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We are looking for a physics and/or math teacher

December 7, 2016

Note: This position is now filled (June 2017)

My school, St. Andrew’s School in Delaware, is looking for a full time physics teacher for 2017-18. St. Andrew’s is an outstanding coeducational 100% boarding school with excellent facilities, situated on 2500 acres of farmland, 1 hour from Philadelphia.

Here are a few other tidbits about this job and my school:

  • The culture of the school is unique, and really must be experienced to be believed. 310 students and 80 faculty living and working together to find deep joy in learning, working to make the world a better place, and to create a compassionate, caring community that rejects the culture of pettiness and cynicism that can often infect the traditional high school.
  • The school draws students from all over the world and is 100% need blind in its admissions. Nearly half of the student body receives financial aid, and the average grant is $42,000 (this is almost unheard of in the independent school world).
  • The school is led by a visionary headmaster, Tad Roach. To get a sense of what an incredible educational leader he is, I encourage you to read a few of his chapel talks.
  • The faculty are incredible. They are experts in their fields, deeply committed to the craft of teaching, collegiality and continuous improvement. I credit many of them with helping me to rekindle my interest in the humanities as a young teacher.
  • You’ll have a lot of autonomy. One of the luxuries of teaching in private school, and our school in particular, is that you are given a large amount of control over what and how you teach, yet at the same time, you’ll have a tremendous network of colleagues with with to share ideas and gain feedback.
  • You’ll have a great opportunity to shape the future of the science curriculum at our school. We use a modified version of the modeling curriculum in physics and chemistry, along with standards based grading, and very open to your ideas for how we can continue to experiment and improve science education for our students. You’ll be part of a vibrant and very collaborative department—we’re doing some very interesting work to create a longitudinal study of a subset of our students to help us define, measure and collect evidence of the skills we are trying to teach. We also have an amazing department chair.
  • You’ll even have a chance to help shape the future of our building, as we are in the early stages of planning for a major renovation of the science building.
  • Classes are very small, usually around 12 students, and a typical load is 3 or 4 sections.
  • You’ll have tremendous resources to support you in your teaching. The physics department has a special endowment to bring leading scientists to campus to deliver a lecture and speak to classes (past speakers have included Brian Green, Bill Phillips, Janna Levin, Jill Tarter, Stephon Alexander, Sean Carroll , and last year, Chanda Prescod-Weinstein. We also have resources to bring teaching experts to campus to observe classes and offer coaching, like Rhett Allain, Eugenia Etkina, and Andy Rundquist this year. Every summer, we run Physics Teacher Camp, bringing a group of physics teachers together to work intensively to discuss pedagogy and develop our curriculum. We have the resources to provide for almost any professional development opportunity you can imagine.
  • As a small school, we’re also very flexible. If you have interest in teaching another subject, this can likely be accommodated in the future. In my time here, I’ve taught multiple levels of physics, computer science, mathematics and worked as a college counselor. And I’ve seen colleagues who started in careers as classroom teachers grow into positions as department chairs, deans and even go on to become heads of other schools.

In short, the community is truly inspiring. If you’ve never considered boarding school teaching, you’ll be amazed by the connections you can form with students and the things they can accomplish when you encourage their interests outside the school day. This year, I’ve worked with a group of students to organize an Oxfam Hunger Banquet, am working with a young woman to design and paint a 10×10 mural in our science building to celebrate the beauty creativity and diversity of math and science, and am working with another student to create a campaign to change the culture of sleep at the school so that we set getting 8 hours or more hours of sleep each night as our most important priority.

This is a school that will help you to grow and discover new interests and talents, and build amazing connections with colleagues and students. You will often be amazed that you get paid to do be a part of this community.

Here’s the link to the job description. Please feel free to ask questions (confidentially) in the comments, and I’ll try to answer them or connect you with those who can.

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