About the Star Search Process



During the Star Search, the candidate goes through an all-day process that includes teaching a lesson, learning more about Maker Learning Network’s history and philosophy, preparing a project with a group of other candidates, and being interviewed by several interview panels consisting of facilitators, learners, and parents.We ensure staff members are qualified based on background, training, and preparation. All facilitators are required to participate in a state-approved, teacher preparation program. Depending on the experience level, potential employees often substitute in our schools to gain exposure in teaching in a project-based environment. Many employment opportunities arise from substitute experiences, student-teaching opportunities, and college internships.

We strive to ensure that a candidate’s educational philosophy and skills align with our instructional approach and mission. The Star Search process allows us to find the best fit for our learners, programs, community, and culture.

What you can expect at a Star Search event:

7:30 – 8:30 AM: “Tuesdays with TED”
Breakfast with staff. Start the meaningful conversations of what it means to be a Maker Learning Network staff member. A team member then presents a TED Talk video and facilitates a discussion.

8:45 – 9:45 AM: Welcome and Introduction
The CEOs use this time to give the candidates the “Why” of Maker Learning Network’s history. Videos and anecdotes help give the candidates a better understanding of the mission and vision of Maker Learning Network

9:45 – 10:30 AM, 10:30 – 11:15 AM, 11:15 AM – noon: Candidates Rotate through 3 Processes

  1. Panel Interview: An interview panel — consisting of a learner, a parent, and a facilitator — ask purposeful questions prompting a conversation to give the candidate a broader perspective of what’s expected of an incoming employee.
  2. Demo Lesson Facilitation: The candidate is assigned to a class within their comfort zone to showcase their abilities to facilitate a lesson.
  3. Campus Tour: The candidates tour the campus, observing the unique design elements of the classrooms and getting a deeper, firsthand understanding of the Maker Learning Network culture.

Noon – 1:30 PM: Lunch
Lunch is provided and extended to allow for current staff to interact with candidates.

1:30 – 2:00 PM: Introduction to Project-Based and Deeper Learning
Incorporating videos, the CEOs explain in detail the importance of the Maker Learning Network teaching philosophy.

2:00 – 3:45 PM: Project Creation/Design
Each group (formed from the previous rotations) will be assigned a mentor facilitator who will guide them through a process creating their own project ideas. These ideas will revolve around their individual expertise (credential) and show how the project will flow from start to finish.

3:45 – 4:30 PM: Project Share-Out
Each group will share with all staff their project creation and field questions on the process of developing their project.

4:15 – 4:30 PM: Candidate Survey
Candidates are given a survey to provide feedback on how effective the day has been and whether they feel Maker Learning Network is a good fit for them.

4:30 – 5:00 PM: Debrief
Led by Maker Learning Network leadership, a roundtable of staff who have participated throughout the day engage in a rich discussion, with feedback from learners and parents, of whether certain candidates are a good fit.