Denver (DEN-0918)

A full time Tutor is needed for a family in Denver, Colorado. This is a minimum two-year position and initially involves home-schooling a bright 12-year-old girl while also supporting her 17-year-old brother during his senior year in high school. The family frequently travel between their homes in Denver and the North Shore of Massachusetts and hope to travel more widely once their Tutor is in situ.

Students

There are two students concerned with this contract, a 17 year old boy and his adopted sister, 12. The boy is a senior at a local Denver high school where he has chosen to study some very demanding AP courses, including European History, Literature and Calculus. Mixed with his other interests of photography and equestrian show-jumping, his timetable is very full. Although bright, he struggles with dyslexia and executive functioning. He can be disorganized and is struggling to up his game in terms of the increased workload. A self-confessed perfectionist, he seems unmotivated and there are concerns that he will slip behind with his studies over the coming year. His current GPA is 3.74. He is a charming young man with a good sense of humor and an air of quiet capability around him. He enjoys skiing, cars, and ice hockey.

While supporting him forms a significant part of this contract, the main focus is his younger sister. She was adopted from China aged 14 months. She has no knowledge of her birth parents, and this has contributed to her feeling a little adrift and unsure of her place in the world. It is possible that this has contributed to a series of destructive behaviors – from being moody, to in-school truancy, vitriolic online bullying, and lying – as well as issues forming interpersonal relationships with her peers. Although recent relationships with her brother have been a little strained, her family are generally supportive of her and over the last couple of years have engaged the services of a team of specialists to help guide her and resolve her negative behaviors. Her school life, however, has not been the most supportive environment for her, and it seems that a number of her ‘triggers’ come from negative interactions with her peers, whom she then seeks to punish via social media. Her determination to wreak havoc via online trolling contributed to her adoptive parents’ decision to send her to a wilderness camp over the summer period.

Camp appears to have done a world of good. Already a bright, open and funny individual, camp seems to have given her the introspection to identify some of her triggers which result in her retaliatory behaviour – she does not like being belittled, isolated or picked on. Camp has also given her the tools to explain the path which led her to wilderness camp in the first place. She is warm, engaging, maintains eye contact, and is clearly a very clever individual with a curiosity that, when encouraged, will lead her to discover a great deal about subjects beyond what can be taught in the classroom.

Her school experience to date has been patchy. Recognizing her desire to uncover more of her identity, her parents initially sent her to a school where she was able to mix with more pupils of her own ethnicity. She learned Mandarin at the school and excelled academically, but the general ethos of the school was not a supportive, happy one and as a result it did not fit with the family’s requirements. More recently, she has been attending school with her brother, and although she is more than academically capable, she has not settled well. Returning to that school from Wilderness is not feasible at this stage and as such the family are looking for an alternative education solution for her.

Away from the classroom, she is a sporty, active young lady. Like her brother, she enjoys skiing and equestrian sports. She also has a penchant for music, with a love of singing and choirs and an interest in the piano and other musical instruments. She is an accomplished and keen cook, but often needs encouragement to try new things. Her cultural heritage and the unanswered questions about her birth parents are important to her, and it has been proposed that the family travel to the village of her origin in search of her biological family. However, it is vital that this investigation and quest remain one of her own personal goals, and that the search is not hijacked by her parents or her Tutor. She is an interesting young lady who shows great depth of character, interest and ability. The right Tutor will find her a pleasure to work with and to guide through her teenage years.

Role of the Tutor

This position requires a Tutor with a very patient and calm demeanor, who is good at listening to and learning from their students as well as challenging them academically, all the while building their confidence and improving study skills. The Tutor will work as part of an extended team comprised of nannies, therapists, and peripatetic staff such as those delivering sports lessons. While not exactly the team leader, the Tutor will undoubtedly have the most contact time with the student (and probably her brother as well) and so it is likely that this role will also become one of coordinator – they will certainly have a major influence on the flow of information and direction regarding the team and the family.

The family have two homes. Their main base is a farm in Denver. Their second home is in the Boston region and it is here that they tend to be more involved in equestrian activities. They spend a lot of time travelling between the two bases, and the Tutor will often need to move with them in order to deliver lessons in both locations. The family have three large dogs who travel with them, and at their farm they have an array of other animals.

The Tutor’s time with the boy should be spent consolidating material he has learned at school as well as bolstering his overall study and planning skills. Laying solid foundations at this point will help him enormously as he moves towards college (he has mentioned Dartmouth as a possibility) and will also help to improve his GPA. If he can improve his focus and motivation, there will be plenty of room for the Tutor to extend their work with him to cover some of the content of his courses in order that he is not learning fresh material in each session at school. He generally has good teachers at his school, but he is concerned by the teaching standards of his calculus teacher and so it would be helpful if the Tutor were particularly strong in this area.

As she is to be home schooled for the next few years, the girl’s lessons will take up the majority of the Tutor’s time. There is likely to be support from the school in that the Tutor can liaise with the staff and essentially follow their curriculum (with modifications in order to protect their intellectual property). The Tutor will probably have access to the relevant year group class teachers in order to ensure she is kept on par with her year group and to ensure a seamless transition on her eventual return to mainstream school. After she has returned to school, it is likely that the Tutor will continue in an after-school support capacity.

Given the efficacy of one-to-one tuition, it is anticipated that the Tutor will need to explore additional areas of interest with the girl to prevent her from getting too far ahead of her year group. This could mean that the Tutor brings a range of extracurricular activities to the table such as crafts, culinary skills, musical training or languages, or simply allows time for tangential lines of enquiry to be followed. She seems particularly interested in people and their stories, so it is not unlikely that she will eventually pursue social science courses based in anthropology. Given her fluency in Mandarin, it would be advantageous if the Tutor were also a Mandarin speaker. Fluency – or at least a good level – of French would also be helpful.

The children’s parents are well-educated, warm, and friendly people, but they are under the impression that something they did in the past has inadvertently led to their daughter’s current behavioral issues. While these things are rarely as clear-cut as that, they are keen for the Tutor to offer them guidance and support in their parenting so as to avoid a relapse by their daughter into her old patterns of behavior, and to help prevent any resentment building between their children regarding the added attention and resources that each are receiving. Management of screen time will be important – the parents can see that technology is playing an increasingly important role in modern society and want their children to be prepared for this, but they also need to balance this with their daughter’s history of online trolling, and need to limit her ability to slip back into this kind of behavior.

The Tutor must be exceptionally well organized, patient and composed. They should be very knowledgeable across a broad range of subjects and have the ability to explain complex concepts simply. They should be a superb communicator and should be genuinely interested in the lives of their charges. In addition to a good standard across all high school subjects, the ideal Tutor should be able to offer French or Mandarin (or both). Both children have described their favorite teachers as being knowledgeable, kind, engaging, not patronizing and only using sarcasm in a humorous way as opposed to as a method for putting down their students. They are not keen on teachers who are disorganized, difficult to connect with and who seem more interested in their phones than the children in their classes. The girl, in particular, enjoys spending time with people that have a genuine interest in her life and can share relevant anecdotes from their own. The Tutor must encourage the girl to try new experiences both in and out of the classroom and to use the school curriculum as a springboard for exploring the world around her.

Hours and Holidays

The Tutor will typically work with the children for an average of 35 contact hours over 5 days each week, with prep time in addition. The timetable must be established with reference to 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.

Accommodation, Travel, and Miscellaneous

If required due to relocation from elsewhere, the Tutor will be provided with furnished accommodation in Denver. The rent, utilities and Internet on this apartment will be arranged and paid for by the Client. Accommodation is yet to be confirmed in Boston but will be of a similar standard to the living arrangements in Denver.

The Client is not responsible for the Tutor’s personal phone bills.

As the family moves between Denver and Boston, the Client will pay all of the Tutor’s travel costs that form part of this contract.

The Tutor is welcome to bring their own car, or the Client will provide a car for them in all locations.

The successful candidate will be able to offer more than the minimum requirements of this position and must 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.

Contractual details

Start: As soon as possible

Duration: At least two years

Hours: 35 per week

Salary: $122,400 USD per annum

Accommodation: Provided

Car: Provided

Vacation: 45 days per annum



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