The National Writers Series of Traverse City, Michigan, is accepting applications for a Teaching Fellow position for an innovative high school writing program. The ideal candidate will be a published writer in the fields of creative writing and/or journalism with proven excellence as a writing instructor.
The application deadline is February 27. If interested, please fill out the application here.
Each year, the National Writers Series hires a Teaching Fellow to co-teach the Front Street Writers (FSW) program, an innovative collaboration between NWS, a nonprofit, and the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District’s Career-Tech Center, a public school that draws juniors and seniors from the five-county area.
Career Technical Education (CTE) seeks to equip students with the solid writing skills they’ll need to successfully pursue their future careers. The FSW curriculum focuses on building reading and writing skills in creative writing genres, journalism, and business writing. It includes peer workshops and master classes with visiting professionals. This program sets high standards for students at the same time that it shores up missing writing and technical skills.
The classroom instruction is enriched by the collaboration with the National Writers Series, a year-round book festival that hosts nationally renowned authors. These “mainstage” authors are invited to visit the FSW classroom to hold a master class, talking about specific writing skills and their professional writing life. FSW students also have the opportunity to compete for annual NWS scholarships, publish their work in the annual NWS Literary Journal and at www.frontstreetwriters.com, and to re... their work at an NWS author event. Eligible second-year FSW students are able to pursue part-time internships, including one offered by NWS.
Candidates must be willing to learn and teach in a variety of genres, be comfortable in a collaborative work environment, and be prepared to adjust and respond to student needs.
The TF and TBAISD classroom teacher, both professional writers, collaboratively instruct a 2.5-hour morning and afternoon class, which meets five days a week and enrolls 12 to 25 students per class. The TF works four days per week to allow one day each week for his or her own work. The 8:30am–4:30pm workday includes time to grade papers and prepare for classes, although the TF may need additional time in the evening.
The TF and TBAISD teacher instruct students to:
- Identify and master the craft of writing.
- Learn the discipline and critical rigor required to submit their work for peer and teacher review.
- Respond in a helpful and thoughtful teaching manner in discussions about classmates’ writing.
The TF’s job responsibilities are to:
- Collaborate with the Career-Tech Center instructor to develop and deliver the FSW program including unit plans and lesson plans that meet state CTE requirements.
- Provide instruction, including lectures, workshop sessions, one-on-one tutorials, grading and feedback, coaching student performance, and project work.
- Collaborate with the NWS executive director to schedule student readers at NWS events. The TF is also invited to attend NWS evening author events (once or twice monthly) and often accompanies the student who is reciting his or her work on stage. The TF also helps confirm the schedule for author visits, works with the executive director to oversee FSW student submissions for the NWS Literary Journal, and helps coordinate the cover design for the Journal.
- Meet with CTC staff as scheduled for program evaluation and discussion.
- Participate twice a year on the CTC FSW advisory board to ensure relevant curricular experiences are implemented.
- Meet as needed with an NWS mentor who serves as liaison and provides guidance and support.
Remuneration and Qualifications:
The desired candidate is flexible; invigorated by working with high school students in an innovative program; and self-motivated.
The candidate must possess a bachelor’s degree in English or the equivalent; an MFA or comparable degree is preferred. Publication and teaching experience are also requirements. Experience as a journalist is a significant plus.
The fellowship is a 9.5-month position. Payment is $32,000 ($762 per week) and a rent-free, one-bedroom apartment located in the heart of Traverse City, including utilities. The time frame is August 21, 2020 to June 11, 2021. Applicants are required to fill out the application here. You can also find it on the www.nationalwritersseries.org website.
The Selection Process:
The Teaching Fellow is hired to work for one year as a contract employee of the National Writers Series; a Teaching Fellow might be considered to teach a second year. NWS collaborates with the Career-Tech Center classroom teacher throughout the hiring process. The top finalists will be interviewed starting March 4 with a final decision made by March 27.
Highly qualified candidates will be interviewed in Traverse City or via Skype/Facetime by an NWS/TBAISD interview committee. In that interview, they will be expected to communicate ideas and a vision of how she/he would contribute to this innovative program.
NWS and its Partnership with the TBA-ISD
NWS was founded in 2010 by Doug and Anne Stanton and Grant Parsons. This year-round book festival is considered by writers, publishers, and readers to be one of America’s premier literary events. NWS has hosted 155 authors to date, including Pulitzer Prize winners, New York Times bestselling authors, McArthur “genius” award winners, and emerging authors. You can find out more at www.nationalwritersseries.org.
FSW took shape in 2012, inspired by Doug Stanton’s private school experience as a student at Interlochen Arts Academy, where Stanton majored in creative writing and theater. A benefactor funded his last year at the Academy.
“Having such an experience when I was a teenager,” says Stanton, “literally changed my life. I’ve never forgotten how fortunate I was to be taken seriously by practicing writers at such a young age.”
Motivated by a belief that “we can pitch in and make our public education a richer experience for all,” Stanton worked with public school officials to create the Front Street Writers partnership. The name was chosen with the belief that rigorous instruction about the most basic and essential human skill of all—the ability to communicate clearly—should be practiced on life’s main street, amid the joyous scrum and challenging hubbub of life. Since 2013, nearly 200 students have graduated from the FSW program.
The Career-Tech Center is a division of the TBAISD, established in 1976 as a secondary career and technical education center that now serves more than 25 public and private high schools and approximately 1,100 students in the five-county Traverse Bay region. Students receive training and education in 23 occupational programs utilizing cutting-edge technology and state-of-the-art equipment. The CTC mission is to prepare students with skills and learning experiences for employment and life-long learning. CTC students are prepared for job placement or additional educational opportunities in colleges, universities, technical schools and the U.S. military.