Director of Teaching & Learning

EXPLO, Norwood, MA

Exploration Learning – affectionately known as EXPLO – is looking for an educator interested in being part of a team focused on propelling an innovative learning organization to new heights. This is an important and exciting opportunity for someone to join a dynamic, growing, and influential not-for-profit organization. The successful applicant will create learning experiences on the cutting-edge of pre-college learning and career exploration and in so doing, impact the lives of young people, enthusiastic educators, and the field of education. 

About EXPLO 

In 1976, an idea took hold in the halls of MIT: a powerful reimagining of the summer experience for high school students. That idea became EXPLO, a pioneering and world-class summer enrichment program where students pursue their interests unconstrained by grades and tests. The result? A collaborative, interdisciplinary learning environment, where students drive their own learning through exploration. 

In 1984, grades 7-9 were added and in 1994 grades 4-6 were added. A year ago, the organization expanded its work and launched EXPLO Elevate, an innovative schools cooperative started with 15 founding schools. This past summer, in the midst of a pandemic, Elevate ran professional development for more than 450 teachers who needed help pivoting to online. At the same time, EXPLO successfully launched hands on and highly engaging online offerings for its own students. 

More than 85,000 students have attended EXPLO and they come from 90 countries. Upwards of 60 alums have been named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list. Today, the organization continues to reimagine teaching and learning in an age of momentous change. Currently, EXPLO is developing year-round online programming, and Elevate is expanding its work into consulting, research, and expanded professional learning. EXPLO is carving out a role as a home for education thought leaders with invitations to present at the Education World Forum, the National Association of Independent Schools and the International Education & Skills Summit. Admissions, marketing, analytics, and communications are now part of a new Customer Engagement Group and the organization is poised for growth. 

The organization is governed by a diverse and committed board of trustees representing finance, ed tech, media, education, law, and business. 

Pre-College and Career 

EXPLO’s high school program for grades 10-12 has been redesigned and this summer will launch as EXPLO Pre-College and Career (PCC) at Mount Holyoke College. EXPLO believes that those who will thrive in the future are those who can reimagine it and have the skills and disposition to act. Life, college, and careers have been disrupted and the old playbooks are outdated. PCC sits at the crossroads of academia and careers. The program is focused on real world projects, site visits, and working closely with academic and industry experts who are at the frontiers of their fields. This summer will mark the first time EXPLO students will be eligible for college credit through an exciting partnership with a leading liberal arts college.

The Position 

The Director of Teaching + Learning is responsible for creating dynamic, impactful learning experiences for grades 10-12. You’ll do so by building and refining two-week intensive programs, called Concentrations, in various subject areas. Examples of current offerings include Artificial Intelligence + Machine Learning, Engineering, and Psychology + Neuroscience. Each concentration is designed around a partnership with a person, organization, or business whose work is on the frontier of their respective field. Each Concentration has a group of subject area advisors who are thought leaders in the field. Concentrations are taught by expert practitioners or academics who may or may not have extensive teaching experience. You will work closely with these partners and experts on preparing them to deliver highly engaging learning experiences. During the summer, the Director of Teaching + Learning will lead the Office of Teaching + Learning and oversee the delivery of these Concentrations against the backdrop of a fast paced, experiential, and innovative boarding and day program. As the summer Director of the Office of Teaching + Learning, you’ll live on campus for the duration of the program, serve as a member of the summer team of senior program administrators, and oversee an Assistant Director and group Instructional Coaches. 

You are an experienced teacher and curriculum developer who is eager to push the boundaries of pre-college learning and career exploration. You can see the big picture and contribute to the vision and future direction of the teaching and learning at PCC, while also being able to dig into the details of the experiences you’re crafting for students. You’re a strong communicator and are able to design effective training sessions and coach teachers and teaching fellows in sound teaching practices and curriculum development. You are a strong writer who can produce clear and concise lesson plans, blog posts, and other materials in a time-efficient manner. You’re creative and generative, and enjoy brainstorming and developing novel ideas for learning experiences in a wide variety of fields and subject areas. 

You are a networker and bridge-builder who will contribute to the PCC team’s stewardship of the program’s many advisors. You’re able to collaborate with highly-accomplished experts, academics, and leaders, especially around developing projects and other experiences for the program’s curriculum. You’re able to engage with a wide variety of ideas from various disciplines and turn them into learning experiences that are accessible and engaging for students in grades 10-12. You are a natural and inveterate idea hunter who likes to experiment and instead of being satisfied with best practice, you want to engage with emerging practice and even develop next practice. 

You will report to PCC’s Dean of Studies who is broadly responsible for the program’s curricular direction. Your primary focus is on execution and delivery of excellent Concentration programs. To that end, you’ll work closely with the Dean of Studies to ensure the standards for curriculum are very high and are clear to everyone connected to their delivery. You’ll provide instructor and teaching fellow pre-summer training and on-campus professional development that is immersive, effective, and a reflection of EXPLO’s teaching philosophy. You’ll carry out assessment of each Concentration’s delivery through a variety of qualitative and quantitative measures and use the collected information to drive continuous curricular improvement. You’ll work with the Program Head and Dean of Studies on regular pedagogical review and reinvention. You will enthusiastically embrace EXPLO’s teaching philosophy: 

At EXPLO, we believe learning mirrors life — full of questions, tensions, and worthwhile digressions in an ever-changing world. We know that whimsy and wonder have a place alongside pragmatic investigation. We celebrate discovery through doing, and empathy through authentic connection. We know immersing ourselves in the earnest exploration of the world of people and ideas reveals the joy of learning and with it the joy of living.

 

EXPLO is committed to diversifying its staff and student body and making each member of the community feel a true sense of belonging. You are someone already working on your own anti-racist journey and you will show your commitment to the work by ensuring the program’s curriculum as well as teaching and learning practices reflect values of inclusion, diversity and equity. You will do this in concert with EXPLO’s IDEA Committee (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Action). 

You are a passionate educator who is curious about the world around you and excited about finding ways to share the most interesting and inspiring ideas with students. You are organized, detail-oriented, efficient, and can use those traits to execute on ambitious goals and projects. You love to learn and generate new ideas, and can get other people excited about future possibilities. You’re people-oriented and are able to coach, mentor, and develop others. You are excited about working with smart, engaged, talented colleagues -- people who have big ideas and are excited about making them a reality. 

Qualifications 

  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree strongly preferred 
  • Teaching experience at the secondary or college level 
  • Curriculum development skills are key 
  • Experience working in a boarding school or other residential learning environment a plus
  • Transparent in your thinking and comfortable with change 
  • We’d prefer someone who can work with us in person at the Exploration Center, but will consider remote for the right candidate. 
  • You will be able to spend upwards of eight weeks on campus during the summer 

EXPLO is particularly interested in applicants who are from historically underrepresented groups.

Compensation 

Competitive. Excellent benefits including: paid vacation; health, vision, dental, disability, and life insurance; retirement contributions; tuition benefits for dependents; and a flexible spending program. Flexible schedule. Dog friendly work environment. Our headquarters, The Exploration Center, is a 30,000 square foot building that began its life as the Norwood Press. It’s been completely renovated and in addition to office space, includes a kitchen, dining area, maker space, woodshop, video studio, paint shop, and laundry. It’s a creative hub. We’ve got plenty of free parking, we’re within walking distance of the commuter rail station and downtown Norwood (located southeast of Boston), and the bus stop is right out our front door. Norwood is conveniently located off of route 95. 

Start Date: Full-time: September 7, 2021 

With some time spent on campus this summer. 

Review of applications will begin immediately. 

Interested applicants should send a resume and cover letter to: 

Cortney Barkdoll 

Human Resources Manager 

cbarkdoll@explo.org 

EXPLO, as a part of the Exploration School, does not discriminate on the basis of physical handicap, sex, race, creed, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, marital status, or national or ethnic origin in administration of its educational

policies, admissions, scholarships, or other social programs. It affords all students the rights and privileges that are generally made available at the School. 

Please click here to learn more about our programs and policies.

 

  • teaching and learning