Job Posting: Teachers for 2014-2015

Alzar School | 23.12.13

NOTE: As of 2.18.2014, the Alzar School is no longer accepting applications for positions for the 2014-2015 school year.  New postings will be indicated by a new blog post.

Science, Math, History, English, or Spanish Teacher

The Alzar School is a semester school for students in 10th and 11th grades.  Students are highly motivated teenagers who want to make a difference in the world.  The Alzar School’s campus is in Cascade, Idaho, but the teaching positions responsibility also includes a 6-week expedition to Chile each semester.  The school uses outdoor adventure and international travel to challenge students.  Students invest one semester of their high school career at the school.

Position qualifications.

The Alzar School spends a significant portion of its time in the wilderness and front-country for adventure programming.  Our teachers are expected to be highly competent outdoor leaders with the skills to lead multi-week expeditions and to respond to various situations.  Candidates should be an expert in at least one sport/activity and be proficient in 1-2 other sports/activities.

The teacher must possess:

A basic knowledge of contemporary outdoor programming methods and practices.

  • Technical and educational skill competency in several outdoor skill areas, including (but not limited to):
    • Whitewater kayaking, rafting & canoeing
    • Rock climbing, ice climbing, & mountaineering
    • Alpine & backcountry skiing/snowboarding
    • Snowshoeing & Nordic skiing
    • Winter camping
    • Mountain biking
    • Surfing
    • Fly fishing
  • The physical ability to perform strenuous outdoor recreational activities in remote and rugged mountains or water based environments.
  • Required base certifications:
    • Wilderness First Responder
    • Teaching certificate for a core academic area (math, science, history, English, and/or Spanish). Candidates with degrees in the subject area they desire to teach could earn alternative certification after hire/before beginning employment with the Alzar School.
    • BLS for the Professional Rescuer or other CPR/AED certification
  • Multiple other outdoor leadership, medical, and professional certifications to include as many of the following as possible:
    • American Canoe Association Instructor Trainer
    • Swiftwater Rescue Technician (Advanced)
    • American Mountain Guides Association Single Pitch Instructor
    • Professional Ski Instructor Association Certification
    • Leave No Trace Educator
    • Commercial Drivers License

Traits and Qualities

Candidates must be a dynamic, engaging, and self-motivated person who will work to motivate, inspire, and lead students.  He/she must be effective at working independently and in collaboration with other staff.

The teachers must have the ability to:

  • Spend and enjoy extended periods of time with youth in a variety of settings.
  • Self-manage.
  • Prioritize, plan and organize on a daily, weekly, and semester basis.
  • Work as part of a team, sharing responsibilities.
  • Seek advice and support when necessary.
  • Use effective communication skills.
  • Work under pressure and to deadlines.
  • Maintain a sense of humor and positive attitude in the face of adversity.

Qualifications & Experience

Teachers for the Alzar School should be professionals who are interested in learning more about the practice of teaching and the outdoor industry.

The teacher shall possess and/or demonstrate:

  • At minimum, a bachelor’s degree in the subject area they intend to teach.
  • Work experience within a classroom setting and/or outdoor settings.
  • Recent experience working with teenagers.
  • Experience leading youth in the outdoors.
  • Personal domestic and international travel experience.

Other Special Responsibilities & Knowledge

Due to the nature of the school, the teacher will be called upon to support nonacademic areas of the school.  Specific out-of-classroom job duties will be determined as the entire staff is determined.

The teacher may be asked to assist and/or lead in one or more of the following areas:

  • General office work
  • Recruiting of students
  • Admissions of students
  • Maintenance of school facilities
  • Fundraising and development
  • Marketing and communications
  • Food preparation
  • Equipment procurement and maintenance
  • International travel planning
  • Afternoon and evening activity planning and supervision
  • Weekend supervision of students

The teacher must possess:

  • Some Spanish speaking, reading, and writing ability.
  • Proficiency with a variety of computer software and applications, to include some of the following (but not limited to):
    • Microsoft Office software suite
    • HTML programming
    • All Google apps
    • Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites

Physical Requirements & Work Conditions

The teacher must be willing to work unusual hours, sometimes in adverse outdoor conditions, and provide creative solutions to a variety of issues.  A significant portion of the work duties will be spent with students and trip participants, working intrastate, interstate, or internationally in an uncontrolled outdoor environment.  This position requires a high level of physical activity.

The teacher shall possess and/or demonstrate:

  • The ability to lift and carry a 50-pound backpack for a distance of at least 8 miles over rugged terrain.
  • The ability to swim at minimum 200 meters in open-water conditions.
  • The ability and desire to spend multiple days/weeks living in the wilderness.
  • Excellent general physical condition and endurance, specifically relevant to the outdoor sports he/she instructs for Alzar School.

The teacher can expect:

  • Potentially dangerous situations, including: avalanche hazard, rock and ice fall, wilderness based medical emergencies, extreme temperatures, adverse weather, mountainous terrain, whitewater rivers, open water passages.
  • Extended and irregular hours each week.
  • Participation and leadership roles in outdoor expeditions that are away from home for multiple weeks/months at a time.
  • Extended international expeditions requiring living in a foreign culture.
  • Physical labor requirements, both in the outdoor setting and around campus.
  • Extensive time commitment.
Position responsibilities

All Alzar School teachers will have multiple roles at the school and efforts will be divided over a variety of tasks.  We know we will need everyone to be committed to the big picture success of the program and to be willing to pitch in.  As a rough estimate, of their efforts, teacher will devote:

  • 20% for supervision of students (nightly/weekend supervision).

  • 35% for academic teaching (observing , proctoring study hall,)

  • 25% for assisting with outdoor programming (after school, weekends, and extended expeditions)

  • 15% for community life (chores around campus, food preparation, facility maintenance, etc)

  • 5% for organizational efforts (recruiting, admissions, fundraising, etc)

Strategic direction and development of the school

It is the duty of the teacher to work with the Head of School, Executive Director, faculty and other staff to implement the strategic plan for the school and its community.

The teacher will be expected to:

  • Support the efforts of the faculty and staff to meet the school’s strategic goals.
  • Reflect on each semester’s efforts and communicate feedback for continual improvement.
  • Work towards successful, balanced implementation of the school’s Six Foundations (Academics, Leadership Training, Cultural Exchange, Service Learning, and Environmental Stewardship).

Leading and teaching

The teacher works with other Alzar School teachers and instructors to provide and sustain effective teaching and learning throughout the school and to monitor and evaluate the students’ learning and achievement, using benchmarks and setting targets for improvement.  This includes responsibilities both inside and outside the classroom.

The teacher will be expected to:

  • Provide curriculum development and instruction for a variety of academic subjects at the direction of the Head of School.
  • Supervise the proctored, evening study hall sessions provided for students.
  • Work individually with struggling students (including English Language Learners) to help improve students’ academic performance.
  • Demonstrate and articulate high expectations and set targets for students.
  • Complete planning, grading, and reporting.
  • Assist with school-wide efforts to maintain regional accreditation for the school.

Membership in larger faculty

The teacher is responsible for working with the other faculty and staff of the Alzar School to maintain a culture of learning and leadership development in multiple, global settings.

The teacher will be expected to:

  • Maintain professional standards and to help develop constructive working relationships amongst other staff members and between staff and students.
  • Participate in frequent staff meetings.
  • Work in small groups of staff members to work on school improvement goals.
  • Collaborate with other staff members to provide interdisciplinary instruction.
  • Assist other staff members as need arises, to ensure continuity of instruction (to include covering classes, team teaching, providing one-on-one tutoring, etc).

Membership in school community and larger community

The teacher will be a part of the larger Alzar School community.  As such, he/she will have responsibilities that extend outside of the classroom.   First and foremost, the teacher is an adult role model and mentor for the students.  He/she must behave in a manner that exemplifies the principles of the school.  He/she will also have responsibilities related to student life outside the classroom.

The teacher will be expected to:

  • Help maintain a school culture and curriculum which takes account of the richness and diversity of the school’s communities.
  • Promote positive strategies for challenging prejudice and dealing with harassment.
  • Work with other teachers and staff to coordinate a range of community-based learning experiences.
  • Seek opportunities to invite parents, community figures, businesses or other organizations into the school to enhance and enrich the school and its value to the wider community
Dates of employment
Starting for Fall 2014 semester, for the entire 2014-2015 school year.  Training to occur during summer 2014.

TBD based on experience. Salary include housing and food on campus, in Chile, and on expeditions. Health insurance, a retirement program, and access to school pro-purchase programs are provided. The school strives to also offer professional development stipends and gear stipends.
To apply, please submit a 2-page resume and cover letter to the Head of School, Sean Bierle at, finalists for the positions will be interviewed in early February by video conference (Skype or Google Hangout).