# Seminar Teaching

This is quasi-static content. Click here to edit the text; click outside the box to save changes.

# Job description

Junction's students are local Boston/Cambridge high schoolers, and for many of them, Junction is their first exposure to a community that is truly inclusive and challenges them academically -- or, in other words, where being a nerd is celebrated! Many students leave having made closer friends than they ever had in school, excited to have found peers who think like they do, and having gained a range of new interests in academic topics they weren't previously exposed to. Some have even told us that Junction "changed their lives." The seminar teaching position's goal is to make this impact a regular and purposeful part of the Junction program.

For 2013, Junction will hire five or six seminar teachers who will work as a team to design and teach a high-variety seminar curriculum (see "What can I teach for seminars?", below) and to run additional fun activities for Junction’s students. Seminar teachers will also interact with students as counselors and role models to facilitate a high-energy, highly inclusive atmosphere.

The position requires passion about both teaching and mentoring, and competence in a variety of areas, from organizing activities to dealing with program emergencies. Additionally, we aim to hire a team more than a collection of individuals: a group who will collaborate well together during both the spring and summer, and who bring a variety of talents and class-topics to the table.

Seminar teachers are expected to fulfill several duties starting in early spring, through the semester, and over the summer when the program runs. Seminar teachers are paid $1000 for their work with Junction. # Job requirements Over the spring Preparing Seminar Classes Junction is a large time commitment and will be fast-paced once it starts in the summer. It is extremely important that seminar teachers prepare the majority of their seminar class material during the spring before the program starts. Preparing material can take anywhere from 1:1 to 3:1 hours of prep to hours of class. Attending Worksessions Junction seminar teachers attend worksessions scheduled roughly every 2-3 weeks over the spring semester and early summer, which are intended to allow Junction teachers to meet each other before the summer, to plan for the program, and to practice teaching. Additionally, seminar teachers must show their progress in developing their classes to the admin team. These worksessions are mandatory, but will be scheduled after consulting with you at times when you are available. During the weeks of Junction: Seminar teachers will teach 75-minute one-shot classes on academic or non-academic topics during the daily 7:45 - 9:00 PM seminar block. Each seminar teacher will teach approximately 15-20 seminars over the course of the summer. Seminars should be interactive (not just lecture) and introduce students to subjects they wouldn't encounter in a typical high school setting. Leading activities Each Thursday, the seminar block will be a more relaxed "activity block". During this block, seminar teachers will be responsible for individually leading fun non-academic activities, such as board games, crafts, or outdoor sports. Mentoring student projects Each seminar teacher will be designing and supervising a week-long hands-on project for a small group of students. There will be a week in the latter half of the program designated as Project Week, during which students will work on their project each day, culminating in a program-wide project fair. Assisting with program events In addition to classes, it is expected that seminar teachers will generally make time to help with program-wide activities such as parties, picnics, and field trips, as well as any other activity that needs additional administrative support. Additionally, all teachers should be available to help with first-day registration. Thus, seminar teachers will occasionally need to be at Junction outside of the normal seminar block and program hours. However, we'll make sure to inform you of these extra times far in advance of the program. Attending student dinner From 7:00 PM to 7:40 PM on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, Junction will provide dinner to both students and teachers. Teachers must attend all dinners and make themselves available during this time to help students academically or facilitate an active social atmosphere. Tuesday dinners On Tuesdays, Junction will provide dinner only to teachers and the same time block will be used for teachers to discuss how their classes and activities are going and make plans for the next week. This time will be used for admins to communicate with teachers about Junction and upcoming events, so all teachers are expected to attend. Typical daily schedule over the summer: MWR T F 5 - 7 PM Core Classes Core Classes Optional student activities 7 - 7:40 PM Dinner, Activities, and Office Hours Teacher Dinner / Worksession 7:40 - 9 PM Seminar Period Seminar Period # Selection process and application Junction 2013 is no longer accepting new seminar teacher applications. The Junction seminar teacher selection process consists of three parts: • Intent to Apply: If you are applying, please fill out the Intent to Apply form as soon as possible. It helps us to know in advance of the deadline that we should expect your application, and to target our recruitment accordingly. • Application: The application is due on February 19. Click here to go to the application. • Interview: After applications are submitted, the best applicants will be offered an interview in late January or early February. The interview includes discussion of your application, and a 10-minute teaching sample which you should prepare to teach for the interviewers as if they were your students. Read on for more details about the interview. Important Dates and Deadlines • Deadline to submit application: February 19 • Last interview offers: February 22 • Interviews conducted February 25th - March 3rd • Last job offers sent March 5 • Deadline to accept job offers: March 12 • First seminar teacher meeting: March 17 Interview Details Seminar teacher applicants are interviewed together in small groups. Depending on how many applications we receive, we may or may not be able to offer interviews to all of the applicants. If you are offered an interview, you can expect: • To describe your seminar proposal to the group and teach a 10-minute sample of your class. • To describe your activity proposal to the group. You and your interview-mates will also give constructive feedback on each others' activity proposals. For the teaching sample, you can expect to have access to a board and/or projector if needed. The interviewer and your interview-mates will pretend to be your students. You and your interview-mates will then be asked to give constructive feedback on each others' course proposals and sample teaching. The interview is informal. While we are serious about professionally running an awesome summer program, we’re also a bunch of undergrads. Feel free to show up in jeans and a t-shirt, or whatever you're most comfortable in (if you show up in a Jedi costume or an Oscar Meyer Wiener suit, we might give you a few funny looks... but really, we'll take you just as seriously without the slacks and tie.) The interview will include either lunch or dinner, depending when it is scheduled. # FAQ Q: What do you look for in a Junction seminar teacher? A: As an academic summer program, Junction seeks to offer local students, particularly those who don't have academically or socially rich experiences in their schools, an experience that will instill an interest in new subjects and a renewed enthusiasm for learning. We look for teachers who are outgoing and passionate, and who will likely make a strong effort to engage students and facilitate a lively social atmosphere. We will try to hire a selection of teachers who are interested in a variety of topics and types of activities so that, as a team, we can offer a broad range of classes and activities. Q: What can I teach for seminars? A: The short answer is (almost) anything, from hyperbolic geometry to early Icelandic culture to philosophy of artificial intelligence! However, there are a few constraints: Seminar classes should provide students opportunities to “get their feet wet” in academic subjects they would not encounter in a typical high school setting. They should be self-contained in a 90-minute period. They should be as interactive as possible (not just 100% lecture), and should be exciting and enjoyable for the students. They may span a wide range of levels of difficulty, but should have very few or no prerequisites. For some ideas, you can look at the the seminars offered in 2012. Note that the topics of these seminars reflect the interests of last year's teachers, and do not represent things you need to try to conform to. Q: Do I need any previous teaching experience or qualifications? A: No, we do not expect core teacher applicants to have had previous teaching experience and we will not reject anyone for this reason alone. In previous years, we have hired core teachers who had no experience whatsoever, but who showed great promise for improvement in their teaching sample and materials. We look for teachers who will grow with the rest of our team over the course of the spring and summer. Typically, we end up hiring a mix of very experienced and less experienced teachers, and the veterans provide an awesome resource for the rookies to turn to. That said, teachers who have no prior experience find it incredibly valuable to get a little bit of practice leading a classroom before Junction. If this describes you, please consider teaching an hour or two for Spark or, if you have more time, Spring HSSP. Q: How will Junction seminar teachers be selected? A: Junction’s hiring process involves both a first-round application and a second-round interview. Depending on how many applications we receive, we may or may not be able to offer interviews to all of the applicants. The interview will include a small teaching sample and review of an activity, designed as part of the application form. Q: How competitive is the teacher selection process? A: Moderately competitive. Unfortunately, each year we have to reject many excellent teachers because we do not have enough spots. That said, if you really feel Junction is a great fit for you, let that shine through strongly in your application and interview! We look not necessarily for the “best” teachers, but for those whom we feel will most benefit from teaching for Junction and who are good matches for the program’s culture. Q: What kind of students can I expect if I am a teacher for Junction? A: Almost all Junction students share a high level of motivation and enthusiasm about the classes they apply for. However, beyond this they are an incredibly diverse group; some are very outgoing, some are very quiet. They may come from public schools, private schools, or homeschooling. Some come from schools which offer academic enrichment activities, plenty of honors classes, or a strong AP/IB program; others come from schools where there are few to no such opportunities available. Yet others have only recently moved to Boston from abroad. Thus, you should anticipate a group of students with a wide variety of personalities and backgrounds. Q: What if I cannot make it to all of the Junction summer program? A: We expect that seminar teachers will be available for the entire duration of Junction. All seminar teachers should be present almost every Monday through Thursday during the program. Extenuating circumstances (such as illness) will be handled as they arise. A: Junction worksessions are an important and mandatory part of the teaching commitment and we expect teachers to attend all of the teaching worksessions during the spring semester. This is when we will plan the majority of the schedule and curriculum for the summer. While some alternate arrangements may be made under special circumstances, we will favor applicants who can dedicate themselves fully to the position and can meet all job requirements. Q: How will I be paid for being a seminar teacher for Junction? Due to factors beyond our control, we have had to change the way we pay our teachers this year. We are still working out the details, but it is possible that we’ll be putting you in the MIT payroll system and paying you hourly via timesheets. We’ll let you know before you have to decide whether to accept our offer. In any event, the total amount paid for the summer will be$1000.

Non-US citizens should pay close attention to regulations involving their employment/payments and are advised to speak with the appropriate MIT offices. Historically, most teachers who are international have been issued payments in the way described though with additional paperwork.

Q: May I re-apply as a seminar teacher if rejected as a core teacher?

A: Absolutely! Do note that we look for different qualities in core and seminar teachers, and any person may be rejected as one type, but accepted as the other type.