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FAQ

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Working at Success Academy

Why teach?

Big social impact. 

Millions of American children are locked out of economic opportunity because of unequal access to quality public schools. When you bring your passion and talent to the classroom, you have an indelible positive impact on the students you teach, opening up opportunities and experiences that can change their lives.

Built-in community.

Teaching is the best profession to ease into your post-college life. Not only does it offer a competitive salary, great benefits, and plenty of days off, but you have a built-in community where you forge close bonds with talented, diverse, and mission-driven peers.

Transferable skills.

Teaching rapidly builds vital skills that are relevant in almost any field, including public speaking, project and time management, data analysis, leadership, and interpersonal skills.

Why teach at a public charter school?

Equitable opportunity. 

Charter schools are unzoned public schools that by law admit anyone who applies by blind lottery. Charters provide educational opportunity to low-income families and communities of color that have historically been unable to access great public schools due to real estate costs in high-performing districts and de jure or de facto segregation.

Entrepreneurial culture.

Charter schools are funded and regulated by the state but are run (in most states) by non-profit organizations. In exchange for strict accountability for academic outcomes, parent satisfaction, and fiscal responsibility, they are freed from layers of top-down regulation that too often hamstring district schools. The result is an entrepreneurial environment where educators have the flexibility to innovate and evolve to better serve children and families.

Alternative route to teaching. 

Education degrees are not required to start teaching in most charter schools. Top-performing charter school networks offer individuals of all backgrounds preparation and training grounded in research-based best practices rather than credits and credentialing.

Why teach at Success Academy?

Proving what’s possible.

Educators at Success Academy work in a dynamic, innovative culture to help kids fulfill their highest potential. Through their commitment, their love, and their drive for excellence, our teachers are empowering kids to lead the nation in academic achievement.

Immersive training.

Success Academy provides unprecedented support to its teachers, making a background in education unnecessary. New teachers receive 20 weeks of training each year, starting with an immersive summer experience, and receive daily coaching, feedback, and guidance from a team of leaders and mentors.

Whole-child model.

SA teachers have the pleasure of educating the whole child: Leading kids on frequent field trips, watching their talents and passions bloom in daily science, arts, chess, debate, and sports, and cultivating their unique ideas in classrooms focused on learning by doing.

SA is fun!

We take our commitment to kids incredibly seriously, but we never forget to laugh. Each day at SA is filled with fun: From dance parties and dress-up days to celebrations and snowball fights, our educators go above and beyond to make the school day fun — for both scholars and adults!

Diversity.

SA is deeply committed to building a highly diverse community of educators and roughly half of our school staff are people of color. All of us benefit from having colleagues with a wide range of perspectives and backgrounds. We cannot fulfill our mission of giving kids a world-class education without educators who reflect and enrich scholars’ lives with a diverse range of experiences and insights.

Leader for Equity and Change.

We are committed to helping educators across the country improve schools and close opportunity gaps. As innovators and thought leaders, we share our curriculum and approach on the Success Academy Ed Institute, provide free training and workshops for educators at The Robertson Center, and advocate to change policies that prevent children from having access to great schools.

Career Advancement.

SA is a fast-growing, entrepreneurial organization that recognizes, celebrates, and rewards strong performance. Educators who excel in their role enjoy rapid career growth.

What makes Success Academy different than other charters?

  • We have produced extraordinary results for kids, and we value the whole child, which means we devote considerable resources to providing art, dance, music, chess, debate, sports, coding and technology.
  • We have a dual mission: to build exceptional, world-class public schools and change educational policy so all kids have a fighting chance.

What is Success Academy’s instructional philosophy?

  • Instruction at Success is more child-centered than at most schools. Everything we do in the classroom is designed to get kids to do the “thinking work” — where they ask each other questions, critique hypotheses, and share different ways of solving problems.
  • All of our scholars have science five days per week and all of our elementary school scholars learn chess as part of the curriculum.
  • We give children the opportunity to explore their passions through instruction in performing and visual arts, sports, and debate.

What is the demographic breakdown of Success Academy students? Staff?

  • Across our network, 56% of scholars are African American, 30% are Hispanic, 6% are white, 4% are multi-racial and 3% are Asian. About three-quarters of scholars are low-income.
  • About 44% of our teachers are non-white, which is more than NYC as a whole (40%) and far exceeds the national average (18%).

What is the work-life balance like?

  • Work-life balance is important! We offer a number of supports to help staff members maintain it, from learning time management skills to on-site exercise classes and happy hours. We strongly encourage staff to communicate with their managers if they are struggling in this area.
  • However, this work is hard and not for everyone, but for the right person it can be very rewarding. Our teachers sometimes work long hours in the service of kids — setting the bar high and doing whatever it takes to help scholars clear it.
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Remote Teaching

How will new hires be supported, trained, and coached on their teaching during remote teaching?

Support for teachers in the remote environment is similar in many ways to support on our campuses. We have found that the biggest difference is that teachers require less help in the area of classroom management, thus support is even more targeted on content, planning, and instructional strategies. Teachers, including first-year teachers, receive coaching and feedback from instructional leaders in the following ways:

  1. Leaders sit in on and provide support during planning meetings when grade teams study lessons and student work and develop teaching and questioning strategies.
  2. Teachers participate in remote professional development sessions just as they would in person.
  3. Leaders sit in on teachers’ VC lessons to observe and give feedback, and they observe written comments teachers give on student work so they can coach them on providing effective, actionable feedback.

What advice or resources is SA providing a new teacher who wants to start preparing now to teach in person or remotely in the fall?

We recommend the documentary The Lottery to get a sense of what’s at stake for New York City kids and families as they seek out a great school. For reading, Founder and CEO Eva Moskowitz is a particular fan of the book The Classroom Management Secret by veteran teacher Michael Linsin. New SA teachers read this book and learn its methods during summer training — it is short, digestible, and offers a succinct how-to guide for creating classrooms where kids are engaged, invested, and having a great time. Finally, you might also read The Education of Eva Moskowitz to gain a deeper understanding of SA’s mission and the activism that enabled us to grow to 45 schools.

What is SA doing to improve educational access and equity in the time of COVID-19?

The most important thing we are doing for equity in the time of COVID-19 is providing a robust remote schooling experience for our scholars and holding ourselves accountable for their learning. Despite the pandemic, we are committed to ensuring our kids continue to learn and achieve mastery over essential skills and knowledge so they can progress and excel academically. We have also shared our approach to remote learning with other educators and parents, and we share online resources through the Robertson Center and the SA website.

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Referral

How do I refer a candidate?

Advise all interested candidates to apply for a current opening on our website: SuccessCareers.org.

If you are not a current employee, candidates must select “I was referred” and choose “By A Non-Employee”. HCSS will reach out to the candidate for the non-employee’s contact information once the bonus eligibility period has been satisfied.

If you are a current employee, candidates must select “I was referred” and choose “By A Current Employee” and list employee’s name and email address.

How and when will I receive my bonus?

The reward grants a $500 bonus for referring any candidate who is hired for any full-time position throughout our network. (All monies are subject to relevant federal, state, and city taxes.)

You will receive your referral bonus once the referred full-time candidate has been employed at Success Academy Charter Schools for 90 days and in good standing. A member of our HR Team will contact you near the 90-day mark to request up-to-date contact information to ensure that we can mail your bonus in a timely manner.

Referral bonus cannot be issued for candidates that were hired through a staffing agency.

How can I spread the word?

In addition to reaching out directly to those you think may be interested, consider sharing posts from our LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter on your own social media pages. Remember that if someone applies after seeing your post, they will still need to list you as a reference.

Please note, only one person can be listed as a referral.

COVID-19 Update: In August, SA schools opened for all 20,000 of our K-12 students using a fully remote model, which will continue through at least December 2020. We are actively hiring for the 2021-22 school year. Click here for details.