Traveling School Teacher
We are no longer accepting teacher applications for the 2021-2022 academic year.
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Curious what it takes to be a Traveling School teacher?
The Traveling School seeks academic teachers who are passionate about transformative education and intentional community living during a 15-week semester on the move. The position requires a creative, organized and flexible individual with strong interpersonal skills to work in a dynamic environment. TTS teachers create the framework for each semester, teaching academic classes, incorporating experiential opportunities and engaging with the people we meet and the places we travel. Teachers need to bring a positive, mature influence to their teacher team and be able to supervise, teach and mentor a group of high school girls during a semester. Teachers not only teach academic classes, they also facilitate team-building activities, oversee contracted activities, manage risk on a daily basis and bring the FUN. Like students, teachers have limited personal space or free-time for the duration of the four-month contract and are requested to step back from technology, stay present in the experience and engage with the immersive, community focused mindset of the program.
*If you have reached this page, we assume you have navigated through our website to understand details about who we are, how our semesters operate, where we travel and who attends our programs. Click here to read our course descriptions – which classes fit your skill set?
Scope of Duties
- Teach 1-3 academic classes
- Develop lesson and unit plans, implementing formal and informal classes and assessments to develop critical thinking skills in accordance to curriculum developed by The Traveling School.
- Pursue academic activities to complement and enhance course curriculum
- Co-teach Physical Education and Independent Life Skills
- Recognize each students’ academic abilities and develop individualized support to enhance critical thinking skills and academic performance
- Write academic comments, mentor comments and program specific blog posts
- Be available to students 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for duration of 15-week semester
- Live in shared accommodations and adhere to safety standards
- Participate in rotating leadership schedule with teacher team
- Mentor small groups of students through academic, social and emotional growth
- Plan, manage and supervise academic, outdoor and cultural activities and logistics
- Maintain accurate financial records and adhere to program budgets
- Represent and further The Traveling School’s mission, education traditions and philosophy
- Manage group safety by understanding and upholding The Traveling School’s risk management practices, policies and procedures and emergency response management as outlined in Staff Handbook
- Articulate clear expectations and set targets for academic performance, leadership skill development, cultural engagement and group living expedition behavior
- Additional duties as outlined in specific job contract
How many teachers work on each semester?
Each semester is composed of a four person teacher team: a two-person leadership team, who hold more risk management and programmatic responsibilities alongside their classes, supported by two teachers* whose primary focus is community development and academics. Everyone contributes to academic and experiential opportunities, manages risk on a daily basis, mentors students and commits to the experience. Each person has different jobs within their role to make a program run smoothly including budget manager, logistics facilitator, risk management overseer, medic and photographer. We love having a combination of new and returning teachers to infuse each semester with new ideas, new ways of teaching and building a community.
*Depending on teacher team skills and experience, some four person teams may include an Apprentice Teacher. This position is made for someone who will benefit from experiencing Traveling School teaching with focused mentorship and fewer responsibilities.
What role does a teacher have on semester?
Being a Traveling School teacher means being a bit of a magician who can pull a plethora of tricks out of her leadership bag at any given time. Teachers are peer leaders, mentors, academic teachers, nurses, aunties, cheerleaders, mediators, risk managers, grocery shoppers and crewmates.
On any given day a teacher could hop out of bed to lead a 6:30am PE class before breakfast. Then she might teach an academic class, take a student to a clinic, stop to grocery shop for 20 people on the way home, re-connect with the group during an impromptu dance party before supervising dinner prep before monitoring study hall. The next day, she might help students pack their day packs for an eight-mile hike to a lake. Once on the trail she will coordinate the hiking pace, encourage students with trail games and keep morale soaring while climbing 1000+ feet in elevation. She may then host a literature Slam Poetry contest at the lake before turning around and heading back to camp with everyone. In the evening, she may host Friday night awards and facilitate phone calls before lights out and room checks at 10pm.
Overall, a Traveling School teacher is committed to creating an exceptional student experience by being invested in education and excited to facilitate conversations to create a transformative 15-week experience.
What does teaching look like on semester?
Academic Teaching = Bringing TTS curriculum to life through poignant discussions, interesting readings and progressive classes building on interdisciplinary themes. We aim to mix formal classes with whiteboards, debates, exams, essays and textbooks with informal classes where you might engage with a guest speaker or facilitate an academic activity (examples: museum visit, horticulture activity, interviews with community members). It means managing a classroom to cultivate participation and provoke deeper engagement with academic questions. As well, teachers must facilitate challenging discussions, explore conflicting ideas, administer rigorous assessments and allow students to find their perspective. Academic teaching also requires lesson preparation, unit planning, timely grading and understanding individual students’ strengths and areas of growth. Oh, and this is all done with limited technology!
Informal teaching = Being a mentor and role model for a cohort of teenage girls, building and being part of an intentional semester community. It means helping a student address a conflict with a peer, learn to wash her clothes by hand and try a new activity. It also means setting a pace on a PE run that everyone can maintain, role modeling self-care and embracing challenging moments with an open mindset. Through this, teachers build rapport with each student to help her find her voice, define her passions and explore all she is capable of achieving.
How much will a teacher make?
Salaries range from approximately $5,500 – $10,000 for a first year teacher depending on experience and duties for the semester.
- Up to $200 reimbursed medical expenses (pre-semester vaccinations/semester specific medications)
- Up to $600 reimbursed travel expenses to/from Bozeman
- All room, board, travel, and recreational expenses translates to approximately $9,500
- Up to $525 wellness budget for meals, lodging, activities and travel expenses away from the group
- Up to $150 medical expenses during semester
- International Teacher Identification Card Premium Plan and security and medical evacuation service (Overseas semesters only)
- Group health insurance for qualifying employees
What are the minimum and preferred qualifications?
- Bachelor’s degree
- Wilderness First Responder & CPR certification for leadership position (or ability to obtain certification prior to contract)
- Basic First Aid and CPR for teacher position (or ability to obtain certification prior to contract)
- At least one year of work experience between college graduation and Traveling School employment in an experiential education/leadership position
- Teaching experience (outdoor education or classroom)
- Personal experience with outdoor skills (backpacking, Leave No Trace camping, rafting, rock climbing, rappelling or canoeing)
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Ability to meet and uphold Teacher Essential Eligibility Criteria
- Proficient with computer software programs including Microsoft Office (Word, Outlook, Excel) and internet search engines
- Receive a satisfactory review of any publicly available internet information, including National Sex Offender Registry, Federal Fingerprint-Based Background check, driving record (if driving is required) and credit check.
- Facilitation skills and instinct for team-building, leadership skills and managing group dynamics
- Experience working with and mentoring teenage girls
- Experience leading outdoor activities
- Experience lesson planning, administering formal and informal assessments and grading
- Work or personal travel experience in Traveling School course areas
- Problem-solving skills
- Flexibility, strong work ethic, and perseverance
- A sense of humor and eagerness to role model fun
- Experience working with one or more co-instructors
- Experience hosting discussions, lectures, meetings and debates on controversial issues
- Spanish language proficiency
What are the employment dates for a semester contract?
- Fall Semester: Approximately August 10 – December 10
- Spring Semester: Approximately January 22 – May 20
- Semesters are approximately 15 weeks long with mandatory 5-days off
- Dates include pre-semester faculty orientation and post-semester debrief in Bozeman, MT
What does The traveling School look for when selecting new teachers?
Each semester we create a team with complimentary skills — both hard skills and soft skills — to manage the arc of the program and support the students. We look for teachers who have:
- Teaching experience – either formal or informal especially with our target age group
- Outdoor/experiential education background
- Experience in the regions we travel, preferably for multiple months and/or in a leadership setting
- Personal motivation to engage with current events through a curious, critical lens
- Willingness to work with a growth mindset and practice open communication
- Interest in and dedication for upholding The Traveling School mission
- Courage not to always have the answer while having the motivation to seek the answer
- Interest in and value for diversity, equity and inclusion characteristics and conversations
The Traveling School strives to include an Apprentice Teacher when a teacher team is capable of mentoring an individual in addition to their other responsibilities. An Apprentice Teacher demonstrates strong potential and commitment to experiential education, and is interested in developing the skills required of a Traveling School teacher. Mentor teacher(s) will focus on supporting the Apprentice in academic teaching, group management, logistical planning, risk management and the many other aspects of living, leading and teaching in an extended, immersive setting. This role and the corresponding mentorship pairing are individualized based on the person’s growth areas.
I’m excited to teach with The Traveling School down the road, how can I prepare to become a TTS teacher?
If all of the above points make you jump up and down and exclaim ‘this is the coolest job ever’ yet you don’t feel ready to apply… that’s ok. These are competitive jobs and sometimes even highly skilled applicants apply a few times before being hired. If you’re in college, recently graduated or looking for a shift, here are a few other programs to consider to help you build skills to be a rock star Traveling School Teacher:
- Engage in your community – mentor youth, find outdoor clubs, substitute teach
- Try leading experiential programs: Montana Wilderness School, Visions, Alpengirls, Adventures Cross County, NOLS or Outward Bound. Search for more in your region – the list is endless
- Check out other semester school apprenticeship options (HMI, Chewonki and Alzar have mentored apprenticeships)
- Lead international programs
- Apply to be a Traveling School Apprentice Teacher (use the Academic Teacher application at the top of the page)
The Traveling School is committed to excellence through diversity in its students, faculty, staff, and Board of Directors. The Traveling School provides equal employment opportunities to all employees/applicants for employment and students/student applicants without regard to race, sex, age, color, national origin, ethnicity, creed, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, pregnancy, veteran status, or political affiliation – except where sex, age, or ability represent bona fide educational or employment qualifications or where marital or veteran status are statutorily defined eligibility criteria for Federal or State laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training. The Traveling School will make reasonable accommodations to allow qualified individuals with a disability to participate in the essential functions of the program. This policy does not preclude discrimination based on bona fide qualifications or other recognized exceptions under the law.
As a member of The Traveling School community, you are entitled to work/study in an environment free of discrimination. Racial, sexual or ethnic remarks or slurs and other forms of harassment are not tolerated. If you feel you have been treated unfairly, notify the Executive Director. There are procedures available to address your concerns.