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2019-2020 High School Residential Counselor at Maya Angelou PCS

The Organization

Since it began operating in 1997, the See Forever Foundation's mission has been to create learning communities in lower income urban areas where all students, particularly those who have not succeeded in traditional schools, can succeed academically and socially. The Foundation operates the Maya Angelou Public Charter Schools in DC, as well as the Maya Angelou Academy at New Beginnings’ secure facility for committed youth in Laurel, MD. Our students develop the academic, social, and employment skills they need to build rewarding lives and promote positive change.

If you are interested in learning more about See Forever, please visit our website at www.seeforever.org.

The Touchstone

At the Maya Angelou Schools, the key to our success is rooted in building trusting, respectful and nurturing relationships with each other.  We strive to create safe spaces for all to be able to reach their limitless potential.  We are at our best when we work together to ensure the unique needs of our community are met.  We empower each other to grow successfully so we can see forever!  This is how we live the Maya Way, even when no one is watching.

Core Beliefs and Desired Characteristics

Candidates should possess an unyielding belief that with the appropriate supports, coupled with high expectations, all students can significantly improve their academic skills, and can develop pro-social and culturally normative behaviors that will enable them to succeed at school and beyond. Candidates should also believe that all students have strengths and talents and that good teachers help students find them and use them to address weaknesses or overcome fears. In addition, candidates should exhibit the following characteristics:

  • Honesty & Integrity: Does not cut corners ethically. Earns trust and maintains confidence. Does what is right, not just what is politically expedient. Speaks plainly and truthfully. 
  • Analytical skills: able to structure and process qualitative or quantitative data and draw insightful conclusions from it; exhibits a probing mind and achieves penetrating insights 
  • Persistence: Demonstrates tenacity and willingness to go the distance to get something done.
  • Strategic thinking/visioning: Able to see and communicate the big picture in an inspiring way; determines opportunities and threats through comprehensive analysis of current and future trends
  • Flexibility/adaptability: Adjusts quickly to changing priorities and conditions; copes effectively with complexity and change
  • Enthusiasm: Exhibits passion and excitement over work. Has can do attitude.

Position Overview

The Maya Angelou Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. is currently seeking an overnight Residential Counselor to manage one of our homes for students needing additional support. 

The Maya Angelou Public Charter School provides residential homes for a small number of students who need an alternative place to live in order to reach their potential.  Our residential program provides gender-segregated homes (2 male, 4 female) to students who benefit from the stability of a safe, supportive, and structured environment. We strive for the positive development of attitudes, behaviors and virtues enabling adolescents to make productive decisions in school and the larger context of the world. Residential students participate in programming that includes cultural/social activities, individual and group counseling, workshops, chores, and tutoring.  The students in the program are encouraged to develop the academic, social, and life skills needed to be upstanding, responsible citizens.

Responsibilities

Residential Counselors engage in a wide range of activities including:

  • Creating a safe, supportive, and nurturing environment that is conducive to achieving healthy adolescent development during the school year.
  • Developing a set of routines with residential students that will help them to develop pro-social and healthy habits around homework, personal hygiene and cleanliness, teamwork, responsibility, and independence.
  • Maintain consistent structure, set high expectations for students, and hold students accountable to improve their overall performance in school, in the program, and explain how this translates to the real-world. 
  • Reporting to school campus for a minimum of 10-15 hours per week, attending necessary meetings for residential students, being an active member of the Maya Angelou Community, and as otherwise requested.
  • Reporting directly to the Director of Residential Programs with attendance, behavioral, academic data for all students in the residence, etc. 
  • Ensuring that residents comply with basic guidelines around timeliness, cleanliness, and security. 
  • Developing and managing group workshops, outings, and activities for residential students.
  • Working with residential students one-on-one and in group settings on school work, academic skill-building, and developing positive decision making skills as well as healthy values and lifestyles.
  • Working one-on-one and in groups with students in crisis situations to help diffuse tempers, consider alternatives, and reach peaceful and thoughtful strategies for the future.
  • Managing the day-to-day functioning of the residential home including meal preparation, security, basic shopping, upkeep, maintenance and budgeting.
  • Communicating regularly with students’ parents and families, around student performance and basic coordination between families and school.
  • Communicating regularly with students’ teachers and other school staff, to ensure that students are held to high standards—academically, behaviorally, socially, and in regards to timeliness and attendance.

Qualifications

Ideal candidates will have earned an associate’s or bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, and:

  • Have two to five years of experience working with urban teens.
  • Understand the level of commitment required to live and work with teenagers five days a week, day in and day out, and be fully committed to this lifestyle. (During the academic school year, Residential students check in on alternating Sundays and Mondays and they check out to return to their homes on Fridays.) 
  • Place improved academic performance, life skill building, and the development of healthy habits around study and preparation, at the center of residential life.
  • Have a perspective that emphasizes the use of strengths and resiliency to understand the behavior of youth.
  • Have an interest in working with parents and families of students who live in the residence to develop successful relationships between families and school staff.
  • Want to engage in collaborative efforts with daytime teaching faculty to assist students with developing appropriate study habits at home and at school as well as healthy social and emotional outlooks that will help them succeed in class and beyond.
  • Want to help students, the majority of whom have not been successful in their past school environments, address proactively a variety of emotional deficits that make it difficult for them to form trusting, lasting, relationships with adults and others.
  • Bring the idea and the practice of social justice into a living environment.
  • Work well with colleagues, students, parents, and others. We believe that talented co-workers can make all of us more successful, particularly when we work together to share effective strategies, build meaningful relationships, celebrate achievements, and address critical needs. 
  • Embrace a school culture that requires all staff to work beyond the traditional school hours and the traditional school year in order to create an environment filled with hope and high expectations, where students will radically improve their academic, employment, and social skills.

Salary and Benefits

Our salaries are comparable to those of other public schools in the District of Columbia area. In addition, See Forever offers a robust benefits plan, including health care coverage, HSA/FSA accounts, commuter benefits, student loan refinancing options, a 401k retirement savings plan, and the opportunity to positively impact students with a broad range of experiences and backgrounds.

See Forever is an equal opportunity employer. We believe a diverse staff is a better, more effective staff.

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