Bennett Day School is a progressive independent day school looking for passionate educators with innovative spirit and rich background in adolescent learning and school experience. We are a new type of independent school; unabashed believers in the values of progressive education, we put students at the center of the process of learning.
The Bennett Day Upper School is hiring our founding STEM teacher. In this role, you’ll be part of the founding team and be responsible for helping to design and implement the core characteristics of our progressive, project- and competency-based high school.
Reporting to our Lead Designer and Director of our new Upper School, you’ll bring your experience to the team to build a brand new high school that is true to our progressive mission, then lead our first cohort of students as one of two primary teachers beginning in the fall of 2019-2020. Most importantly, you’ll act as advisor to the students in that first cohort, leading a group of ten as a mentor through all elements of the school experience. As a founding teacher, you’ll also design and teach courses, both in Project-Based Learning environments and through traditional seminars, based on the needs of our students and in your field of expertise. You’ll act as mentor to new colleagues as our school grows in future years.
As one of our founding teachers, you’ll be intimately involved in every aspect of the design of our school, and have input into every major pedagogical and/or curricular decision that the high school makes. You’ll simultaneously develop your pedagogical and design skills free from many outside constraints, as you will be designing and implementing a project-based curriculum in a grade-free (no A’s, B’s or C’s) school. You’ll have the opportunity to develop meaningful educational relationships with students in your work as an advisor, while having a smaller course load (1-2 classes per trimester). You’ll also learn from your colleagues during the 5+ hours per week of professional development, which occur on Wednesdays when students are released early.
PART-TIME to FULL-TIME
In 2018-2019, we will work around your current work or teaching schedule as you assist in building the program (approximately 10 hours/week) and pay you a stipend for that work. We do not expect nor ask our founding teachers to leave their current positions until the full-time position begins in July of 2019.
THE SKILL SET
Belief that your primary role in teaching is that of an advisor and that your content expertise is secondary to the position
“Polymathness”: having wide ranging interests and experience across different content silos (you would be interested in teaching both science and history, for example)
Best practices in designing and teaching in a project-based learning environment
Prior experience in interdisciplinary and/or team teaching
Dedication to working in teams, especially design teams
Experience working as a mentor/advisor to an adolescent within an academic setting
Dedication to designing innovative and nontraditional curriculum
Commitment to continual development of your cultural competence
Working knowledge of one additional language (desired, but not required)
WITHIN ONE MONTH YOU’LL
Learn about all the major elements of the upper school (currently in draft form) to become acquainted with the school’s vision
Teach us about what you believe might be worth changing or editing in those documents to better serve all students
Begin designing the school’s advisory program, using materials from Project Wayfinder
Learn about our competency-based education model
Using your content knowledge in the STEM fields, teach us what should be in the Upper School competency map (a list of all the major skills required of students for graduation) in your field
Meet with the Upper School design team 1-2 times per week (working around your schedule and availability) to coordinate on mission and tasks
Meet once with our student advisory board to get acquainted and understand the role of student input in our process
WITHIN THREE MONTHS YOU’LL
Attend our assessment retreat at Bennett Day on November 10, 2018
Help us finalize the competency map for all subjects by reaching out and getting feedback from others with expertise
Learn about our competency-based software so you can better keep track of student progress
Finalize the advisory program, complete with Social/Emotional curriculum and developmentally responsive checkpoints
Attend 1-2 admissions and marketing events as needed to share the school’s story to potential Bennett Day families
Contribute to the interview and vetting process when/if any additional faculty is hired
WITHIN SIX MONTHS YOU’LL
Create, in collaboration with the Upper School team, our first Project-Based Learning experience for students
Design your first student seminar course in your area of expertise
Be a part of the planning for info sessions for prospective families
Be a part of admissions events for the purpose of vetting of student applications for admissions
Attend at least one professional development experience to learn more about at least one area of our pedagogical model with which you feel you need assistance or guidance
Be the content-area expert and most important voice in development of the Humanities or STEM trajectory
BY THE END OF 2019, YOU’LL
Help make enrollment decisions to finalize our first cohort of students for admission in the fall of 2019
Provide input on the full, final curriculum for the 2019-2020 school year
Work with our adjunct faculty to onboard them as they teach individual courses at the school
Meet your first group of advisees and their families in a series of home visits
In concert with the Director of Upper School, develop your own Personal Learning Plan for the 19-20 school year
Teach your first cross-curricular Project-Based Learning course with our first cohort of students
Teach your first seminar (in your choice of subject)
Participate in our professional development program on a weekly basis
Write narrative assessments of your students and help them develop their own learning portfolios
Bennett Day School is a new PreK-12 independent school in the heart of Chicago. Currently operating grades PreK, JK, SK, and First, Bennett Day School is founded with progressive roots. A fundamental and driving force behind our Reggio Emilia-inspired program is the belief that children of all ages learn through questioning, exploring and discovering. We are committed to advancing creativity, leadership and a love of learning for students and teachers.