A superb primary educator with a passion for technology is sought for a role based in Dubai, providing full-time private tuition to four children.
This is a unique role which balances traditional tutoring with an open eye to the changing education requirements of the future world. The Tutor will be required to deliver a solid primary education to four children (ranging in age from 6-3) while anticipating and teaching the skills needed to succeed in a technologically advanced world.
Computers, machines, and artificial intelligence will have a huge influence on society over the coming years and decades, far exceeding their role today. These technological developments will bring significant changes to many industries and professions, and society as a whole, commoditizing knowledge and requiring humans to develop new expertise in forming thoughts and developing wisdom within a fast paced world full of noise and distractions.
Set against this backdrop, the existing educational system is already suffering from inertia and will be increasingly outdated and mismatched to the actual educational needs of our next generation. With information being mostly freely available and knowledge developed collaboratively as part of a global community, the challenges of navigating the new world are vastly different than the challenges the human family faced just 20 years ago. It is therefore important to prepare our new generations as best we can to be curious, flexible and adaptable for a future that is inherently less predictable than at any prior period.
There are four children – six year old twins, a boy and a girl, a four year old boy, and a three year old girl. All four are delightful youngsters; well behaved, polite and engaging. For the most part, they all cooperate and get on well with one another. There are occasional instances where their relationships break down, such as when they are tired or hungry, but this is to be expected of four young children.
The twins have markedly different personalities. The girl is highly independent and dynamic, while her brother is much more sensitive and gentle. Both are intelligent and curious about the world around them. The girl is a strong reader at a young age. The children speak German as a matter of course, and although their English is well developed for their age, it is clearly affected by effects of multiple language acquisition. All four children currently attend a school in Dubai which is well reputed but cannot offer the individual focus and broad education that the children’s parents are seeking for their children.
This role calls for an extraordinary Tutor to work with the family to ensure a rounded education is delivered without necessarily adhering to the rigid constrictions imposed by following any combination of formal curricula.
The primary focus of this initial role is the two elder children. The younger two will initially be tutored by one of the nannies (who is also a qualified primary teacher), but part of the Tutor’s role will be to oversee and guide these lessons before a second full-time Tutor is employed (likely September 2018). The family like the IB approach to education in which conversation and dialogue form a core part of the learning process, but they are happy to integrate this with other curricula. They are not fond of the US style of primary education in which rote learning forms a large part of the curriculum. The parents believe that exam success should be an incidental by-product of a successful education, not the end goal in itself. Even though there are some early years’ curricula that provide a good indication of progress in the key skills, the Tutor should not be constrained by these, but see these merely as points of reference. Instead the Tutor should find and develop creative ways to introduce the children to a wide variety of topics of interests from history, philosophy, basic psychology, and basic economic theory all the way to an introduction to deep sciences including astronomy, biology, chemistry, physics and the basics of programming, robotics and general machine interaction.
The successful Tutor will have a strong personal academic background, a keen interest in innovative teaching techniques, be a qualified primary teacher with English as a mother tongue. Ideally, the Tutor will have a second language (either Italian or German is preferred). The mother speaks German as a first language at home while the father speaks mostly English. German is not a requirement for this role, but could prove useful.
The parents would like the Tutor to embrace and teach technology, incorporating it into lessons and using it as a tool to help the children build skills in this area, such as producing their own presentations, excel models, videos or go exploring the world in virtual reality. They have significant technology resources at their disposal. The children are to be encouraged to interact with computers both in a traditional sense of learning the basics of coding, but also in a way that encourages independent thought and problem-solving skills. Children and young adults often possess a unique world view and can come up with brilliant solutions to complex problems simply because they have not yet learned the boundaries of what society (and education systems!) think is and is not possible. For example, the teenager Boyan Slat, inventor of the Ocean Cleanup booms and youngest-ever recipient of the UN’s highest environmental award, is a case in point. It will be a challenge for any educator to deliver the sort of far-reaching education that is desired while they themselves are a product of the very system that the children will be diverging from.
Both parents are well educated and intellectual. They take an active interest in their children and are not absent. The family are great believers in a broad education that encompasses a classical education paired with the modern. The Tutor will need to ensure to stay abreast of pedagogical theory and practices in order to communicate tutoring decisions on level with the parents’ deep understanding of educational issues.
While it may seem that this role gives the Tutor carte blanche to experiment with extra-curricular based learning, it is important to remember that all four children must still receive a world class, transferable education. The parents do recognise that there are some skills that will need to be taught in a traditional way and that not all that is “traditional” is, therefore, outdated.
The Tutor must keep superb records about the material that has been covered and to what level. This record keeping will provide essential proof of the children’s abilities should they re-enter mainstream education, and will provide clarity about where gaps are that might need to be addressed before such a move. Indeed, the current ultimate aim for their education is to obtain places for all four children in a program such as the Stanford Online High School (or whatever has superseded it by the time this is appropriate).
The Tutor will be responsible for structuring the school day (usually Mondays to Fridays). They must arrange their schedule to maximise their efficacy within the family. For example, the oldest girl is much more of an early riser than her twin brother, so it is likely she will work with the Tutor independently for the first couple of hours of each day before being joined by her brother mid-morning. The Tutor should incorporate a range of activities into their day, taking several breaks and allowing the children time to simply play and enjoy their childhoods. The family is not deeply musical, and there is no emphasis on the children having to learn how to play an instrument beyond their recreational enjoyment.
The Tutor must be enthusiastic and friendly, able to inspire the children in a range of subjects, and able to teach their lessons almost without the children being aware that they are engaged in the process of learning. The Tutor should inspire in them a thirst for knowledge and a hunger for problem-solving. The Tutor should be a passionate educator, someone who works with children as a vocation and who can balance a creative flair in the classroom with the precision and record keeping that being a private Tutor demands.
The family is warm and caring, generous and welcoming but they expect high standards from their staff and contractors. Although an employee of Tutors International, the Tutor will need to live up to – and exceed – their exacting standards. There is a designated schoolroom – known as the Discovery Room – in the family home, and the Tutor will be able to stock it with a wealth of resources as they see fit. The children will be a delight to teach, and for the right candidate, this role will be an immensely rewarding post.
Although the Tutor’s regular hours are likely to be Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm (with preparation time in addition), a degree of flexibility is required. For example, the two consecutive days off per week should be taken as an average – there may be occasions when the family requires the Tutor to work 10 days in a row with a 4-day break at the end, especially in case of travel. The Tutor may also experience variations in their daily timetable, and should, therefore, be comfortable changing their plans as necessary despite short notice and be willing to travel internationally.
The annual pattern will likely include some travel over the spring and summer months and may see the children enrolled at summer camps in the US, so the Tutor should be aware that their own vacation periods may not include a traditional break over summer.
As per the standard Terms and Conditions, the Tutor is entitled to a minimum of 9 weeks paid vacation (45 days) to be taken at times agreed with the Client. In addition, the Tutor will be entitled to the UK bank holidays as days off.
The Client will provide accommodation suitable for an individual Tutor, or if the Tutor is traveling as a couple, a stipend for more suitable, larger accommodation will be provided. The Client will cover all bills on this accommodation except for the Tutor’s personal phone bills. A mobile phone will be provided with a call and data package (the same as the Client’s existing staff) for work use. The Client will cover all travel expenses associated with this role, as well as meals and food during any periods of travel or during regular tutoring hours.
The Tutor will have access to a car shared with the family’s nannies, but can expect to be living within convenient cycling distance of the family.
The client will pay for the first outbound return trips of each 12-month contract, as well as one return trip home during each 12-month term.
The Tutor must be physically fit and healthy and a non-smoker.
The Tutor must ensure that he or she has the requisite travel and health insurance, has received the required vaccinations, and has the necessary visas.