The Gunnery is seeking candidates for an Assistant Head for Teaching and Learning with proven thought leadership, a deep understanding of curricular and pedagogical development, demonstrated administrative acumen, and strong interpersonal skills. The Assistant Head will be responsible with the Head of School for defining the school’s vision for academics and intellectual life within the context of The Gunnery’s mission and strategic goals.
The position requires the ability to balance the micro with the macro and an ability to thrive in the day-to-day details of student scheduling, course change requests, and parental inquiries, while simultaneously leading the intellectual life of the school: its academic values and vision, and, ultimately, its reason for being. Candidates must be equally excited to take on both aspects of the job.
Throughout its history, The Gunnery has valued character and citizenship as much as intellect and achievement. Indeed, these are inseparable, inasmuch as wisdom and courage are the building blocks of character. We strive to support our students in the development of “eulogy virtues” as well as “resume virtues,” to borrow the terms David Brooks introduced in his book The Road to Character. Frederick W. Gunn, The Gunnery’s founder, recognized the inseparability of these values for a teacher to find success with students when he addressed a group of teachers at a convention in Hartford, Connecticut in 1877:
There is an unconscious influence, a mysterious, silent emanation going out from the personality of every teacher which is one of the strong forces of nature. Silent as the force of gravity, more powerful than the will of man, this influence works like the unnoticed electricity of the atmosphere, and makes it certain that every teacher will actually teach that which he is. How, for example, can a narrow, selfish, pinched-up man make good readers of a class of boys? The noble sentiments of poets and philosophers are naught to him. His intellect cannot receive, his soul cannot contain them; his cold lips cannot give expression to the voice of love, of heroism, of tender pity and generous grief. If you would teach children to read the grand periods of Milton, you must, in the act, be a Milton yourself. Therefore, I say, if you would enjoy the loving confidence of noble boys, you must, first of all, make yourself worthy of that confidence. Let your own conscience serve as examining committee, and enter the school-room only with a first-class certificate.
Candidates must understand and appreciate that education in a small boarding school is distinct from education in any other setting. Unlike teachers at colleges and universities, whom parents do not expect to assume the role of in loco parentis, boarding school teachers teach constantly, inside and outside the classroom. Likewise, students learn from the institution itself - from the structures that govern all aspects of their days, whether in the dining hall, the classroom, at rehearsal, in sports, or when they sit down in front of their computers in the evening. The Assistant Head will have a keen understanding of how student life supports a strong academic program and the role faculty members play in making the boarding school experience successful.
Being a “triple threat” faculty member at a boarding school is one of the most demanding professions there is intellectually, emotionally, and physically. What we do is a way of life, an all-consuming experience that offers distinctive opportunities and challenges, and that most of us would not trade for anything. Today's boarding schools no longer function as the elitist institutions of the past. We are diverse ethnically, racially, socially, are more service-oriented, and are answerable to the legal and social environment in which we find ourselves. As educators today who spend as much time with children - or more - than many parents, we must attend to all facets of education and development. We are role models always. We teach students to seek beyond facts, to explore ideas. In both athletics and the arts, we equip to create, perform, and compete with passion and dignity. We live in and nurture dormitories that must be civic-minded and free from discriminating or harassing actions or rumors. We foster a sharing community inside and outside of class. In the end we must remember that the mission of the school must inform all of our dreams, decisions, and actions, and that consistency in our policies, procedures, and relationships with students is of the utmost importance. Leading people whose lives are this demanding requires generosity of spirit, empathy, tact, creativity, good humor, and grace.
(See full details at: https://www.gunnery.org/page/employment)
The successful candidate will:
have experience teaching and leading in education, ideally in a boarding school setting.
be conversant in the language of academic disciplines and understand the connections between branches of knowledge.
understand relative strengths and weaknesses of varied educational theories.
determine ways to assess the effectiveness of teaching, celebrating areas of strength and working with faculty to lead improvement and growth where opportunities exist.
have a broad framework from which to draw as they evaluate relative strengths and weaknesses of new developments or trends in education, and determine how or whether those connect with and support the school’s mission.
be comfortable and effective leading, implementing, and managing change.
be resilient, positive, and well organized.
communicate clearly, and execute responsibilities efficiently.
possess a Master’s degree.
not take her/himself too seriously and recognize the truth in Mr. Gunn’s statement that school must be fun.
value the importance of being part of and actively contributing to a team.
References (up to four)
Statement of educational philosophy (1 to 2 pages)
Statement of leadership philosophy, including an example of when you have personally put this into practice (1 to 2 pages)
Interested candidates should submit application materials, in confidence, via mail or via PDF in email by October 20, 2017 to: The Gunnery 99 Green Hill Road Washington, CT 06793 Attention: Wendy Rhodes, Executive Assistant to the Head of School email@example.com
Additional Salary Information: The Gunnery offers an attractive compensation package that includes a competitive salary, school-provided housing, medical and dental insurance, and retirement plan contributions.