Brief overview of organization:
The Alzar School is a semester school for students in 10th and 11th grades. Students are highly motivated teenagers who want to make a difference in the world. The Alzar School’s campus is in Cascade, Idaho, but each semester includes extended cultural immersion in Chile. Faculty travel with the students to Chile, living and working there for five to six weeks each semester. The school uses honors and AP-level coursework, outdoor adventure, and international travel to challenge students. Our mission at Alzar School is “to educate and facilitate the leadership development of high school students.”
FOR ALL CANDIDATES:
All candidates should be passionate about education, teaching, and learning. We are a community of learners.
The Alzar School spends a significant portion of its time in the wilderness and front-country for adventure programming. Teachers and teaching fellows are expected to be competent outdoor leaders with the skills to respond to various situations. Teachers should be experts in at least one sport/activity and be proficient in 1-2 other sports/activities. Teaching fellows should have general competency with outdoor skills and camp craft, and a high level of proficiency is preferable. Most importantly, we are looking for highly skilled whitewater kayak/raft instructors and backpacking trip leaders. Additional skills in other sports (such as skiing, surfing, mountain biking, fly fishing, etc.) are a plus.
Both TEACHER AND TEACHING FELLOW candidates should possess or be willing to acquire, the following additional skills and knowledge:
- Knowledge and experience with professional outdoor programming methods and practices.
- The physical ability to perform strenuous outdoor recreational activities in remote and rugged mountains or water based environments.
- Proficiency with a variety of computer software and applications, to include some of the following (but not limited to): all Google apps (ie Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, etc.)
- Proficiency driving manual transmission vehicles
- Wilderness First Responder or higher level of training
- Experience working with teenagers
Additionally relevant qualifications:
Please let us know about any other relevant trainings and certifications. These may include:
- American Canoe Association Instructor or Instructor Trainer
- Swiftwater Rescue Technician (Advanced)
- American Mountain Guides Association Single Pitch Instructor
- Professional Ski Instructor Association Certification
- Leave No Trace Educator
- Commercial Drivers License
- Spanish-language proficiency
FOR CANDIDATES TO BE TEACHERS:
Candidates looking to be teachers should have at least ONE of the following academic qualifying criteria:
- Teaching certificate (or concrete plan to acquire teaching certificate by May 1, 2017... see ABCTE program as one route)
- Education degree (undergraduate or graduate level)
- Master’s degree in content area (See application for list of classes we offer)
- 2+ years teaching experience
Additionally, teacher candidates should possess advanced technical skills and be able to lead in at least one of the following activity areas:
- Whitewater rafting (up to class IV)
- Whitewater kayaking (up to class IV)
- Backpacking (5-6 days in remote locations)
FOR TEACHER POSITION:
It is undoubtedly true that Alzar School teachers have significant time commitments during the semester, especially in bursts.
Academically, teachers typically teach 4-5 sections of class a day, or 15 hours per week in the classroom in front of students. They are also expected to have office hours (for prepping and working on big-picture school projects) for 1.5 hours every school day.
Outside of the traditional classroom, all teachers are part of the residential life team that makes the boarding program possible. During a school year, teachers rotate through crews: cook (~4, 5-day shifts/year), "on duty" (~4, 5-day shifts/year), weekends (~10 weekends/year), before/after school activity (~8, 4-day shifts/year).
All teachers typically lead or assist with an auxiliary role at the school, in which they may spend 1-4 hours per week focused on big-picture efforts of the school. Some of these roles have included: writing a school blog, photography and videography, packing food for expeditions, coordinating student life details, coordinating the medical program, and assisting with the outdoor program.
Lastly, teachers lead our various expeditions. The school has 5 major (6-day) expeditions per semester. Teachers typically lead 4 of those per semester, with one block designated for supporting expeditions and development of curriculum.
Teachers do receive three weeks of break at winter break, two mid-semester breaks per year (4-days each), and two months off at summer.
FOR TEACHING FELLOWS:
Similar to teachers, often working alongside with full-time faculty.
Dates of employment:
In general, the school year spans from the beginning of August into the first week of May.
New TEACHER hires will likely start training in July 2017.
TEACHING FELLOWS for Fall 2017 semester will start in first week of August. TEACHING FELLOWS for Spring 2018 semester will start in mid-January. Exact dates to be determined.
For 2016-2017, first-year Alzar School teachers’ compensation includes wages and on-campus housing. The wages, paid over a 12-month period, have been $22,625 (for the entire year contract). Additional benefits of working at Alzar School include meals with the school, two trips to Chile, health insurance, voluntary participation in a retirement fund, and professional development and gear stipends. We estimate the total package be valued at approximately $38,000.
If hired, candidates will be offered a contract to teach for the Alzar School through the 2018-2019 school year. We have learned that the complexity of our work and the investment we make in transferring institutional knowledge to new teachers are critical factors. Therefore, we find teachers really hit their stride in their second year with us. We are looking for professionals coming in with the mindset of staying for 2+ years. To encourage this, both the professional development and gear stipends will be paid when the teacher successfully completes the full contract. After successfully completing their initial contracts with the Alzar School, teachers are offered 1-year contracts and the professional development and gear stipends are distributed annually.
Teachers are provided on-campus housing. Teachers are expected to live on-campus during times when “on duty.” These accommodations are generally one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartments with kitchenettes. Additionally, the apartments share a common area with additional living space and a full kitchen and laundry facilities. Teachers also have storage sheds (4’x10’) on campus for equipment storage. A teacher may choose to have off-campus housing, but there is no adjustment to the wage package.
FOR TEACHING FELLOWS:
Teaching fellows are responsible for paying a $2,100 program fee. The school provides for their lodging, food, and transportation to/within Chile, as well as offering access to key equipment. Program fees are nonrefundable. See more at alzarschool.org/tf
Application procedures and deadlines, including a "closing" date:
To apply, please complete this online application, where you will be asked to indicate whether you are applying as a teacher candidate or teaching fellow candidate. In doing so, you will be asked to submit a professional resume, cover letter, and outdoor resume. Questions about both teacher and teaching fellow positions can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. The initial application will be open until February 15. Some candidates will be selected for video conference interviews.
If, based on your application and video conference interview, you are selected as a finalist, you will be asked to provide further writing samples, example lesson plans, and a short video of an academic lesson.
Laura Bechdel, Director of Studies
PO Box 1609
Cascade ID 83611