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The Island School was founded in 1999 and offers an independent semester abroad program in The Bahamas for high school sophomores or juniors. The 14-week course of study includes class work in ecology, applied scientific research, history, math, art, and English literature, as well as physical and outdoor education programs and a weekly community service component. In order to make each semester successful, we look for energetic educators with highly developed organizational and improvisational skills, a willingness to stretch beyond traditional job descriptions and the ability to take care of themselves in an island environment lacking the traditional “big city” comforts. The success of our program depends on the energy and expertise of the people we bring together. Therefore, composing a team of educators who work toward common goals for the benefit of the larger community is the focus of our applicant search. As a member of our community, you will experience the day-to-day challenges of living on an island while also discovering the rewards of working with young people and other educators who share a similar dedication to academic rigor, environmental issues, and local culture.
South Eleuthera is country living. There are no hospitals on island; however, there is a doctor who serves South Eleuthera and a number of nurses that operate clinics in every settlement. For emergencies, The Island School has a well-tested medical evacuation protocol that can deliver patients to a hospital in Nassau or South Florida. There are no Starbucks, fast food restaurants, etc. The local markets have a limited selection of goods, and there is one bank ATM within an hour of the school. Free long-distance phone service and internet access is provided by the school and is widely available. Though not perfect, our phone and internet connections are very reliable. US cell phones work well on South Eleuthera, but the rates are high (roughly $2.30/minute to call the States); Bahamian cell phones are a reliable and inexpensive option for local purposes.
Teaching at The Island School
While the primary responsibility of our teachers is to deliver progressive, thoughtful coursework in their area of expertise, they must also be able to juggle myriad responsibilities beyond academics. This includes supporting the morning exercise program, doing chores alongside the students, and countless smaller duties associated with running a boarding program, often requiring a presence into the evenings and over the weekends. We encourage you to apply if you have experience and/or expertise in our core subject areas: human and marine ecology; environmental science; mathematics; environmental art; English literature; and history. Medical training, experience in SCUBA instruction, kayaking and outdoor leadership skills are also beneficial. Finally, skills related to the general operation of a remote campus setting—facilities maintenance, gear maintenance, special event support, office support, and general administration—further enrich your candidacy.
Compensation is dependent on experience and may include housing and a health and dental plan, as well as salary. We welcome general applications, though applying for a specific position is recommended. For all positions, the most successful applicants will have demonstrated a career commitment to teaching and temperamental fitness for a remote community setting. While we do seek technicians, our craft is teaching. We seek people who by their nature help people and organizations learn. The following is a brief summary of each course in our curriculum. Please see the curriculum pages of our website for more information on any one class.
…challenges students to consider the role humans play in local and global ecosystems. Students must synthesize ideas from ecology, natural history, and anthropology in this trans-disciplinary, field-based course. Applicants for these positions should have a background in at least one of the following areas: ecology, environmental science, anthropology, marine science, or research science.
…uses SCUBA diving and free-diving to explore the beautiful waters and near-shore ecosystems surrounding Cape Eleuthera. Students use weekly dives to develop ecological literacy in natural history as well as the requisite dive skills that support these excursions. Applicants for this position should have a strong background in SCUBA instruction and a working knowledge of the Caribbean marine environment.
Literature of the Sea
…explores themes rooted in post-colonial Caribbean literature and addressed in Derek Walcott’s epic poem Omeros. Students practice the art of interpretation through seminar discussions and develop creative writing and speaking skills throughout the term. Applicants for these positions should have a strong background and skill set in either/both English literature and writing, and epic poetry.
Histories of The Bahamas
…focuses on the subjective experience of history by encouraging students to learn directly from local Bahamians during immersion experiences that include community explorations and Community Outreach at the Deep Creek Middle School. Applicants for these positions should have a background in anthropology or oral history, and have experience participating in or leading cultural immersion opportunities.
…is currently in an exciting transitional phase. Formerly, our coursework centered on celestial navigation and classical mathematics problems stemming from the history of mathematics and navigation. This past spring, however, our mathematics team re-imagined the problem-based mathematics curriculum to focus on statistical understanding of data related to sustainability and research.
Land & Environmental Art
…encourages students to develop a personal relationship with the landscape, provides them with tools to become keen observers of their surroundings, and requires them to view the natural world as both the canvass and materials for their artwork. Applicants for these positions should have a strong background in the visual arts (drawing and sculpture, especially), art education, or environmental art.
Applied Scientific Research
…allows students to apply concepts from multiple disciplines taught at The Island School to field-based projects of local and regional significance. Students work collaboratively with research advisors at the Cape Eleuthera Institute to address problems in The Bahamas. Applicants for these positions should have a strong background in research science or science education. Also, most appointments for research teachers happen through Cape Eleuthera Institute (CEI). Be sure to check their website, www.ceibahamas.org, for openings there.
Applying to work at The Island School
We receive over 500 resumes each year for a very limited number of positions. Consequently, we cannot respond personally to every submission. Instead, we rely on a hiring website to process and organize the submissions. If you would like to submit an application for any of the positions listed below, please closely follow these steps:
- Before anything else, gather as much information as possible about our institution and the position you would like to apply for. We are a unique working environment that is not suited for everyone. So be sure to read all information, understanding the pertinent sections of the website before you send an inquiry or application.
- Organize your cover letter, resume, reference contact information, and any other relevant materials into a single PDF file saved as your full name (ie: “Jane Smith.pdf”). You may include letters of reference if you choose; however, we require only contact information for your references as we are more interested in contacting them directly.
- When your materials are ready, submit them as an email with attachment to the email address: email@example.com. Also, be sure to specify clearly what position and subject you are applying for (ie, Human Ecology Teaching Fellowship or Histories full-time postion). If you would like to apply for more than one subject, please submit to your first choice only, and specify in the body of the email the other disciplines you would like to be considered for.
- You will receive a confirmation email within 10-15 minutes of your submitting an application. Because it is sent from Catchthebest.com, it may get filtered as junk mail. Be sure to check your junk email folder if you do not see an auto-reply shortly after submitting.
- We regret that we cannot follow up with every applicant, so some applicants may not hear from us beyond the auto-reply. Individualized contact with other candidates will come over email. Hiring for most full-time (year-long) positions begins in January and concludes by June. However, we recruit and hire Teaching Fellows and Master Teachers each semester.
- January 1 – March 31: Applications accepted
- February – March: Interviews via Skype video
- March- May: On-site visits for finalists
- May-June: Contracts offered
Current Positions at The Island School
- Head of School (Opening 2014-2015)
- Master Teacher in Residence (Single Semester)
- Communications Intern
- Assistant Preschool Teacher
- Office Clerk School Store Assistant
- Marine Ecology Teacher
- Humanities Teacher
Current Positions within CEI and DCMS
Please follow the links below to see a description of the position(s) and the current openings.
- Research Position
- Facilities Technician
- Sustainability Teacher
- Applied Scientific Research Department Head
- Flats Ecology Intern
- Sustainable Fisheries Intern
- Purchasing Agent
- Shark Research and Conservation Program Intern
- CEI Outdoor Education Intern
- Mathematics Teacher
- CEI Outdoor Education Program Apprentice
- Queen Conch Internship
- English Teacher
- We post specific full-time teaching openings as they become available, but welcome applications for teaching positions at any time. (Please follow the above directions and submit your application to firstname.lastname@example.org)