Language & Literacy Instructional Specialist (English)


Do you believe in finding and nurturing students’ gifts and passions, rather than teaching to standardized tests? Would you like to empower students to explore and examine their lives and the world in a deep and critical way? Do you believe literacy and critical thinking can be taught in cross-curricular experiences that are meaningful to teens? Would you like to work at an intentionally-diverse, tuition-free boarding school based on relationships and respect?

At Eagle Rock, our teachers work together to develop empowering, relevant learning experiences for our students, setting them up for success in college, career, and their communities.  We care about each other’s success, and we work hard to constantly innovate. We are committed to our students, and through that experience, contributing to progressive secondary school reform efforts across the country. If you haven’t had a chance yet, check out our website ( to get a better feel for the School and Professional Development Center. 

We’ll be honest; Eagle Rock isn’t for everybody.  If you believe students need to be “taught lessons,” that instructors should follow a standard curriculum, or that learning is limited to the traditional school day; then this school is not for you.  If you are looking for a job rather than a lifestyle, you won’t fit here. However, if you have boundless energy; fierce advocacy for, and inherent trust in, students; a desire to collaborate with peers; and a passion for social justice; then we want to hear from you.

POSITION TITLE:  Language & Literacy Instructional Specialist (IS)

REPORTS TO:  Director of Curriculum

JOB OBJECTIVE: The Language & Literacy Instructional Specialist serves as part of Eagle Rock’s instructional team.  In general, the position is involved in creating and delivering innovative curriculum, leading an instructional focus on literacy, and creating empowering and creative opportunities for students to explore and learn more about themselves as learners in and out of the classroom.

QUALIFICATIONS: BA/BS in English or related Degree(s); masters preferred, teaching experience in a wide variety of course designs and program models; extensive experience working with adolescents; strong organizational and leadership skills; desire and ability to reform educational practices. 

Ability to work collaboratively both inside and outside the classroom. Experience working with diverse populations including a mix of LGBTQ students; students from low-income backgrounds; and students from diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds— all of whom have not found success in traditional educational settings.

The successful candidate for this position will possess the following attributes: a deep love of work with high school students; demonstrated success in collaborative work with colleagues; adept interpersonal skills; a sense of humor; visionary thinking; a commitment to lifelong learning; seasoned judgment; and an appreciation for the fact that working at a residential school is more of a calling than a job.

Specific to their instructional area, the successful candidate for this position will possess the following attributes:  experience teaching high school English with a wide variety of course designs and program models; experience in CES/Big Picture/Expeditionary Learning or similar progressive schools; experience with interdisciplinary curriculum design, experiential education, project-based learning, literacy across the curriculum, and Understanding by Design process helpful.



  • Develop, implement, and oversee the English curriculum (including literacy across the curriculum support to all instructors, teach literature and research, etc.). Includes opportunity to expand the current program; develop curriculum relevant to our diverse student body; co-teach interdisciplinary classes;
  • Create and deliver innovative curriculum experiences for students that integrate with various content areas and remain committed to our instructional values. Work with department instructors to develop an annual plan for course offerings.
  • Create and implement programmatic ways to engage students in literacy opportunities outside of class time
  • Collaborate with other instructors to create and implement a vision around empowering opportunities for students to engage in literacy opportunities across the curriculum
  • Develop curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices that are relevant to schools serving similar demographics around the country
  • Support student involvement in the PDC national work
  • Supervise student chores in the academic building; manage department resources
  • Develop and maintain department budget
  • Mentor/supervise a Public Allies teaching fellow

Student Support

  • Support adolescents as they are confronted with a variety of issues related to their personal and academic growth
  • Create opportunities for students to participate in evening activities that excite and empower them, to increase their engagement in the community and find new ways to be learning new things
  • Participate in internal professional development to better support students

School-Wide Involvement

  • Be open to working as a residential Houseparent for student housing.
  • Participate as an active member of one of the residential house teams including acting as an advisor.
  • Co-create and deliver engaging student programming opportunities as part of an evening program team. Regularly work one night a week on this team and with students. 
  • Engage in weekend programming and supervision of students through the rotating weekend staff schedule. 
  • Contribute to our national mission by engaging with visiting educators, facilitating work with schools around the country, and being of service to our professional development team
  • Perform other duties related to being an active community member at ERS including advisories, community meetings, service projects, house team participation, driving, and other events.
  • Share your unique skills with the school (e.g., sports, spiritual practices, poetry, yoga, hiking, magic tricks, etc…).
  • Be an active member of the ERS community beyond this job description.


Competitive salary and benefits package.

Application Materials

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, and 3 professional references (phone number and email address) to  Clarifying questions can be sent to  No phone calls, please. We ONLY accept electronic submissions. NO paper or fax materials will be considered.

Hiring Timeline

We are committed to finding the right person.  This timeline is offered to give applicants a sense of our ideal process.  We intend to do as much as we possibly can to stick to this plan. However, we do realize that there might be a circumstance with the best candidate that would require us to shift our plan.  We hope the right person is not dissuaded from applying by incongruence between their commitments and our timeline.

Hiring Timeline

Application Deadline:  Rolling until filled

Phone Interviews:   Early March

On-Site Interviews:   Late March

Start Date:  August 31, 2020 (earlier start date is possible)

Eagle Rock is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer and does not tolerate any form of unlawful discrimination. All employment decisions at Eagle Rock are based on merit and to the principle of equal employment opportunity. In keeping with both the letter and spirit of this policy, Eagle Rock will continue to recruit, hire, train, and promote into all job levels the most qualified persons without regard to race, color, religion, genetic information, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, veteran’s status or any other protected characteristic. Therefore members of racial/ethnic minorities and other protected classes are encouraged to apply.