Getting Stronger and Stronger

Daniela Anello - Urban Teachers.png

Daniela Anello
Head of School at DC Bilingual, Washington, DC

Daniela Anello, Head of School at DC Bilingual, a top-performing charter school, hires approximately five teachers per year. This year, DC Bilingual has six Urban Teachers and staff, including two residents. Although Ms. Anello has the autonomy to hire more freely than a district school, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. Here's what she has to say:
"For the first few years, we kind of hired anyone who showed even a slight connection to the school mission and the willingness to work hard. However, we realized pretty early on that those criteria were not enough.
We did some research by visiting other schools that we knew had good hiring practices … and we designed a hiring process that really gets at whether the candidate is coachable. That has been a huge transformation. We are much better at picking candidates who will be successful. Over time our scores have just been getting stronger and stronger. The [Urban Teachers] residents have been a part of that.
Urban Teachers has been an incredible pipeline for us. UT trains the fellows using the same methodologies that we use. Because of the alignment, our teaching residents are incredibly ready at the end of their year at DC Bilingual. As a matter of fact, they present almost like a second-year teacher. A new teacher coming from a different school takes like three-quarters of a year to get to where we want them to be—they need a lot more support.
We wish we had the capacity to have more residents. This year we have two residents who I can already tell have been incredible. They have gotten such good feedback from anyone who sees them in their practice. They would be on top of my list to hire for the coming year. I’m trying to figure out a way in which we could have 15 residents and have them be the only candidate pool that I look at!"