This is not an ordinary “teacher” role, and this is not an ordinary school. Embark Education is a micro-school embedded in two small businesses in North Denver that supports students to courageously inquire, engage, and discover a sense of self. Our vision is for all members of our community to learn courageously. Embark is built on three design pillars: Embedded, Integrated and Learner Centered.
At Embark, Pinwheel Coffee, Framework Cycles--our “learning hubs”--and the greater Denver area are our classroom. Curriculum is integrated into the shop operations. Learning is rigorous, and relevant to the work in the shops and the world around us. Students at Embark never ask “why am I learning this?”. Researching world history, geography and climate are a part of ordering and understanding where the beans for the coffee shop are sourced. Physics experiments are derived from repairing bike gears. This is not a role of a traditional teacher and using the title “Educator” is only relevant if you go to the Latin root “Educo,” meaning to draw out from what is already inside. The role of the adults at Embark is to cultivate an environment and create the conditions where deep learning and exploration can occur.
This middle school STEM educator position for 2021/22 will build on our first two years of learning in developing a new approach to middle school. You will be joining a small dedicated team of innovative educators who work collaboratively together and with our shop staff to design meaningful learning experiences for our students. Embark launched with 7th and 8th grade in 2019/20. With the addition of 6th grade in 2020/21, we reached our full enrollment of 30 students. You should be passionate about students, families, and educational change. You hold relationships at the center while embodying an entrepreneurial spirit of a founding educator. This position is a unique opportunity for an innovative educator to grow and thrive.
The ideal candidate will bring experience or willingness to embrace the following:
Equity, anti-bias, and anti-racism: Work with the team and with students to understand and act to address the impacts of racism and systems of oppression in our community and society.
Learner centered: Hold a mindset of starting first with students and their needs to inform curriculum and instruction decisions, as well as school systems and structures.
Integrated: Join an interdisciplinary (all core content areas), cross grade level (6-8) team. Working in a deeply collaborative way with 2 other educators and shop staff to design and implement learning experiences. Your key contribution will be your STEM experience to ensure mastery of core MS math (through Algebra 1) and science standards.
Competency-based assessment and feedback: Use our competencies as the foundation of student learning experiences
Embedded: Design and facilitate long-term ongoing learning experiences that are directly connected to the work of the shops. While also designing and implementing shorter term projects that use the shops as context either directly or as a lens to develop greater understanding of the world.
Tech-savvy: Use technology to effectively design learning experiences that support students in using their devices to do the work of the world as well as use tech as needed in a professional context
Math: Teach math through integrated interdisciplinary projects, experience with teaching conceptually (like the approaches highlighted at youcubed.org, mathagency.org and themathinstitute.org) and using student discourse and discussion to facilitate learning.
Embark Education is an initiative of Great Work, Inc. a non-profit organization with a non-traditional work environment. As an organization, GWI is passionate about education and innovation. We are dedicated to pioneering, enhancing and supporting education environments worldwide through professional development, piloting programs and projects, and community outreach and engagement. As a culture, we are fluid and responsive to the changing landscape of those we serve. As team members, our roles have a focus area, but we also fill in where needed to support other initiatives, projects, and overall goals of the organization. Part of what makes this position unique is that Embark as a school is situated within this larger organization. All GWI staff regularly have responsibilities within other projects as skill sets and expertise are needed. This is true of Embark Educators too. We are year-round employees (with unlimited PTO) and contribute to the larger work of GWI throughout the year.
We know it is a big ask and a non-traditional role and environment, but if you’re still reading and interested, you might be a good fit.
We believe that traditional hiring practices have historically and systemically marginalized entire groups of people — including people of color, people from working-class backgrounds, women, and people in the LGBTQIA+ community to name a few. We believe that we are better as an organization when we work to deconstruct the barriers intrinsic in that system so that our team has authentic representation from diverse communities, backgrounds, and beliefs. Hence, we strongly encourage people with these identities or who are members of other marginalized communities to apply for roles within our team.
At GWI we value the following:
passion for our mission and vision with a willingness to innovate, collaborate and be responsive to address new challenges and opportunities that arise
willingness to question convention, experiment and take risks, balanced with an organized approach to managing details.
ability to thrive in a self-motivated, challenging, and demanding role that will have varied and sometimes extended hours.
experience in non-traditional education environments working with youth
a sense of humor
able to seamlessly incorporate the words “aardvark” and “cornucopia” into a well-crafted cover letter (yes, we’re serious)
Additional Salary Information: Depending on experience