BTS Spark is committed to improving the quality of professional development for school leaders – adapting BTS’ award-winning leadership development programs and making them available to principals and school leaders. Our coaching and workshop programs currently reach over 2000 leaders and teachers every year in partnership with education departments, universities, professional associations, institutes and school districts in both Australia and the UK.
We would urge you to read our full information brochure on the Spark Partner opportunity before making an application. This is available by clicking this link.
We find that our approach is very different to other professional development available:
We focus on supporting leaders to shift their mindset in order to make long-term changes in their leadership practice.
Our curriculum has pinpointed 34 mindset shifts that make a difference, and we have developed a module of materials and coaching tools to support each of these shifts. Our curriculum maps to the NPBEA standards.
We can flexibly offer professional development via coaching, webinar, online learning or face to face workshops, to ensure that leaders can access support when they need it most.
Our Head of Education has now completed eight months of groundwork to lay the foundation to establish BTS Spark in the US, to offer a fresh approach to leadership development in American schools. We have embarked on discussions with key organizations, including ASCD, the National Rural Education Association, Philadelphia Leadership Academy and DePaul University regarding potential partnerships.
We already have a network of 58 professional leadership coaches across the US, who currently deliver BTS’ programs with companies. BTS’ 300 American employees and consultants are also committed to supporting Spark in its set-up phase and BTS USA has seed funded the launch of BTS Spark America.
We are now seeking to employ a Spark Partner to join our team and spearhead the launch of Spark programs for school leaders in San Francisco or Los Angeles.
What You’ll Do
The Spark Partner role offers an exceptional opportunity to improve the way in which school leaders are supported – and therefore improve the quality of education that children receive.
Spark Partners will commit 15 hours per week to…
Get trained on our award-winning leadership curriculum and tools
Reach out to schools, school districts, superintendents and local professional associations across the State to explore how Spark can meet leadership development needs of local school leaders and encourage them to commit funds to launch Spark programs
Support school principals to develop a three-year approach to building leadership capability in their schools
Facilitate some Spark workshops directly in schools
Broker coaching programs for school leaders, partnering closely with our local trained professional leadership coaches
Establish a local Spark team to raise awareness and promote Spark across your State. Each BTS office has already nominated a BTS ‘Spark Champion’ among its employees, and Partners will play an important role in harnessing the enthusiasm of other interested BTSers as well as liaising with 3-4 local BTS coaches who have expressed an interest in coaching education leaders.
We are seeking to employ a small team of six Spark Partners to spearhead the launch of Spark programs for school leaders in key locations near BTS offices – in Phoenix, Austin, New York, Chicago,San Francisco & Los Angeles.
We expect that each Spark partner will secure Spark programs with local school leaders worth a total of $50-$100k revenue in 2020, and around $100-$200k per year revenue when Spark is more established.
The Spark Partner role is not a salaried role. Instead, you will earn up to 25% of program revenue for winning work plus 45% of program revenue for any workshops you facilitate yourself. A full listing of fees will be sent to you when you are invited for interview.
If you would like to become a Spark Partner and have what it takes, we’d love you to make an application via our Careers site as soon as possible. You will be asked to submit your resumé (highlighting how you match our criteria on page 6 above) and provide paragraph answers to the following questions:
How have you developed your own leadership over the years… and how are you continuing to develop yourself?
What relevant skills and experience will you bring to the Spark Partner role?
Why do you want to become a Spark Partner?
What We’re Looking For
We are seeking experienced principals and superintendents who care passionately about supporting the next generation of school leaders and are looking for a challenge.
An entrepreneurial mindset
You enjoy a challenge and relish the opportunity to effectively build your own business, bringing Spark programs to your state’s school leaders. You probably already have a track record of developing new initiatives and leading change.
A passion for leadership development
You have had a long-standing interest in building leadership capability. You may have been involved in coaching, mentoring or facilitating professional development programs – in your school, your school district or in partnership with your local university or professional association.
A self-aware leader
We believe strongly in practicing what we preach! You will have built your own skills and capabilities as a leader over the years and be able to articulate the journey you’ve been on.
You don’t need a strong level of direction or a team behind you and you enjoy working independently.
An ability to win business
You are an effective communicator and are comfortable with reaching out to schools and education colleagues, following up with them if they don’t come back to you, and encouraging them to commit to piloting programs (rather than prevaricating!).
A strong network of contacts with local schools
You have had a successful career as a school principal/ superintendent, be well respected among peer principals and have developed a strong network of contacts beyond your school. You probably have been active in your local professional association, school district and/or university school of education.
Flexibility and a positive attitude
The Spark partner role is a new one. You will be a pioneer! This is exciting but it will call on you to be flexible, adaptable and able to take a mature approach to handling any difficulties encountered along the way. The communication channels with our Director of Education in Australia will need to stay open at all times!
Are we the right match for you?
We believe that the Spark Partner role is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pioneer a new approach to supporting school leaders to be their best- but it’s not the right role for everyone!
This may not be the right job for you if…
You need income right now. We anticipate that this Fall will see you busy in conversations with education leaders across your State. You may not secure any program income until early 2020 and then it could be a slow build. These are the risks of being an entrepreneur. You will need an alternative source of income (pension, partner’s salary etc.) in the meantime.
You thrive on working in a team every day. If you are the kind of person who loves daily contact with work colleagues, you may find this role too isolated. You need to be comfortable with working alone, probably from your home office, having conversations with local schools and school districts, and reaching out to other Spark partners and the Director of Education (Rosie, based in Australia) for support as needed.
You loathe the sales process. We can’t have an impact if you don’t land programs and win work. Many of us in Spark don’t see ourselves as salespeople, we believe that our role is to build leadership capability in schools. But there is no doubt that we need to use sales skills to work with schools to find solutions that meet their needs and then encourage them to bite the bullet and invest in a Spark program. You will find yourself needing to reach out to new contacts, chase people you’ve had conversations with and convert their interest into action.
You believe that only education professionals can support education leaders. We believe that the quality of our coaches is fundamental to the success of our programs. We hold the highest standards for coaches – new coaches must be professionally accredited, have 100+ hours of coaching training and 250+ hours of coaching experience. Very few education professionals meet these criteria. We use the same coaches on our corporate programs and on our Spark programs and brief them to understand the education context. The strong positive feedback from our programs supports this approach; 97% of our participants would recommend Spark to others.
You are completely tied to office hours. Your day-to-day work will involve reaching out to schools during the daytime, but your induction, training and regular management support will involve our Global Director of Education, Rosie, who is based in Sydney Australia. This inevitably means being prepared to attend occasional twilight sessions over the summer months (e.g. 5-7pm) if you are on Eastern time.
You can’t commit for the long term. Our content is complex and takes months of training and induction. It will then take time for you to reach out to your contacts and build interest in Spark programs. If your timeframe is 12-18 months then you will be frustrated. We are looking for people to commit to partnering with us for at least 2-3 years.
About BTS Spark
School Leadership Partners
We are seeking experienced school principals/ superintendents with a passion for developing school leaders and an entrepreneurial mindset to launch our coaching and leadership workshops in their states. BTS Spark is a not-for-profit education practice with a successful track record in the UK and Australia. We are committed to making BTS’ world-class award-winning leadership development affordable and accessible for school leaders. This part-time role will involve you in reaching out to your network of contacts, advising schools on how to build their leadership capability, persuading schools and school districts to pilot Spark programs and facilitating Spark workshops in schools. You will be able to access comprehensive training across our leadership curriculum and a share of program revenues earnt. You will work independently, pioneering the launch of Spark programs across your state whilst participating in the Spark America and Spark Global teams. This is a rare opportunity to influence how the next generation of school leaders is developed and supported.