Teacher Training Academy at Community School
training effective and reflective teachers
Sun Valley 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 program with an option to return for a second ten-month experience. Interns gain extensive teaching experience alongside mentor teachers and serve as Residential Advisors at the school's Rufus M. Brown Residence Hall. Off campus housing is provided by the School. In addition, interns have the option to enroll in Boise State University’s Masters of Education program.
The goal of the TTA is to provide a rich, well-rounded teacher education experience based on Sun Valley Community School's mission and guiding principles. Interns learn about education through their primary role as teaching interns and secondary roles as residential advisors, student advisors, and outdoor trip leaders. 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 day and residential students and faculty;
- Gaining experience in social and emotional development of adolescents;
- Supervising and guiding 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 Sun Valley 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 the school’s Guiding Principles. Successful interns will feel confident and ready to step into a full-time teaching position at an independent or public school. TTA administrators provide guidance to TTA interns in their post-intern job search.
The Sun Valley 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.
The Sun Valley Community School TTA internship builds a strong knowledge base of education and best practices. Interns develop and refine their teaching skills through a variety of experiences in the classroom, in the Residence Hall, in the arts, in the athletic program, and in our Outdoor Program. Interns will learn to communicate and collaborate with students, parents, intern chort peers, and faculty.
The TTA internship is an exceptional opportunity to explore working with a wide variety of students and age groups, as well as various mentor teachers with different teaching styles. The TTA administrators place interns in at least two different divisions (Elementary, Middle, and Upper School) during the course of the school year. 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, interests of the interns, and the needs of the school. Interns will gain practical teaching experience throughout the school year. The ideal candidate is seeking a 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, music, physical education, Spanish, science, and technology. 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’s 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 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, physical education and technology. 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 will actively participate with a teacher mentor 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 assist their mentor teacher in advising six to twelve middle school students in the middle school grade level 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. The Middle School intern will have additional duties such as overseeing students at lunch and dances, and attending faculty meetings.
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, art, music, history, biology, chemistry, physics and technology. 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 a proposal to teach an original elective course. Upon approval, interns have the possibility to be the lead teacher for the course during the spring term.
Outdoor Program Internship
The Outdoor Program internship is a unique opportunity to participate in the fieldwork, program development, and administration of pre-K-12 outdoor program in a school setting.
- The Outdoor Program intern will work with the Outdoor Program Directors, who will serve as the mentors for the school year. The intern will actively participate in trip development and implementation, pedagogical program discussions, and delivery of curriculum for the Outdoor Program courses, steadily increasing their instructional responsibilities, both in the classroom and in the field. The intern will work across all three divisions with students of all ages (preK-12th grade), including students enrolled in the Outdoor Leadership Academy (OLA), an outdoor-focused track that allows 9th through 12th graders to focus on pre-professional and academic outdoor leadership pursuits.
Residential Hall Duties
Residence Advisor duties will include being “on duty” one to two nights per week and one and a half weekends per month. Sun Valley Community School’s beautiful 25,085 square-foot, three-story Residence Hall and campus hub is located in downtown Ketchum.
Working as a residential advisor is an excellent opportunity to develop skills of a well-rounded educator. Interns will develop close personal relationships with Upper School students through their daily lives and activities. Through the residential life curriculum, interns learn to mentor students with compassion, care, and support.
Each intern is provided housing in a dormitory located behind the school’s Trail Creek campus. Each room will accommodate two staff members, is fully furnished, and contains a mini-refrigerator, two beds, and bathroom facilities. There are common lounge areas as well as a common kitchen with toasters, microwaves, and vending machines with snacks and drinks. There is a cafeteria where interns can eat, or interns can eat at the Residence Hall. There is storage for snow sport equipment and laundry facilities.
Interns will receive housing and a small stipend during the internship. The stipend is $10,000 for year one and $12,500 for year two. In addition, $2,500 per year is available in professional development funds toward tuition at Boise State University. Sun Valley Community School will also purchase a 15-day ski pass at Bald Mountain and a membership at the Wood River YMCA for each intern.
Interns are welcome to dine at the Residence Hall any night of the week. Travel and food costs associated with leading outdoor trips are covered. Interns are eligible to substitute for pay for classroom teachers, as long as the subbing does not interfere with 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 begins the third week in August. Please check the current application (link is below) and take note the date of the TTA Orientation for the current year.
In every division at Sun Valley 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