La Luz is looking for an educator. But more than that, La Luz is looking for a super curious person who loves this idea that learning happens anywhere and everywhere, not just in a classroom. We are looking for a dynamic person who believes middle schoolers are awesome and full of potential; an enthusiastic person who is wanting to see something different in the education system and is willing to help build a more authentic model of education. Someone that is willing to listen to families and co-create learning experiences. You see, at La Luz, we prioritize experiential learning in the community over sitting in a school AND we think that relationships, character, and this goal of being a good human are more important than just about anything else, including academics. Yep, we said it, more important than academics.
We believe that parents are excited to have their most important asset in an environment that is challenging yet safe, structured yet authentic. Parents want their kids to be prepared for the future, but also understand that their kids have to be happy and excited about what they are doing now. It’s time to flip the system on its head and give something to middle school students that is actually FUN and engaging.
This is the inaugural year of La Luz and we are absolutely building the plane while we are flying it. While there are some great models that we hope to emulate, we are also incredibly passionate about taking this opportunity to create something different and outside of the current system and offering.
The idea is this: We will provide an entire year of opportunities and truly authentic experiences to some youth that don’t always get them. We see the amazing potential in Latinx kids from Southwest Denver and we believe in the power of both Spanish and English. Let’s provide 6-week deep dives with dynamic community partners so that kids can actually engage in real activities and learning in the community while we help them figure out how to be their best selves. What if the first six weeks were more about exploring all the adventures our amazing state has to offer? It could be hiking, biking, rafting, rock-climbing or something else. Do you think kids would be bored or might they thrive? Do you think that through this variety of adventures, challenges and reflections, the relationship with the teacher/ guide/ coach/ counselor/ educator would be pretty solid? We do! That is the point. Let’s take the time to establish relationships to really get to know a child, their family, their friends, their interests and their community. From there, the possibilities are endless!
What if the next six weeks were spent at the Denver Zoo, behind the scenes, working alongside experts, to really understand what conservation means and why it is important? What if, instead of reading about how the government works in a book, the next six weeks were spent at the State Capitol and the City and County Building meeting legislators, and really living how the government works? What if we talked about health and finances? What if we explored social networks? What if we gave kids time to follow their own interests? What if . . . you get the point. La Luz doesn’t want to follow a boring scripted curriculum and just cover basic material. Learning happens everywhere and we all know it! This is going to be exhilarating and exhausting! Are you intrigued?
This spring we have been piloting and learning alongside some great community partners and families AND we are really excited to launch our micro-”unschool” in the fall with a max of 20 families, not just students, but families. We are committed to building this experience together, actually listening and engaging with families, not just sending survey links. Parents are thrilled to have the opportunity to build this together and this is absolutely part of our secret sauce.
So yes, we are looking for an educator. One who preferably has either some elementary or middle school experience and could embrace this challenge of ensuring deep learning is happening through these experiences.
Are you interested? Are you up for the challenge, because it is hopefully very clear, this will be challenging? We know it’s a big ask and totally out of the box but for the right candidates, we believe this opportunity should leave an educator inspired and challenged, tired yet fulfilled, and ultimately, happy to come to work each day.
The ideal EXPERIENCED candidate will have/be...
a passion for our vision
a sense of humor
entrepreneurial spirit - comfortable with the unknown
Bilingual - Spanish/English
a zeal for the “science of character”
curriculum development experience
an understanding of competency-based feedback and evaluation
an understanding of project-based learning
zest for life
a team player who both can lead and follow
experience in non-traditional education environments
experience working with youth
attention to detail
able to seamlessly incorporate the words “avocado” and “espectacular” into a well-crafted cover letter (yes, we’re serious)
computer competence with: Google docs, Word, Excel, and basic office software.
a willingness to question convention, to experiment and to take risks, balanced with an organized approach to managing details.
the ability to thrive in a self-motivated, challenging and demanding role that will have varied and sometimes extended hours, including overnight excursions
a driver’s license and ability to drive 12-passenger van
a good human
We 100% understand just how important this role is to the success of our bold idea. With an amazing educator, this has the potential to change “school” as we know it. It is all about the team! And again, it is going to be crazy challenging and different. If you are still reading this and interested, you might be exactly who we are looking for!
Compensation will depend on experience but we believe in putting together a competitive package that would meet or exceed your expectations. This includes a health insurance premium and just being flexible so that everyone is happy and productive.
The work calendar will be more than a traditional teacher role because we need to build this summer but way more flexible.
Location - southwest Denver.
Position start date: July 5th, 2021 (flexible)
Please email an interesting (meaning, not, stock, boring or typical) cover letter and your resume to [email protected]. If you think it sounds great, but maybe not this year, email us anyway. We hope to expand next year and the year after that.
Bilingual - English/Spanish
Additional Salary Information: Let's see what makes sense for you!