About the Program
One of the nation’s premier boarding schools, Phillips Academy’s Summer Session challenges students in an innovative five-week program, conducted on its picturesque campus just 21 miles north of Boston. More than 60 courses are offered, ranging from computer science to marine biology, from ethics and philosophy to economics. Summer Session students bring the world into the classroom by virtue of their enormous diversity of geographic origin, religion, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background. With strong academic records and a serious desire to spend the summer in a residential community, our students enjoy challenging themselves and one another through disciplined study. Every summer Phillips Academy hires a number of visiting teachers to teach, coach, and house counsel in its summer program. A Summer Session faculty member’s experience is rigorous and thoroughly challenging, for Phillips Academy requires superior classroom performance of its teachers, Teaching Assistants (TAs), House Counselors, and students alike. The Summer Session is short, intense, and strongly academic.
About the Role
TAs are paired with experienced Mentor Teachers for the duration of the summer. Together, TAs and their Mentor Teachers are charged with ensuring that students in their classes have a challenging and academically rigorous summer experience, while also making learning incredibly fun. We see teaching in Summer Session as an opportunity for teachers to innovate and experiment; there is no strict curriculum to which teachers must adhere (outside of following the general guidance provided by the course description). Project-based, hands-on, authentic learning experiences are encouraged, and teachers should be prepared to lead students through an intensive and highly engaging exploration of their chosen content.
Typically, TAs are hired to support in two courses, to house counsel and to coach an afternoon activity. Each course will meet for roughly 1½ hours each day, six days a week. Few exceptions are made to this policy, although unusual circumstances may determine that an applicant’s situation should be handled on an individual basis. TAs are also expected to chaperone at least one on-campus social event and at least one off-campus trip during the summer.
In addition to working collaboratively with the Mentor Teacher to complete all instructional duties described above, TAs are responsible for ensuring that their own developmental needs are met and that they engage with the opportunities provided for skill-building and support.