Dive In Commonwealth is a tuition-free academic enrichment program for motivated middle-school students from families who wouldn't otherwise have access to such academic and extracurricular enrichment opportunities in Boston and its surrounding communities. The six-week summer program prepares middle-school students for success in high school with an adventure-, fun-, and friendship-filled program. Dive In students shore up and develop core skills, get a glimpse of new areas of study (Computer science! Mandarin! Hands-on lab sciences!), get creative in the arts, and, public-health conditions permitting, explore Boston.
This year, the summer facet of the Dive In program will run from July 6 to August 13, 2021, and will serve one cohort of rising ninth-graders and one cohort of rising eighth-graders.
Dive In Commonwealth seeks a full-time English/humanities teacher for the summer of 2021. The teacher will work closely with a small group of students, and should be enthusiastic about designing an exciting intellectual, creative, and exploratory curriculum geared toward the needs and abilities of the students in the room. In addition to daily classes, the teacher will guide trips in and around Boston if safety measures allow, proctor study hall and homework sessions, and help to foster a joyful social environment for students. We seek teachers excited about the mission of bringing students from a variety of backgrounds together to form a strong cohort of learners, eventually ready to enter ninth grade with confidence.
Each summer, the program consists of two cohorts, each made up of between six and eight students. For a student, Dive In Commonwealth is a fourteen-month program, beginning with a six-week summer program before eighth grade, continuing on Saturdays through the eighth-grade year, and ending with another six-week program before ninth grade. We seek a teacher to engage with students throughout those fourteen months, one who can commit to two summers and at least two Saturdays per month during the academic year.
For a teacher, the small program and the extended time with students offer a rare opportunity to discover just how each student learns and to offer the educational support each student needs to succeed. It is also an opportunity to work under the guidance of experienced English and history teachers from Commonwealth School, who will offer ideas, feedback, and serve as sounding boards for ideas and work in the classroom. The Dive In English teacher will emerge with a deeper understanding of how individual students learn and with experience shaping a class for the specific needs of students. The teacher will also be welcomed into the Commonwealth community, and Commonwealth’s deep resources of teaching and community-building knowledge will be made available to them.
The teacher can expect to:
Prepare for summer courses under the guidance of program director and Commonwealth English teachers.
Attend meetings to be scheduled in late June and early July.
Teach two courses from July 6-August 13: Five hours of class time per week with up to eight rising eighth-graders. This new cohort will consist of students from a range of schools and backgrounds, and the teacher should be prepared to discern and address each student’s particular needs, using differentiated classroom teaching methods, performance assessment, and experiential learning techniques along with traditional reading and writing exercises. Five hours of class time per week with seven rising ninth-graders, who are in their second summer of Dive In. Several of these students will enter Commonwealth’s ninth grade in the fall, and all will work with an eye to the demands of a rigorous ninth-grade program. The teacher will prepare students for this work by practicing close reading and critical writing during class and in homework. Students should read literature of increasing complexity, and should be asked to handle complex syntax and respond to it with their own analytical paragraphs.
Collaborate with a Commonwealth history teacher to introduce rising ninth-graders to fundamentals of research, methods of reading, and the pleasures of history.
Monitor study halls and offer homework help.
Lead occasional Friday afternoon activities and field trips.
Be present in the building/with students from 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Monday to Thursday 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Friday.
Lead occasional field trips and activities on Friday afternoons.
Expect a 20-25 hour on-site commitment, with the possibility of additional hours of preparation at home.
Academic Year 2021-2022
Act as a pillar of the Saturday Program for eighth-graders, teaching the eighth-grade group on at least two Saturdays per month.
Conduct classes with eighth-grade students to fortify and advance skills acquired over the summer.
Offer tutorial help for work in students’ regular English and history classes.
Track student progress and engagement throughout the year.
Assist those students who wish to apply to Commonwealth and other independent schools with their applications.
Prepare students for the Reading Comprehension and Verbal sections of the SSAT.
As in summer 2021:
Devise and teach class for rising ninth-graders that is geared toward the specific needs of the students in the program, with whom the teacher has now worked for a year.
Welcome a new cohort of rising eighth-graders, bringing them into the program with a rigorous and interesting English course in continued consultation with Commonwealth English teachers.
Teacher should have the following:
Experience teaching middle-school students of varied backgrounds and abilities.
Training in classroom teaching.
Knowledge of humanities subject area and teaching methods.
Flexibility and willingness to meet each student where they are.
A joyful attitude and the ability to establish a warm classroom community, where students feel safe, seen, and encouraged to do their best.
Cultural competency to bring to bear in teaching students from a range of economic, social, and ethnic backgrounds, and the skill to welcome students’ whole selves into the classroom.
Please send résumé and a letter detailing interest in this position to Sasha Eskelund at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Commonwealth is a small independent day school that occupies two brownstones in Boston’s Back Bay. It is known for its academic rigor, strong program in the arts, and extensive use of the city of Boston. It attracts bright, motivated students from all over the Boston metropolitan area and, with the help of a strong financial aid program, draws young people from a variety of backgrounds. Detailed information about the school is available on its website at www.commschool.org and about Dive In Commonwealth at www.commschool.org/divein.
About Commonwealth School
Students thrive at Commonwealth School, a small coeducational high school in Boston's Back Bay where a comprehensive and thought-provoking curriculum taught by passionate faculty cultivates a culture of rigorous academic and artistic exploration. Dive In Commonwealth, our program for middle school students, was designed to provide academic and extracurricular enrichment to students who would not normally have access to such programs for financial or other reasons. Our "Divers" are welcomed into a warm, supportive environment with like-minded students and enthusiastic teachers, and they graduate prepared for success in high school and beyond.