Phoenix (PHX 1219)

This position is not currently available

An able and experienced educator is required for this full-time tutoring role, starting as soon as possible and ideally by January 2020. The position is primarily based in the USA, with the expectation of some travel to Europe and elsewhere. The Tutor will be working predominantly with a 12-year-old girl to fully home school her on a hybrid British/American curriculum covering all subjects, including the sciences and languages. The current plan is to home-school to College, and so the candidate must at least be able to offer most subjects to GCSE and at least the first two years of High School. He or she may also spend some time working with other adult family members. This is a long-term position commencing as soon as possible.

The Student

The student is a 12-year-old girl. She is a diligent and capable student and an accomplished dressage and hunter-jumper rider. Until this point, she has been attending a traditional private school, but it has become increasingly clear that it is not a good match. Although she has been able to perform well academically at the school, it has played a large part in developing a sense of anxiety within her which she is struggling to overcome in her school life.

Her anxiety does not permeate all aspects of her life. She is determined and focused with her riding, but well aware that, at her level, she cannot hope to achieve a perfect score in dressage competitions – indeed, the higher the competition stakes the more in control she seems to become. Yet she has developed a need for perfection at school, and reports feeling embarrassed and nervous when the class teachers call on her for an explanation or answer. She is loath to appear foolish or stupid in front of her class, and her efforts to avoid this are leading her on a destructive pathway. She is increasingly reluctant to try new things unless she can guarantee she will get it right first time, and this pressure, along with the social pressure she feels from school, are starting to bleed into other areas of her life.

Partly as a result of this development of classroom anxiety, and partly because her involvement on the competition circuit is keeping her away from school so much, the student and her family are looking to home-school for the remainder of her education.

The student comes from a warm and supportive family who are keen for her to succeed academically and in her equestrian life. She has aspirations of reaching Olympic level, and with the right support she may very well achieve this dream. The family are big animal lovers and beside the horses they have three dogs (two of which are rather large, but very gentle) and a range of other pets. Their main residence is in Phoenix. There is excellent access to the wilderness and wildlife but in turn, there are the ever-present hazards of animals such as hawks and coyotes.

The student has described her favourite teachers as being those who are able to show her how to complete a task correctly, as opposed to just describing it. She appreciates strictness in her educators, as long as it is mixed with warm wit, humour, kindness and a sense of the educator and student working as a team. She dislikes teachers who, when students struggle, simply repeat their instructions without modifying them, or teachers who pick on individual students to show them up or make them feel bad about their deficiencies.

Role of the Tutor

This full-time home-schooling role will work around the student’s commitments to her equestrian training and competitions. At this stage it is unknown precisely which curriculum she will follow, but it is likely to have elements of both the American and British pathways. The ideal Tutor for this position will have significant experience in teaching GCSE core subjects, knowledge of the grade levels in the US, and an understanding of the home-schooling requirements of the State of Arizona.

The Tutor must be able to deliver the full spectrum of subjects, including sciences and mathematics, to at least age 16. They must also be able to teach one language – preferably Spanish. The Tutor should also be able to read music and play an instrument. The student started flute and piano and would like to improve her skills on the flute. Her father is also keen to learn a musical instrument, so this may be one area where the Tutor can teach both at the same time. The student’s grandmother has expressed an interest in learning algebra, so this is another area where the Tutor should be prepared to teach two people at once.

As a young sportswoman, the student dedicates many hours to her training and competitions. This means that a certain degree of flexibility is required from her Tutor, who may find themselves teaching at various odd hours of the day – either en route to or from competitions, during down-time while at competitions or simply fitting their lessons around the rhythms of the local stable. Where possible though, the Tutor should devise and follow a sensible timetable which allows for the incorporation of all core subjects, as well as physical education, fitness and nutrition. Part of the Tutor’s role is to ensure some daily fitness activity such as hiking, biking, yoga, walking etc. The Tutor should be flexible and adaptable to change at short notice, amending their lesson plans accordingly.

The successful candidate for this role must be upbeat and have plenty of energy. This role requires a resourceful, intelligent and knowledgeable Tutor who is relaxed and easy-going with a sunny disposition on the one hand whilst also being firm, encouraging and sensible on the other. They should be both excellent communicators and record-keepers, able to spot areas of weakness and address them effectively before serious problems develop. It would be advantageous if the Tutor were a sportsperson and were themselves familiar with the physical and mental demands that come with competing at the top level. They should be prepared to support the student outside academia by teaching her mechanisms to cope with stress, anxiety and pressure both inside the arena and in her personal life. The Tutor should be adventurous and engaging – they should have a wide range of interests which they can share with the family, and their enthusiasm for and natural curiosity of the world around them should be infectious.

The Tutor must meticulously plan the curriculum and keep detailed records of content covered. Blended lessons, mixing topics into different subjects to minimise repetition, and project-based learning should be used where appropriate, and the Tutor should aim to take advantage of what each location has to offer to bring alive science, history, English or art lessons where possible. Given the flexibility of private tutoring and the ability to cover more ground in one-to-one lessons than in a classroom, the Tutor should be able to deliver both the UK and US curricula in tandem, keeping all doors open for higher education pathways on either side of the Atlantic.

Although the home-schooling laws of Arizona are relatively relaxed, the Tutor should be mindful of their compliance at all stages of the student’s education, and should implement a robust system whereby mastery of each subject can be easily tracked, and evidence can be easily provided. The Tutor will also need to ensure that the student’s parents fulfil the reporting requirements of Arizona’s Education Board.

The family travel extensively following the equestrian circuit across the US and sometimes into Europe. Locations are likely to include location in California, Florida and Germany, among others. The Tutor should be prepared to move with the student, delivering lessons in a range of settings.

During certain parts of the year, when the tutoring requirement is lighter, the Tutor will be required to assist the student’s mother with the family’s charity events or other functions the family may be engaged with.

Hours and Holidays

The Tutor should expect an average 35 contact hours over 5 days each week, with preparation 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 will be entitled to a minimum of 9 weeks (45 working days) paid vacation per annum at times convenient to the Client. These nine weeks are not be taken consecutively.

Accommodation, Travel, and Miscellaneous

In Arizona, the Tutor will be provided with furnished accommodation near the family home. This accommodation may contain the designated schoolroom, or this will be in the family home, depending on locations. It will be up to the Tutor to ensure the ‘school’ is well-stocked and is a conducive environment for learning. All rent, utilities, and Internet on the Tutor’s accommodation will be arranged and paid for by the Client save for the Tutor’s personal phone bill. Accommodation will also be provided when the Tutor is traveling with the Client.

It is essential that the Tutor drives. A car will be made available for their use in Arizona. In all other locations, their use of public transport will be reimbursed, or cars will be rented as needed.

The Tutor must be 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.

Contractual details

Start: As soon as possible, by January 2020 preferred

Duration: Through December 2020 to start, with the possibility of renewal

Hours: 35 hours per week

Salary: $162,000 USD per annum

Accommodation: Provided

Car: Provided as appropriate

Vacation: 45 days per annum

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