Spark Academy in Lawrence, MA is an innovative school dedicated to supporting students’ academic growth, health, and wellness. Spark’s school day intertwines rigorous academic classes with invigorating athletics including dance, karate, and football. Spark’s structures include high academic expectations, small group advisories, and a school-wide behavior management system.
Associate Teachers play an incredibly important role in Spark Academy’s overall success in supporting our students. As such, we work to recruit Associate Teachers who are an incredibly positive, strong, energetic presence in the lives of our children and have a commitment towards hard work that will help lead their students to significant academic growth. Spark Associate Teachers are dedicated to working towards closing the achievement gap.
Associate Teachers support the lead teacher, run small group instruction for targeted students, as well as act as a substitute teacher when the lead teacher is absent. As such, Associate Teachers must be confident and mature individuals who can project authority and manage groups of children. Moreover, Associate Teachers must be very strong academically in English, math, or science to be able to provide the appropriate academic support to students inside classrooms.
This role is a prime opportunity for a variety of professionals, including: a) those who want to complete a year or two of service by supporting a disadvantaged community, b) those looking to develop their skills as educators in the hopes of working towards becoming a teacher, counselor or school administrator, or c) those who have extensive experience in schools and want to continue the valuable work without taking on the load of a full-time teaching or administrative position.
Spark Academy Associate Teachers work 180 days of school as well as participate in up to 11 non-teaching days of professional development throughout the school year, including a 7 day orientation before the start of the year. The school day runs from 8:00-3:15 Mondays through Fridays. Spark Associate Teachers also work from 4:00-5:00pm every Tuesday to either participate in targeted professional develop or to help support students academically in an afterschool homework program.
- Take responsibility to be a strong, positive force daily in his/her classroom while also consistently and thoughtfully motivating students to work hard and want to learn;
- Build supportive working relationships with lead teachers and fellow Associate Teachers to help create a positive and collaborative work environment;
- Run high functioning small groups for targeted students in identified subjects, often working with students identified as English language learners (ELL) or needing special education services.
- Actively seek out ways to continuously support lead teachers to reduce the heavy load on teachers and increase their time to support students, e.g. grading, preparing materials, supporting with behavior management;
- Be extremely flexible and supportive in ensuring overall school-wide functioning by taking on other vital non-academic duties that support the organization and order of the school, e.g. lunch and recess duty, helping to run afternoon detentions, supporting student transitions between classes.
- Engage in professional development and coaching and embrace a growth mindset to actively improve instructional and management skills;
- Use school-wide behavior system to establish strong classroom culture, consistent routines, and high expectations for students to ensure that culture is uniform throughout the school and thus ensuring the least amount of learning time is wasted;
- Build trusting relationships with students and families in an advisory setting of up to 12 students while also supporting students to gain a deeper understanding of our school values: Seeking Justice, Perseverance, Active Living, Reason, and Kindness.
- Other responsibilities as needed and assigned by administration.
- Alignment with Spark Academy’s core beliefs and educational philosophy is non-negotiable.
- Experience working with young people required;
- Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree highly preferred, High School degree required;
- Possesses a positive attitude, is confident, and can project authority;
- Able to inspire and motivate students to push themselves academically;
- Academically strong in assigned academic area;
- Very punctual and very reliable;
- Fluency in Spanish preferred;
- Self-motivated to improve, consistently looking for new ways to better support other staff and students, and willing to be flexible to do whatever is needed to ensure the best education possible for all students