An able and experienced Early Years educator is required for a long-term assignment starting as soon as possible for the right Tutor. The role concentrates on the supplementary education of one girl aged 5 (in August 2018), and over time, her younger sister, aged 18 months. It will suit an energetic, inspiring and knowledgeable Tutor with a positive attitude and the ability to work well in a team environment. The role potentially involves extensive world travel and is renewable on an annual basis on the agreement of both parties.
The family have two daughters: one will be 5 in August, and the other is 18 months old. The oldest is a delightful child – bright, bubbly and funny. She is warmly communicative and socialises well with other children. The Swedish school system begins formal classes at age 7, but like most of her Swedish peers, she regularly attends dagis (a cross between nursery school and day care) where she has learnt excellent socialising skills. Almost without exception, dagis turns out very well balanced, relaxed children, but in comparison with their peers in London or New York, Swedish children lag behind in both literacy and numeracy at the same age. She is no exception. She is, however, very keen to learn these skills, and a good teacher will have her up to speed in no time.
At only 18 months old, it is difficult to determine the younger girl’s character. She is a bouncing, smiling toddler who is naturally curious about the world around her. As she gets older her character will become more evident.
Neither of the girls shows any indication of having special educational needs. They herald from a loving and supportive family, where the job of child rearing is shared between the parents and a team of committed household staff. The girls’ father is Swedish, and their mother is American, so the girls are being brought up in a bilingual environment. They are also learning Spanish but are not as advanced in this as it is not the mother-tongue of either parent. The oldest is as strong in Swedish as in English, her sister has much less Swedish and more Spanish. The older girl is also learning the violin through the Suzuki method, and enjoys making music either with her violin or on the family piano. When she is a little older, her sister will also likely learn a musical instrument.
The house is located on the Baltic Archipelago in eastern Stockholm, in an area covered with forests, lakes and fjords. It is a beautiful part of Sweden, and is well connected to the city centre via the Saltsjöban train or local bus links. There is a municipal play area near by, and there are few cars on the street outside. The house itself is very well designed for children of their ages, with a dedicated playroom and a second room reserved for crafts. Both areas – and indeed the whole house – are well organised and ordered without feeling oppressively neat and tidy. It is a very efficient set-up.
The family have been in Sweden for 5 years and plan to be there for another 1-5 years, before moving. It is very likely that this move will be to New York, and is likely to be to Manhattan, possibly Brooklyn or a suburb. The plans are not fixed yet, and there is a possibility that the move could be to another location. Additionally, the exact timing of this move is not defined yet, and there is a possibility that it could take place more quickly, perhaps even before the contract starts.
Given the different education pathways between Sweden and America (or possibly the UK), the family’s planned move away from Scandinavia is the reason for this tutoring role. They would like to be able to transition smoothly from the dagis system into a good school. A specific target school has not been identified yet, but it will be one of the very best, which will require a good score in admission tests and assessments. The parents are aware that a smooth move of this nature will not be possible without the guidance of a professional and experienced Tutor. The plan is for the oldest to keep attending her local dagis, but to have the Tutor provide supplementary education after day care (from about 2.30 pm) until she goes to bed, during weekends and over holiday periods. The Tutor will need to ensure that she has strong foundations for entering a more formal education system, and that she is up to speed with both her American and British contemporaries. This is not case of hot-housing a young student, but rather of creating a fertile growth medium that ensures the requisite skills are learned without pressure.
In addition to the education side, the girls’ parents are also looking to overcome some of the cultural differences. Sweden can feel like a very laid back country – consensus is very important to the smooth-running of friendship groups, and the universal social system is always on hand to offer support to those who need it. While this can be viewed as idyllic, it does mean that ambition and individuality can sometimes be harder to achieve. It is certainly a marked contrast to the fast-paced, competitive attitudes one finds in all levels of British and American society and throughout both school systems. Both girls will need preparing for this change in gear. The girls’ parents also feel that Sweden has become increasingly less tolerant in terms of immigration and underlying racism, and they want to protect their children from these negative attitudes.
The role may well have elements of travel in the US, or various trips around Europe for skiing or other activities. On these occasions, the Tutor may be required to travel with the family and continue delivering their lessons around the family’s plans.
The school doesn't have set hours for the next 18 months, so there is scope for structuring a timetable around her hours at dagis. The Tutor will be responsible for teaching her to read, strengthening her number bonds and ensuring that her literacy and numeracy are of a standard that will set her in good stead for a more competitive education system. While there are clear educational undertones to this assignment, she is still very young and the Tutor will need to develop a curriculum which brings her up to an appropriate standard without applying much pressure or making academic work anything other than fun and engaging. It is anticipated that Tutor will spend much of their time with the older girl out and about in nature, visiting local museums or exploring their surroundings, and will use these settings as springboards for the days’ lessons. Of course, there is also great value in more traditional classroom based learning – settling down with a good book or a staging a mini- dramatic production will also be effective learning tools while creating wonderful memories for the family.
The family currently have several nannies, who work on rotation. The Tutor will have to work with all of these nannies as part of a team – though over time the family hope to streamline their operations and the Tutor may find some elements of their role overlapping with those of the remaining nannies. These childcare elements may include tasks such as collecting from dagis, but the Tutor will not be required for other nanny duties such as cooking, bathing or the bedtime routine. That said, and while the main focus of this role is the older girl, as her sister gets older it is anticipated that she will slowly become more engaged with the Tutor. At 18 months there is obviously a limit to the academic work that can be covered, but a good Tutor should be able to help her develop mastery of colours, letters, sounds, names of things etc., and to help other carers with selection of appropriate games. As she gets older this can transition into basic mathematics, reading and more.
The family are looking for someone for the long term, and may decide to relocate with the Tutor for the first year or so to aid with the transition. The Tutor should be eloquent, able to explain concepts simply, and to inspire with his or her enthusiasm for any given subject. He or she should be a natural communicator with a kind and caring disposition, and a firm-but-fair approach to their work. The Tutor should have a good sense of adventure as well as a good sense of humour. They should be flexible enough in their lesson plans to allow any tangential lines of enquiry to be followed, but structured enough to ensure that their lessons are not consistently hijacked. They must be able to balance excellent teaching with accurate record keeping, research and administrative skills.
The right Tutor for this role will have a positive attitude and will embrace the opportunities that this position affords. The family themselves are relatively liberal, but the Tutor should always maintain a professional approach to this assignment and take care not to instil in the children their own ideas on sensitive issues such as religion, politics and race. The Tutor will speak fluent English and good Spanish. Among other skills, they will have the ability to read and teach music as well as playing their own musical instrument.
The Tutor will typically work with the children for about 40 hours over 5 days each week, likely including weekends, and with preparation in addition. The timetable must be established with reference to the any extracurricular activities and travel arrangements, and be flexible enough to accommodate unexpected changes.
The Tutor is entitled to two consecutive days off per week, but should not expect these to occur at weekends or to be regular in their timing. As far as possible the Client will try to give the Tutor at least two weeks’ notice of when their ‘weekend’ break will be, but the Tutor will need to understand this is not always possible. The standard minimum 9 weeks (45 working days) of paid vacation allowance applies to this contract, with these breaks being taken at times convenient to the Client.
Any untaken vacation allowance or untaken weekend days that have accrued will be compensated by payment in lieu at a pro-rated day rate.
The Tutor will be provided with furnished accommodation in Stockholm. The rent, utilities and Internet on this apartment will be arranged and paid for by the Client. The Client is not responsible for the Tutor’s personal phone bills.
When travelling, accommodation will vary, with some locations requiring the Tutor to live-in with the family in a rented house, and other locations where the Tutor will have their own hotel room. The Client will always be mindful that the Tutor is a professional and should have appropriate privacy as far as possible. There may also be occasions where the family stay on a boat, and in these cases the Tutor will most likely have their own cabin.
The Tutor may be required to share accommodation with nannies, or the girls while travelling.
While in Sweden, a car will be provided which the Tutor will be able to share with the household staff to allow them to carry out local errands and shopping as well as taking the girls to various extra-curricular activities. The Tutor will be reimbursed for all local public transport and any travels costs incurred while travelling with the family. The Client is not responsible for the costs of personal travel when the Tutor is taking paid vacation beyond the requirements regarding flights to the Tutor’s place of normal residence as set out in the Terms.
The successful candidate will be able to offer more than the minimum requirements of this position and will need to have been raised in a socially appropriate background. He or she will not only be an excellent educator, but also a good role model: educated and polished, with excellent manners and personal values.
The Tutor should be fit and healthy, a non-smoker.
Start: As soon as possible, ideally by September 2018
Duration: 1 year initially, with the possibility of renewal
Hours: about 40 hours over 5 days each week
Salary: $7,500 USD per month
Car: not provided
Vacation: 45 days per year
As soon as possible