Harding Academy is a warm and caring school environment where respect is the key ingredient. Every child, parent, and colleague is a unique individual worthy of our understanding and greatest effort.
Harding Academy employs outstanding faculty, staff, and administrators, provides technologically enhanced facilities, and offers a broad and challenging curriculum designed to develop the whole person.
The mission of our school is to educate and inspire young people to become thoughtful, creative, lifelong learners and self-disciplined, responsible, caring citizens. Members of the faculty are an important part of this effort. We strive and serve so that the students may become young men and women who are able to make choices that will benefit themselves, our society, and our world.
Description of the Position
Designed as a yearlong, immersive experience for recent graduates in the field of education or early career professionals who are looking to grow into a classroom teaching position, the Harding Academy Teaching Fellows program aims to provide a robust experience geared towards building capacity, confidence, and expertise in teaching. Under the direction of the Director of Teaching and Learning and Division Directors, Teaching Fellows will hone their craft as they learn from and work alongside master teachers in either the lower school or middle school setting. Over the course of a year these Fellows will not only generate their own toolkit for instruction, but glean best practices that can be applied in planning, implementation, classroom management, etc. Depending on the Fellow, individuals will be placed in positions where they work with one core teacher or grade level team each term, and then take on different responsibilities or rotate to learn from additional teachers or teams as the year progresses. In the second half of the year the Teaching Fellow may take on a more significant role in the classroom (e.g. teaching fully for part of a day, one section of a content area, etc.). The fluid nature of the position is dependent on both the strengths of the Fellow and opportunities/needs within the school. Short- and long-term substitute support may also be a component of the Teaching Fellow role as needed.
Ideal Teaching Fellow candidates are individuals who have a foundational understanding of teaching and learning but are looking for an opportunity to immerse themselves in a year of growth beyond traditional degree requirements such as coursework and student teaching. Asking questions, collaborating with colleagues with different education backgrounds or philosophies, and stepping into the moment are all ideal characteristics of Teaching Fellows. Given the nature of the role, flexibility and strong communication skills are essential. As in any professional setting, perspective-taking and follow-through are also integral to a successful experience. While a bachelor's degree is required and teaching experience to some extent is welcomed, candidates completing Masters or terminal degrees (Ph.D. and Ed.D.) are also encouraged to apply as unique content expertise and backgrounds are welcome.
Teaching Fellows Program Goals
Grow in confidence and capacity as an educator through observations, teaching opportunities, feedback, and
Engage in school initiatives around best practices through action research that rests upon observation, research, and strategy implementation.
Actively lean in, listen, and learn from more experienced teachers while also contributing new ideas to existing practices, planning, and pedagogical approaches.
Participate in direct mentoring in the areas of teaching and learning with the Director of Teaching and individual teacher mentors.
The Harding Academy Teaching Fellow Experience
No two Teaching Fellow journeys are exactly the same, allowing for the experience to be crafted in a way that meets the Fellow where he/she is, while at the same time responding to the needs of the school in adaptive ways. Initial onboarding conversations allow for a path to be charted that plays to a Fellow’s strengths, provides opportunities for learning and practice in targeted areas, and is aligned with the strategic plans and priorities of Harding Academy.
Classroom observations will be one of the initial gateways of entry for a Teaching Fellow to see the Harding instructional experience in action. From observing teaching and learning in action to management and active engagement strategies, there is much to be learned from spending time in a homeroom. Shadowing teachers or students as they navigate their day provides an opportunity to see how time is spent, and what it takes to effectively and efficiently operate in a dynamic way. Observations of different classrooms and grade levels reveal slightly different approaches to delivery and will help Fellows as they formulate ideas about how they would best deliver content and support students in the classroom.
Co-teaching and solo teaching will stem from experiences and time spent observing and planning with teachers. Collaborative planning grounded in a standards-based approach will guide lessons and teaching opportunities. Lesson planning and teaching will integrate best practices and allow for integration of new ideas and strategies conceived of by the Fellow. In all instances attention to rigor, differentiation, and diversity, equity and inclusion will be considered. Co-teaching, as a means to provide differentiated
experiences and meet specific instructional needs of students, will occur regularly. In certain instances a Fellow may end up taking the lead for a length of time (e.g. month or full term) for a portion or section of a class, wherein he/she will take on the full responsibilities of the regular teacher (i.e. planning, instruction, feedback, etc.).
Targeted professional development opportunities will allow for Teaching Fellows to engage with research-based learning outside of the classroom, which can then translate into their day to day work with
colleagues and students. In a world where dynamic teaching and learning matters more than ever, Harding Academy believes in professional development delivered by external content experts as well as internal pedagogical experts. Teaching Fellows will, like Harding teachers, have the opportunity to attend conferences, participate in professional development initiatives, and develop action plans focused on their individual professional growth. Examples of on-site specific professional development include but are not limited to differentiated instruction, scaffolded support and tiered assignments, digital resources and instructional considerations, concept development and generalizations, standards-based grading, etc.
Regular reflection and goal setting will take place in 1:1 or small group meetings with the Director of Teaching and Learning or Division Directors. This time and space for collaborative reflection and conversation is designed to provide both parties with opportunities to share takeaways, discuss next-steps, and continue to build out the experience in a supportive, individualized way. As goals are established, various Harding faculty and resources are deployed to support the Teaching Fellow as he/she works towards attainment or mastery.
Action research projects will take place in both the fall and spring of the Teaching Fellow’s year-round appointment. With guidance from the Director of Teaching and Learning, these targeted projects will result in professionally presented projects that can be implemented and used by colleagues at Harding. Using classroom observations, assessment data, and conversations with faculty, Fellows will pinpoint a specific area of instruction that would benefit from a thorough evaluation of current research and best practice. From there, the Fellow will work with a teacher to integrate one or more research-based best practices into the classroom via whole or small group instruction/intervention. From the experience, and implementation of strategy, the Fellow will generate and communicate formally his/her findings to the broader instructional community.
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE
Requirements: Bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university
Preference: Master’s degree and/or at least two years’ experience in an instructional role; current or transferable teacher certification in the State of Tennessee
Knowing that a classroom of students is comprised of individual and diverse learners, we believe that students learn best when instructional practices include differentiated instruction that is designed according to student readiness, progress, and achievement, and is aligned with curriculum standards; academic enrichment that challenges students through accelerated learning experiences to advance critical thinking development; academic support that addresses the needs of students who require additional
practice and alternative instruction to achieve content mastery; and a brain-based pedagogical model that is informed by current research in human development and neuro-cognitive sciences which provides common language and consistent practices schoolwide.
Employs a variety of teaching methods to engage different learning styles and ability levels in the classroom
Able to deliver motivating and innovative lessons that reflect knowledge of the curriculum, child development, 21st century instruction, and student abilities
Encourages an inclusive classroom that accepts the different perspectives and backgrounds of the students and elicits a greater understanding of the world around them with a global perspective
Understands a variety of assessments and uses data in the classroom to develop lessons and instructional activities needed
Partner with co-teacher to update curriculum and materials as needed
2. Teaching and Learning Environment
Creates a learning environment that is a motivating and age-appropriate setting with clear expectations for classwork and homework while maintaining instructional resources that support classroom learning
Seeks to actively know students’ strengths and weaknesses and responds promptly and with care to parent concerns. Communicates effectively with parents, colleagues, and administrators
Utilizes school’s online system to maintain an accurate and organized system for monitoring student grades and records
Meets reporting deadlines and requirements and follows school-wide procedures for reporting grades
Prepares well-thought out and thorough conference reports and written documentation on student progress
Delivers substitute plans and engages teachers in advance when needed and when possible
Demonstrates classroom management skills
3. Professional Development
Demonstrates a willingness to learn, grow, and improve as an educator
Continues to update knowledge of content area(s) taught, as well as instructional practices
Engages in goal setting and review process with assigned administrator
Attends and participates appropriately in full, divisional, and departmental/team faculty meetings
4. School Community
Maintains a positive attitude and approach
Represents the school in the larger community in a positive manner
Assists with projects and school-wide initiatives
Other work-related duties as assigned by supervisor or management
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The competencies listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.
Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Professional maturity and the ability to respond calmly and effectively in stressful and dangerous situations
Professional and effective written, oral, and listening communication skills
Respectful attitude toward school faculty, students, and parents
Ability to maintain integrity and confidentiality of personal information
Ability to demonstrate a high level of work, personal, and professional ethics
Enthusiasm for working collaboratively as part of the Harding Academy team
Active involvement in school functions, goals, activities,
Ability to demonstrate critical thinking skills
Working knowledge of technology including email, spreadsheets, written and electronic correspondence, internet, school’s online portal, and smartboards.
Must have reliable transportation
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to: speak, hear, stand, walk, sit; use his/her hands or fingers to: handle, grasp or feel; to: reach with hands and arms; and to: smell. The employee is occasionally required to kneel or crouch and lift up to 100 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus. Reasonable accommodations may be available to allow the employee to perform the essential functions of the job.
About Harding Academy
Harding Academy is a coeducational, nonsectarian day school serving pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. With a focus on rigorous academics taught by nurturing teachers, Harding Academy students thrive within a uniquely balanced and motivating environment.
At the heart of the Harding Academy advantages is our fundamental commitment to the PreK-8 structure, which supports every student’s social, emotional, and academic needs in a developmentally appropriate manner.
We seek to serve a diverse community of families searching for the optimal pathways to some of the nation’s most challenging public and independent high schools, and who share our mission to foster thoughtful, lifelong learners and responsible, caring citizens.
Harding Academy strives to inspire the mind and nurture the spirit in all we do. Our PreK-8 model provides the optimal environment in which to strike this balance. We serve each and every student with a whole-child approach and through challenging and developmentally appropriate curriculum, character education, and extracurricular activities.