Level Playing Field Institute Computer Science (CS) Workshop TA in United States
Program: SMASH Academy
Title: Computer Science (CS) Workshop TA
Location: Virtual (100% Remote)
Reports to: Site Director
Position Type: Part-time, temporary
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 typically a five week, 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.
Due to the current global pandemic, SMASH will be pivoting to an abbreviated, 4-week SMASH Virtual model for Summer 2021. Though scholars will no longer partake in the residential component of SMASH, we are committed to providing highly impactful programming to our scholars.
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.
Reporting to the Site Director, the Computer Science (CS) Workshop TA will play an integral role in supporting and sustaining the transformative educational experience that SMASH Scholars need to pursue, persist, and succeed in STEM. CS Workshop TAs will support scholars alongside CS Workshop Facilitators, guiding a group of around 35 scholars through project-based learning centered around CS skills and will meet with the CS Workshop Facilitator before and after workshops to ensure alignment around scholar support.
Working at SMASH Academy is about professional growth, personal 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.
This is a 5-week assignment, with an additional commitment of training prior to launch, and a half-day close out after SMASH (see below for dates). You must be available for all training and program dates.
Staff Training: June 29 - July 3 (National - All staff) | TBD (Site-specific dates)
Virtual SMASH Academy: July 5 - July 30
Post-Virtual SMASH Academy: Week of August 2nd
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. In addition to facilitating scholars’ development of CS skills, TAs 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 TAs will empower scholars to take ownership of their own learning and teach through inquiry rather than providing answers for scholars. Though the CS Workshop Facilitator will own the majority of the facilitation to ground scholars in the skills, the TAs will provide a critical role of ensuring scholars grasp the skills and are on track to meet deliverables. This will require observing scholars, gauging attainment, and stepping in to support when needed. 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.
TAs will be working with scholars virtually and will need to embrace and model flexibility, adaptability, and a solution-oriented mindset.
Summer learning will culminate in a final project presentation and the chance to win a national competition consisting of competitors from all regions.
This is a 100% remote position. The position can be done virtually, from a home office or, if feasible, from any virtual location with reliable Internet connection (at least 25 Mbps download speed). The responsibilities listed below demand a quiet space and we expect facilitators to provide their own equipment. (If you cannot provide your own equipment, please speak with your Site Director.) You will need a personal computer (desktop or laptop) that has a working webcam, speaker and microphone for video conferencing capabilities (i.e. Zoom, Google Hangouts, Cisco Webex).
Key responsibilities include but are not limited to those listed below.
What you will do:
Attend Training (see dates above)
Adhere to Structure of Curriculum Provided by SMASH
TA CS Workshop Sessions
1 hr sessions 4 days/week (see sample schedule)
Alternate between whole group, small group, and individual support
Support virtual learning through inquiry
Take attendance and communicate absences with Site Director and/or PC
Keep track of time
Ensure technical logistics are in order (e.g. mute participants, set up break out rooms, alert PC of technical issues)
Communicate with Facilitator to ensure smooth lesson delivery
Guide conversation between participants, ensuring all voices are heard
Continuously assess scholar learning, provide feedback, and pivot as needed
Meet with Facilitator pre and post workshop to ensure roles clarity and ensure outcomes are met
Log student achievement data on a weekly basis
Support Site Directors during Friday Sessions
1.5 hrs every Friday
Attend Weekly Staff Meetings
Attend Weekly Site Community Meetings
Attend Staff Closeout
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:
Successful completion of a college-level introductory Computer Science course (currently minoring or majoring in Computer Science or related field preferred)
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 a plus
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
Apply for this position below and ensure you can make the training and program dates (see dates 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.
This is a non-exempt position. The total base compensation for this position is $2,822, which includes 60 hours of training in May and June (a combination of synchronous and asynchronous, including the weekend of scholar onboarding) and 6 hours of closeout one week after Virtual Academy -- (returning bonus may also be available). 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.