At 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 16, in the International Lounge, a representative from a network of classical charter schools presented an informational session to recruit students to apply to become teachers there.
Anne Wilcox, the Great Hearts Academy representative, shared with the students about the school’s founding and how students can get involved as future teachers.
According to Wilcox, Great Hearts Academy, a network of classical schools in Arizona and Texas, was founded in 2004 as a charter school. Charter schools are publicly funded but are able to form their own curricula. Great Hearts Academy’s curriculum is essentially the same throughout their 26 locations, which educates about 17,000 students.
The curriculum focuses on classic books and Socratic discussion. This Socratic discussion, said Wilcox, helps students discover and own truths that they find with guidance. The school also uses the transcendentals, such as goodness and beauty, to help the students discover truth.
As Wilcox explained, community is very important to the school, so the teaching style is collaborative. In kindergarten through fifth grade, there is a lead teacher and a full-time teacher aid teaching a maximum of 30 students. Grades six through 12 are capped at 25 students to preserve Socratic discussion. If there are too many students, the flow of ideas in the classroom is compromised, said Wilcox.
Great Hearts Academy hired 375 faculty members this past year and is not showing any signs of slowing down, said Wilcox. It teaches kindergarten through 12th grade in the classical tradition and is always looking for teachers. Prospective teachers do not need a teaching license. They do, however, need expertise and passion in their subject area.
Great Hearts Academy has recognized the expertise and passion of several Franciscan University of Steubenville alumni, which is why they come back year after year to recruit.
Wilcox said that prospective teachers may apply online at greatheartsamerica.org/careers if they are at all interested. All future teachers will have an orientation the summer before they start teaching so that they understand the culture of the school.