Acera School, Winchester, MA
High School Social Sciences & Interdisciplinary Teacher, Advisor & Curriculum Creator
Acera: The Massachusetts School of Science, Creativity and Leadership
Winchester, MA (8 miles north of Boston) 5 Lowell Avenue
Acera is looking for an experienced educator with passion, high energy, and a commitment to meaningful, project-based learning who can define and lead learning experiences for high schoolers. Our new high school classroom will build from and tether to our strong middle school program with its copious electives and with passion projects as part of its program. We empower and support our teachers to customize learning which is high engagement and filled with a sense of purpose in ways that fit the unique interests, needs and potential of our students.
Our new high school teacher will become a grade 9 & 10 high school core classroom teacher & student advisor. They will design and implement interdisciplinary learning approaches for a group of 8-16 high school students. The high school core classroom experience will interweave writing, social sciences, literature, and societal topics while also individualizing learning approaches which enable students’ choice and voice in their learning paths while also scaffolding their organizational and emotional intelligence growth. The high school teacher will create a high ceiling for conceptual and critical thinking, enabling students’ growth in Acera’s core capacities (systems thinking, problem solving, creativity, perspective taking, ethical decision making, emotional intelligence, teamwork, and leadership). This core classroom high school teacher will foster a community of belonging and growth, build great relationships with and between all students, and embody Acera’s core values. This teacher will advise students on initiating their own learning path through high school which incorporates academic, social, and emotional growth goals, passion projects, college application and standardized testing philosophy and plan, and (when relevant) internships.
We seek a professional who has a deep love of and respect for young people, who wants the freedom to invent an exciting and creative classroom rich in deeply engaging topics relevant to our times which resonate with students’ interests. This experienced professional must feel confident designing learning with differentiated instruction strategies that allow for conceptual thinking and access to content which is years ahead of chronological student age. Acera admits many different student profiles with a wide range of strengths and needs, all of whom have qualified for admission to Acera as gifted students. The ideal candidate will be creative, articulate, flexible, collaborative, and have exceptional executive functioning skills.
At Acera, students explore and learn at a pace appropriate to each child’s unique motivation and potential, not their age. Our culture is not about pressure to achieve; it is about freedom to thrive. We support our students’ innate curiosity and love of learning. Through developing EQ, complex and creative thinking skills, and systems awareness, we develop thinkers and innovators who will be able to make positive change in our world.
The expectations for this position are:
- Able to collaborate with other teachers and administrators as we, together, define our emerging high school program in our “pilot test” year 1 with a grade 9 & 10 classroom.
- Create / customize learning approaches and curriculum, leveraging essential questions as a springboard for inventing interdisciplinary, simulation-rich and project-based classroom experiences, conversations, and learning of all kinds.
- Confident to galvanize a learning path and plan for students’ growth, both in the social sciences and humanities as well as within students’ trajectory as adolescents and emerging adults.
- Adapt classroom focus and strategies to differentiate for each student’s needs.
- Belief in and willingness to put into practice that students’ authentic engagement transforms their motivation and learning trajectory, hence willing to continuously adapt a program which fits the group as a whole and each student within it. Through involvement, insights and requests of students, as well as through teacher mentor and administrative support and observations, willing and able to change learning approaches and plans based upon students’ interests and needs, both within particular learning sessions and through the overall arch of experiences over the year.
- Collaborates and can co-teach with colleagues in a collaborative, open hearted way; the teaching “team” in each classroom includes (on a part time basis) a counselor and/or writing / executive functioning specialist who deepen learning as needed and with a particular focus on specialized student support plans for some Acera students. Core teachers also partner with specialist teachers (e.g. engineering, architecture, art, science, woodshop, theatre) to co-design and lead thematic and interdisciplinary learning. Collaborate and share ideas with other teachers; work as a community to utilize each person’s strengths and to continuously improve.
- Create and adapt Individualized Learning Plans to drive learning approaches and focus for each student through the year
- If needed, able to foster learning across both distanced, in person 6’ classroom setting and also in the remote setting.
- Adroit at and willing to grow technology skills to integrate off site and in person learners together, if needed.
- Apply an eclectic blend of learning pedagogy, including constructivist, inquiry, teaching for understanding, multi age, thematic interdisciplinary, experiential, simulations, and with a mindset about school as a place with porous walls to the outside world.
- Use a “teacher as facilitator” style. This is not a traditional “in charge teacher who dispenses the knowledge” approach. Our teachers serve as facilitators who enable students’ construction of their learning and who create experiences, discussions and a climate of discovery in their classroom.
- Embrace parent partnership educational model; communicate openly, with honesty and compassion. Share teaching philosophy and pedagogical beliefs; educate parents.
- Willing to learn about and include executive functioning and robust writing supports within learning experiences, individualized for each student based on need.
The successful candidate will have philosophical alignment with our core values and learning approach, which are outlined on our website: www.aceraschool.org
- Bachelors level degree, preferably in an area other than education
- Masters levels degree in education or other social sciences field is a desirable but not required
- At least 5 years of teaching experience
- Experience with gifted education, special education, progressive learning approaches and/or a goal for understanding orientation (instead of a focus on core knowledge acquisition) is highly preferred.
- Fearlessness in and ideally with a love of science, mathematics, and integration of technology as a contextual tool enabling learning
- Deep care and capability to engage in differentiated instruction strategies
- Exceptionally strong spoken and written communication and interpersonal skills. Acera’s use of narrative report cards and high parent engagement necessitate a teacher who is responsive, who cares about and feels invested in parent partnership, and who is skillful in writing and conferencing.
- A personal background as a student who was or would have been identified for gifted education programming themselves enables our teachers to relate to the unique challenges, depth of inquiry and needs of gifted students.
Please submit cover letter and resume along with a personal statement of educational philosophy, description of your classroom management / discipline beliefs, and any experiences and/or training in gifted education you have had to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anticipated start date: August 2021 (or hired during 2020/21 school year to co-teach in the grade 8 & 9 hybrid classroom)
Equal Opportunity Employer
Acera is committed to maintaining a work and learning environment free from discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, pregnancy, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital/civil union status, ancestry, place of birth, age, citizenship status, veteran status, political affiliation or disability as defined and required by state and federal laws.