late night when my own adventures in online dating sparked an idea. As I sifted through profiles, I began to wonder, if online dating can help bring together compatible couples, could the same concept work to bring together high-fit teachers and schools?
Now I happen to be a big fan of online dating despite the fact that I am *technically* married. Also I enjoy typing “best-fit,” “right-fit” and “high-fit” so I knew immediately that myEDmatch.com was going to be a “good-fit” for me. I started out by completing the Core Beliefs Profile so that I could be matched with schools that share my core beliefs. Did I want a school with a “whatever it takes” mentality? Or maybe a place that “sweats the small stuff” and makes every moment count? Or then again, maybe I’m best suited for a school that chooses which “big rocks” to focus on. Core Beliefs Profile completed, it was time to meet my ideal mate. Drum roll please….
OMG – I am in love! My top match is none other than Venture Academy in Minneapolis, USA where I am a “right fit” to be an edupreneur overseeing a pod of 25 trailblazers! If you are a regular reader of this blog you may know that I have had the hots for Venture Academy for like AGES – or at least since I learned that they were *crushing* the achievement gap before they actually opened. But suddenly I wasn’t so sure I wanted to commit. Was Venture’s approach, “a learner-driven and try-measure-learn-iterate learning design that blends rigorous personalized, digital and experiential learning and personal development,” really the “best fit” for me?
Reader: the options were limitless. I wanted to say yes (yes, yes!) to YES Prep in Houston. Or slip into something a little more comfortable with KIPP in Missouri. Or how about getting my G.R.I.T. on (that’s Growth, Reflection, Integrity, and Teamwork) at DRW Trading College Prep in Chicago? So many potential love matches to choose from. In fact, since the beliefs-based algorithm that powers myEDmatch.com doesn’t take specialization into account, my matches ranged from high school chemistry positions to special education to speech language pathologist to high school Latin teacher. In other words, anything could happen…
By the time I finished trolling my way through the profiles of 20 pages of potential employers, I had what I’m pretty sure is an excellence hangover. Expectations diminishing by the minute I searched in vain on myEDmatch.com for an old-fashioned, achievement-gap-widening public school. Nothing. In fact, while the site lists categories for various kinds of schools (district, Department of Defense, religious), only charters are currently available for dating. Which makes sense when you think about it. It is National Charter School Week after all. And what better way to celebrate than by finding the “right fit” and settling down because #fitmatters. You know you want to…
Would you like to lead a pod of trailblazers? Send comments to email@example.com.