Director of Teaching and Learning
Director of Teaching and Learning
July 1, 2021 Start
Westridge is an independent, forward-thinking girls’ school committed to educating intellectually adventurous thinkers, and courageous, compassionate leaders.
The true power of a girls’ school lies not in the absence of boys but rather in having girls at the center of all we do. From curricular decisions and pedagogy to our athletic fields and unique human development program, the interest of girls always come first at Westridge.
Westridge School is an independent day school enrolling over 500 girls, grades 4-12, founded in 1913 and located in Pasadena, California with a long-standing reputation for the excellence of its academic program. Westridge seeks a Director of Teaching and Learning (DTL) to assist and lead in planning, directing, coordinating, implementing, and evaluating the functions of curriculum, instruction, and assessment which align with the school’s strategic plan and academic initiatives. The DTL leads faculty development, including mentoring, coaching, and data collection, focused on ensuring that faculty are fully supported in realizing the school’s curricular vision. This vision includes building and supporting an inclusive learning environment, through collaboration with the new Director of Equity, that honors each learner’s identity and enables all students to have equitable access to the academic program. Reporting to the Senior Director for Enrollment Management and Student Outcomes and collaborating with the academic leadership team, the DTL will be a key partner in providing an exceptional learning environment for all Westridge students. This position begins July 1, 2021.
Westridge is committed to educating intellectually adventurous thinkers, and courageous, compassionate leaders. As a vibrant and diverse community, the school is grounded in the commitment to goodness in all aspects of life and learning. Students are encouraged to learn and thrive in new ways, to try new things, and to be resilient. The school balances challenging academics with a focus on leadership development, prioritizing physical and emotional wellness and treating oneself, others, and the world with integrity, respect, responsibility, and inclusion. At Westridge, girls gain the confidence and courage to stand up and speak out as they take their place in an ever-changing world.
Strategic priorities and opportunities for the Director of Teaching and Learning include:
Collaborating with academic leaders in undertaking a comprehensive curriculum review to improve consistency of philosophy and practices across the 4-12 arc of the academic program.
Encouraging innovation as asserted in the strategic plan through professional development and the demonstration and exchange of best practices, with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and social emotional learning (SEL).
Re-envisioning the nature and design of advanced studies in partnership with the Division Directors and Department Chairs and developing appropriate ways to challenge students and expand deep and meaningful learning at all grade levels.
Supporting the development of a more diverse and inclusive curriculum in collaboration with the Division Directors, Department Chairs, and the new Director of Institutional Equity.
Cultivating a culture of coaching and mentoring by consulting on the implementation and review of the formative review process for faculty development including training for classroom observation and assisting in the goal-setting process.
Inspiring and empowering teachers to use technology in innovative ways to enrich teaching and learning.
The Position:Qualities of the next Director of Teaching and Learning
This is an exciting challenge for someone who is keen to work with a nationally recognized girls’ school to review and inform a comprehensive program update focused on academic excellence, innovation, and relevance. The ideal candidate will be an educational leader with both classroom and administrative experience. This individual will also have experience designing and mapping diversity-responsive curriculum across grade levels and the skills necessary to mentor and develop faculty. This position is responsible for providing instructional guidance, informed by institutional data, and research-based strategies. The successful candidate will bring strong collaborative leadership skills, curriculum development, and teaching experience to this newly created role.
EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE AND SKILLS
- Master’s degree in an educational/related field, with a minimum of 5 years’ teaching experience required, preferably in an all girls’ environment
- Minimum 5 years’ relevant teaching and leadership experience preferred
- An understanding and appreciation for diversity, equity, and inclusion as essential components of a meaningful and challenging academic program
- Demonstrated understanding of the social and emotional learning needs of students, through training and/or experience
- Experience as a division director, department chair, or another educational leadership position preferred
- Experience working with Folio or other performance management software and/or system
- Knowledge of best pedagogical practices, innovative teaching methods, curriculum development, and assessment required
- Experience in data-informed decision making, data analysis, and evidence-based strategies
- Ability to embrace a collaborative work style and interact in a positive and proactive manner with all school constituencies
- Strong interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills
- Demonstrated experience and skill in the effective use of technology and integrating technological applications in the classroom
- Possess a strong commitment to the mission and vision of Westridge School
- An easy sense of humor
The Director of Teaching and Learning will play an essential role of leadership within the school community, partnering with academic leaders and faculty to implement the school’s goals related to curriculum development and innovation in support of its new strategic plan.
In addition, the Director will:
Curriculum, Pedagogy, and Assessment
- In collaboration with the division directors and the new Director of Equity, lead the continual development and implementation of an academic curriculum that reflects innovation and the DEI core values of the strategic plan.
- In consultation with the division directors and department chairs, advise on the design, mapping, development, and assessment of the 4 through 12 academic program, paying special attention to scope and sequence, divisional transitions, and student performance data
- Serve as a coach and partner to teachers in matters of teaching methods, assessment, and curriculum innovation and implementation, including the review and development of advanced studies at all levels
- Ensure that teaching and learning methodologies and practices are cohesive across divisions and align with the school’s mission, values, strategic initiatives, and current educational trends and research
- Establish continual assessment and review of the academic program of the school in collaboration with the academic leadership to evaluate effectiveness and to ensure a consistent experience for students across grade levels, disciplines, and divisions
- Identify opportunities and suggest methods for teacher collaboration, and interdisciplinary unit/course development in order to create a more purposeful and connected curriculum
- Collect and analyze data on student outcomes to inform decisions and strategies, including the review of standardized test results
- Collaborate with the instructional technology team to develop plans to leverage the power of technology to enrich teaching and learning and to meet the needs of diverse learners
- Serve as a member of the academic leadership team and Curriculum and Academic Standards Committee
Mentoring and Professional Development
- Manage the Westridge Research Initiative, identifying and disseminating information and resources to faculty/staff, parents, and students that will strengthen school practices and continue to position Westridge as an educational thought leader in girls’ education
- Develop and lead orientation for new faculty in coordination with the Director of Human Resources
- Manage the faculty mentoring program that includes training and assigning mentors, developing and overseeing mentoring activities, monitoring mentoring relationships, evaluating the mentoring program’s effectiveness
- Develop, organize, and promote a professional development program that includes professional development days, professional development budgets, and a system for managing priorities, participation, and effectiveness (for on campus and local and national opportunities)
- Develop and maintain a cycle of required topics to be addressed in professional development, building a three-year calendar of professional days and topics
- Organize and manage the process for faculty fellowships and grants
- Coordinate individual faculty development plans in collaboration with the faculty member and division directors
- Assist with the implementation and ongoing management of the School’s professional development platform
- Build skills and provide opportunities that help recognize, respect, and embrace diversity of all kinds, and contribute to a culture of inclusion
- Model flexibility in implementing best learning practices
- Participate in the greater life of the divisions and school
- Take on other duties as needed
We believe education should be intellectually challenging, reflective, discussion-based, student-centered, and spirited. That students, especially girls, learn best when they are deeply connected with their learning. That students thrive on challenge and hard work when their studies are meaningful and purposeful. That experiential education provides opportunities for deep learning that engages the hearts, as well as the minds, of students. That curriculum innovation is critical to preparing students for an ever-evolving world and to the continued relevance of a Westridge education.
Westridge was built on a mission to provide gender equity in education. Today, we draw upon the spirit of our founder, Mary Lowther Ranney, to expand diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) on our campus. These essential components of the Westridge program are imperative to the wellness of students in underrepresented populations and central to academic excellence for all Westridge students.
Motto: Surgere Tentamus. We Strive to Rise.
Enrollment: Over 500 girls in grades 4 through 12
Average class size: 15 students, 7:1 student-teacher ratio
Financial aid: Approximately 2.7 million to about 23% of the student body
Colors: Green and White
Westridge faculty members are talented, dedicated to their craft, and deeply committed to girls’ education and development. They are experts in their fields – nearly two-thirds hold advanced or doctoral degrees and nearly 90% have ten or more years of teaching experience. They are a faculty that challenges and motivates, inspires and nurtures, excites and mentors. They care about the lives of their students, and through example, strive to invest a lifelong love of learning in every student.
Westridge students are often described as self-assured, engaged, and comfortable in their own skins. From grade 4 onward, their voices are front and center, and they are taught to think critically and independently and encouraged to consider their impact on others and the world around them. As a result, Westridge students and alumnae are confident women, creative thinkers, and catalysts for action.
Located in Pasadena, California, the Westridge campus is intentionally designed to support its students to grow and thrive. Girls make the campus their own--from climbing the trees (an unofficial school tradition!), gathering on the library patio, and sprinting across Ayrshire Courtyard to claim their spot in line at the Commons for lunch. You will see them hard at work tinkering in the STEAMWork Design Studio (a lab for imagining and inventing) and you will hear the strains of the orchestra rehearsal floating across campus from Braun Auditorium.
When you look closer, you will see that every inch of the campus has a rich history that spans more than 100 years. The school has been located on Madeline Drive since the days of its founding in the early 1900s, and has expanded from the single house that once constituted the whole of the school, to an expansive, park-like campus nestled into a quiet, residential neighborhood. Through the decades, Westridge has acquired and maintained historic architecture, including Pitcairn House, a craftsman built in 1906 by the influential early 20th Century architects Greene & Greene. The unique blend of contemporary and historic buildings makes Westridge a dynamic learning environment. Please take our Westridge Virtual Tour at tour.westridge.org!
Located 11 miles north of Los Angeles, Pasadena is considered one of the best cities to live in California. With its Mediterranean climate, beautiful suburban neighborhoods, and multiple shopping districts, Pasadena boasts great restaurants and parks and is home to the Rose Parade, Rose Bowl, and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
Procedure to Apply
Westridge is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty and staff that are dedicated to providing an educational experience that is second to none. We strive to ensure that faculty and staff reflect our student body and our community goals.
Interested candidates must submit the following materials confidentially via: https://bit.ly/WestridgeDirofTL in one PDF attachment that includes in the following order:
- Cover letter expressing interest in the Westridge School Director of Teaching and Learning position
- Current résumé
- Statement of educational philosophy and practice
- List of three references including name, title, phone number, email address and professional relationship (references are contacted only with the candidate's permission)
Please email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone to Orpheus Crutchfield at (510) 685-0861.
Applications due: January 8, 2021
Semifinalists interviews: January 19-20, 2021
Finalists interviews: February 16-19, 2021
Announcement: March 1, 2021
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