Teach outside the box. Change the conversation. SOAR Schools.
SOAR Schools is a new network of public charter schools committed to providing exceptional educational opportunities to students in Far Northeast Denver. All SOAR schools offer an innovative, holistic approach to education that includes an academically rigorous curriculum, a mandatory extended school day, and daily enrichment opportunities. At SOAR schools all staff members are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children, so that they in turn, will grow into socially responsible citizens who will make a difference in the world.
In the 2013-2014 school year SOAR@Green Valley Ranch will enter its fourth year and reach full capacity, serving approximately 475 K-5th grade students. SOAR@Oakland – Denver's only Restart Turnaround charter school – will enter its third year, serving approximately 500 students in PreK-5th grade.
To apply, send your resume and tailored cover letter to email@example.com. In your cover letter, be sure to explain the most compelling reasons why you would be a great SOAR teacher. These should include your beliefs about the purpose of schools, how children learn best, and authentic assessment.
Teachers at SOAR
- Provide an inviting, exciting, inclusive, and joyful learning environment;
- Participate wholeheartedly in professional development and enrich their expertise in the subject area they will teach;
- Develop curriculum and lesson plans that are rigorous, clear, measurable, and aligned with Colorado Standards and SOAR's instructional approaches;
- Embrace planning for and teaching a diverse classroom of students with a wide variety of learning styles, needs and behaviors;
- Follow the school's policies and procedures for student conduct, discipline, and social-emotional development;
- Form meaningful relationships with families and involve parents in their children's education.
Characteristics of a SOAR Teacher:
- Must have prior successful teaching experience in an urban setting;
- Must have a Colorado State license or a BA and a passing score on the Praxis or Place exam.
- LDE endorsement preferred for 2013-2014 school year.
Some teachers tend to do this…
but a SOAR teacher would do this…
Builds identity within his/her classroom, says things like “My students don't do reading groups that way” or “In my class we ‘show respect'” These teachers tend to be “lone rangers” who close their doors to the rest of the school.
Buys into a school-wide identity and program, and understands that students in a particular class are still very much part of the larger community, and that as teachers, they are also responsible for the larger community. Proudly wears the SOAR logo inside and out of work.
Teaches content effectively but somewhat idiosyncratically, without an eye toward how students will be taught in future years when they have different teachers and will be mixed in classes with students who had other teachers for this grade.
Collaborates with colleagues to ensure a common approach to grade-level content, and works with past and future teachers to ensure smooth transition of students from one grade to another.
Seek content expertise above all else. For example, may be fluent in children's literature and could quickly rattle of the names of books that students of different learning styles might like.
Seeks pedagogical expertise above all else and is committed to full understanding of content. Is a master at teaching children to read and can diagnose challenges quickly and accurately. As a math teacher, can offer a multitude of ways that a student might attempt to solve the same problem, and the likely mistakes he/she could make with each approach.
Views classroom management as a necessary evil, something that must be accomplished to establish a classroom environment that is conducive for learning.
Understands that behavior is taught, and that teachers must organize and manage the classroom for optimal learning to occur. Behavior is part of the instructional program, and the teacher knows how to interact effectively with children. Finds balance between the social curriculum with the academic curriculum.
Respect for children
Maintains a professional face during the school day, but frequently says things after school in the teachers' lounge like “I am so DONE with Johnny. Just done with him.”
Gets honestly angry like everyone else, but understands that children are children and it is a teacher's role to foster independence and community values.
Perceives parent involvement as positive when parents offer to volunteer or to donate resources, but negative when parents are bringing complaints or asking question that take a lot of time to answer and put the teacher on the defensive.
Perceives parent involvement to be inherently good and a sign of parent engagement. Sees it as part of the teacher's job to communicate regularly with parents so they have the right information. Understands that complaints from parents must be fully explored and responded to.
Is congenial (gets along with colleagues) but does not genuinely collaborate. Says “yes” in faculty meetings and then does his/her own thing in the classroom.
Enjoys team teaching and working with other teachers across the grade to forge genuine instructional connections.
Teaching as social action
Believes all children need good teachers, and are happy to work with any students, as long as they can provide them with a good education.
Sees teaching as a form of social action, and chooses and uses their work as a means to “equalize” opportunities for children. Teaches children to critique the social order and make decisions that help make the world a better place.
Willing to do everything that is explicitly part of his/her responsibilities, but often draws narrow limits when anything falls beyond those responsibilities. Would call the custodian to clean up even the smallest mess. This teacher may prefer to leave school right after dismissal to do grading and planning elsewhere.
Conceptualizes teacher role with both explicit and implicit roles. Often “just does stuff” that needs to be done. Tends to be in the school building after school to do planning and grading.
Attends professional development offerings, reads professional books, and listens to feedback. Implements new professional learning that he or she “agrees with” and is comfortable with.
Believes teaching is a craft in need of constant refinement, and is willing to take risks, do research and engage in personal reflection in order to learn and become a better teacher. Sees professional critique as an important means toward improving practice.
SOAR Schools - 21 months ago