Work at University
University High School’s commitment to genuine student/teacher relationships allows for meaningful instruction and assessment, a personalized approach to education, and the time and energy to truly engage.
Most classes at University number less than 20 students, so the average teacher works with 60-80 students total each semester. In addition, our teachers teach four classes; in a seven-period day, four classes and mentoring allows for two prep periods most days. The role of mentor serves as the equivalent of a fifth “class,” although mentoring is nothing like a homeroom period. Every staff member, including the business manager and head of school, mentors up to ten students. At a minimum, mentors meet privately with each student mentee every other week for a 30-40 minute conversation. Mentors serve as advisors, advocates, counselors, confidantes, and cheerleaders. Many teachers find that mentoring is the most intense, but also the most rewarding, of their roles at University.
Teachers at University have tremendous autonomy within a curriculum that is both traditional and progressive. At the same time, departments work together on scope and sequence in alignment with state and national standards and proficiencies. Many school policies and decisions are discussed in full faculty meetings and are often made by consensus. In this way, teachers at University High School feel a level of investment and contribution that is unique.
Teachers are empowered. Students at University enjoy genuine empowerment, too. They routinely help devise January Term courses, serve on discipline and hiring committees, and initiate and manage clubs and service projects. Students are respected as partners in their own education and stewards of the school. They have a voice. Administrative and support positions are as involved with the students and what happens in the classroom as teachers are. All staff members serve as mentors and many administrators teach one or two courses. Far from being removed from the day-to-day classroom experience, teachers, administrators and support staff all are integral members of the community.
Employment Opportunities at University High School
Why Do Teachers Love Working at University?
The way University High School is set up allows me to give a crazy amount of positive, personalized attention to my mentees as well as all my students. I am also in a situation in which I can focus my energy on creating the best possible learning experiences. It’s the most ideal teaching situation of which I have been a part.
I love teaching at University High School because there are so many opportunities to bring the language to life for my students. With smaller classes and the possibility for travel during January Term, my students get to have authentic experiences that really enhance their language learning and cultural understanding.
Within a set of graduation requirements, teachers at University High School are encouraged to be creative in what is taught and how it is taught. Both students and teachers are given the opportunity to sink deeper into knowledge, to uncover yet more questions. The individual is not lost within the community, nor is the community sacrificed for the individual.
The way I explain teaching at University High School to my former colleagues at other schools is probably the simplest way I can describe the wonderful experience of being at University. I have them remember back to when they were eighteen years old and deciding to major in education. I then tell them that University is as close to that idealized picture as you are going to find. […] Simply put, being a part of University High School makes you feel like you are contributing to something very special, and that is a wonderful feeling to take home every day.