Massachusetts (MAS 0820)

An able and experienced educator is required for a full-time home-schooling role ideally starting September 2020. The role involves tutoring two children – a boy (6) and a girl (4). This role will suit an energetic, inspiring and knowledgeable Tutor with experience of both the US and UK education systems. The role will be based in Massachusetts but there will be elements of travel across the US and further afield.

Students

There are two children: a boy of 6 and a girl, aged 4. The boy is a typical young man with a fertile imagination and a wide range of interests. He has been educated at a school in New York and has just completed his third year in the Mandarin track, an intensive bilingual immersion program. His teachers are impressed with his aptitude for the language, and his skill in this area has led his parents to engage the services of a live-in Mandarin teacher with whom the Tutor will be working closely. Alongside Mandarin and their native English, he and his sister are being brought up with Spanish-speaking nannies with the intent that they will develop tri-lingually. He enjoys being taught when lessons are delivered in a fun way – he likes to learn through games and seems to thrive when there is a slightly competitive edge to the lessons.

Although only 6, he already enjoys a range of interests which include Muay Thai, swimming, football and gymnastics, singing and dancing. He is also musically minded and plays the piano. He is hands-on and loves to make sculptures and models from tape, cardboard boxes and other assorted craft items. He has recently been introduced to the world of coding on platforms such as code.org and ‘kodable’ – he is making good progress and seems to have developed an exceptional talent and interest in this area. He is a bright student – particularly in areas which require algorithmic problem-solving and language skills although he has some trouble with paying close attention for extended periods of time.

Like her brother, the girl is also a gifted linguist, but this time it is Spanish that is her strength. She has followed her brother on the Mandarin track at kindergarten, and while she is making good progress at school and with the Mandarin tutor, her Spanish skills are exceptional. She uses idioms with confidence and has the correct grammar and pronunciation. It is impossible to distinguish her from a native Spanish speaker. In terms of the written word, however, she is behind her peer group, and it is not known if she has a solid grasp of the individual letters yet.

She is also a strong swimmer and gymnast and has enjoyed an even earlier start with coding than her brother. She shows great promise in this area, and her parents are keen to keep up the momentum. She is less gregarious than her brother and is often content playing alone with her dolls. That said, she has recently developed more of her individual personality and is showing increasing affection for immediate and extended family members. she likes to watch movies in her language classes, and like her brother, she enjoys classes which have an element of play.

The children are great comrades – they love playing inventing games together and exploring imaginary worlds and scenarios. They are both at a stage where they are testing boundaries, but the family have found that a firm and consistent approach keeps them both in check. Together, the family are warm, kind and caring. They maintain a healthy lifestyle where everyone is encouraged to be active and fit, and they are very hospitable and welcoming.

Role of the Tutor

While the children had been thriving at their NY kindergarten, the onset of Covid-19 has made school life difficult to predict. There are already plans for the school to offer online tuition for the first semester of the 20/21 academic year, and while these plans will probably offer a good grounding, the family are aware that nothing can replace the efficacy and excitement of face-to-face tuition. The family’s individual circumstances have also changed – the children’s parents are amicably separated and are co-parenting at the children’s home in Massachusetts.

In the short term, the children will remain enrolled at their NY school, and the Tutor will be tasked with delivering the online material, extending lessons where suitable, and ensuring that both children have solid foundations for their education going forwards. The children are currently engaged with their schoolwork during the mornings and enjoy other activities in the afternoon. This may be a pattern which persists, and it lends itself to project-based learning with some intensive periods of instruction. In the following years, the Tutor should be prepared to design and implement their own curriculum, likely switching from the US curriculum to the English Early Years program. As the family put down more roots in the Massachusetts area, the Tutor should look to extend their activities to incorporate other children from the neighborhood, perhaps for short dramatic performances, band practices or team sports.

The ultimate aim of the tuition is to facilitate the entry of both children into top UK independent schools, such as Westminster, at the age of 13 for the boy, and either Westminster School at 16 for the girl, or another top school, such as St Paul’s Girls’ School from the age of 11. To do this, the Tutor must ensure both children have solid academic foundations from a program which spans both the UK and US curricula and delivers the very best of both systems. The children should be on par with the top echelons of their peers and have the breadth and depth of experience to make competitive applications to any school of their choosing.

With the individual attention that one-to-one education affords each student, there are sometimes concerns that private tuition can accelerate a student’s learning far beyond that of their classmates, making reintegration to mainstream school difficult. This potential issue can be mitigated by broadening the subjects covered rather than deepening the material included in their curriculum. In this instance, both of the children’s parents hail from a scientific background, so immersive and age-appropriate projects covering topics such as astronomy, engineering, geology or botany may be one way to increase their breadth of experience. Of course, the sciences should not be pursued at the expense of the arts or humanities, and a gifted Tutor will find ways of incorporating multiple subject disciplines into their work with the children.

The goal is for the children to complete their studies at a prestigious university – Oxbridge, Ivy, Stanford or MIT would be preferable – and this role is to be a key part of that journey. That is not to suggest that the children should be hot-housed or pushed to a point where education becomes a chore. On the contrary, the successful Tutor for this position will find a way to incorporate fun and energy into all of their lessons, so the children remain enthused about the pursuit of knowledge, and curious about the world around them. The Tutor should make use of all resources at their disposal, planning lessons which center on local points of interest, historical sites, museums, art galleries, exhibitions and theatre productions (as and when Covid-19 restrictions allow). They should make use of local history, stories and folklore to create lessons that are interesting to both children and their parents, and their natural enthusiasm for any given topic should be infectious.

Alongside their academic work, the children’s parents are keen for them to continue developing their athletic abilities. As yet, neither child has expressed a particular preference for one individual sport, so it is important to keep introducing them to a range of activities until they find one on which to settle. With regard to electronics, both parents are happy for the children to be exposed to screen time where necessary. The children are allowed to use education apps such as Kodable, Adapted Mind and JoyReader, but screen time for entertainment is strictly limited.

The family have worked hard to ensure that the children are culturally aware but never critical, that both of them are curious children and not merely consumers. The Tutor should reinforce this message, encouraging the children to understand the great range of human experiences and situations, their privilege and how they can contribute to society at large through meaningful actions such as volunteering, fundraising and reducing their impact on the environment.

It is anticipated that the successful candidate for this role will themselves have attended one of the leading UK independent schools before attending a Russell Group or Ivy League university. They will have a strong background in the sciences and mathematics, with an ability to deliver the full range of primary subjects at a very high level. They should be a qualified teacher with upwards of five years’ experience and should be in a position to help and support the Mandarin tutor who has had limited exposure to delivering language lessons at primary level. Spanish or Mandarin skills would be of benefit to the Tutor. The children’s parents are also keen to be involved in their education, and so the Tutor should look to include them where suitable and guide them in any activity planning or projects that they wish to undertake.

This is a serious academic assignment involving strong academics, music, sport and the ability to inspire ambition, passion and confidence in both children. The role is not suited to tutoring couples.

Hours and holidays

The Tutor will typically work from Monday to Friday for an average of 40 hours per week, with preparation time in addition. The Tutor will be entitled to at least nine weeks off per annum.

The Tutor should follow a structured timetable as much as possible but should look to adjust this to fit with the children’s needs. It is essential that the Tutor collaborates with the Client in overall child management responsibilities.

Accommodation, Travel, and Miscellaneous

The Tutor will be provided with furnished accommodation on the Client's estate. They will likely have their own bedroom and bathroom but may be expected to share the building with another member of staff. The estate itself is stunning – it is a very peaceful and beautiful part of the US but has good access to both New York and Boston.

The family engage the services of a private chef, and the Tutor is welcome to either eat with the family, arrange for the chef to cook their meals for them, or to cook for themself.

Accommodation during periods of travel will likely be a short term furnished let, AirBnB, or hotel.

It is unlikely that this role will include much travel in the short-term, partly as a result of the restrictions surrounding Covid-19. However, as the threat recedes, there will likely be increasing occasions where the family relocate to other parts of the US for short periods, or even opt to spend some time abroad. The children’s papa is certainly interested in spending extended periods at the US west coast. When the Tutor accompanies them, all travel and accommodation costs will be covered.

A car will be provided for the Tutor at the house in Massachusetts unless the Tutor is able to bring their own.

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. They should enjoy staying active and should embrace opportunities to try new sports and activities with the children.

The Tutor will need to have permission to work in the USA, and to be able to travel there during period of restricted travel. This is likely to mean that they will be a US national, a dual US/UK national, or a Briton who already meets the exemptions for travel.

Contractual details

Start: January 2021

Duration: 12 months initially, with annual renewals possible

Hours: 40 hours contact time per week, with preparation in addition

Salary: $180,000 USD per annum

Accommodation: Provided

Car: Provided

Vacation: Minimum 45 days per year



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