Minnesota (short term) (MST 1219)

This position is not currently available

An experienced and capable educator is required for a short-term home-school assignment, working with a 15-year-old girl. The role requires the Tutor to follow the American high school pathway through a provider such as the NUVHS, while also setting the groundwork for the GCSE pathway from September 2020. It will suit an energetic and inspiring individual who can bring more to the role than the minimum and can act as a mentor as much as a Tutor.

Student

The student is a lovely young lady – polite, welcoming, articulate and eager to succeed with her studies. She is an experienced and accomplished swim-diver but suffered an accident at her school earlier in the academic year and has been homebound ever since. While she is recovering well, this period at home has highlighted to the family that she responds better to home schooling than she ever has in a classroom environment where she may have some slight anxiety issues. Her parents have also been wrestling with growing dissatisfaction with the education offered in the local town, and so this seems like a natural time to pursue home schooling on a long-term basis.

Academically, she is a bright and diligent student. She is stronger in subjects such as mathematics where precision is required to reach the correct answer. She is certainly capable in the humanities, but there is a feeling that she has untapped talents where the arts are concerned. Aside from an appreciation of rap (both the music and the lyrics), she has so far shown little passion for self-expression, and her quiet, good natured demeanour can fool people into thinking she has a weak personality. This is far from the truth, but the guidance of a good Tutor should help her to find the confidence in herself, to take her out of her comfort zone, and to let her personality shine.

In school, her least favourite subject is Spanish. She understands the value in speaking a foreign language but has been uninspired by the lessons so far as the teachers have not presented the material in an engaging or interesting manner. It may be that Spanish is simply not the best language for her, and she may enjoy the predictability of Latin or a symbolic language like Mandarin. Her favorite teachers are those who are upbeat, full of energy and relaxed enough in class to allow the students to converse – as long as it is mainly on topic! Her least favourite teachers are those who are formulaic, overly strict or who adhere to arbitrary rules.

She is fortunate to have been exposed to a wide range of experiences. She has a gun certificate, can drive a boat and is more than competent across a range of sports. Her parents would like to build on these experiences so that she is prepared for any of the activities which may be expected of her at her social level. Reasonable skills in tennis and golf would be a good place to start, but the remit here is very broad and could include activities such as scuba diving or learning to fly a small plane.

The family are very friendly and welcoming. They place a huge emphasis on service to the community and traditional values such as good manners, respect for the family, diligent work ethics and a certain wholesomeness. The student has one older sister, who is currently at college. The family have a good sense of humor and are looking forward to the freedoms that homeschooling affords. They are aware of their privilege and try, as a family, to pay back into the community through volunteering rather than just donating.

Role of the Tutor

This short-term role requires a Tutor who is familiar with the full range of high school subjects. It would be a bonus to find someone with experience of the British GCSE school system as well, but the main focus in the short term at least is for the student to achieve solid grades and be suitably prepared to switch school systems in September 2020. The family would like to ensure she has at least one extra language (Spanish is preferable as she has already been studying it).

This role is designed to bridge the transition between school systems and prepare the ground for a long-term Tutor who will take the girl through her GCSE exams. It will suit an interesting, inspiring and energetic Tutor who is comfortable teaching to a high standard. They will need to be exceptionally well organized – able to keep meticulous records of work covered and to what level, should she ever decide to reintegrate into mainstream education. The Tutor should explore and exploit any areas where the UK and US curricula overlap, following the American pathway primarily but also completing relevant modules from the British curricula.

Minnesota home school laws ensure that all home-schooled children have access to school sports facilities, so allowing her to keep up with her diving and other sporting activities should be no problem. The Tutor will need to work around her diving and gymnastics training as well as any volunteering commitments or occasional social engagements. While away from Minnesota, the Tutor will have to explore other ways that she can continue her sports, all the while helping her to lead a healthy, balanced lifestyle between academia, cultural experiences and sports training.

The aim of this position is not to hot-house or stress the student with regards to her academic performance. Although they would ultimately like her to attend college in the US, the family have no specific academic aspirations for her. They would much prefer that their daughter had the time to develop her interests, discover her passions and become a well-rounded, confident and content individual. This is not to say that the Tutor should not push her at all, but rather that encouragement, balance and appropriate goal setting will produce more desirable results than simply forcing her to achieve academically. This ties in well with the family’s views on quality of life and their desire for their daughter to develop into a well-rounded, grounded and happy individual.

There should be no need for homework to be given unless there is something specific which needs practice, such as a musical instrument. The family have a piano at home, but the student does not currently play. However, she has expressed an interest in singing and learning to read music, and this is something that the Tutor should look to nurture. Indeed, the parents are keen for her to increase her exposure to the arts in general – they would like her to, for example, recognise various styles of paintings, their imagery and historical significance, along with recognising composers and understanding the constituent parts of an orchestra or other such arts based knowledge.

Tenacity, curiosity and resilience are qualities be nurtured – she should be encouraged to look for possible solutions to any problems or setbacks and should not be put off trying alternative methods of completing tasks. She is mature for her age but in some life-skills she is quite still quite ‘green’; her parents would like the Tutor to help navigate her through these formative years.

The Tutor should be an interesting and erudite individual, open minded, well-travelled and have experience of the UK and US academic pathways. 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. They should be sociable and outgoing, but balance this with discretion and professionalism.

The family’s Minnesota base is a small town about 40 minutes’ drive from Minneapolis. Although the town has grown and enjoys an influx of students to the school, the Tutor should be mindful that their conduct will be observed by the residents in this tight-knit community. That said, the location offers the best of both worlds. It is a small town on a lake which offers plenty of opportunity for sailing in the summer or skating in the winter. There are nearby hiking trails, and Minnesota itself has plenty of cultural activities to explore. The family also have homes in Florida and Wisconsin but will likely travel further afield and the Tutor should be prepared for frequent changes in location.

The family have a number of dogs; the Tutor must be comfortable working in an environment with animals.

Hours and Holidays

The Tutor is expected to work with the student for about 35-40 contact hours a week with preparation time in addition. Of those hours, it anticipated that about 4-5 hours a day will be spent on tuition, and the remaining time will be spent in each other’s company doing activities like visiting art galleries and the theatre, working out or volunteering around the community.

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 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 will be entitled to a minimum of 9 weeks (45 working days) paid vacation per annum (prorated) at times convenient to the Client.

Accommodation, Travel, and Miscellaneous

The Client will provide live out accommodation where possible. In Minnesota, this will likely be an apartment near the Client’s home, but in other locations (including some of the Client’s other properties) live out accommodation is not a practical or possible option, and so the Tutor should be prepared for instances of living in closer quarters.

The house in Minnesota will have a designated school room, and the Tutor should be prepared to furnish it appropriately and ensure that it is well stocked with resources. When the family changes locations, the Tutor will be responsible for packing up a range of resources so that lessons can continue with ease.

The Client will cover any travel expenses associated with this role, as well as meals and food during any periods of travel other than to their other homes. 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. Where appropriate, 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.

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.

Contractual details

Start: As soon as possible

Duration: until 31 August, 2020

Hours: 35-40 contact hours a week with preparation time in addition

Salary: $11,250 USD pm

Accommodation: Provided

Car: Provided as appropriate

Vacation: 45 days per annum (prorated)


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