Elem Spanish Immersion @ Lakes Int'l Language Academy, Forest Lake

04 Aug 2012 10:18 AM | Anonymous
SPANISH IMMERSION ELEMENTARY TEACHER: Job Description: Teachers are responsible for carrying out the school’s mission and vision. Teachers carry out all responsibilities associated with elementary language immersion teaching. They conduct classroom instruction of all subjects in Spanish; develop curriculum materials using instructional strategies for elementary students; infuse internationally minded concepts into the curriculum on a continual basis; incorporate hands-on learning activities into daily instruction; communicate closely and encourage parental involvement regarding program goals, classroom activities, homework, school functions and student progress; create a safe and welcoming classroom environment; collaborate with grade-level teachers, program specialists, program coordinator, director and other staff regarding program implementation; maintain knowledge of current and emerging trends, procedures and evaluation processes in language education; participate in weekly program planning and staff development activities; participate in all training programs required for language immersion, Responsive Classroom, and the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program.

Overview: Lakes International Language Academy is a K-6 public school educating over 600 students in Forest Lake, MN, authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization.

We offer Spanish and Chinese language immersion.

Our staff works hard, and has a lot of fun in the process.

Teachers are involved in developing curriculum and writing materials, as well as decision making for the school. In fact, our board of directors has a teacher majority. We enjoy high teacher retention, and a waiting list of students who want to enter our program.

Our Mission

Lakes International Language Academy, a public elementary school, strongly emphasizes second language acquisition by immersing children in Spanish from kindergarten through sixth grade. The students of Lakes International are held to a high standard in traditional elementary subjects and at the same time prove capable of establishing a high level of proficiency in both spoken and written Spanish.

The Lakes International community promotes a strong academic foundation, a safe and pleasant atmosphere, and health and physical activity for our students. We value our faculty and staff not only for their hard work and dedication but for the gifts they share with our children: knowledge, language, multi-cultural understanding, and a love of learning.

Lakes International values individuality, and recognizes that everyone has a different set of strengths and needs. We value community, and strive to make connections with others in our school, our community, and beyond. Lakes International will provide a quality education that prepares critically thinking, socially capable, culturally aware young people to thrive in a diverse, global society.

Achievement: Received our charter in 2004, renewed on schedule in 2007, and 2010.
Entered a cooperative agreement with the local district schools to offer continued Spanish immersion in grades 7 – 12, where students receive language arts, social studies, and industrial arts in Spanish. Plans for continued Chinese immersion in grades 7 – 12 will commence as K-6 Chinese immersion students approach those grades.

Outpaced projected enrollment each year of operation.

Earned respectable ratings on the MDE's School Report Card each year of operation.

Awards: Recognized for our fiscal responsibility from the MDE, receiving the state Finance Award for the past five years in a row.
Received a 2-year Theater grant from Perpich Center for the Arts in 2009.
Received Minnesota Schools of Character award in 2011.
Received a 2-year Dance grant from Perpich Center for the Arts in 2010.
Received a Theater grant from SteppingStone Theatre in 2011.
Earned State School of Character award in 2010 and 2011.
Earned National School of Character award in 2010 and 2011.

Work environment: We have a remodeled building, including a new wing with 14 new light-filled classrooms, a large gymnasium, and a new media center. We have up-to-date technology and are acquiring a rich array of print and other media resources.

Travel: Teachers are provided opportunities to participate in training provided both in the Twin Cities, and across the U.S. in the areas of Language Immersion, International Baccalaureate, and Responsive Classroom. Occasional travel is required.

Diversity: Many of our teachers were born in Spanish speaking countries. All have traveled extensively, with nearly all having lived in a Spanish speaking country for at least three months. In addition, our Chinese department employs many native Chinese speakers.

Professional Development: Lakes International provides training for new staff in three areas: International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme, Immersion training provided by the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition at the University of Minnesota, and Responsive Classroom training.

Working hours and Vacations: School starts at 7:50 am and releases at 2:10 pm. Teachers are expected to be in school by 7:25, and attend all staff and grade level meetings. Beyond those hours, workload varies by grade, unit, teacher experience, and the individual students in a teacher's class. As professionals, teachers are expected to put in the time it takes to do a professional job. Some weeks that will be as low as 40 hours, others, as high as 75 hours. In no way should this position be thought of as an hourly position. Vacations include typical US school vacations: 1+ week for winter break, one week for spring break, 2.5 months for summer break, as well as various vacation days through the year.

Career Track and Advancement: Many leadership positions are available, on a yearly basis, to Lakes International teachers, depending on their interests and expertise.

Grants to Teachers: The LILA Foundation offers “Inquiry 360” grants to teachers to pursue enriching experiences that they can bring back to share in the classroom. Teachers are encouraged to pursue these experiences abroad. Inquiry 360 grants are competitive and are awarded in April for use the following summer.

A Day in the Life: Arrive by 7:25, complete last minute preparations. Students begin to trickle in. Spend time chatting (in the target language) with students. Begin class at 7:50, with a Morning Meeting. Teach all disciplines, many in the form of a transdisciplinary Unit of Inquiry. Lunch at the same time every day--45 minutes, duty free. In addition, you will have one 30-minute ""prep"" period during the day, during which your students will go to a specialist subject, such as physical education, a language class in their third langauge, music, or technology. Dismiss class at 2:10, and do a short ""bus duty"" or ""car pool duty."" Two days a week, there will be a 1.5 - 2 hour meeting after school. Before or after school, or during lunch, meet with grade level team to discuss unit progress, assessment, and other issues.

Social functions: Usually at least one per month, arranged in the staff lounge, and held off site. We usually start the school year with an overnight staff retreat in August, and have a January staff party with guests as well.

Qualifications: Our ideal candidate possesses a valid Minnesota elementary teaching license. The ability to obtain a license is required. The candidate must have native or near native proficiency in both the target language (Spanish or Chinese) and English. Candidate should have lived abroad for a minimum of six months or equivalent. A minimum of one year of elementary school teaching experience is preferred. Prior immersion classroom teaching experience is a plus. Familiarity with the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme is also preferred.
Minnesota Council on the Teaching of Languages and Cultures
PO Box 11926, St. Paul MN 55111
information: president@mctlc.org
membership: membership@mctlc.org
technical inquiries: webmaster@mctlc.org
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