Elementary School Program Lead
Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics (BEAM), a project of the Art of Problem Solving Foundation, is seeking an Elementary School Program Lead. You'll be part of a close-knit team helping exceptional young people to achieve their full potential. As Elementary School Program Lead, you will launch (and teach for) a new project to bring mathematics enrichment to younger ages than we have previously reached, helping students to discover and enjoy mathematical reasoning, and providing a new entry point to our programs for advanced study.
About the Program
Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics (BEAM) helps underserved New York City students with talent in math enter a realistic pathway towards becoming scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and programmers.
BEAM's current programs provide comprehensive support from the summer after 6th grade through to high school graduation. We offer summer programs following 6th and 7th grade as well as year-round support and guidance for older students to apply to other opportunities (high school, summer programs, and eventually colleges). In addition to our academic content, bringing students into an intellectual community is a key part of our mission and all of our work is designed around that goal.
In 2017, BEAM is launching several new initiatives to strengthen the opportunities for our students:
- Weekly enrichment classes for underserved elementary students, who might later apply to BEAM's programs for older students.
- Monthly challenge problems mailed home to underserved students across NYC to give motivated students easy access to extracurricular math.
- More intensive year-round follow up with BEAM high school students to strengthen their connection to BEAM, mathematics, and our program.
We are excited to be expanding the work of our organization, and we hope that you will be excited about joining us!
We are a small organization with a startup mentality. We all take on a variety of different tasks in order to make the program run, and everyone both contributes to program administration and does direct work with students. Any list of responsibilities will necessarily be incomplete (and evolve over time), but your responsibilities will likely include:
- Working with schools, teachers, community centers, and other stakeholders to develop and publicize our program for elementary school students.
- Developing the curricula for the program.
- Arranging logistics (for example, renting space, sending out notices about the program, etc.).
- Communicating with parents and students as needed.
- Teaching the program itself.
We expect to run several different programs to understand which model works best, so we will run programs during school (as pull-outs from math classes), after school, and on weekends in community centers and libraries. We hope to use these experiments to understand where best to situate the program for student success and to reach the mix of students we want.
As a part of our office staff, you will also have the opportunity to work with our older students, assist with admissions, or help out the program in other ways, depending on your time availability.
Above all, we're looking for people who make things happen and who do it well, who love working with kids, who work well independently, and who are devoted to the work that we do. It is much more important to us that we hire someone with the right approach than someone with a particular background.
That said, we expect that anyone who is ready for this role will have:
- Experience working with elementary school students,
- Experience with sophisticated mathematical reasoning,
- The organizational skills and vision to develop a project on their own,
- Strong communication skills (including verbal and written),
- Strong computer fluency,
- The ability to teach really awesome classes for kids, and
- A real dedication to helping each of our students.
Significant pluses may include:
- Experience with underserved students and/or working with their families.
- Experience with enrichment activities such as math circles or math contests.
- Fluency in Spanish.
- Experience coordinating with multiple groups/stakeholders.
We are not looking for a "school math" program. We want to see something that really stretches students to think more deeply and explore topics that are unfamiliar to them, and which builds the kinds of mathematical reasoning students will use in their future mathematical careers. Logic puzzles, graph theory, introductory number theory, counting problems, and novel uses of school math are all rich topics that might be appropriate for the elementary program.
Salary, Benefits, and Other Details
Salary will be between $55,000 and $70,000 per year, depending on experience and qualifications. The Art of Problem Solving provides a number of benefits, including health, dental, and vision; pre-tax commuter benefits; and discounted health club membership.
We provide 8 paid holidays and an additional 15 days of paid time off (which includes both vacation and sick days; we do not distinguish between the two). Paid time off will increase by one day for each year worked for your first five years of employment.
One unique aspect of our organization is our highly-flexible work policies. Time off is very flexible and it is easy to work from home so long as you are keeping up with your responsibilities. Many of us shift our work times (doing work on evenings or weekends) to gain the flexibility to adjust our work hours during the day to take extra time for appointments or errands. However, please be aware that this position will require some weekend work (likely Saturday afternoons) based on the timing of your sessions with students.
As an organization, we are dedicated to the growth of our staff members. We will pay for training to supplement your skills when appropriate, and we encourage all of our staff to learn from each other. (We are, after all, an education organization!)
In general, we are all very dedicated but also very relaxed, and we care deeply that the work environment is pleasant for everyone.
The start date is flexible, but a good target might be between June 1 and July 1. This will allow you to get to know our summer programming (and see where we hope your elementary-aged students will end up), while also giving you time to prepare curriculum and set up logistics for the next year.
To apply, please e-mail us a cover letter and resumé. We would also appreciate it if you can include an example of your favorite deep mathematical activity for students around age 9-11. You are welcome to simply link us to an online resource. (Please don't spend significant time preparing this. We only want a sense of your mathematical taste!)
We believe in the importance of demonstrated ability and work samples. Approximately 3-4 applicants will be chosen for the second stage, where we will ask you to complete sample projects to show us your work. From there, some applicants will proceed to an interview which will be the final step of the hiring process. We work hard to recognize the time you put into the process and we won't load you down with any useless bureaucracy.
We will accept applications on a rolling basis until the position is filled.
We believe strongly in communication and collaboration. In the spirit of that collaborative atmosphere, we strongly encourage you to ask questions about the position!
We're very excited that you're interested in the program. Thank you for applying to BEAM.
The Entire Staff at BEAM