Andover Summer, PALS, or (MS)2 Teaching Assistant
Phillips Academy Summer Session Teaching Assistant Job Description
June 25 -August 6, 2024
About the Program
One of the nation’s premier boarding schools, Phillips Academy offers a number of summer programs for rising 7th through 12th grade students that are held on its picturesque campus just 21 miles north of Boston. Collectively they are referred to as "Andover Summer". Our flagship program, Summer Session, challenges students in an innovative five-week, residential program. More than 60 courses are offered, ranging from computer science to marine biology, from ethics and philosophy to economics. Mathematics & Science for Minority Students – better known as (MS)2 – is a residential, STEM scholarship program for underrepresented students of color that runs concurrently with Summer Session. Regardless of program, Andover Summer students bring the world into the classroom by virtue of their enormous diversity of geographic origin, religion, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background. With strong academic records and a serious desire to spend the summer in a residential community, our students enjoy challenging themselves and one another through disciplined study. Every summer Phillips Academy hires a number of visiting Teaching Assistants (TAs) to teach, coach, and house counsel in these summer programs, which are slated to run from June 25 – August 6. (With students on campus from July 2-August 4, 2024). As a Summer Session faculty member, the TA experience is rigorous, intensive, and challenging, structured to provide support to students academically, socially, and emotionally throughout their 5-week experience.
About the Role
Teaching Assistants (TAs) are typically rising college seniors or recent college graduates who are interested in gaining direct experience with the sorts of teaching, coaching, and residential duties that comprise the life of a boarding school faculty member.
- To gain classroom experience, TAs are paired with experienced Mentor Teachers for the duration of the summer, collaborating closely to execute on the syllabus designed by the Mentor. Together, TAs and their Mentor Teachers are charged with ensuring that students in their classes have a challenging and academically rigorous summer experience, while also making learning incredibly fun. Project-based, hands-on, authentic learning experiences are encouraged, and TAs should be prepared to support their mentors in leading students through an intensive and highly engaging exploration of their chosen content. With the support of their mentors, TAs work towards planning and leading at least one complete lesson over the course of the summer, with most TAs assuming lead-teaching responsibilities by the end of the session.
- To gain residential experience, most TAs serve as House Counselors in student dormitories. In this capacity, they are charged with creating a safe, supportive living environment and ensuring the health and wellbeing of the students in their care. Dorm teams consist of 2-5 House Counselors (depending on the size of the dorm) who share residential responsibilities, rotating through evening dorm duties, facilitating dorm meetings and activities, coordinating dorm events, communicating with families, and providing care and support to students as needed.
Typically, TAs are hired to support in at least one course, to house counsel and to coach an afternoon activity; assignments may vary slightly depending on the program. TAs should expect to have roughly 35-40 hours per week of assigned duties, including up to 3 hours of class (Monday-Saturday), ~1 hour of coaching or activity/Connections group facilitation (Monday-Friday), and ~2.5 hours of evening study hours or residential supervision (Sunday-Friday). In addition, on a weekly basis, TAs are likely to participate in the life of the campus by facilitating Open Activities (~1 hour per week) and Connections Groups (~1 hour per week), attending All School or Program meetings (~1 hour per week), as well as participating in weekly Faculty Meetings and TA Cohort Meetings. Absences from assigned duties are not permitted. Few exceptions are made to this policy, although unusual circumstances may determine that an applicant’s situation should be handled on an individual basis. TAs are also expected to chaperone at least two on-campus social events and at least three off-campus trips during the summer. In addition, TAs assigned to the Lower School Institute will chaperone - along with their mentor teacher – the weekly Wednesday academic field trips. TAs live in Academy-provided housing, either in student dorms (if serving as house counselors) or in faculty-only dorms and have full access to all Phillips Academy facilities and dining services for the duration of the summer.
In addition to working collaboratively with the Mentor Teacher to complete all instructional duties described above, TAs are responsible for ensuring that their own developmental needs are met and that they engage with the opportunities provided for skill-building and support.
Ideal Candidate Profile
- At least three years of undergraduate education completed by the time of employment.
- Strong interest in teaching or youth development
- Experience working with middle- or high-school-aged students
- Demonstrated experience and success in collaborative environment
- Flexibility and adaptability in a fast-paced, dynamic environment requiring both the ability to take direction and the readiness to problem-solve
- Appreciation of the mission and culture of independent, residential, college-preparatory schools.
- Exceptional communication skills (speaking and writing)
- Exceptional interpersonal skills
- Demonstrated commitment to anti-racism, diversity, equity and inclusion.
Starting salary is $3500 for a Teaching Assistant with a full workload of assisting with up to two courses, house counseling and coaching an afternoon activity. Salary offers may increase based on the demands of a particular program or a TA’s years of education/experience.