Maysville, Kentucky (ref: KEN-0413AB)
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A broadly capable, married, teaching couple are required from September 2013 or January 2014 for a long-term teaching role in Maysville, Kentucky. Maysville is a small, but thriving town on the bank of the Ohio River about 50 miles from three major conurbations. Its central US position offers a good base from which to explore the country, and the immediate area offers very pleasant surroundings that permit a wide range of outdoor activities.
In the first stage of what will grow into a full-fledged school, there will be a minimum of five children from two related families, all grandchildren of the Client: a girl of 3, and four boys, ages 8, 5, 4, and 4. It is possible that other children of employees of the company will also be offered places at this stage, but it is not known what ages or how many of these children there might be. Also, if the selected candidates have their own children they may choose to include them in this home school.
The 8 year old boy is clearly a bright and able boy who, it is thought, is being held back by his current educational circumstances. Like many boys his age, he loves Lego, but unlike most he does not need the instructions to be able to assemble models, preferring instead to work directly from a picture of the finished item, or to build his own creations. It is probably advisable that he soon moves onto something more advanced, such as FischerTechnik.
The 5 year old boy has some kind of global developmental delay which predominantly shows as slow responses and which affects the clarity of his speech. It is expected that he will progress much better under the watchful attention of a small home school, and with teachers he can get to know and trust, and who will ensure that he remains on task. At present he is very successful at employing a range of diversionary tactics that engender sympathy to avoid the requested task.
One of the 4 year old boys is a big child for his age, and looks much older than he is. This can cause adults who do not know him well to overestimate his capabilities. He is physically strong and it is easy to forget that he will have only recently turned four by September. It is not known at this stage where his academic strengths and interests lie.
The other 4 year old boy is currently interested in geography, mainly due to the fact that his father travels to all parts of the world, including, recently, Tanzania and Uganda. He is also currently taking beginning piano lessons from his aunt. He likes video games and learning, and listening to books being read to him. He has not begun reading yet, but he is currently learning how to sound out letters. He is enrolled at Montessori and will continue there next year. At one point he was speaking fluent Portuguese but since the family moved back to the States that skill has almost completely gone away.
The younger girl will be 4 this May. She has a good sense of humor and likes to make up creative stories. She is currently in ballet for girls 3-4 years of age. She also picked up Portuguese, but has since stopped speaking it all together. She is also in Montessori with her brother. She is not picking up the names of the letters and sounds as fast as her brother did at her age, but she is able to focus (when she wants to!).
Role of the Tutors
The role initially involves creating a homeschool for the three of the boys (8, 5, 4), as well as the Tutors’ own children, if desired. The younger two children may join later, as may other children related to the Client’s company. These children will be the first students in a newly-to-be-formed, Eurocentric, Engineering-Technology focus, Anglo-American private school. This is therefore a far-reaching role offering experienced educators an opportunity not only to develop a home-based curriculum for children aged 4-8, but also to play an important part in the founding of a new and ambitious school. It is the hope of the family that this new school in their small town will grow into an institution that offers a quality of education that in turn attracts personnel for the family business, provides more choice for the current population of the town and its surrounding areas, and becomes a renowned center of excellence.
From the very start, it will be essential to develop a curriculum that encompasses the full range of traditional core subjects – Mathematics, Science and Technology, Language Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Expressive and Performing Arts, and Sports. The ambition is to create an excellent private school, with an Anglo-American core, incorporating European languages but with an emphasis on technology and its applications. As with the best traditions of established British private schools, fair competition is to be encouraged, and excellence rewarded, in whatever sphere of school life it may be revealed. That is not to say that the school should be antiquated in its methodologies – instead it needs to be open to any approach that creates a stimulating and rigorous learning environment that encourages curiosity and exploration within a framework of good discipline and conservative values. It will be important for the pioneer Tutors in this role to be cognisant of the path ahead during the fledgling stages.
Important too is the development of good discipline, effective work habits and general manners. Since lunchtimes will form part of the school day, it is expected that the Tutors will incorporate an understanding and practice of sensible nutrition, food preparation and hygiene, etiquette, and cleanliness into the students’ work. The family are developing a French bakery in their corporate headquarters and it is expected that where symbiotic opportunities co-exist between bakery and school they will be utilized.
It will be important for the Tutors to embrace the families’ traditional, conservative values that are firmly rooted in a strong Judeo-Christian morality. At the same time the teachers should create an exciting and productive working environment that engenders trust through firm, clear boundaries. While modern examples of best practice are to be sought, and teaching should encompass a balanced global perspective, that does not mean that the teachers will be free to teach openly liberal content that challenges conservative sensibilities.
When the school is fully formed there will need to be a broad cross-curricular interrelationship that includes applied engineering skills such as computing and computer science, design technology, graphic design, woodwork and metalwork, craft, and manufacturing. The school will be encouraged to draw on local skills and knowledge in the development and implementation of these skills. For example, the owner of a jewellery store in the town has indicated his interest in contributing to a course that explores some of skills of a silversmith, and, of course, the family’s company will have many ways of contributing firsthand application of such skills as are needed in surveying.
As the school grows the plan is that the student-teacher ratio will not exceed 8:1. It will be a truly international school that encourages foreign languages and international qualifications, such as the British IGCSE and A level alongside a US grade-level approach. It is possible that the school will also apply to become IBO recognized. This is all some time away though.
Of more importance in the immediate term is the need to ensure that appropriate opportunities are found for social interaction with other children beyond the small group of students. It is likely that these opportunities will come through shares interests such as sports, the expressive arts, pursuits perhaps not strictly academic such as photography, wildlife conservation, community service, religious involvement and practice, or debating. In this vein, it may also be that it is in the interests of the children to be enrolled part time in a local school and rotate mornings and afternoons with different children – this would have the benefit of more individual attention during the time spent with their Tutors and still spend some of the day with children their own age. Obviously any such arrangement would have to be sensitively managed by the Tutors, but could free the Tutors to spend a greater proportion of every day working on the larger school development plans.
Hours, Holidays, and Accommodation
Initially the Tutors will work a normal school week, from 8am-4pm Monday to Friday. Planning and curriculum development will be in addition to this. Weekends will normally be off.
The standard minimum nine weeks (45 working days) paid vacation per annum will apply to both Tutors, and they will usually be off at the same time. The school year has not yet been discussed, but it is likely that in the early stages it will follow the standard US pattern of two 16-week semesters with the normal breaks such as Thanksgiving and Spring Break.
Furnished accommodation in or nearby to Maysville will be provided for the Tutors and their children. The Client will pay for all utilities on this property with the exception of phone bills for the Tutor’s personal calls.
Teaching accommodation will be in either converted offices of the Client’s company or in alternative property that has been set aside as the schoolrooms. The Tutors will be responsible for advising on the set-up and resourcing of these facilities bearing in mind the growth of the school and the plans for it to relocate either to a whole floor of the company’s headquarters, or, in due course, to a former school building in the town.
Travel and Miscellaneous
If one or both Tutors are asked to accompany the Client on any travel, the Client will be responsible for all the Tutor’s travel expenses and accommodation arrangements, but not his or her food or personal telephone usage.