ORGANIZATION St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School, located in the Palisades section of northwest Washington, D.C., is a parish day school enrolling approximately 485 students on two campuses. The program begins at the three-year-old Nursery level and continues through Grade 8. St. Patrick’s students, whose families live throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, go on to a variety of fine schools—including local independent day schools, boarding schools largely in the Mid-Atlantic and New England and, less frequently, public schools—upon graduation.
Three academic divisions comprise St. Patrick’s: Nursery School (3’s, 4’s, and young 5’s), Lower School (Kindergarten-Grade 5), and Middle School (Grades 6-8). Students attend school on the Whitehaven Campus through Grade 5 and on the MacArthur Campus, about a half-mile away, for Middle School. The Grades 5 and 6 Spanish Teacher, whose instructional responsibilities straddle Middle School and Lower School, reports to and is evaluated by the Associate Head of School/Head of Middle School. The Spanish Department includes three other full-time teachers who teach students in Nursery School to Grade 1, Grades 2 to 4, and Grades 7 and 8, respectively.
During the 2020-2021 school year, students have engaged in different hybrid settings for teaching and learning, depending on their grade level. Upon our return from Spring Break, all students whose parents have chosen on-campus teaching and learning (about 95% of our students) will attend in-person classes four days a week, with Wednesday remaining a remote day for all students. All Day School teachers are expected to be able to provide both synchronous and asynchronous instruction in a virtual setting. We anticipate returning to a five-day schedule for on-campus learning in the 2021-2022 school year. All teachers must be prepared to engage in on-campus, in-person teaching and learning as well as to provide both synchronous and asynchronous instruction in a virtual setting, as needed.
THE SPANISH PROGRAM The purpose of the Spanish program is to develop an immersive environment that fosters rapid growth in students’ language abilities and exposes them to the culture and history of Spain and Latin America. Upper Elementary and Middle School students, using a variety of activities that involve music, stories, art projects, and role-playing, listen to and practice correct pronunciation of Spanish words while using these words in conversational phrases. Students also begin reading novels, expanding on that work as they move through the grade levels. Students acquire vocabulary relevant to their school and home lives while building confidence in listening in language-immersive Spanish classes. Study and celebration of various traditions and customs in the Spanish-speaking world add interest and texture to lessons on grammar and vocabulary.
Grades 5 and 6 students, who are much farther in their study of Spanish language and culture, are also engaged in regular conversations and activities while beginning to learn Spanish grammar. Using a variety of sources, Grades 5 and 6 students learn to express likes and dislikes as they form complete sentences. In addition, students learn how to ask questions, form proper grammatical structures, and employ verb conjugations. Working through the years to build vocabulary and speaking skills, students are expected to participate in class and, over time, are able to conduct basic conversations in Spanish. A highlight of the program is the Spanish for Heritage Speakers class in Grades 6 to 8, a class that is co-planned and taught by the Grades 5 and 6 Spanish Teacher and the Grades 7 and 8 Spanish teacher. Students who speak Spanish in their households engage deeper Spanish instruction regularly with these teachers. Each year, the program culminates in a Cafe de Poetas, a special poetry recitation where students share with an audience of family and friends Spanish works they have learned.
CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION Like colleagues within and beyond the department, the Spanish Teacher is responsible for designing and implementing a curriculum that is consistent with the Day School Mission Statement; builds on an ever-growing knowledge of how children learn best, particularly with respect to the acquisition of a second language; and reflects children’s developmental abilities, needs, styles, and interests. The curriculum should be individualized as much as possible to develop and extend the unique strengths of each child while, at the same time, supporting the needs of each child. St. Patrick’s encourages creativity and innovation in both curriculum and instruction and supports a teacher’s initiatives in broadening and expanding the existing areas of study or instructional methods at a grade level. All teachers are encouraged and expected to stay abreast of current trends and research in education and to apply appropriate strategies and techniques to meet the diverse needs of their students.
Working with the other members of the Spanish Department, the Spanish Teacher constructs Spanish lessons that reflect a thorough knowledge of child development as it pertains to the learning and understanding of a second language. The Spanish Teacher participates in weekly meetings of the Spanish Department. In order to promote curriculum integration and share information about students, the Spanish Teacher establishes strong relationships with other special-subject teachers and with homeroom teachers who work with those grade-level students.
The Spanish Teacher participates in faculty meetings on a weekly basis. The Spanish Teacher will maintain detailed lesson plans for each class; create content-rich, skill-based lessons that promote Spanish language mastery and an appreciation of Spanish language and culture; appropriately use high-quality educational technology to enhance instruction; maintain a safe, organized environment that fosters student thought and problem-solving; and work with the Head of Lower School and the Associate Head of School/Head of Middle School to develop consistency regarding academic expectations. The Spanish Teacher may also work to support students who enter St. Patrick’s without having had any formal Spanish instruction, as well as those students who are heritage Spanish speakers.
QUALIFICATIONS A successful candidate for the position of Spanish Teacher will have at least an undergraduate degree in a relevant field (masters preferred), three to five years of teaching experience, a proficient knowledge of the Spanish language and Spanish language instruction, a passion for promoting study outside of the classroom, and a strong interest in the particular academic and social-emotional needs of Upper Elementary- and Middle School-age children. Successful completion of a thorough background check is required.
CONTACT Candidates for the position of Spanish Teacher should submit a cover letter, resume, and list of names and telephone numbers of at least three professional references to Dan Spector, Associate Head of School/Head of Middle School, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School
St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School is an independent, coeducational, parish day school located in the Palisades section of Northwest Washington, D.C., serving approximately 475 students from three-year-old Nursery through Grade 8. For 65 years, St. Patrick's has been providing a vibrant, challenging coeducational school environment that balances tradition and innovation in an educational program that emphasizes the acquisition of essential skills, integration of disciplines, and active learning. It seeks to educate young people who will grow in intellectual and academic strength, personal integrity, openness to change, commitment to service, and confident and ethical involvement in the world. St. Patrick's students, whose families live throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, go on to a variety of fine schools - including local independent day schools, boarding schools largely in the Middle Atlantic and New England regions and, less frequently, public schools - upon graduation.
Campuses include the Whitehaven Campus, home to Nursery to Grade 5, and the MacArthur Campus, home to Grades 6 to 8. There are three divisions: Nursery School (Nursery and PK), Lower School (Kin...dergarten to Grade 5), and Middle School (Grades 6 to 8). A third campus, the Foxhall Campus, features a regulation-size turf athletic field and stadium complex, as well as our new Garden & Outdoor Learning Space.
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