Middle School English Teacher

Washington, District of Columbia, United States Full-time

The Inspired Teaching Demonstration School is accepting applications for a Middle School English Teacher for the 2018-19 school year. The school is seeking a self-motivated, dynamic, and thoughtful individual with proven progressive, inquiry-based teaching skills to join the faculty. The Inspired Teaching Demonstration School serves PreSchool – 8<sup>th</sup> grade.

At the Inspired Teaching Demonstration School, a professional learning community of master teachers and teacher residents ensures that a diverse group of students achieve their potential as accomplished learners, thoughtful citizens, and imaginative and inquisitive problem solvers through a demanding, inquiry-based curriculum. With its clear mission and prominent location in Washington, DC, the school serves as a model of instruction for students and training for teachers, with the goal of becoming a leader in changing the way teachers are prepared and supported and students are educated nationwide.

THE ROLE OF AN INSPIRED TEACHER

Inspired Teachers possess the beliefs, skills, and accomplishments that lead all students to achieve at high levels. To establish a true professional learning community, all adults in the building are considered educators, as they all interact regularly with students. As such, a firm belief and grounding in the philosophy and values of the school's mission is crucial for every employee. It is of the utmost importance that every member of the school’s staff believes that all children can learn and contribute to the vitality of their learning community. This combined with a deep care for all students is the foundation for our work.

The Inspired Teaching Demonstration School highly values and respects teaching as a profession and teachers as professionals. The school culture places a premium on teacher autonomy and expertise and in turn, expects professionalism and a high level of responsibility from the teaching staff. The school works hard to ensure teachers have a positive and productive work culture, including collegiality among staff, appropriate supports for teaching (including adequate supplies for every classroom), and a respect for teachers as individuals and professionals.

Middle School English Teacher      

Teachers in the middle school genuinely enjoy teaching and learning alongside young adolescents. They facilitate inquiry-based classrooms that allow students to tackle Common Core standards in a variety of ways. Teachers take a developmentally responsive approach and use their understanding of young adolescents as the foundation on which all decisions are made. Using the principles of restorative justice and Responsive Classroom, teachers help students problem solve and develop conflict resolution skills. Middle school teachers hold high expectations for each student and engage students in thoughtful, meaningful work, taking pride in advocating for each student’s right to learn and providing challenging and relevant learning opportunities. Teachers demonstrate courage and collaboration working together to create curriculum and learning experiences that are challenging, integrative and exploratory. Our social-justice, arts integrated approach gives teachers the flexibility to meet demanding standards through varied approaches. 

In English, teachers use Socratic seminars and literature circles to engage students deeply in a text, and grammar, vocabulary and writing are essential components of the work. The literature program is designed to examine social justice issues through character analysis and analytical and inferential reading.

Responsibilities:

All teachers are responsible for the following:

  • Planning and engaging in high-quality instruction in line with the school’s mission and philosophy, curriculum, and the Common Core standards.
  • Utilizing a workshop model to teach reading and writing.
  • Drawing on multiple teaching strategies and approaches to engage students and provide differentiation.
  • Conducting, reviewing, analyzing, and using a wide-range of student assessments to inform teaching practice and planning, and to ensure student growth.
  • Integrating developmentally appropriate, culturally competent, research based strategies into teaching and assessment practices.
  • Creating a classroom community that reflects the mission and philosophy of the Inspired Teaching School.
  • Collaborating with special education, ELL and teaching assistants (when applicable).
  • Building strong relationships and open communication with families.
  • Contributing to the school community as an active and productive participant, promoting a culture of collaboration and inquiry.
  • Participating in regular, school-based professional development.
  • Participating in school events outside of school hours, including Student Learning Showcases.
  • Incorporating problem solving strategies and literacy strategies into daily instructional routine.
  • Differentiating formative assessments (independent practice, homework, exit tickets, etc.)

The successful teacher:

  • Demonstrates experience as an effective teacher.
  • Demonstrates curriculum development skills and passion.
  • Is committed to and experienced with meaningfully assessing student learning.
  • Has a willingness to embrace teaching the whole child.
  • Shows potential for leadership in and beyond the classroom.
  • Engages in holistic, asset-based approach to problem solving.
  • Has a commitment to reflective practice.
  • Shows a commitment to the teaching profession.
  • Fits with the school's organizational culture and mission.
  • Demonstrates the ability to thrive in an innovative environment and an interest in being part of a team that builds the systems that support a growing school.

QUALIFICATIONS

The successful applicant will demonstrate significant knowledge and experience in the field of progressive, constructivist education and the potential to serve as a coach to a novice teacher.

Master/Lead Teachers must:

  • Have significant experience in teaching English to middle school students.
  • Have experience accelerating and supporting students at all levels.
  • Have a demonstrated ability to implement the school's philosophy of teaching and pedagogy – and be willing and able to share their experiences, ideas, and strategies with all colleagues.
  • Demonstrate a deep commitment to reflective practice, an ability to give and receive feedback openly and without defensiveness, and a desire to constantly question and improve their teaching practice.
  • Be deeply committed to creating a school that not only provides an excellent education for the student, but that creates an open, trusting learning environment for the teachers.
  • Have a strong ability to persevere in the face of ongoing challenges. Teaching anywhere – but even more so in an urban setting in a growing school – is a demanding profession, regularly requiring one to go above and beyond, to solve problems quickly and in the moment, and to find the positive in difficult situations. We will look for these qualities in all of our staff.
  • Master Teachers must be skilled in teaching and supporting adults as well as children, as they will serve as mentors to the Teaching Residents.

We require teachers to meet the requirements for Highly Qualified Teacher status in the District of Columbia. Requirements include:

  • Minimum of a Bachelor's degree, preferably in a content area. Master's degree preferred.
  • 3 or more years of classroom teaching experience or equivalent relevant work with children will be preferred.
  • Passing of relevant Praxis exams.
  • Ability to establish strong, trusting, and authentic relationships with a wide variety of individuals, including new and experienced teachers, parents and families, and a diverse local community.
  • Clear, concise, and persuasive writing and speaking skills.
  • Integrity and a sense of humor.
  • Experience teaching with workshop model preferred.
  • Experience with restorative justice and/or Responsive Classroom preferred.
  •  Experience in play-based and arts-focused programs preferred.

 ABOUT THE SCHOOL

With its clear mission and prominent location in Washington, DC, the school serves as a model of instruction for students and training for teachers, with the goal of becoming a leader in changing the way teachers are prepared and supported, and students are educated nationwide.  At the Inspired Teaching Demonstration School, students learn through an academically challenging, standards-based curriculum that supports and builds the four “I”s: Intellect, Inquiry, Imagination, and Integrity. Within its walls young people learn and achieve at high levels without having to surrender their intellectual curiosity and passion for learning.

The school focuses on developing student potential in four areas: Intellect, Inquiry, Imagination, and Integrity. Students master content in Reading & Literature, Communication, Math, Science, and Social Studies—and have the ability to apply their knowledge to relevant and current situations, problems, and experiences; students develop the skills of a researcher, using their intellectual curiosity to pose and solve problems; students exhibit the skills of divergent thinkers, with the courage to create, the willingness to approach problems with a joyful spirit, and the ability to play; and students develop the skills and dispositions necessary to function as members of a democratic society.

Teachers are held to a high standard of excellence and professionalism. Teachers demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the subjects they teach; draw on an extensive repertoire of authentic and engaging strategies for instruction and assessment, steeped in the knowledge of how children and adolescents learn; contribute to a vibrant and active professional learning community; and forge strong and positive relationships not only with students, but also with community stakeholders, including families.

The school hosts Teaching Residents enrolled in Center for Inspired Teaching’s Teacher Certification Program in which Inspired Teaching Fellows study under the guidance of classroom teachers. Fellows earn their Washington DC teaching certification through the DC state-approved teacher certification program run by Center for Inspired Teaching.

As a demonstration school, staff works to disseminate our instructional approach through inviting education influencers to visit the school, and disseminating the model outward via preparation of Teaching Residents, conference presentations, and other opportunities to speak in the community.

The school is a place where children, adolescents and adults thrive and find joy in their work.

  • The physical space communicates a genuine focus on learners.
  •  The emotional space requires an approach to academics and discipline that focuses on helping children and adolescents develop compassion, empathy, respect for others, self-discipline, and problem-solving skills.
  • The intellectual space of the school asks teachers and students to act as leaders, share opinions and ideas, identify problems and generate solutions, and collaborate and work together as a community so that everyone experiences success.  
  • The school emphasizes parent and community involvement. Parents play an active and important role in the school - volunteering in classrooms, creating special events for families, supporting student learning, and contributing to the positive climate.

Primary methods of instruction include inquiry and active learning, where the teacher serves as facilitator and coach to support student learning. Instruction includes an emphasis on social-emotional learning, and classrooms are characterized by student-centered organization styles such as differentiated instruction, collaborative groups, and child-initiated play.

SCHOOL GOALS

For Students: The school focuses on developing student potential in four areas: Intellect, Inquiry, Imagination, and Integrity. Students master content in Reading & Literature, Communication & the Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies—and have the ability to apply their knowledge to relevant and current situations, problems, and experiences; students develop the skills of a researcher, using their intellectual curiosity to pose and solve problems; students exhibit the skills of divergent thinkers, with the courage to create, the willingness to approach problems with a joyful spirit, and the ability to play; and students develop the skills and dispositions necessary to function as members of a democratic society.

For Teachers: Teachers are held to a high standard of excellence and professionalism. Teachers demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the subjects they teach; draw on an extensive repertoire of authentic and engaging strategies for instruction and assessment, steeped in the knowledge of how children learn; contribute to a vibrant and active professional learning community; and forge strong and positive relationships not only with students, but also with community stakeholders, including families.

SALARY AND BENEFITS

The Inspired Teaching School offers competitive salaries, commensurate with experience. The school offers a strong benefits package that includes health care (multiple plan options), retirement plan (employer match available), Flexible Spending accounts, supplemental insurance through AFLAC, and pre-tax public transportation/Metro benefit.

The Inspired Teaching Demonstration School is an equal opportunity employer committed to inclusive hiring and encourages applicants from all backgrounds. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national original, marital status, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, disability, or any other protected status. All employment decisions are made solely on the basis of the individual’s qualifications as related to the requirements of the position being filled.