The Ancona School needs a full-time head teacher for Middle School Spanish. The teacher will provide instruction of the Spanish language using a cultural context to embed the teaching and learning. This teacher works as an advisor with time dedicated each morning to building community and social and emotional learning. As the middle school language teacher this person is responsible for evaluating student progress in the subject matter and communicating regularly with parents, including weekly updates to the classroom web page, parent-teacher conferences, and emails and phone calls to inform the child’s family of academic and social-emotional development. This teacher writes narrative-based progress reports, leads and participates in parent-teacher conferences, leads the class as part of school assemblies and special events, and monitors student behavior, and responds by developing pro-social behaviors and self-regulation.
The World Language Program is positive, non-threatening & spontaneous. The Spanish curriculum builds upon the belief that students’ language learning should be a positive, non-threatening process, similar to the way children acquire their first language. Within our classroom, students learn not only language and pronunciation skills, but also learning strategies that will aid them as they continue their studies in later years. Our approach is meant to foster spontaneous and meaningful communication among students, interest and enthusiasm for Spanish-speaking cultures, and empathy for the people living within those cultures.
In contrast to traditional methods of second language instruction, Spanish language learning in our classroom is meant to be a low stress process that encourages meaningful and effective communication within a nurturing environment. Classroom activities are tailored to students’ different learning styles, abilities, and language -learning backgrounds. We focus on eliminating the fear of failure and emphasize the process of communicating in a meaningful way. Students are assessed according to their willingness to communicate — orally or in writing — in the target language through meaningful and relevant messages, regardless of the student’s skill level. We frequently use a process known as TPRS – Teaching Proficiency Through Reading and Storytelling. This method emphasizes the importance of repetition of “comprehensible input” — listening and reading that is understood by the learner –as a way to more effectively acquire language. Using this method, students frequently read texts in Spanish, participate in the creation of stories (verbally and in writing), and use theater as a way to understand and transmit messages in the target language. In addition to that, our program uses lively songs and poetry to built phonemic awareness, reinforce structural elements and allow students to more easily connect speech to print.
Our curriculum weaves lessons related to the geography, daily life, history, politics, music, art, politics, and struggles for peace and social justice within the Spanish-speaking world. Spanish language content and skills, including functional language competencies (social language), grammar, pronunciation, listening, writing, vocabulary, reading, and personal expressions are fully integrated with cultural themes. The intense focus on these themes as seen through the lens of human rights and social justice is both progressive and potentially transformative; cultivating compassionate, culturally proficient and geographically knowledgeable global citizens who have the power to become positive change agents. With a strong emphasis on the meaningful exchange of ideas, lessons begin with the daily realities of the students, and gradually extend to communities throughout the Spanish-speaking world.
Each year, within a four-year cycle, we focus on a different part of the world where Spanish is spoken: 1) Spain 2) Mexico, Central America & the Spanish-Speaking Caribbean, 3) South America, and 4) The LatinX Community in the U.S.A.
Ancona School is seeking an inspiring, creative, dynamic, and progressive educator to join our Middle School faculty in the World Language Department.
- Follow a well-established curriculum that incorporates language and cultural studies and that focuses heavily on social justice issues within the target regions
- Continue with programs and traditions that contribute to a warm and nurturing learning environment (i.e., Café Para Todos, Fiesta, Día de los Muertos, Día del Español, Fundraising)
- Collaborate with Lower School Head Spanish Teacher to plan and supervise overnight camping trip and an annual study-abroad trip to Mexico.
- Assess and report on student progress three times per year
- Lead class in advisory program (daily advisory meetings)
- Supervise class when attending camp
- Plan and lead field trips to local institutions and parks/natural areas
- Supervise lunch and recess daily
- Partner with all adults responsible for 5th and 6th, 7th and 8th grade students’ education and well-being; collaborate with colleagues to plan and execute weekly Flex Days
- Participate in professional development, faculty work days, and weekly faculty meetings
- Prepare for and present at school events, such as open houses and informational dinners
- Communicate regularly with parents via email and the classroom web site
- Speak with passion about the importance of intercultural communication and understanding
- Work effectively in a team with the Lower School Spanish teacher, as well as the Middle School teaching team to plan interdisciplinary projects and events.
- Use innovative approaches to World Language instruction (speaking, reading, listening, writing)
- Incorporate song, dance, theater, and storytelling into lessons
- Use a wide range of assessment strategies
- Write thoughtful progress reports
- Communicate well with a diverse parent body
- Partner with community based organizations to enrich the curriculum.
- Engage in discussions about equity and inclusion as it relates to the target cultures.
- Encourage students to reflect on rights and obligations within the context of human rights and social justice issues.
Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.
Reasonable Accommodation/Essential Duties of the Job
Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
- Repetitive motion
- Sedentary work, light work, medium work
- Close visual acuity
- Inside and outside environmental conditions
- Fluency in Spanish
- Teaching and supporting diverse student population
- Communicating constructively and productively with colleagues and parents
None (of staff)
Position Type/Expected Hours of Work
Annual week long trip with students to Oaxaca, Mexico
Annual faculty retreat
Required Education and Experience
Minimum of three years of teaching rooted in progressive education
Middle school or late elementary teaching experience
Preferred Education and Experience
Masters in Education, Spanish, or related area
Experience with progressive education, interdisciplinary education, inquiry-based learning, or similar
Experience working in an independent school
Experience working with an advisory program
Familiarity with Macintosh platform and Google suite of products
Additional Eligibility Qualifications
None required for this position.
It is the policy of Ancona School not to discriminate against any employee or any applicant for employment because of age, race, religion, color, handicap, sex, physical condition, developmental disability, sexual orientation or national origin. This policy shall include, but not be limited to, the following: recruitment and employment, promotion, demotion, transfer, compensation, selection for training including apprenticeship, layoff and termination.
To apply for this position, please submit a cover letter, resume, and a signed job application form to