We are an independent school with a social justice focus, supporting students in making a difference in the world. Aurora’s elementary school was founded in 1988. We have expanded into a middle school beginning with a 6thgrade. We seek a full-time culturally competent Middle School HUMANITIES Guide (teacher) to work with a dedicated, diverse community.
Middle school re-imagined. Our program was designed by a team of leading educators, researchers, and adolescent development psychologists to meet the needs of middle schoolers. We’ve combined highly engaging academics with an approach that is social, personal, and rooted in the real world. Our intention is to position brilliant Guides in 1:1 sessions, small groups, Socratic debates around Harkness tables, and experiential project-based learning modalities. Within this environment, our students experience an integrated educational curriculum, combining advanced academics with personal development through mindfulness, social and emotional learning, and real-world relevance, application, and skill-building.
At the heart of this environment are our teachers, whom we call Guides. The Guides embody the values we seek to model for each student. Guides are as much mirrors, models, and mentors as they are instructors of content, and the program is designed to optimize their personal coaching relationships with students.
The Role: Guide
We call our teachers “Guides” to indicate how we see the ideal learning relationship with students. We support the shift from “sage on the stage” to “guide on the side” and beyond. We are looking for a Guide with personal values like these:
Your passion is to help others grow. You accurately observe students’ strengths, personality, and challenges; you have a strong sense of what excellence looks like in given areas of study; you combine the determination to challenge students lovingly with the compassion and wisdom to know when to be patient or to step back.
You have a calling for and deep appreciation of adolescents. You know youth culture; you love the uniqueness of this age. You see middle school as a time of transformation, not just in intellectual development, but also across social, emotional, physical, ethical, and creative intelligences.
You’re on a lifelong learning journey. Whether through vocation, travel, personal study, reacting to challenging life experiences or otherwise, you’ve undergone and can articulate your learning journey. You’ve had to face personal challenges and have come out humble and with greater clarity about your path. You’ve developed personal habits and mindfulness practices that support you in continuing to grow.
You’re worldly. You are “world savvy” and pragmatic about how to get things done in the real world. You’ve traveled or even lived overseas; you’ve been entrepreneurial formally or informally. You’ve endeavored to create value, faced failure, and experienced success.
You comfortably exist in and naturally model authenticity. Through experience and practice and perhaps your own mentors, you’ve developed an awareness of what authenticity looks like, and a comfort being yourself.
Teaching: Lead two-three project-based, interdisciplinary “Quest” classes per term, focused on HUMANITIES but including other disciplines. Quest can range from explorations such as “Are we alone in the universe?” to “How do I learn?”; “Do our voices matter?” and “How do we transcend limits?” Students draw from daily lessons in humanities to explore answers to these questions together. Students test hypotheses, gather data, and produce final papers and presentations with their suggestions for social impact.
Advising: Lead daily Advisory, in which students develop their social, emotional, and ethical intelligences.
Lead Excursions outside of school twice a month to support outdoor eduction and the Humanities Quests.
Curriculum Design: Guides will have the opportunity and responsibility to shape curriculum, evolving our current materials and generating emergent project topics.
Collaboration: We’re looking for Guides who want to be part of a close-knit team, inviting others to see their teaching, sharing their successes and challenges with vulnerability and openness.
At least 3 years’ experience leading HUMANITIES-related learning experiences for 5th graders or middle students, in classrooms.
Experience designing curricula for adolescents.
(Preferred) Experience in seminar and/or project-based learning.
(Preferred) Experience with mindfulness or social-emotional learning.