BEAM 6 Summer Faculty Application

This summer, change the lives of motivated, high-potential students from underserved schools: help them open their minds to new areas of mathematical study and awaken a love of mathematics.

This page contains information about working at BEAM 6, our non-residential program in New York City and Los Angeles. We are also hiring faculty nationally for BEAM 7, our residential program in the Hudson Valley.  

In New York City, we still have available positions for BEAM 6 Math Fundamentals and Math Team Strategies classes at our program at City College. We have filled all positions for Logical Reasoning and Applied Mathematics for Summer 2018. In Los Angeles, we have filled all positions for Summer 2018.

About the Program

Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics (BEAM) is a free, high-impact program for underserved students with demonstrated potential in mathematics. Our goal is to give our students access to the same resources for advanced study as their more affluent peers by helping them get into top high schools, summer programs, enrichment programs, and other opportunities for success. All of our students attend schools where at least 75% of students receive free lunch. For most of them, programs like this would otherwise be completely out of reach.

BEAM 6 is the first entry point into BEAM's programs, a five-week nonresidential summer camp for students in the summer between 6th and 7th grade. We create a life-changing experience for our students, both academically and non-academically, where they'll be in a community of peers interested in mathematics for perhaps the first time in their lives. We supplement the social environment with activities, field trips, guest lectures, and more. All of our staff (including faculty) are welcome to join in on these activities.

This is BEAM's eighth year in New York and first year in Los Angeles. As far as we know, nothing quite like this exists elsewhere. Our experience has been that the program really changes lives and serves as a model for outreach across the country, while expanding the talent pool for mathematics and related fields.

In New York City, BEAM 6 will have two locations, one (most likely in Harlem) serving students from the Bronx and Upper Manhattan, and one (most likely in downtown Brooklyn) serving the students in Brooklyn, Queens, and Lower Manhattan. In Los Angeles, the program will be run in the Koreantown/Pico-Union neighborhood.

About the Students

Our students are bright and motivated students who lack sufficient challenge at their existing schools. They are excited to be here and ready to learn, but they may not have the mathematical background of other students who have had more regular access to enrichment.

Students are selected for a combination of insight on challenging math puzzles, teacher nominations, and demonstrated interest and motivation. Many will be the top math students at their schools; a few will be "wildcards" who might be less motivated in a traditional classroom setting but who showed promise on our problems, where we hope to light a spark.

In many cases, students' mathematical educations will have been procedural and rote. As a result, math can feel like jumbled facts to them rather than a coherent subject, and they may lack understanding of topics you consider elementary.

Over the course of the summer, the students become stronger in basic mathematics as well as mathematical reasoning. You will be astonished at what a difference we can make over five short weeks!

Students work together

Academics and Classes

In total, students take two hour-long courses each day, each of which is followed by an hour of "Open Math Time" to work on problems from class as well as whatever independent math they want to study. BEAM 6 runs on an A/B alternating schedule, so each class meets every other day, and students take a total of four courses (one from each topic area below) throughout the summer. We believe strongly in facilitating student initiative and choice, both through Open Math Time and also by allowing them to choose courses.

In total, each course meets for one hour every other day and has 11 class hours. Each class you teach will have two sections with different cohorts of students, which alternate days, and thus you'll teach every day. In addition, you will work with students during Open Math Time.

There are four topic areas, and each student chooses one course from each:

  • Logical Reasoning introduces logical reasoning including deductive logic, case analysis, working methodically, and proof by contradiction. Students are first introduced to puzzles such as Sudoku or Ken-Ken, liar/truthteller puzzles, or "matching riddles". Having gained basic skills in these puzzles, they transition to using those skills on mathematical problems.
  • Math Foundations covers mathematics from school. Based on Art of Problem Solving materials, we have a collection of questions designed to lead students to be more reflective on the mathematics they know and to learn to apply it in novel ways. These course leads students to understand mathematics without relying on memorized procedures.
  • Math Team Strategies (MTS) exposes students to problems that require creativity, primarily through MATHCOUNTS problems. Most MTS courses cover a specific topic area such as number theory (focusing on prime factorization), combinatorics (focusing on the multiplication principle), or geometry, although there is flexibility for other models.
  • Applied Math introduces students to different areas of work related to mathematics. Examples include programming, astronomy, mathematical biology (such as predator and prey models, or genetics), or estimation and Fermi problems. Unlike the first three topics, there are no developed curricular materials for these courses; instead, we rely on faculty to develop their own courses around the topics that interest them.
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Your Role

As faculty, your role is to guide students as they discover new fields of mathematics. Our classes are small and highly interactive. Each class generally has around 15 students, and you will have a teaching assistant (either in college or a high school BEAM alum) to assist, allowing for a high degree of personalization.

You may teach either one class or two, so long as they do not conflict. Logical Reasoning and Math Fundamentals are offered in the morning (likely around 9:20am-10:20am), while Math Team Strategies and Applied Math are offered in the afternoon (likely around 1:05pm-2:05pm). Thus, you have the flexibility to have short days or to really dive into the program.

One of the most important periods of the program is Open Math Time, when students do independent work on problem sets from class, challenge problems, or other math of their own choice. There is an hour-long block of Open Math Time following each class period, and we ask that you stay during that block to assist students in your classes.

Please note that we are still working out the details of the schedule, so the times may change somewhat. Additionally, there will be a few days during the summer where we plan to rearrange classes and cancel Open Math Time in order to have an afternoon field trip (these days will be finalized at least a month before camp).

Each course has 11 meetings throughout the program. During that time slot on the remaining 1-2 days of camp, courses are replaced with a "math circle" or other activity. This allows for each faculty member to visit other classes and for everyone to learn from one-another. (It's important to us that everyone, student and staff alike, are learning.)

There are also a few other responsibilities. In detail, your expectations are:

  • Attend training before the program starts:
    • In LA, training is June 13, 14, and 15, 2018.
    • In NYC, training is July 3, 5 and 6, 2018.
  • Teach each class to two cohorts of students (on both A days and B days) and stay for Open Math Time following the classes you teach.
    • In LA, the program runs June 18-July 20 (with no classes on July 4).
    • In NYC, the program runs July 9-August 10.
  • Communicate with your TA about the course: send them a brief overview of each day's topic and what their role will be. Note that TAs may not have much time to prepare before the class itself, but it is important to us that the TAs have positive experiences and learn about teaching.
  • Schedule a weekly meeting with your TA to briefly discuss how the class is going, individual students, and what you plan on covering in the future (we suggest at least 30 min each time).
  • Assign and review student problem sets (completed during Open Math Time).
  • When your class is replaced by a math circle, visit other classes (and, ideally, offer to discuss the class afterward with its teacher).
  • Attend two one-hour staff meetings per week.
    • The exact timing of these has not been finalized, but last year these met Tuesdays and Fridays, 11:35am-12:35pm.
  • At the end of the summer, write a paragraph for each student about their progress in the class.
  • Also at the end of the summer, provide private feedback on each student to be used internally.
  • Attend a day of wrap-up after the end of the summer.
    • In LA, this is on July 23, 2018.
    • In NYC, it is August 13, 2018.

You are also welcome (and encouraged!) to stay for meals and social events to get to know the students on a personal level (we run sports, arts and crafts, dance, karaoke, board games, and much more), although this is entirely optional. These connections are often some of the most valuable things students draw out of their summer. We also aim to build a community among our staff as well as among students, and so we host weekly staff dinners to allow you to meet other teachers and counselors at the program.

In general, we want our staff to be informal mentors for the students. We stay on a first-name basis with the students and often join them for activities or meals. You will get to know the students well, and you will form close bonds with many of them. They're a wonderful group of kids, eager to learn, often without the opportunity to do so at this level, and we think you'll be as excited as we are to lead them on this journey.

A note on WHAT WE'RE LOOKING FOR

We seek individuals who have a depth of mathematical expertise, good pedagogical style, classroom management skills, and the potential to be a role model. Our classes are about understanding mathematics on a deep level rather than procedures, and we're looking for teachers who can create classes that reflect this. Furthermore, we are looking for staff member who can reflect and seek personal growth, for our students, themselves, and the entire program.

SALARY AND OTHER DETAILS

In an effort to provide entry points for people at multiple stages of their careers, we have introduced junior faculty positions in addition to our faculty positions. Teaching responsibilities are similar, but junior faculty receive additional mentoring and support.

The application is the same for both positions but contains a question asking which position you're applying for, and expect faculty to demonstrate a more independent ability to plan their own curriculum and classes.

Faculty Positions

Faculty positions are especially intended for:

  • University professors, especially those with outreach experience,
  • Middle or high school teachers with strong mathematics backgrounds and 3+ years of experience, or
  • Graduate students in mathematics or related fields who have prior K-12 teaching experience.

We strongly welcome applicants in applied fields as well as those in mathematics. Computer science, astronomy, and biology have all been part of our program in the past, so long as substantial mathematical reasoning was involved in the courses.

Junior Faculty Positions

Junior faculty have the same responsibilities as faculty, although they enter into a mentoring program guided by experienced BEAM instructors, and attend a class planning retreat. For NYC, this retreat will be over a weekend in early June. For LA, this retreat will be June 11 and 12. (If you're interested in the Junior Faculty position but are unsure about your ability to attend, let us know and we may be able to accomodate.)

Junior faculty positions are intended for:

  • Graduate students in mathematics or related fields, especially those with outreach experience,
  • Early career middle or high school teachers with strong mathematics backgrounds and less than three years of teaching experience, or
  • Other professionals with limited teaching experience.

We expect Junior Faculty to teach two courses, but please contact us if you are interested but can only teach one. Typically, after one to three years with BEAM, junior faculty are invited to return as full faculty. Please note that junior faculty salaries are lower, to allow us to provide additional training and support.

Salary

Salary is based on what courses you are teaching. Because some classes involve reviewing homework or have fewer curriculum materials developed, we vary the salary based on the estimated workload. For summer 2018, the salary rates for new faculty are:

  • Logic: $2400 for the summer.  [$2000 for Junior Faculty.]
  • Math Foundations: $2400 for the summer.  [$2000 for Junior Faculty.]
  • Math Team Strategies: $2400 for the summer.  [$2000 for Junior Faculty.]
  • Applied Math: $3200 for the summer.  [$2800 for Junior Faculty.]

We strive to pay our faculty well for their time, but we hope that you will see the program as we do: a labor of love that gives kids access to great mathematics. In total you may teach both a morning and afternoon class, allowing for salaries of $4000-$5600. Returning staff receive higher salaries based on the number of summers they have attended.

Supplies

We have a budget to purchase needed class supplies, as well as (low-cost) books for students to work out of. For example, you might want to teach a Logical Reasoning course out of a Raymond Smullyan book, or get Art of Problem Solving books for Math Team Strategies. We also can get a license for Mathematica, or other software (within reason).

We will have a printer available for as much printing as you need, and all students are provided with pencils, binders, and a backpack to use for BEAM.

Javier teaches number theory

How To Apply

The main part of the application asks that you focus on one of the main topics and describe a class that you would teach in that topic. You are welcome to teach more than one topic area during the summer, but please apply in just one. We will consider your application and then afterward you may express interest in other areas as well.

To learn more about the different topics and apply, just click the links below for the course that interests you.

Please note that if you do not live in New York City or Los Angeles, you must have your own housing for the summer (we cannot provide it, although the salary is more than sufficient to arrange housing if needed). We do provide housing for BEAM 7 Faculty and if it seems more appropriate, then we encourage you to apply for those roles!

Additional NOtes

If you're wondering if you're a good fit for the program, please contact us at info@beammath.org to discuss your background.

We aim to provide strong role models for our students, and that means finding an instructional faculty that shares the background of our students as much as possible. Thus, we especially encourage applicants who come from underrepresented minority groups, applicants who have faced financial hardship while pursuing their education, and/or applicants who have experience in the New York City or Los Angeles school system. We are an equal opportunity employer, and so persons of color, women, and those with disabilities are all encouraged to apply. Showing a diversity in mathematical achievement is critical to our program's success.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Successful applicants will proceed to an interview. If you are unsure of your summer plans, we encourage you to apply early and then work out the details with us afterwards. If you need a quick decision from us, apply and let us know of your constraints.

We are always available to answer any questions you might have, so please feel free to get in touch. We look forward to working with you this summer!

Sincerely,

Jacob Castaneda
BEAM 6 LA Site Director
Executive Director, Los Angeles Programs
jacob@beammath.org

Ruthi Hortsch
BEAM 6 NYC Site Director
Program Manager
ruthi@beammath.org