Traveling School Faculty
We are no longer accepting faculty applications for the 2023 – 2024 academic semesters. If you are interested in teaching for The Traveling School in the future, explore the information below and check back with us next January, when 2024 – 2025 faculty applications will open.
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 live and 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 must bring a positive, mature influence to their teacher team and be able to supervise, teach, and mentor a group of high school students (ages 15 – 18) during a semester. Teachers not only plan and teach academic classes, they also facilitate team-building activities, oversee contracted activities, manage risk on a daily basis, and bring fun and joy to semester life. Teachers have limited personal space, time-off and free-time for the duration of the four-month contract.Like students, they are requested to step back from technology, stay present in the experience, and engage with the immersive, community focused mindset of The Traveling School.
*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. Head here to read about our courses and academic program – which classes fit your interest and skill set?
Scope of Duties
- 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, educational philosophy, and traditions
- 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
- Solo-teach at least one academic course; co-teach or solo teach 1-2 additional courses
- Develop daily lesson plans and big-picture unit plans that meet course objectives; design creative and authentic assessments; and teach to develop critical thinking skills in accordance with the curriculum outlined by The Traveling School.
- Pursue experiential academic activities to complement and enhance course curriculum
- Co-teach Physical & Outdoor Fitness, and Leadership and Life Skills class
- Provide individualized academic support and differentiation based on a student’s unique learning profile
- Write academic comments, mentor comments, and program specific blog posts
When will teacher applications open?
Applications generally open in late December or early January for the upcoming school year (i.e. applications posted in January 2023 are for the 2023-2024 school year) and remain open until the first week of March. We encourage interested applicants to apply prior to the deadline, as we review applications periodically during the open period and may begin to offer interviews to qualified candidates before applications close. We aim to finalize hiring for both fall and spring semester teacher teams by late April.
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 teacher has different jobs within their role to make the program run smoothly, such as managing the budget, facilitating overarching logistics, gear organizer, medic, and photographer. We love having a combination of new and returning teachers to infuse each semester with new ideas and ways of doing.
*Depending on teacher team skills and experience, some four person teams may include an Apprentice Teacher. This position is made for an aspiring educator who would benefit from experiencing Traveling School teaching with a slightly lesser teaching and responsibility load, with more opportunity to observe and learn on the job.
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 their leadership bag at any given time. Teachers are leaders, mentors, academic teachers, first-aid facilitators, cheerleaders, mediators, risk managers, grocery shoppers, and teammates.
On any given day a teacher could hop out of bed to lead a 6:30 am fitness class before breakfast. Then they 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 and monitoring study hall. The next day, they might help students pack their day packs for an eight-mile hike to a lake. Once on the trail, they will coordinate the hiking pace, encourage students with trail games, and keep morale soaring while climbing 1000+ feet in elevation. They may then teach another hour-long class at the lakeside, where they have to adjust their lesson plan because students are cold, before turning around and heading back to camp. In the evening, the teacher team may host Friday night awards or facilitate student phone calls to their families before lights out and room/tent checks at 10pm. As a result of the teacher leadership rotation, not every teacher is the primary schedule-maker and lead facilitator every day. Nevertheless, the job is always dynamic and full, and requires an individual who can balance various priorities while also appropriately prioritizing self care.
Overall, a Traveling School teacher is committed to creating an exceptional student experience by being invested in progressive education and forming meaningful student relationships to create a transformative 15-week experience.
What does teaching look like on semester?
Students who attend The Traveling School may be sophomores, juniors, or seniors in high-school and come from different academic backgrounds. They are typically highly motivated and also represent a range of academic maturity. The teacher’s job is to differentiate to meet students’ individual learning needs, accounting for these different backgrounds, to create an inclusive learning environment. This means presenting additional challenge and complexity to some students, while modifying expectations or building additional scaffolding into learning for others.
Academic Teaching = Bringing TTS curriculum to life through rigorous discussions, compelling readings or materials, and dynamic classes that explore interdisciplinary themes. We aim to mix structured classes (for example, those held in circles with whiteboards that feature debates, exams, essays, and textbooks) with experiential classes where students engage with a guest speaker or more hands-on academic activity (examples: museum visit, cultural exchange, interviews with community members). Teaching at TTS means managing a classroom to cultivate participation and provoke deeper engagement with probing questions. As well, teachers must facilitate challenging discussions, explore conflicting ideas, design authentic assessments, and allow students to discover their unique perspective while recognizing differing opinions. Then, there are the nuts and bolts: lesson preparation, unit planning, timely grading, writing academic comments, and teaching to individual students’ strengths and areas of growth (differentiation). Oh, and this is all done with limited technology! Finally, some courses are co-taught, which asks teachers to be willing to thoughtfully collaborate with one another.
Beyond the classroom teaching = Being a mentor and role model for a cohort of teenagers, and building and being part of an intentional semester community. This means helping a student address a conflict with a peer, learn to wash their clothes by hand, or try a new activity that intimidates them. It also means setting a pace on a fitness class 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 them find their voice, define their passions, and explore all they are capable of achieving.
How much will a teacher make?
Salaries range from approximately $8,000 -11,00 for a first semester teacher depending on experience and duties.
Each semester is a paid, full-time, temporary traveling position with potential for contract extensions. Contract extensions are subject to satisfactory evaluations and completion of a 120-day probationary period. Preference is given to qualified applicants seeking employment for consecutive semesters.
- Up to $200 reimbursed medical expenses (pre-semester vaccinations/semester specific medications)
- Up to $700 reimbursed travel expenses to/from Bozeman
- Up to $200 gear stipend for packing-list related items
- Room, board, travel, and recreational expenses during orientation, the entirety of the semester, and debrief
- 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)
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
- Ability to meet and uphold Teacher Essential Eligibility Criteria
- Teaching experience (outdoor education or classroom)
- Personal experience with outdoor pursuits (such as backpacking, Leave No Trace camping, rock climbing, rappelling, rafting, or canoeing)
- Strong interpersonal and writing skills
- Computer proficiency
- Receive a satisfactory review of any publicly available internet information, including National Sex Offender Registry, fingerprint based criminal background, credit and driving record (if driving is required) checks
- Advanced/master’s degree, teacher certification, or significant equivalent knowledge and experience base
- Facilitation skills and instinct for teaching team-building, leadership skills and managing group dynamics
- Experience working with and mentoring teenagers, particularly in women-centered schools and spaces
- Experience leading outdoor activities
- Experience lesson planning, administering summative and formative assessments, and grading with clear expectations
- Work or personal travel experience in Traveling School course areas
- Ability to give and receive feedback with a growth mindset
- Flexibility, strong work ethic, and perseverance
- Experience working with one or more co-instructors
- Experience hosting discussions, lectures, meetings and debates on controversial issues
- A sense of humor, grit, and eagerness to bring the stoke and magic
- Spanish language proficiency (South America semester)
What are the employment dates for a semester contract?
- Fall Semester: Approximately August 15 – December 15
- Spring Semester: Approximately January 22 – May 22
- 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
- A passion for equity and justice, and willingness to engage in hard conversations to that end
On occasion and depending on the candidate, The Traveling School will hire an Apprentice Teacher. An Apprentice Teacher may not yet meet all the required qualifications of TTS faculty, but demonstrates strong potential and commitment to experiential education, and is interested in developing the skills required of a Traveling School teacher. Apprentices have a lesser teaching and responsibility load, and therefore more opportunity to observe, learn and experiment with academic teaching, group management, logistical planning, risk management – and the many other aspects of living, leading and teaching in an extended, immersive setting.
I’m not a U.S. citizen, can I still apply to teach?
This question is complex and we would like to chat before you begin filling out an application. Currently, The Traveling School does not have the capacity to acquire work visas for international employees. While the majority of each teaching contract occurs in foreign countries, we are a U.S based non-profit and need to take citizenship and eligibility to work in different countries into account with our staffing. Each country has different work visa requirements. If you know how your country of citizenship allows foreign work, and can acquire the proper documentation, we would be excited to review your application.
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 chanting ‘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, Deer Hill Expeditions,, Adventures Cross County, NOLS or Outward Bound. Search for more in your region – the list is endless
- Seek Apprentice or Fellowship positions at other semester schools
- Lead international programs
- Apply to be a Traveling School Apprentice (use the Academic Teacher application at the top of the page and indicate that you are willing/interested to be hired as an apprentice)
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.