Seeking an extraordinary Math and Science educator to help us build the future of high school
What is possible to the human adolescent? Our view is that properly empowered, and in the right learning environment, high school students are capable of much more than conventional education enables them to achieve. High school students are and ought to be purpose-driven: with creative, entrepreneurial, or intellectual passion beyond the boundaries of conventional schools. They are and ought to be meaning-driven: deeply reflective about the nature of the true and the good in a way that conventional standards don’t serve. They are and ought to be mature and responsible: able to gradually take ownership over their own education and relationships. And they are and ought to be non-standard: advanced in one or more domains in ways that basic courses cannot serve, and with different and evolving areas of growth that conventional methods can’t help them optimally address.
The Academy of Thought and Industry is an innovative new high school model that offers a deep knowledge curriculum within a framework of self-directed learning. Our carefully crafted program offers an integrated approach to achieving personal, academic, and professional excellence. Together with our students, we identify and support individualized development plans that help each student engage in meaningful work and acquire the requisite content, skills, and experiences necessary for the life he or she wants to live.
Our program is built upon three pillars:
A Socratic humanities corein which students discuss, digest, and debate the core competing ideas that shape our world.
A focus on meaningful projects, with community outreach and engagementand the flexibility for students to pursue passion-driven learning beyond the school walls.
A close-knit small learning community of support and challenge, that includes individualized coaching for our students and engaging communities of practice for our teachers.
ATI combines the knowledge and reasoning ideals of a liberal arts education, real-world experiential opportunities for today’s urban teenagers and a supportive learning community to help each student uniquely thrive. It’s a blend of the best of a classical approach to education with the best of what alternative and experiential education have to offer. In addition, ATI offers a strong college preparatory curriculum, including a systematic approach to standardized testing and an integrated approach to AP courses.
Our ideal candidate is a highly capable, experienced educator of teenagers, a curious and engaging community-builder and a thoughtful, kind human being. We know that’s asking a lot! We're looking for an innovative, intellectual mentor for our students who loves teaching and learning math and science (the broader the better). We are best suited for educators who care deeply about adolescent development and are inspired to be a part of building a better holistic educational experience for teenagers.
We're looking for someone who is:
Strongly interested in co-creating a vibrant, loving school community
An experienced (or deeply committed to learning) mentor, advisor, or coach of teenagers to help them explore their passions, learn to manage difficulties and embrace their gifts
An expert in study and application of math and science (Problem-solving, Algebra, Geometry, Calculus, Biology, Environmental Science)
Excited about classroom Socratic inquiry (see our Founder's book, The Habit of Thought, for the specific pedagogy)
Passionate about developingstudent problem solving skills and mindsets and making connections to the real world
Deeply motivated to foster autonomy and individuality of students and willing to personalize instruction and assessment significantly based on student needs
A mentor as much as a teacher
Has significant experience and deep commitment to working with adolescents
An excellent communicator
Committed to the idea of endless improvement personally and professionally
Ideally, you will also have a variety of interests, passions, and/or accomplishments that you'll bring to our school to share with our students. Examples may include art, entrepreneurship, makerspace, robotics, coding, design thinking, improv, creative professional skills, martial arts, yoga, mindfulness, quantified self, foreign languages, etc.
You may or may not come from a traditional high school education/teaching background – you may have taught in alternative or innovative schools or programs - we are open to a range of backgrounds and experiences that align to our community and student aspirations. If you do come from a traditional education background, you’re seeking to build something different, to take your teaching practice in innovative directions and to develop deep personal relationships with students and peers. If you have experience with AP coursework, SAT content and prep, and are knowledgeable and practiced in the Socratic method, let us know in your cover letter.
We strongly encourage and welcome people from all backgroundsto apply for this opportunity and join our unique community. We are committed to building a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills.
Michael Strong is one of the most experienced designers of highly successful innovative school programs in the U.S. His projects include Montessori secondary school program design at The Judson Montessori School (San Antonio), The Emerson School (Palo Alto), and Hacienda School (Pleasanton). He also created The Winston Academy, where middle school students passed AP exams. Another of Michael’s projects, Moreno Valley High School, a Paideia charter high school, was ranked the 36th-best public high school in the U.S. by Newsweek in its 3rd year of operation, and continued to outperform other New Mexico high schools thereafter. More recently he co-founded KoSchool in Austin, Texas, which combines his high-performance approach to AP coursework and SAT score gains with a focus on entrepreneurial and creative projects. ATI began as a “next generation” version of the stellar program at KoSchool.
Michael was educated at Harvard, St. John's College, and the University of Chicago, where his dissertation advisor was Nobel laureate economist Gary Becker, under whom Michael wrote on “Ideas and Culture as Human Capital.” He is the author of The Habit of Thought: From Socratic Seminars to Socratic Practice, which was endorsed by brain-based learning experts Geoffrey Caine and Renate Nummela Caine, MacArthur “Genius” Award-winning educator Deborah Meier, authentic assessment expert Grant Wiggins, and 1994 National Teacher of the Year Elaine Griffin, who cites Michael as a mentor.
He is the lead author of?Be the Solution: How Entrepreneurs and Conscious Capitalists Can Solve All the World's Problems, co-authored with John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, Mohammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Hernando de Soto, author of?The Mystery of Capitalism, and others. Michael has published in academic journals (Economic Affairs, Critical Review, Journal of Business Ethics, etc.), as well as in publications reaching a broader audience (HuffPo, RealClearPolitics, Policy Innovations, Carnegie Ethics, etc.). He has consulted for hundreds of schools and has spoken at Harvard, Columbia, MIT, Dartmouth, Cornell, the University of Chicago, and dozens of other universities as well as at conferences around the world. View his TEDx talks here for a sampling:VIDEO 1|VIDEO 2|VIDEO 3
Additionally, Michael is a co-founder of Conscious Capitalism, Peace through Commerce, the Startup Cities Institute, and Radical Social Entrepreneurs.
Graduates of Michael’s schools have matriculated and succeeded at dozens of universities, including Stanford, Harvard, Parsons School of Design, Reed, St. John's College, Hebrew University, Southwestern University, Texas Christian University, and many others. They have also launched successful businesses including in areas of software, aquaponics, and concert promotions.
The Academy of Thought and Industry is a project of Higher Ground Education. You can learn more about this project in the future as we develop our website here.
ATI San Francisco is located in beautiful Pacific Heights at the corner of Jackson and Scott Streets, in a wonderful building across from Alta Plaza with views of the Bay.
In addition to the opportunity to co-create a new model for high school, we offer a competitive salary and benefits, an academic schedule with summers off, and the opportunity to be an integral member of a meaningful community.
If you're as excited about this endeavor as we are, please apply below and include a detailed cover letter explaining your qualifications and interest in this role.
About Academy of Thought & Industry
Higher Ground is on a mission to modernize and mainstream Montessori. Bringing Montessori to the mainstream isn't easy. It means making the Montessori approach irresistible to communities who may never have heard of it before. There is a need to reveal this complex, nuanced, beautiful method to the world in a way that is clear, compelling, and accessible.