At a glance
Tutor for a family travelling worldwide
An able and experienced educator is required for a full-time home schooling role starting in September 2017 or soon as possible thereafter. The role involves travelling with a young family, tutoring two boys aged 7 and 5, and occasionally including their 3-year-old sister where appropriate.
There are three children – two boys age 7 and 5, and their sister, 3. The two boys currently attend a local American school, where the two boys will be entering first grade and kindergarten from this September. The older boy was initially held back a year to help him develop the maturity to cope with school. This delay has done him a world of good – he is now a confident and self-motivated boy, quick-witted, and socially comfortable. He is a strong and avid reader, and he also enjoys building with quite complex Lego models. He will do well moving on to increasingly advanced systems, such as Fischertechnik, soon.
The younger brother is at an interesting phase in his development. He is a bright child, with a wide variety of interests. Although there are some mild early indications of possible learning differences, it’s far too early to be anything other than vigilant. Nonetheless, it would be sensible for the Tutor to start to introduce some of the remedial techniques available for literacy and numeracy. For example, it might be better to skip phonics and ‘sounding out’ words and move directly to whole-word recognition to increase his working vocabulary to develop a mastery of reading that is not inhibited by the chore of it. He also has some typical childhood pronunciation issues with the /r/ sound that have normally been learned by age 5, and it would helpful if the Tutor could help utilise some of the many easily available resources to help him to resolve this.
At 3, their sister is too young for formal schooling with her brothers. However, like her brothers she is a bright and engaging child, and if she shows an interest in education this should be encouraged. With an engaging and interesting Tutor around, it will be impossible for her to remain uninvolved!
The children come from a supportive and loving family. Their parents are relaxed about the prospect of travelling for a year, but are aware that they need to provide the boys with a suitable education while enjoying the perks of travel and adventure. All three children are physically active – they enjoy swimming and skiing among other sports.
ROLE OF THE TUTOR
The family are planning a twelve-month odyssey, spending two months at a time in each location. The exact itinerary is yet to be confirmed but will likely start in California (Newport Beach or Malibu), before moving to Hawaii, then on to Australia, South Africa and Italy. The Tutor is required to accompany the family, all the while ensuring that the boys are kept on par with their contemporaries in Connecticut, ready to re-enter at grades 2 and 1 in September 2018 in a new school elsewhere in the US (which is still to be decided). Although the children will not be returning to their old school, the school has offered to provide the Tutor with a summary curriculum of what they would cover this year. Obviously, once the new school has been identified, the children must be prepared for whatever that school did in Kindergarten and first grade, and so a period of ‘bridging’ will be needed.
The ideal Tutor for this position will have significant experience with children of this age range, as well as a demonstrable understanding of learning differences and various management techniques. They may need to help the middle child learn some remedial management techniques so that the early signs previously noted are mitigated.
One of the main purposes for travel is for learning to be outside the formal classroom, and the family are keen for the Tutor to use their locale as the basis for the majority of the children’s lessons. With this in mind, the Tutor should plan a curriculum that uses each destination to their advantage. They should keep an eye on local events and festivals, sites of scientific or historic interest, local art galleries and museums etc., and tailor material for the boys according to their individual learning objectives and attention spans. The Tutor should not expect that the boys can be taught together, or work cooperatively. There will be a nanny present throughout, and the boys’ parents want to be involved in their children’s learning, so there will be plenty of ways to ensure one-on-one time.
The Tutor should also be flexible and adaptable to change at short notice – it may be that the family decide to put lessons on hold for a couple of days to take advantage of a good snowfall in the Alps, for example. The Tutor should amend their lesson plans to allow the family time to indulge in such itinerary changes, but should also be confident enough in their own professionalism to ask for additional time, if needed, in their teaching to ensure the children have adequate time mastering their grade level skills.
The Tutor also must be aware that a year of one-to-one education at this age can put the children too far ahead of their peers, causing problems for them on their return to school. One of the ways to combat this is to ensure that the boys cover a wider range of subjects than they would in a school environment. For example, given that the family have plans to visit Italy, it would be helpful if the Tutor could teach basic Italian. This could tie in with learning Latin, or another Romance language. Other additional subjects such as basic astronomy, botany or skills such as knots or learning about the local cuisine could also be included.
The parents are happy for the children to have some periods of formal, classroom education. However, given the variety of locations they are visiting, these classroom periods can be kept to a minimum. The Tutor should have the ability to teach skills such as literacy and numeracy in inventive ways using local resources and integrating them into other activities and subjects. The children’s father is keen to be involved in the education of his sons, and so the Tutor may find themselves also including him in their lesson plans, or helping him find suitable resources to teach a particular subject.
The Tutor’s focus for this assignment is undoubtedly the two boys, but that should not mean that their younger sister is excluded. Being so young, she is unlikely to forge permanent memories of the coming year, so it would be lovely if the Tutor could work on some kind of overarching project with the family that records their adventures and activities for posterity. This will not only help to cement memories for the children and become a treasured keepsake for the family, but also could form a part of the boys’ education to which their sister could contribute. Other areas where she could be included are in dramatic presentations or recitals, skills lessons, or even trips to art galleries and museums.
The Tutor must be well travelled, resourceful, and self-sufficient. They should be able to anticipate problems, and take steps to mitigate any issues they see on the horizon. They should be willing to ‘muck in’ with the family, helping out with small jobs around the house as and when they need doing. The family intend to take a nanny with them on their trip, but the Tutor should also be prepared to undertake occasional childcare duties when the nanny is away or if the family need an extra pair of hands. The Tutor must be an excellent record keeper – it is possible that the family will be moving to Dallas on the conclusion of their trip and the children will be entering a new school where the Tutor must be able to demonstrate the work covered and their respective levels in each subject. A Montessori trained Tutor will find themselves at an advantage.
HOURS AND HOLIDAYS
The Tutor will typically work with one or other or both boys for about 40 hours over 5 days each week, usually Monday-Friday, with preparation in addition. The timetable must be established with reference to the family’s travel plans and any extracurricular activities. It must be flexible enough to accommodate unexpected changes.
The Tutor is entitled to two consecutive days off per week, but should not expect these to occur always at weekends or to be regular in their timing. As far as possible the Client will try to give the Tutor at least two weeks’ notice of when their ‘weekend’ break will be, but the Tutor will need to understand this is not always possible.
The standard minimum 9 weeks (45 working days) of paid vacation allowance applies to this contract, with these breaks being taken at times convenient to the Client. Any untaken vacation allowance or untaken weekend days that have accrued at the end of each contractual term will be compensated by payment in lieu at a pro-rated day rate. As per the standard Terms, the Tutor is entitled to two return flights home during the course of the contract (in addition to the initial flight out and back). However, given the potential distances involved, the Client has agreed that the Tutor has the option to use these flights to ‘fly out’ a friend or relative for a visit, and to cover the cost of accommodation for the Tutor and their friend, rather than have the Tutor spend a high proportion of their holiday time travelling home.
ACCOMMODATION, TRAVEL, AND MISCELLANEOUS
The family will be living in rented accommodation for the duration of their trip. As yet, they have no firm plans for the Tutor’s accommodation, but where possible it will be separate from the family home, either in a hotel or Air B’n’B or similar. The accommodation will always be clean, safe and within an easily commutable distance from the family.
A car may be provided in some locations during the year. In other areas, the Tutor will be reimbursed the cost of public transport. While travelling between locations, the Client will cover the cost of the Tutor’s airfares or other transportation requirements.
The successful candidate will be able to offer more than the minimum requirements of this position. He or she will not only be an excellent educator, but also a good role model, with good manners and moral values.
The Tutor should be fit and healthy, a non-smoker.
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