High School Forensic Science Teacher

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Organization MESA Charter High School (view profile)
Location Brooklyn
Classification Science
Job Type Full-Time
Date of posting April 2, 2014
County USA


• Are you an experienced, passionate, and talented science teacher who is tired of having to teach a Regents curriculum?
• Do you love working in urban schools?
• Do you wish you could teach a curriculum that combined rigor with real-world application and would lead to high student engagement?
• Do you ever wish you could be part of a school’s founding faculty, and build from the ground up?
• Do you constantly strive to improve your craft through coaching, incorporating data, and whatever other resources you can find?
• Do you thrive in the company of equally committed, driven, and gifted teachers?

MESA Charter High School might be the right place for you!

Math, Engineering, and Science Academy (MESA) Charter High School is a new high school in Bushwick, Brooklyn. On August 19, 2013, we opened our doors to 132 9th graders. Our students come from thirty-three different middle schools, including public, parochial, and charter schools. Some are advanced students coming from magnet schools; others are beginning English Language Learners. What they all have in common is a desire to succeed. MESA students come to school every day, ready to work—we have a 95% attendance rate and a 96% punctuality rate, both significantly higher than other high schools in our district!

STEM Block: A unique element of MESA’s program is its STEM Block classes. In addition to core math and science classes, MESA students have four periods per week of project-based science instruction that is designed to build excitement about science and supplement core scientific skills. MESA’s STEM Block class is a Forensic Science class, modeled off the curriculum of Project Lead The Way, a nationally recognized program that designs Biotechnology curricula and trains teachers in that curriculum’s implementation.

Some other key aspects of MESA’s design are:

• Smart teaching—MESA uses a Standards-Referenced Grading system, which makes data understandable and accessible. This enables teachers to create targeted, focused instruction, and helps students understand and track their own progress. MESA teachers love data (or at least aren’t afraid of it!).
• Smart support—MESA teachers have a minimum of rote administrative duties in order to better focus on planning, instruction, and assessment. Teachers receive ongoing coaching and feedback. MESA is committed to collaboratively developing and growing its teachers. Dedicated time for professional development and collaborative planning is built into the calendar.
• Smart scheduling—MESA’s school day starts and ends later than most DOE schools, as research indicates that a late start helps high-school students succeed.
• Smart culture—MESA provides students with a separate effort grade each week, which will lead to rewards for students. MESA also emphasizes positive reinforcement for student effort and performance. All MESA teachers lead an Advisory, and serve as Advisor to 10-13 students.
• Smart relationships—MESA believes that all parents want their children to succeed, and enlists them as partners through phone calls, workshops, and frequent contact. More than 85% of MESA parents attended parent-teacher conferences, a number generally unheard of in unscreened urban high schools
• Smart calendar—MESA’s calendar has187 days of instruction, as well as dedicated PD and grading days. MESA’s calendar and earlier start allow for “Intersession,” during which students receive enrichment, skill remediation, or Regents preparation.

Specific Responsibilities
• Teach MESA’s 9th or 10th grade STEM Block class (80% teaching schedule). Utilize Universal Design for Learning method of planning and instruction to reach all learners.
• Participate in trainings for Project Lead the Way (at MESA’s expense) including pre-training in May and a two week “boot camp” hosted at a university on the east coast.
• Build relationships with all students. MESA teachers believe that rapport is key to student engagement and motivation.
• Teach one class of basic science support to a small group of students at risk of failing the Regents.
• Hold at least two sessions of office hours help per week, for 45 minutes either before or after school
• Attend, participate in, and facilitate team meetings and professional development opportunities, as well as common planning times. MESA believes that good professional development is interactive, practical, and teacher-driven.
• Communicate regularly with parents about both positive and negative interactions with students, making a minimum of two positive contacts (phone, email, or text message) with parents per week.
• Teach one week of Intersession enrichment based on teacher interest (additional stipend provided).
• Maintain duties as Advisor.
• Other duties, as assigned by the Principal.

Qualifications: (1) Minimum Bachelor’s degree in subject area to be taught, Master’s Degree preferred; (2) Minimum of three years teaching experience in an urban public high school or charter school setting; (3) Proven track-record of high achievement in the classroom and commitment to accountability; (4) Belief in and alignment with MESA’s core beliefs and educational philosophy; (5) Valid New York State Certification strongly preferred; (6) Spanish-speakers a plus.

Salary: Highly competitive, commensurate with experience.

To apply: Please email your resume and a cover letter explaining specifically why you are interested in MESA to Arthur Samuels, Executive Director, at info@mesacharter.org with the subject heading “Forensic Science Teacher.” APPLY BY EMAIL ONLY. Due to the nature of the position and the volume of applications received, MESA will not be able to reply to all submissions. MESA will contact candidates with next steps.