Teacher Training Academy at Community School

training effective and reflective teachers

Community School’s Teacher Training Academy (TTA) is a unique teacher preparation program that provides interns with a wide variety of teaching and educational experiences. The TTA is a ten-month, live-in program wherein interns gain extensive teaching experience alongside a mentor teacher and serve as a dorm parent at Community School’s Residence Hall.

About the Teacher Training Academy

The goal of the TTA is to provide a rich, well-rounded teacher education experience based on Community School's mission and guiding principles. Interns learn about education through their two main roles as teaching intern and dorm parent in our Residence Hall. Interns become effective and reflective teachers through every aspect of the Community School internship experience:

  • Guided mentorship by veteran teachers and residential life staff;
  • Developing and preparing curriculum;
  • Practicing dynamic strategies for effective teaching;
  • Participating in faculty-led educational seminars;
  • Evaluating students through a variety of assessments;
  • Advising and mentoring students;
  • Co-leading outdoor education trips;
  • Building strong relationships with boarding students and staff;
  • Gaining experience in social and emotional development of adolescents;
  • Supervising and guiding residential students in character growth.

Through a holistic approach to teacher education, interns gain a rewarding, intense, and varied experience. We believe that full immersion into school life is the best way to hone one's teaching skills. The relationships formed through this immersion are a hallmark of our educational philosophy at Community School. By the end of the program, the aim is for the interns to develop into solid teaching professionals with their own clarified educational philosophy and a variety of effective teaching skills and strategies that are rooted in Community School’s Guiding Principles. Successful interns will feel confident and ready to step into a full-time teaching position at an independent. The compensation package includes room and board, and a small stipend. TTA administrators provide guidance to TTA interns.

Who Should Apply

The Community School internship program is for energetic, charismatic, and multi-talented individuals interested in working in the field of independent school education and in a unique residential boarding program. Applicants need to have completed an undergraduate degree program. We are seeking candidates who are enthusiastic, flexible, eager to learn, and able to collaborate in a variety of settings with different constituents.

TTA Program Specifics

The Community School TTA internship is a balanced experience between building a strong knowledge and experience base of best practices in the classroom and sharing experiences with students and fellow dorm parents in our Residence Hall.

Living in the dorm as a dorm parent is a wonderful opportunity to develop skills of a well-rounded educator. The Residence Hall is a lively place where the interns will serve as mentors, role models, and advisors. Interns will develop close personal relationships with students through the daily life and activities. Through the residential life curriculum, interns learn to mentor students with compassion, care, and support. There are also great opportunities to learn how to work directly with students and their parents in a residential setting.

Dorm parent duties will include being “on duty” one night per week and one and a half weekends per month. Interns will have the opportunity to be part of building our residential curriculum throughout the school year. Community School’s beautiful new 25,085 square-foot, three-story Residence Hall and campus hub is located in downtown Ketchum. It is centrally located with easy access to downtown Ketchum, the Trail Creek Campus, the Dumke Family Sagewillow Campus, Bald Mountain, Dollar Mountain, and Lake Creek. The new space includes an Athletes' Training Center, spaces for socializing and study, and a modern kitchen. Each intern apartment will accommodate two staff members and contains a common area with a mini-kitchen, two bedrooms, and en suite shower and bathroom facilities.

Teacher Training Academy interns will be paired with mentor teachers in one of the three divisions: Elementary, Middle, or Upper School. Each division has specific responsibilities (see below). Applicants can indicate their preference of division and content area on the TTA Application. Intern placements vary depending on the availability of the mentor teachers and interests of the interns. Interns will gain practical teaching experience throughout the school year. The ideal candidate is seeking a ten-month school experience that will prepare him/her to step into a teaching position at an independent school.

Elementary School Internship

The Elementary School Internship places interns with one or two mentor teachers for the school year. There are mentor teachers in preschool through fifth-grade classrooms, as well as art, physical education, and music. The Elementary School’s Early Childhood Center (ECC) is for two through five-year-olds and it bases its design and curriculum on the Reggio Emilia approach. The Elementary School Program consists of grades kindergarten through fifth. An internship in the Elementary School affords interns a rich experience with expert teachers who use multiple experiences to nurture the development of young learners. Teachers use student-centered learning, hands-on activities, outdoor trips, and mindful awareness to build a community of learners.

  • The Elementary School intern is responsible for supporting the mentor teacher in aspects of delivering the grade level curriculum while helping to support the individual needs of students. Interns will actively participate in lesson plan development and pedagogical discussions, steadily increasing their instructional responsibilities, culminating in a lead teacher role for part of each placement. Mentor teachers and the intern will work collaboratively to prepare report cards and conduct parent-teacher conferences. The Elementary School intern will have additional duties such as overseeing students at recess and attending faculty meetings. Interns have the opportunity to assist in extracurricular activities such as coaching athletics, theatre productions, and the Outdoor Program.

Middle School Internship

The Middle School internship places interns with a grade level team of teachers in sixth, seventh, or eighth grade. Alternatively, interns can work with a specialist teacher of world language (Spanish or French), art, music, or physical education. Interns learn about the unique developmental needs of young adolescents. Teachers use themes, integrated teaching, project-based learning, and learner-centered techniques to engage these dynamic preteens. Students have numerous ways to form their identity through our sports, creative arts, and outdoor programs.

  • Middle School interns in math, science, or humanities, will actively participate with the grade level teaching team in lesson plan development and pedagogical discussions, steadily increasing their instructional responsibilities, culminating in a lead teacher role for part of each trimester. Interns will be responsible for advising six to ten middle school students in the middle school grade level advisory program.
  • Middle School interns with a specialist teacher mentor (world language, art, physical education, or music) will actively participate with the specialist teacher in lesson plan development and pedagogical discussions, steadily increasing their instructional responsibilities, culminating in a lead teacher role for part of each trimester. Interns will co-advise six to ten middle school students in the middle school advisory program.
  • Mentor teachers and interns will work collaboratively to prepare report cards, conduct parent-teacher conferences, and facilitate student-led portfolios. Middle School interns have the opportunity to assist in extracurricular activities such as coaching athletics, theatre production, and the Outdoor Program.

Upper School Internship

The Upper School internship program balances content mastery and delivery with understanding the nuances of teenage learners. There are mentor teachers in specific content areas: math, English, French, Spanish, Mandarin, art, music, history, biology, chemistry, and physics. The Upper School works to provide a wide variety of learning experiences for each learner. The teachers promote student independence, autonomy, and self-discovery.

  • The Upper School intern will work with a mentor teacher of a specific content area. Responsibilities will include supporting the mentor teacher in aspects of delivering the class curriculum for two or three courses while supporting the individual needs of students in those courses. Interns will actively participate with the mentor teacher in lesson plan development and pedagogical discussions, steadily increasing their instructional responsibilities, culminating in a lead teacher role for part of each trimester. Interns may also have the opportunity to submit an original elective course to teach independently during the third term.

Sun Valley Ski Academy Internship

This unique position offers a well-rounded, energetic, and organized individual the opportunity to work closely with student-athletes in different capacities. The Sun Valley Ski Academy (SVSA) intern will have two different roles on the academic front.

  • In the fall and spring, the SVSA intern will work with a mentor teacher in a specific content area (e.g. history, English, mathematics, world language, or science). Responsibilities will include supporting the mentor teacher in aspects of delivering the class curriculum for two or three courses while supporting the individual needs of students in those courses. Interns will actively participate with the mentor teacher in lesson plan development and pedagogical discussions, steadily increasing their instructional responsibilities, culminating in a lead teacher role for part of each trimester. Interns may also have the opportunity to submit an original elective course to teach independently during the third term.
  • The SVSA intern works alongside the SVSA Program Director to help manage and support the 70 student-athletes in the Upper School SVSA program. The goal of the program is to help our student-athletes find a balance between their academic goals and their athletic aspirations.The majority of the SVSA intern’s time will be spent on campus, providing tutoring support, meeting with faculty, and monitoring the academic needs of student-athletes before, during, and after their competitions. As part of their role during the winter, the SVSA Intern will travel periodically around the Western Region and beyond with SVSA student-athletes to provide on-road academic support, study supervision and guidance at some of the nation’s best ski resorts. This program helps the intern develop advocacy, communication, administrative and instructional skills, while participating in a critical component of our school. This work serves as the SVSA intern’s extracurricular duty. SVSA interns candidates should have a strong background in math and science, and have the ability to tutor our students in most Upper School math and science classes.

Compensation for Residential Responsibilities

Interns will receive complete room and board during the internship. This includes utilities, Internet access, and laundry access, as well as delicious home-cooked meals twice each day (valued at $18,000) and have access to the kitchen at times when meals are not prepared. Travel and food costs associated with leading outdoor trips are covered, giving interns access to some of the country’s most prized landscapes. In addition, interns will receive a small stipend for their dorm parent job in the Residence Hall. Interns are eligible to substitute for pay for classroom teachers, as long as the subbing does not interfere with dorm and TTA obligations. In previous years, some interns have secured tutoring jobs to supplement their income.

All interns must arrive in August before the Teacher Training Academy and Residence Hall Orientation begins. Orientation usually begins the third week in August. Please check the current application (link is below) and take note the date of the TTA Orientation.

2017-18 Teacher Training Academy Interns

Maia Hirschler joins Community School as a new Teacher Training Academy intern. She graduated from Yale University in May 2017 with a BA in literature and a minor in education studies. She is also an alumna of Phillips Academy Andover, where she graduated cum laude. From 2011-2017, Maia worked for the Aloha Foundation, where she taught girls, ages 12-16, leadership, self-reliance, and teamwork skills. Passionate about the outdoors, she is certified as a Wilderness First Responder and as a Level III Tandem Whitewater instructor. A skilled writer, Maia has worked as a tutor for both undergraduate and high school students, helping helping them strengthen writing and analytical skills.

Juliana Newman joins Community School’s Teacher Training Academy Program after graduating from Hamilton College in May with a BA in French and a minor in math. While at Hamilton, Juliana served as a French teaching assistant and tutor. Through Hamilton, she spent a year in France, where she served as an English tutor, teaching English grammar and vocabulary to French high school students while also pursuing her own studies. Juliana also has experience as a camp counselor for the YWCA in Wilmington, North Carolina, Hudson Montessori School Summer Camp, and Ohio’s Western Reserve Academy Summer Camp, where she served as a camp counselor for pre-K through eighth grade students and a media specialist.



In every division at Community School, the faculty is generous, devoted, welcoming, and has clear passion for their profession and for working with students. I'm inspired each day by observing other teachers in their classrooms and in their interactions with students.

Elle Lucas, TTA Intern 2016-17