Are you an administrator at an educational facility? Hiring new staff is challenging whether you work at an elementary school, high school, or college. A teaching position requires patience, responsibility, and qualifications. Unfortunately, it’s easy for candidates to forge their credentials when applying for the post.
The era of technology changed education, allowing students to access a world of information at their fingertips. It also made it easy for fraudsters to create impressive forgeries of documents like degrees and certifications.
If the fraudulent teacher manages to circumvent your hiring system and ends up in a position at your school, it could cost you your reputation as an administrator. It also damages the institution’s esteem and authority.
You might think the fraudster could deceive you with forged documents, but they can’t get around their references, right? Think again. A competent scammer can connect you to referrals they set up to throw you off.
So, how do you qualify them for the job if you can’t rely on documents and testimony when hiring a new teacher? A polygraph exam offers you a nearly foolproof way to catch out the fraudster before they have a chance to enter a classroom.
Let’s unpack the benefits and process of using a polygraph to qualify your new hires.
What are the Risks of Hiring Unqualified Teachers?
As humans, we have an innate instinct to trust others. We take what they say at face value, building rapport and trust. These characteristics form the basis of all human relationships. We don’t naturally assume the worst of others unless we have a cynical personality. While there are many cynical people, they are the exception, not the norm.
Our decisions shape our future, and mistakes could cost us dearly. This fact occurs in everything we do, not just at work. For instance, you might trust the electrician to enter your home to complete a minor repair on your home’s electrical system. However, unaware to you, the electrician cases your home, selling the information on your security and assets to criminal gangs.
It’s not in our nature to assume this will be the case with everyone we meet. Most of us trust instead of verifying. As is the case with hiring unqualified teachers. Teachers are the backbone of society. They educate the youth, preparing them for their role in society. If the students receive a poor education, it hampers their opportunities further down the road.
While it might seem the exception rather than the rule, it will surprise you how many ‘fake’ teachers are present in classrooms around the globe. A teacher must act as a community pillar, not a saboteur looking to take advantage of the educational system.
There are many ways fraudulent, unqualified teachers can cause harm to students and the educational institution’s reputation. If you hire a fake teacher, you expose your students and administration to various potential risks.
- What if the teacher is a sex offender looking to teach a kindergarten class?
- What if the teacher is a former criminal with a history of violence?
- What if the teacher has no experience in teaching class material?
These are a few huge problems that could damage your school and your administration. In some cases, a scandal surrounding hiring a fake teacher could be the death knell for the institution or cost the administration their job.
The damage to the school or university could be extensive. However, the damage incurred to the student body is the real issue with this problem of hiring fake teachers. Hiring a fraudulent teacher puts the student’s education and future at risk. If the students spend a year or more in an imposters classroom, how will it affect their final results in their course material?
Hiring a fake teacher could place your students at a severe disadvantage when comparing the quality of their education to the national standard. It might seem like administrators and students would sniff out a fake teacher fast, but that’s generally not the case. There are dozens of examples online of fake teachers spending decades teaching classes without being discovered as an imposter.
An unqualified teacher could severely hinder the student’s education. They may present incorrect facts or teach at a lower level than qualified individuals. As a result, students can graduate from their courses with sub-par results, reducing their opportunity to enter the best college or find their dream job.
Students taught by fake teachers not only lose their opportunities in life but can end up suffering from many problems that extend far beyond knowledge gaps and lost educational or job opportunities.
It’s well-documented that students receiving inadequate education develop mental health issues later in life due to their underperformance in school or college. The lack of high-quality education can lead to conditions like PTSD, depression, anxiety, and a lack of self-esteem or confidence.
If a school catches out a fake teacher, it compromises the integrity of the student-teacher relationship. As a result, many students will have to redo the course for an entire school year. Receiving tutelage under a fake teacher places a question mark over the student’s educational competency.
As a result, the student may develop mental distress after learning to add another semester, or an entire year, to their education. They lose contact with the social groups they create during their time at school, which affects their social life and their education.
A fake teacher can damage an institution’s reputation and its image in the community. Suppose a phony teacher doesn’t offer the same level of quality education as a qualified individual. In that case, it may affect the GPA across the entire class, weakening the school’s image in the eyes of the community.
While this could damage the school, it could also have a larger macro effect on the state pass rate and even impact the educational standards across the country. There’s an impact on the academic and reputation component of a student’s experience, but there’s also a financial implication in hiring fake teachers.
Students who graduate from a fake teacher’s classroom or course may have to redo their education, wasting thousands of dollars in the process. There’s also the case of parents filing lawsuits against the educational institution for incompetence in employing unqualified faculty staff.
Instituting a policy of polygraphing new hires is imperative for educational institutions that want to remain credible and respected in the community.
How Polygraph Testing Can Benefit Your Educational Institution
Advances in technology make it easy for anyone to produce fake documents. It’s not surprising to learn there are more fraudulent teachers applying for positions at educational institutions across the United States and the globe.
These documents can appear authentic to the untrained eye, and in some cases, they can fool even the most seasoned administrator. Fraudsters can back up their fake documents with fraudulent references. As a result, it may be very challenging for administrators to uncover the illegitimacy of the teacher’s qualifications in hiring them to the faculty.
Once the fake teacher is in the faculty and teaching class, it’s very unlikely they’ll ever be challenged on the authenticity of their qualifications or references. So, the interview and qualifying process must be watertight. The administrator should follow set guidelines to uncover discrepancies or red flags during the hiring and interview process.
Including a polygraph exam in the hiring process offers educational institutions a surefire method of weeding out the fraudsters. Once the fake teacher learns of your use of polygraph exams in the hiring process, they will likely abort their plans to apply to your school or university.
Utilizing a polygraph exam during the hiring process for new teachers offers your educational facility the following advantages.
- Weed out the frauds before they could damage the institution’s reputation.
- Save your students from receiving a sub-par education.
- Avoid the cost of lawsuits administrator’s incompetence in the hiring process.
- Avoid hiring sexual predators or violent individuals that may harm your students.
- Avoid setting your students back in their studies.
- Prevent your students from receiving sub-par education that damages their life prospects.
- Stop fake teachers from pulling down the quality of education offered at your institution.
- Stop teachers with substance abuse problems from entering your faculty.
- Stop teachers with gambling addictions or other bad habits from joining the faculty.
- Maintain the integrity and respect of your faculty in the community.
- Create an environment of trust at your institution that benefits the faculty and the student body.
A polygraph exam for new hires helps you catch the fraudster before they have the chance to cause any of these problems in your institution.
Will Polygraph Policies Deter You from Finding the Right Talent for Your Institution?
Some educational administrators might assume that instituting a polygraph policy at their campus or facility may deter them from fifing the right talent. It’s understandable how they may feel this way. Some people may consider a polygraph an invasion of their privacy, and it’s easy to see why.
They may assume that the polygraph examiner may ask them questions that don’t pertain to their position at the institution, or they may believe that because they did something wrong in the past, it may affect their hiring or their reputation in the industry.
However, with the right explanation, most new teachers won’t have a problem undergoing a polygraph. If administrators explain that the polygraph only pertains to their occupational qualifications and their capabilities as a teacher, most will comply with the request.
If you institute a polygraph exam for new hires, the faculty can rest easy knowing they’re all on the same level. It creates a safe space for the teachers and the students, knowing they can trust the faculty and their judgment.
Polygraphs are also useful for various other requirements that benefit administrators, students, and fellow faculty members. For instance, theft cases are easy to solve when a polygraph policy is initiated. It’s also useful in assessing claims of sexual misconduct by teachers against students or other faculty members.
Instituting a polygraph policy in your educational institution isn’t nice to have. It’s a must-have procedure for new hires and for the existing faculty. If a potential fake teacher understands that you institute a polygraph for new hires, they will not bother to show up for their interview.
As a result, you save time, effort, and money in the hiring process. Not to mention the potential millions in legal fees, it could protect your institution from lawsuits instituted by parents.
What Is a Polygraph Exam, and How Do You Find a Reputable Polygraph Company?
There are dozens of polygraph professionals working across the country. A polygraph examiner undergoes intensive professional training by The American Polygraph Association (APA). The examiner undergoes an in-depth course on how to use their equipment and how to identify deceptive behavior in examinations.
While no polygraph exam is definitive in its results, a trained polygraph professional has the experience to identify deceptive behavior. It’s important to note that a polygraph examiner is not looking for ‘lies,’ they monitor a range of vital signs in the examinee, looking for aberrations in the subject’s behavior.
The software and hardware used in a polygraph exam monitor the examinee’s vital signs, such as their respiratory rate, skin reactions, and blood pressure. While it’s possible for an examinee to decide the test, they will need almost complete control over their emotions to do so.
When the examiner asks a tough question to the examinee and detects deception, they will repeat the question, looking at the examinee’s biological response. When the examinee answers a question untruthfully, its sets off a cascade of physiological responses that are easy for the examiner to identify.
Hire a polygraph specialist to protect your students and your educational institution. It’s the right move for your faculty, administrative staff, and students. Why risk hiring fake teachers when you have a proven method to mitigate this issue? With a polygraph professional on your side, you can sniff out the fakes before they have a chance to cause damage to your students, your institution, and its reputation.