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How to Perform a Teacher Background Check

How to Perform a Teacher Background Check

Teachers are in charge of taking care of our most precious resource – our children.  It is vital that we can be sure that they are upstanding and trustworthy people who will take good care of their young charges.  A teacher background check is part of the standard procedure involved in hiring a teacher to work in any sort of school setting.  Many private tutoring companies require a teacher background check as well before you can start work.

A teacher background check usually comprises a few basic areas.  The potential teacher will be checked for any sort of criminal history, for listing on the child abuse and sexual predator registries, and employment history checks that look into any possible issues at previous places of employment that might not have reached the law.  A good teacher background check will also involve contacting personal reference to verify their reputation among acquaintances.

Of course, the most important portion of the teacher background check is the criminal record and child abuse registry check.  In most cases searching the criminal records database will uncover any involvement in child abuse or sexual assault, but the registry should always be checked as well.  A thorough check involves running not only the potential teacher’s name and any aliases they may have used through the criminal records, but also obtaining fingerprints and running them through the local and federal law enforcement files as well.  In the case where a potential teacher may have immigrated from another nation, a background check in the nation of origin may be conducted as well.

The employment history portion of the teacher background check is also important, as many things may happen on the job that are never reported to law enforcement but handled internally.  When contacted regarding a former employee becoming a teacher, most companies should be forthcoming about any past issues with that person, as they should recognize the seriousness of keeping any information quiet.  

A proper teacher background check will uncover any information about that person that might preclude their being hired as a teacher, but should not include any invasion of privacy that is unrelated to the teaching position being applied for.  You should avoid prying into the private life of any teaching applicant beyond that information that is required to assure the safety of any children that teacher will be in contact with.  Medical records except as pertaining to proper vaccination and infectious diseases, divorce or custody proceedings and other such personal matters are not part of a standard teacher background check, and prying into these areas could result in legal action on the part of the applicant.

Every school whether private or public should be sure to perform a thorough teacher background check, as should anyone hiring a private tutor for teaching purposes.  Knowing who is teaching our children is an important part of keeping them safe, and anyone who is an honest person applying for a teaching position will have to objection to an appropriate background check being performed.

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