Washington DC (WDC 1019)

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An able and experienced qualified primary school teacher is required for an assignment starting in January 2020. The role involves tutoring one girl aged 7. This role will suit an energetic, inspiring and knowledgeable teacher with a natural curiosity for the way things work and a positive, can-do attitude. The teacher should have strong training in numeracy and literacy as well as curriculum design. The role will be based mainly in Washington DC but with some possible travel both within and beyond the US.

The Student

The student is a delightful 7-year-old girl with an abundance of energy, charm and enthusiasm. Far from being shy, she has an innate sense of confidence. She is a natural performer who loves to sing, dance, swim and ride horses. Her outgoing and gregarious personality is contagious and enables her to engage with strangers of all ages in an open and engaging manner in a wide variety of settings. Although she is in a position of great privilege, she doesn’t recognise the differences between herself and other people and talks to everyone as equals. She is naturally curious about the world and as happy to talk to experts in their field as she is talking to street performers and shop-keepers. Her mother has worked hard to ensure that she is culturally aware but never critical, that she is a curious child and not a consumer. The family make their own meals, prefer the creek over the mall, and deliberately incorporate experiential learning into all parental and educational actions. With so many experiential opportunities and with so much to learn from people and environment, there has been little need for screen time; this is something the Client is determined to maintain for the foreseeable future.

Adopted from birth, the student is of mixed heritage (African-American and Latino). She is a strong, balanced and independent young lady who is very able to make her own decisions regarding things under her control (for example, the clothes she wants to wear, how she wants to do her hair etc.) While she is mature in terms of vocabulary and conversation skills, emotionally she is below age-related expectations. It is important that the Tutor is able to help her deal with tough situations kindly, while at the same time maintaining high standards with regard to her behaviour, manners and decision making.

The student’s parents have been separated for a while, and she lives with her mother.

Due to issues with focus and behaviour in her previous school, the student was held back a year and, despite clearly being bright, she was somewhat behind with her reading, writing and maths levels. She started working with a full-time tutor in August 2018 and has since made excellent progress, especially in reading. She is currently at the national average for her grade in both English and numeracy. The expectation is that she will be ahead of her peers on entering school in August 2020, which is realistic considering the one-to-one attention that this role involves.

The student benefits most from developing a strong connection with educators able to set clear expectations and boundaries and hold to them strictly and kindly. In this type of relationship and environment she relaxes and is ready and able to learn.

The student’s mother is currently considering various options for the spring-term, one of which could be spending a considerable amount of time in rural Spain. The school in which she hopes to eventually enrol the girl runs a bilingual stream and it is important that she understands, and is enthused by, Spanish.

Role of the Tutor

In consultation with the student and her mother, the Tutor must develop a rich and immersive curriculum, with experiential learning at its core and as the main mode of learning. This curriculum should take advantage of each location that they visit while ensuring that she remain on par with her peers in Washington. The main aim of this assignment is to put the student in a very strong position for her eventual reintegration into mainstream school. The Tutor must therefore find the right balance – the student should aim to be among the top of the class, but not so advanced that she ends up repeating work in school and becomes bored.

Given the efficacy of one-to-one private tutoring, there will be plenty of opportunities for the Tutor to broaden the student’s curriculum rather than advancing her beyond her year group. The curriculum should encompass mathematics, science, language, arts, physical education, and be underpinned by secure literacy and numeracy. With the expected trip to Spain in mind, it would be advantageous if the Tutor was able to offer Spanish. The student attends a number of extra-curricular sessions, including Taekwondo, flute, ballet, horseback riding, trapeze, and classes at the local zoo. It is important that the Tutor is able to accompany her to these and instil a sense of enthusiasm around them. The Tutor should be physically energetic and active; the student benefits immensely from maintaining an active lifestyle, and a Tutor who would encourage her to walk the mile to flute lessons and back, or go on hikes together, would see the major beneficial impact this activity has on her ability to learn and feel good in herself. She has also begun exploring the world of art, with visits to galleries supported by opportunities to create her own artwork; the Tutor should aim to expand and develop this creative aspect of the education.

Private tutoring opens all sorts of doors to exciting and educational adventures, and it is expected that much of the student’s tutoring will be of the hands-on, kinaesthetic, exploration and experiential variety. However fun or light the teaching may seem, this is a serious educational assignment, and some formal classroom learning is to be expected such as for the introduction of new topics, or for subjects such as music which require the acquisition of a new skill and practice. It is essential that the student’s own interests are incorporated into the subjects in order to maintain her interest.

The Tutor should be eloquent, able to explain concepts simply, and to inspire with his enthusiasm for any given subject. First and foremost, he must be able to build a relationship with the student quickly. While she is an enthusiastic learner, she will test expectations from the off. It is vitally important that the Tutor is able to be kind, warm and friendly, while at the same time being firm and consistent. The Tutor should be a natural communicator, have an enquiring mind and a good sense of humour. He or she will be a qualified teacher with experience in planning a curriculum that is centred around experiential, project-based learning that incorporates an educationally rich program of study; they should be flexible enough in their lesson plans to allow tangential lines of enquiry to be followed as the student’s interests come forward but structured enough to ensure that their lessons are not hijacked by these diversions. The teacher should be open to different education methods and techniques, introducing them as appropriate into their own lessons and projects. He or she must be able to balance excellent teaching with accurate record keeping, research and administrative skills.

At this stage, the family have no particular academic aspirations for the student. For them it is of more importance that she is happy, healthy and remains eager to learn. For this assignment it is of the utmost importance that the Tutor has the right personality to fit seamlessly with the family. There is also a number of domestic staff. It is important that the Tutor is able to communicate and work closely with them. There will be a short transition period between the current and new Tutors. It is important this time is used to learn the approaches that have worked best for the family.

The successful Tutor will have the ability to travel internationally (dual European/US nationality would be ideal, though Tutors International can arrange for a US work visa for most British passport holders) and will have already travelled extensively themselves. They will have at least one additional language to a high level (Spanish would be preferable) plus a range of other skills and interests they can bring to the role. He or she will be self-sufficient, highly self-motivated and organised (while remaining flexible), socially and emotionally mature, capable and not fazed by last-minute changes to the family’s plans or instances where technology does not necessarily work as planned. These personal qualities are important as the Tutor will be a role model for the student. The Tutor should be energetic, comfortable with outdoor activities such as camping and hiking and should have an adventurous spirit. They should be warm, friendly and ready to laugh with the family, while never forgetting the formalities of a full time private service position.

Hours and Holidays

The Tutor will be available to the family for up to an average of 40 hours contact time per week. It is not known at this stage how these hours will be used. When full time home schooling, tutoring will likely be over five days, usually Monday-Friday, but there may be occasions when the student’s mother is away and the Tutor is required to work weekends. If this occurs then the Tutor will be given longer ‘weekends’ to counterbalance. When in DC, the working week may shift to Wednesday-Friday after school and full days over the weekends, with the Tutor taking their breaks on Mondays and Tuesdays. Regardless of the eventual timetable, flexibility from the Tutor is essential as the assignment unfurls. Preparation time is not part of the contact hours above. 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 (pro-rated) 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

While in DC, the Tutor will be provided with furnished accommodation either next door to the family, or within an easily commutable distance of the family home. The rent, utilities and Internet on this accommodation 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 apartment, 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.

In DC, the Tutor will have access to the shared staff car for local errands and shopping. In all other locations, the Tutor will be reimbursed for all local public transport. 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 Commitment.

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: January 2020

Duration: Six months

Hours: 40 hours per week

Salary: $8,250 USD per month

Accommodation: Provided

Car: Available

Vacation: 45 days per annum, prorated

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