POSITION OPENING: Fall 2021 at Acton Academy Idaho Falls: Lead Guide
Do you believe that children are more powerful than we ever imagined? Do you believe that children should be the agents and primary drivers of their learning, the architects of their own education and life calling? Do you want to change the world?
If your answer to all of these questions is “yes!”, we'd love to explore how you can join our team of passionate educators, entrepreneurs, and innovators in the elementary program at Acton Academy Idaho Falls.
At Acton Academy, we believe children are on a journey—what we call the hero's journey—to discover their calling. As part of the journey, children ask themselves: “Who am I? Where am I going? How do my passions and talents connect with the world around me? How can I serve a great need and even change the world?”
Students taking charge of their own learning is integral to the journey at Acton. Acton challenges students to become the agents and primary drivers of their learning, the architects of their own education and life calling. Acton is a student-driven, self-paced elementary program that blends state-of-the-art software, quest-like projects with real-world applications, Socratic discussions, and the Hero’s Journey in a student-centered, multi-age classroom.
If your goal is to instill your love of learning in others while advancing in your own professional growth, this is your chance to get in on the ground floor of one of the world’s most innovative schools.
School begins late August/early September each year and is an 11-month program. We run on 5-6 week sessions with 1-2 week breaks in between sessions. We are closed for six weeks in the summer (half of July and the month of August.) The Guide should be available to learn and prepare throughout the summer.
The Lead Guide will work in partnership with the founder to oversee a class of multiage students in grades 1 to 6. She/he will be responsible for facilitating the development of a studio culture of hard work, high standards, warmth, and joy.
- Affirm students, holding them accountable to their promises and to delivering “the best work they can do” as they discover and pursue a calling on a hero’s journey.
- Create meaningful exhibitions, ceremonies, and celebrations that reinforce the rules of engagement, personal and group covenants to provide and strengthen a safe learning community.
- Kind-hearted and tough-minded
- Act as a role model as an independent learner on a hero’s journey
- Launch and lead Socratic discussions
- Practice the Socratic method at all times (instead of answering questions, guiding students to find the answers themselves).
- Co-create and launch quests (projects), including daily challenges and curating world-class examples
- Guide children in self-governance.
- Prepare the studio environment so that expectations are clear and learners are set up for success.
- Encourage young heroes to track their progress and create portfolios to show parents, peers, and guides what they can do.
- Uphold promises to students, parents, and fellow Guides made in relational covenants.
- Pass along each of these responsibilities to students as quickly as possible, so as to allow students to lead themselves.
- Write or contribute to weekly blog posts.
- Communicate/meet with parents, as necessary.
Though most of the curriculum will be set already, the guide will be responsible for daily/weekly/yearly planning as well as evaluating and refining the existing curriculum and designing and experimenting with new projects, tools, and approaches. The guide will also maintain the classroom environment and document learner progress (student projects, achievements, and everyday activity).
Outstanding candidates are able to accept failure, learn from their mistakes, and embrace creativity and independence.
We are looking for someone with a deep curiosity about life, a lifelong love of learning, and an entrepreneurial spirit (must thrive in a startup environment). We seek someone who:
- Has proven excellence in guiding children in or out of a school environment.
- Has evident passion for being on a hero's journey.
- Loves to experiment, evaluate, and improve on everything she/he does.
- Has deep respect for all children, empathy for the challenges children face in their lives, and a commitment to gentle, compassionate limit setting.
- Learns quickly and works hard.
- Has proven excellence in written and oral communication skills.
- Is an active reader.
- Engaging Story-teller and creative game maker.
- Is willing to work in an 11-month program (with time off for holidays; winter, spring, and summer breaks; etc.).
- Innovative and entrepreneurial spirit
- Montessori, project-based and/or experiential learning training is helpful
- Commitment to free-market ideals
- A master of observation
This is a position for an independent learner who can work with little direct guidance; someone who likes to collaborate, experiment, evaluate and continually improve; someone who has a deep respect for all children believing that each human has genius within; and someone who is a flexible problem-solver. It is essential that this person can learn fast, loves to work hard, and is an active reader and writer.
Acton offers a competitive salary plus a bonus structure based on performance. The position also offers opportunities for professional development, growth, and advancement.
If interested, as your first step in your audition process, please read deeply through and explore the original campus’s website: http://www.actonacademy.org/austin. Then conduct some of your own research on Acton Academy and we highly recommend reading "Courage to Grow" by Laura Sandefer (original co-founder).
Then if you feel you understand and connect with our vision, please submit your resume and a thoughtful cover letter that outlines how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of the position, how the position is part of your own journey, and how you heard about this opportunity. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Montessori experience preferred
Coaching, counseling, or education experience preferred