Job Posting: Teaching Fellows for 2014-2015

Alzar School | 23.12.13
NOTE: As of 2.18.2014, the Alzar School is no longer accepting applications for positions for the 2014-2015 school year.  New postings will be indicated by a new blog post.
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 the teaching fellowship also includes a 6-week expedition to Chile.  The school uses outdoor adventure and international travel to challenge students.  Students invest one semester of their high school career at the school.
Position qualifications
The Alzar School spends a significant portion of its time in the wilderness and front-country for adventure programming.  The teaching fellow is expected to be a competent outdoor leader with the skills to respond to various situations.  He/she should be an expert in at least one sport/activity and be proficient in 1-2 other sports/activities.

The teaching fellow must possess:

  • A basic knowledge of contemporary outdoor programming methods and practices.
  • Technical and educational skill competency in several outdoor skill areas, including (but not limited to):
    • Whitewater kayaking, rafting & canoeing
    • Rock climbing, ice climbing, & mountaineering
    • Alpine & backcountry skiing/snowboarding
    • Snowshoeing & Nordic skiing
    • Winter camping
    • Mountain biking
    • Surfing
    • Fly fishing
  • The physical ability to perform strenuous outdoor recreational activities in remote and rugged mountains or water based environments.
  • Required base certifications:
    • BLS for the Professional Rescuer or other CPR/AED certification
  • Multiple other outdoor leadership, medical, and professional certifications to include as many of the following as possible:
    • Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness First Responder
    • American Canoe Association 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

Traits and Qualities

The teaching fellow must be a dynamic, engaging, and self-motivated person who will work to motivate, inspire, and lead students.  He/she must be effective at working independently and in collaboration with other staff.

The teaching fellow must have the ability to:

  • Spend and enjoy extended periods of time with youth in a variety of settings.
  • Self-manage.
  • Prioritize, plan and organize on a daily, weekly, and semester basis.
  • Work as part of a team, sharing responsibilities.
  • Seek advice and support when necessary.
  • Use effective communication skills.
  • Work under pressure and to deadlines.
  • Maintain a sense of humor and positive attitude in the face of adversity.

Qualifications & Experience

The teaching fellow for the Alzar School should be a emerging professional who is interested in learning more about the practice of teaching and the outdoor industry.

The teaching fellow shall possess and/or demonstrate:

  • At minimum, a bachelor’s degree.
  • Work experience within a classroom setting and/or outdoor settings.
  • Recent experience working with teenagers.
  • Experience leading youth in the outdoors.
  • Personal domestic and international travel experience.

Other Special Responsibilities & Knowledge

Due to the nature of the school, the teaching fellow will be called upon to support nonacademic areas of the school.  Specific out-of-classroom job duties will be determined as the entire staff is determined.

The teaching fellow may be asked to assist and/or lead in one or more of the following areas:

  • General office work
  • Recruiting of students
  • Admissions of students
  • Maintenance of school facilities
  • Fundraising and development
  • Marketing and communications
  • Food preparation
  • Equipment procurement and maintenance
  • International travel planning
  • Afternoon and evening activity planning and supervision
  • Weekend supervision of students

The teaching fellow must possess:

  • Some Spanish speaking, reading, and writing ability.
  • Proficiency with a variety of computer software and applications, to include some of the following (but not limited to):
    • Microsoft Office software suite
    • HTML programming
    • All Google apps
    • Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites

Physical Requirements & Work Conditions

The teaching fellow must be willing to work unusual hours, sometimes in adverse outdoor conditions, and provide creative solutions to a variety of issues.  A significant portion of the work duties will be spent with students and trip participants, working intrastate, interstate, or internationally in an uncontrolled outdoor environment.  This position requires a high level of physical activity.

The teaching fellow shall possess and/or demonstrate:

  • The ability to lift and carry a 50-pound backpack for a distance of at least 8 miles over rugged terrain.
  • The ability to swim at minimum 200 meters in open-water conditions.
  • The ability and desire to spend multiple days/weeks living in the wilderness.
  • Excellent general physical condition and endurance, specifically relevant to the outdoor sports he/she instructs for Alzar School.

The teaching fellow can expect:

  • Potentially dangerous situations, including: avalanche hazard, rock and ice fall, wilderness based medical emergencies, extreme temperatures, adverse weather, mountainous terrain, whitewater rivers, open water passages.
  • Extended and irregular hours each week.
  • Participation and leadership roles in outdoor expeditions that are away from home for multiple weeks/months at a time.
  • Extended international expeditions requiring living in a foreign culture.
  • Physical labor requirements, both in the outdoor setting and around campus.
  • Extensive time commitment. 
Position responsibilities

All Alzar School teaching fellows will have multiple roles at the school and efforts will be divided over a variety of tasks.  We know we will need everyone to be committed to the big picture success of the program and to be willing to pitch in.  As a rough estimate, of their efforts, teaching fellows will devote:

  • 35% for supervision of students (nightly/weekend supervision).
  • 20% for academic teaching (observing , proctoring study hall,)
  • 25% for assisting with outdoor programming (after school, weekends, and extended expeditions)
  • 15% for community life (chores around campus, food preparation, facility maintenance, etc)
  • 5% for organizational efforts (recruiting, admissions, fundraising, etc)

Strategic direction and development of the school

It is the duty of the teaching fellow to work with the Head of School, Executive Director, faculty and other staff to implement the strategic plan for the school and its community.

The teaching fellow will be expected to:

  • Support the efforts of the faculty and staff to meet the school’s strategic goals.
  • Reflect on each semester’s efforts and communicate feedback for continual improvement.
  • Work towards successful, balanced implementation of the school’s Six Foundations (Academics, Leadership Training, Cultural Exchange, Service Learning, and Environmental Stewardship).

Leading and teaching

The teaching fellow works with other Alzar School teachers and instructors to provide and sustain effective teaching and learning throughout the school and to monitor and evaluate the students’ learning and achievement, using benchmarks and setting targets for improvement.  This includes responsibilities both inside and outside the classroom.

The teaching fellow will be expected to:

  • Assist with instruction for a variety of academic subjects at the direction of the Head of School, to include an intensive period of observation, team-teaching, and leading a class for at least one subject area.
  • Supervise the proctored, evening study hall sessions provided for students.
  • Work individually with struggling students (including English Language Learners) to help improve students’ academic performance.
  • Demonstrate and articulate high expectations and set targets for students.
  • Assist teachers with planning, grading, and reporting, to include the complete planning and instruction of an academic unit.
  • Assist with school-wide efforts to maintain regional accreditation for the school.

Membership in larger faculty

The teaching fellow is responsible for working with the other faculty and staff of the Alzar School to maintain a culture of learning and leadership development in multiple, global settings.

The teaching fellow will be expected to:

  • Maintain professional standards and to help develop constructive working relationships amongst other staff members and between staff and students.
  • Participate in frequent staff meetings.
  • Work in small groups of staff members to work on school improvement goals.
  • Collaborate with other staff members to provide interdisciplinary instruction.
  • Assist other staff members as need arises, to ensure continuity of instruction (to include covering classes, team teaching, providing one-on-one tutoring, etc).

Membership in school community and larger community

The teaching fellow will be a part of the larger Alzar School community.  As such, he/she will have responsibilities that extend outside of the classroom.   First and foremost, the teaching fellow is an adult role model and mentor for the students.  He/she must behave in a manner that exemplifies the principles of the school.  He/she will also have responsibilities related to student life outside the classroom.

The teaching fellow will be expected to:

  • Help maintain a school culture and curriculum which takes account of the richness and diversity of the school’s communities.
  • Promote positive strategies for challenging prejudice and dealing with harassment.
  • Work with other teachers and staff to coordinate a range of community-based learning experiences.Seek opportunities to invite parents, community figures, businesses or other organizations into the school to enhance and enrich the school and its value to the wider community.

Dates of employment

Teaching Fellow Training for Fall 2014- early-mid August, 2014  (exact date TBD, required for all Fall teaching fellows)

Last day of fellowship for Fall 2014 – December 23, 2014

Teaching Fellow Training – mid January, 2015  (required for all Spring teaching fellows)

Last day of fellowship for Spring 2015 – June 1, 2015

This is an unpaid fellowship position.  However, teaching fellows will be provided with free housing on campus and food while on expedition and on campus.  Teaching fellows will be expected to purchase their airfare to Chile (and pay associated baggage and visa fees).  Additionally, the teaching fellows have the opportunity to certify in wilderness advanced first aid (or recertify in WFR) and swiftwater rescue at no cost.  Teaching fellows also have access to the school’s pro-purchase deals.  Please contact the Head of School for more specific and up-to-date information.
To apply, please submit a 2-page resume and cover letter to the Head of School, Sean Bierle at, finalists for the positions will be interviewed in early February by video conference (Skype or Google Hangout).