Dean of Students, Director of Studies/Curriculum, Division Head/Principal
Sabot at Stony Point, a Reggio-inspired preschool through 8th grade school in Richmond, VA, seeks a Director of Teaching & Learning to oversee the implementation of Sabot’s educational program. This new role will collaborate with students, teacher-researchers, and parents to create and sustain a vibrant school community.
Sabot has about 200 students and roughly 60 employees, of which 17% of our student body and 18% of our faculty and staff represent cultural, racial, and ethnic diversity. We are dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic team committed to working in a multicultural environment. The Director of Teaching & Learning will join a cohesive, committed, and talented community.
Our Reggio-inspired, social-constructivist curriculum is inquiry-based and driven in part by the children’s interests. We emphasize collaboration and recognize the gifts that each child brings to the group. Our approach is one that recognizes the whole child and focuses first and foremost on social and emotional learning and relationships as the necessary foundation for education.
Sabot is an educational home for teachers drawn to relationships and practices that are rooted in unifying beliefs about children and learning, are based on current neurological and educational research, and are reliant on our teacher-researchers’ collaborative problem solving and creativity. Sabot teachers are both guides and fellow travelers in the collaborative learning process and make students’ learning visible to themselves and others. We view teaching not as a static set of skills, but as a dynamic process, manifested in our culture of research and our commitment to teacher development.
Pedagogical Approach. Provide leadership, training, and ongoing support for the school’s pedagogical paradigm: a social-constructivist approach in which teachers and students investigate questions, build understanding, and represent and reflect on the shared learning of the group.
Constructivism. Recognize that there is an important dialectic between the individual and the group – the individual is responsible to the group and the group is responsible to the individual. Recognize students as independent learners, intrinsically motivated to generate, discover, build, and enlarge their own frameworks of knowledge. Guide students’ processes of discovery and understanding rather than simply transmitting knowledge to them. Encourage the development of meta-cognitive skills such as reflective thinking and problem-solving techniques.
Curriculum. Lead the ongoing review and development of the school’s curriculum, ensuring a comprehensive and cohesive continuation of learning through the grades that is informed by current research. Define core curriculum objectives and provide pedagogical support for implementation of the curriculum and advancement towards the objectives.
Faculty Development. Convene and support a faculty that lives the values of the school and that provides excellence and continuity in the educational experience. Facilitate the professional growth and development of individual members of the teaching faculty. Meet regularly with teaching teams and observe each classroom at least once per month. Support teacher-researchers in sharing their work with other teacher-researchers, both informally and formally. Conduct goal setting, provide feedback, and document the process.
Recruitment. Work with the Business Office to conduct searches for new teaching faculty, lead the selection process, onboard new teachers, and coordinate initial training and orientation.
Student Assessment. Define tools for the assessment of student understanding, ensuring an ongoing and cumulative process. Allow students to participate in their own assessments. Review all student assessment reports and standardized testing reports before dissemination to stay apprised of student progress. Use the results of assessments to augment and solidify student learning.
Student Support. Lead the articulation of the school’s approach to differentiated learning and to student support and discipline. Work with faculty to respond to and manage concerns and issues, and collaborate with the School Counselor when necessary to develop and adhere to student support plans. Effectively communicate with teachers and families about student concerns and well-being, and mediate any disagreements or misunderstandings. Maintain student confidentiality.
Administrative Team. Support the Head of School and collaborate with the administrative team to ensure the proper functioning of the school and delivery of programs.
Research. Engage in action research by generating hypotheses and questions, documenting student work, and reflecting individually and collaboratively.
Planning. Collaborate with teaching faculty to ensure that at the start of school, students and parents are provided with a clear set of expectations regarding behavior, class work, and – in some cases – homework.
Communication with Parents. Be visible, approachable, and available. Collaborate with teacher-researchers and with other administrators to ensure that parents are engaged, participating, and respected members of our learning community. Maintain open and regular communication with parents. Lead program-wide communication with families.
Communication & Connection with Children. Maintain a connection to the children, supporting their learning and maturity through the levels and grades and their personal growth and well-being.
Engagement. Engage with the Sabot at Stony Point faculty through faculty development and community-wide events to forward the work of the school. Engage with the larger field of progressive education to disseminate Sabot’s work and remain conversant in best practices.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity. Uphold the school’s commitment to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic team committed to working in a multicultural environment.
Supervision/Safety. Ensure the physical and emotional health and safety of students both inside and outside the classroom by providing active and appropriate supervision and guidance.
The Director of Teaching & Learning will generally have at least the following qualifications:
Master’s degree from an accredited college or university
10+ years experience in the field of education
Advanced knowledge of childhood development including best-practice in social, emotional, and behavioral learning and development
Foundational understanding of the Reggio Emilia Approach
Thorough understanding of social-constructivist theory and practice
Thorough knowledge of research and best-practice of curriculum and instruction
Deep interest in students as learners
Excellent written and verbal communication skills and the ability to manage personal and professional relationships with tact, sensitivity, respect, compassion, and openness.
Ability to work both indoors and outdoors
Ability to lift 40 pounds, bend or kneel to facilitate communication with children, climb two flights of stairs while supervising children, and maintain a high level of activity while supervising children
Upon employment, ability to pass criminal background checks
About Sabot at Stony Point
Sabot at Stony Point is a democratic community that supports collaboration so that children, teachers, staff
members, and parents gain understanding together. In our approach, everyone teaches and everyone learns. As
one student put it, “See, because knowledge is so big, just one person can’t know it all; we have to work together.”
Our Reggio-inspired, social constructivist curriculum is inquiry-based and driven predominantly by the children’s
interests. They are able not only to meet the challenges we set before them, but also to set challenge before
themselves. We believe that children’s spirit of inquiry, as well as their investment in and ownership of their work,
are sustained when adults treat the children’s interests and questions with seriousness and respect.
We favor concepts and questions that help students acquire the tools of research in a variety of disciplines
and achieve specific learning objectives, yet provide latitude for students to explore related questions and
themes. Our approach is one that recognizes the whole child and focuses first and foremost on social-emotional
learning and relationships as the necessary educational foundation.