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Level Playing Field Institute Computer Science Workshop Facilitator (Northeastern) in Boston, Massachusetts

About Us and Our Philosophy:

Founded in 2001, SMASH (https://www.smash.org/about/mission-and-vision/) is an Oakland-based nonprofit organization that operates SMASH Academy, a year-round STEM-focused program that serves underrepresented high school students. In tandem, SMASH conducts research examining inequity in access and opportunity across K-12, higher education, and workplace contexts in order to improve the outcomes for underrepresented students in STEM fields.

SMASH Academy is a three-year STEM residential academic acceleration program for motivated, high school students from underrepresented populations (African-American, Latinx/Hispanic, Southeast Asian and/or Pacific Islander, and Native American), who have demonstrated an aptitude for science and math. During the summer component, SMASH provides accelerated classes rooted in solving real-world problems and exposure to STEM fields; the academic rigor is alloyed with a strong community experience in residential dorms to introduce our scholars to a university environment. During the academic year, SMASH provides computer science courses, scholarship workshops, college counseling, community events and further exposure to STEM opportunities.

SMASH will be operating a 3-week Hybrid Academy model for Summer 2022 with the first 2 weeks in person and the last week being virtual.

All scholars and staff will be required to comply with the SMASH vaccine mandate for SMASH Academy in-person programming. However, vaccine exemptions will be considered based on medical exemptions, disability accommodation, or religious objection on a case by case basis. If a quarantine mandate is enforced by local government, university, or SMASH, all SMASH Academy programming will be held virtually.

SMASH will follow all guidelines and requirements set by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/vaccine-benefits.html) as well as local, state, and county guidelines which may include but not limited to:

  • Mask requirements

  • Regular COVID testing at the site

  • Physical distancing requirements

As we look forward to finally being able to bring the magic of the SMASH experience to students and alumni in-person this summer, we also remain focused on ensuring the health and safety of all program participants - both in light of the current pandemic and beyond. Our leadership is finalizing plans for the summer program working closely with internal task forces and outside medical experts. We are committed to ensuring that our students are able to fully participate in SMASH programming - and the connections, interactions, and experiences that come with it - within a comprehensive and pragmatic approach to reducing exposure and protecting the health of our students, alumni, faculty, and staff. We are currently finalizing our policy in accordance with applicable public health guidelines regarding COVID-19. We expect to offer further clarity in early 2022.

This is not for the faint of heart. But if you think you have what it takes to dare to change the face of STEM, join us.

The Opportunity:

Working at SMASH Academy is about personal growth, commitment, and the tenacity to challenge the pedagogical status quo. SMASH Academy offers a unique environment for scholars and staff alike to focus on their interests in STEM education and explore cutting-edge practices. SMASH is seeking to hire individuals who will contribute to our larger aim of developing our scholars to be STEM practitioners who are civically aware and social justice oriented, equipped to employ their STEM knowledge and skills for the betterment of their local, national, and global communities.

Although the majority of the position will function as described below, some aspects are subject to change due to evolving program needs.

About the Role:

The CS Workshop is a scholar-centered course that allows scholars to develop CS skills by way of projects and challenges. Scholars will work in various configurations including whole-group, small group, and individually while solving coding challenges using basic skills in Python. In addition to facilitating scholars’ development of CS skills, facilitators will support scholars in understanding the importance of CS as a work readiness skill and ways in which CS applies to scholars’ career interests. Strong CS Workshop Facilitators will empower scholars to take ownership of their own learning and teach through inquiry rather than providing answers for scholars. This is a shift from the traditional model of education and requires letting scholars lead, and stepping in to guide in the right direction when necessary.

This is a 2-week assignment, with an additional commitment of training prior to launch, and a virtual close out after SMASH Academy (see chart below for dates). Facilitators will need to embrace and model flexibility, adaptability, and a solution-oriented mindset.

As this role has a virtual component, we expect staff to provide the following -- their own personal computer (desktop or laptop) that has a working webcam, speaker and microphone for video conferencing capabilities (i.e. Zoom, Google Hangouts, Cisco Webex); reliable Internet connection (at least 25 Mbps download speed); and quiet work space for virtual programming. If you cannot provide your own equipment, please speak with your Site Director.

You must be available for all training and program dates.

Onboarding: 6.11.2022 (National, Virtual)

Staff Training: 6.27.2022 - 7.1.2022 (National, Virtual), 7.8.2022 (Site-specific, In-Person)

SMASH Academy: 7.11.2022 - 7.23.2022 (Site-specific, In-Person)

Virtual Close Out: Week of 7.25.2022

Note: If you are interested in facilitating more than one workshop, please see other job opportunities at www.smash.org/jobs

Key responsibilities include but are not limited to those listed below.

Requirements

Key Responsibilities:

  • Attend Training (see dates above)

  • Adhere to Structure of Curriculum Provided by SMASH

  • Facilitate CS Workshop Sessions

  • 1 hr sessions 5 days/week

  • Alternate between whole group, small group, and individual facilitation

  • Facilitate workshops with a focus on learning through inquiry

  • Take attendance and communicate absences with Site Director and/or PC

  • Keep track of time

  • Ensure technical logistics are in order

  • Guide conversation between participants, ensuring all voices are heard

  • Manage the space to ensure outcomes are met for the day and that the group is on track relative to larger outcomes and goals for the summer

  • Continuously assess scholar learning, provide feedback, and pivot as needed

  • Log student achievement data on a weekly basis

  • Attend Weekly Staff Meetings (1hr)

  • Attend Weekly Site Community Meetings (1hr)

  • Attend Staff Closeout (3hrs)

  • Ensure Completion of Deliverables (e.g. log pre + post assessment scores, attendance, staff surveys, final inventory, etc.)

The attributes you possess:

  • Collaboration: Exceptional communication skills; professionalism; excellent time management and organizational skills; timeliness and dependability; ability to have difficult conversations

  • Relationship Building: Respect for individual differences of everyone in the room; humility; patience when addressing situations; ability to listen to multiple perspectives

  • Problem Solving: Remain curious, innovate, iterate, and quickly pivot as needed; keep activities on task and think creatively in the face of unexpected events; consider multiple perspectives in all situations

  • Resilience: Approach situations with a growth mindset, adapt, and reflect to ensure desired outcome(s) are met; sense of urgency

Life-long Learner: Willingness to model learning and figure out content alongside scholars; open to feedback; learning from what scholars have to offer

What you bring:

  • Experience teaching Computer Science

  • Commitment to SMASH’s mission; willingness to embrace goals/values is essential

  • Demonstrated experience and success co-facilitating workshops with 40-45 participants (preferably at high school level)

  • A belief that ALL scholars are capable of growing and achieving as learners

  • Previous experience with adopting and adapting to new technologies through self-guidance and video tutorials

  • Results-driven; work around potential obstacles to ensure all goals are met and deliverables are completed by the end of program

  • Knowledge of 21st Century skills

  • Experience with Python

  • Demonstrated effectiveness working with low-income, first generation college youth of color in diverse fields

  • Desire to teach with technology and improve technological skills as needed

  • Willingness to be self-reflective and reflexive about your individual teaching philosophy and practice

  • Excellent management skills; openness to various and/or new pedagogical and facilitation approaches

  • Flexibility in your availability for training dates and event dates

  • Spanish fluency a plus

  • Virtual learning experience a plus

Application Information:

Apply for this position below and ensure you can make the training and program dates (see table in above section of Job Description). If applying to multiple sites, please rank your site preference in the application.

The application includes a place to upload your resume and cover letter and to provide written responses to specific prompts. This position will close when filled.

If you have been selected for this position by your Site Director, no application is required. Simply submit the recommitment form provided by your Site Director, and SMASH will send you your updated offer letter.

Benefits

Compensation:

This is a non-exempt position. The hourly compensation for this position is estimated to be $30.00 - $34.00. Should the employee miss any hours or days of work, the daily and therefore total compensation will be adjusted accordingly. If your assignment ends earlier than we anticipate for any reason, your compensation may also be reduced accordingly. Please note, pay will be variable per pay period based on part-time and full-time phases of the program. These policies are subject to variation based on specific circumstances.

Statement of Non-Discrimination:

In keeping with our beliefs and goals, no employee or applicant will face discrimination/harassment based on: race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, age, gender, marital/domestic partner status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, or veteran status. Above and beyond discrimination/harassment based on “protected categories,” SMASH also strives to prevent other subtler forms of inappropriate behavior (i.e., stereotyping) from ever gaining a foothold in our office. Whether blatant or hidden, barriers to success have no place at SMASH.

We value a diverse workforce: people of color are strongly encouraged to apply.

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