An experienced and capable educator is required for a long-term home-school assignment, working with 6-year-old twins – a girl and a boy. The role calls for a Tutor with demonstrable experience of teaching to the same standard as the best of the US and UK prep schools. Familiarity with US school standards at the appropriate grade levels would be an advantage. Spanish language to a high level and a deep-rooted understanding of the subtleties and nuances of communication are also required.
The role is based primarily in Mexico, Texas and California starting in September 2019. It will be renewable on an annual basis by mutual agreement, potentially for many years.
The students are two very well-behaved, calm, and polite young children. They come from a warm, supportive family where good humor and fun are encouraged. There is a mild-mannered firmness about the children’s upbringing which has given them a sense of calm and stability. In company, they are far from rambunctious, though, as with all children, they have moments of play when their energies are released. They are happy children and play together well.
Both children are currently quite fussy eaters. The boy is a vegetarian who will only eat dry, crunchy textures, and so exists on a diet of nuts, dried fruit and crunchy vegetables such as celery and peppers. He is a very focused young man, almost to the point of stubbornness. The girl eats a much more varied diet than her brother but can still be a bit picky about her dietary habits.
Both twins enjoy usual activities such as computer games, Lego and other non-screen-based activities. The girl seems to have a preference for dance – specifically ballet – and the boy for golf, tennis and music. It may be that these preferences are a reflection of the kinds of activities it is easy to organize for home-schooled children and exposing the twins to a wider range of different activities may well generate passions in other areas.
At the moment the twins are being home schooled by a series of by-the-hour tutors from the US. However, the quality of education being delivered is not of the standard sought by their parents – the lessons are uninspiring and formulaic. The twins’ parents have aspirations for them to both attend top universities or colleges such as MIT, Harvard or Oxbridge, but already the twins are behind their current US grade level (1). Their reading is very limited, their number bonds are weak, and their writing skills are poor. Under the guidance of an inspiring and effective Tutor, their academic trajectory should soar.
This role has two main facets: Tutor and Executive Assistant. It calls for an able, calm, easy-going and well-qualified educator with a sense of humor. As a Tutor, they must be able to deliver the full spectrum of primary subjects to a level comparable with that of top flight UK and US private schools. The Tutor must be fluent – or at the very least highly competent – in Spanish.
The twins’ parents are keen to embrace all of the opportunities that home-schooling affords and are excited about the possibility of teaching their children away from the rigid parameters of formal curricula. The Tutor should be experienced in curriculum-planning, and able to use their knowledge of US and UK primary standards to devise their own learning pathway for the children. They should use a range of resources available to them such as the Global Village School curriculum book and should ensure that their lessons are engaging and exciting for the children. This is an excellent opportunity for a creative Tutor to really inspire a love of learning and help instill in them both a passion for knowledge and learning for its own sake. The Tutor could also look at helping them develop solid foundations and good study techniques and mechanisms which will serve them will throughout their education and future lives.
With the flexibility of home schooling, the Tutor should aim to incorporate as much of their surroundings as possible into the lessons of the day, taking advantage of their location to bring alive a history, science or mathematics lesson, blending subjects where appropriate to reduce repetition, and inspiring and enthusing the twins with the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake. The aim is not to hot-house the children but to provide them a fertile growth environment into which they want to grow and support this with encouragement as their boundaries are stretched.
The family place great emphasis on communication skills – not just in the sense of learning languages to a high level, but also in terms of understanding cultural and linguistic nuances, customs and practices which all make for a smoother pathway in business or social interactions. Along with an awareness of their privileged status and the importance of charity work, the Tutor should look to incorporate training in these skills in their lesson plans as part of their curricula. Indeed, instilling in the twins an awareness of their world would be most appreciated, with projects such as making bread from scratch (starting with learning about growing the wheat, the milling process, how yeast works etc.) or making their own T-shirts (picking cotton, spinning yarn, weaving or knitting fabric, and so on). The parents may have some of their own suggestions for projects, and while the Tutor should not rely on them for inspiration, they should be able to incorporate any reasonable suggestions that are proposed.
The family spend their time between their various US based houses including locations in Texas and California and Mexico. While in Cabo (November to June) the children attend a local school, and during this time the Tutor’s role will be one of after school support and extension. They should ensure that the children have a thorough understanding of the day’s lessons and that any homework is completed to a high standard. The Tutor can then use the remaining time to stretch the twins academically – not necessarily by teaching the curriculum ahead of their peers, but by broadening the range of topics they cover. The Tutor must be highly organized and an excellent record keeper. He or she should be able to provide evidence of the work covered and to what level should any future school applications require additional assurance that standards have been maintained. They should also be very efficient with their planning, allowing oversight from both Tutors International and the parents for future lessons. The Tutor will be responsible for planning a curriculum, setting a timetable, delivering lessons and assessing mastery. Good IT skills and an openness to adapting to the Client’s preferred communication styles will be essential.
While the children are in school in Cabo, the Tutor will be largely free from their Tutoring role. This is when their Executive Assistant role comes into effect. The Tutor is expected to help the twins’ mother with a range of tasks – never menial – which could include helping to furnish the family homes, organizing logistics for relocations or general scheduling and errand-running assistance while the family are travelling. The family are looking for the kind of Tutor who is a team player and is happy to help out around the house – if they see a couple of empty glasses, they should put them in the dishwasher, if the dishwasher is full, they should be happy to help empty it and so on. There may also be the requirement to teach Spanish to the children’s mother or some of the members of the household staff, so the Tutor must be comfortable designing lessons and teaching to all age and ability levels.
The family intend for the Tutor to have a wide-ranging education commitment to them, extending beyond traditional academic subjects. For example, it would be a bonus to find Tutors who can bring extracurricular activities or skills that can be shared and enjoyed by the whole family, such as a love of cookery, yoga or circus skills. The ideal Tutor will also have a sound knowledge of and the ability to read music, as well as being able to play a musical instrument.
The Tutor should be an interesting and erudite individual, open minded, well-travelled and have experience of the UK and US private school pathways. Experience with the Independent Schools Exam Board (ISEB) or the US equivalent ISEE would be beneficial. The Tutor will not only be a superb educator, but also a good role model: educated and polished, with excellent manners and personal values. They should be reliable and trustworthy, flexible regarding work schedules, and should have a genial temperament. The Tutor will be partly responsible for the children’s character development and should help instill a sense of resilience in the twins as they go through their education. Tenacity, curiosity and resilience should be encouraged – the children should always look for possible solutions to any problems or setbacks and should not be put off trying alternative methods of completing tasks.
While in Mexico, the Tutor is expected to work with the children around the hours they are in school. The average weekly contact time, whether teaching the children or in the assistant role, will be in the range 35-40 hours a week, with preparation in addition.
There should be no need for homework to be given to the children unless there is something specific which needs practice, such as a musical instrument. The days should normally follow a structured timetable which includes regular breaks, opportunities for sport, music and other extracurricular activities. There may be occasions when flexible working hours are required, for example, to fit in with the family’s travel plans.
The Tutor is entitled to two consecutive days off per week which will usually be Saturday and Sunday. The Tutor may need to be flexible in this regard as there may be the odd occasion when the Tutor is required to work either on a Saturday or Sunday, but in these cases, the Client will try to give the Tutor at least a week’s notice of when their ‘weekend’ break will be. Untaken weekend days that have accrued will also be compensated by a pro-rated payment in lieu.
The Tutor will be entitled to a minimum of 9 weeks (45 working days) paid vacation per annum at times convenient to the Client, but with a guarantee that the Tutor will be off throughout the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year periods.
The Client will provide live out accommodation in most locations, with all bills excluding the Tutor’s personal phone bills covered by the Client. It may be necessary for the Tutor to ‘live in’ at some locations, and in these instances the Tutor should be aware that the family will not allow visitors to the house. Indeed, they are a very private family, and the Tutor should be mindful of their privacy at all points of the contract.
The house in Dallas has a large room which is to be the designated school room. The Tutor must keep the area clean and tidy, with all resources well stocked and suitable displays up to help inspire learning.
The Client will cover any travel expenses associated with this role, as well as meals and food during any periods of travel.
Where appropriate, such as in Texas or California, a car will be provided for the Tutor for reasonable local use, not limited to work-related journeys. Fuel for personal use beyond work-related journeys is also the Tutor’s responsibility.
Meals occurring during tutoring time will be covered by the Client if the Tutor eats with the family. Otherwise all meals are the Tutor’s responsibility and expense.
The Tutor must be fit and healthy, a non-smoker, without visible piercings or tattoos.
The Tutor must be a safe and confident driver.
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. Tutors International can assist with the procurement of an American visa for British applicants if necessary.
Start: September 2019 or as soon as possible afterwards
Duration: One year, with subsequent renewal
Hours: 35-40 hours per week
Salary: $135,000 USD per annum
Vacation: 45 days per annum minimum
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