Teaching Counselor

Position Title: Teaching Counselor

Reports To: Director of Curriculum

Nature of the Position: Seasonal and Residential

Dates: June 23 – August 16, 2016

Number of Positions: 1 — Teaching Counselor for above dates, including Soap Box Project : Art: Identity & Action described below.

Please note that the Social Change in Action and Spoken Word positions are filled.

Girls Leadership Description:

Girls Leadership teaches girls tools for assertive self-expression, emotional intelligence, and healthy relationships for a life of authentic leadership. Our programs include parent-daughter workshops, day camps, a residential summer program, professional development trainings for educators, parent education presentations, and after-school classes.

Program Description:

Girls Leadership seeks experienced teaching counselors dedicated to girls’ social and emotional development to work at its residential summer program at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA, from June 23 – August 16, 2016. The Girls Leadership Summer Program is divided into two, three-week sessions, serving girls in grades six through twelve (sixth graders attend for a ten-day session).

Girls Leadership Teaching Counselors join a team of outstanding professionals at a nationally recognized nonprofit. Teaching Counselors will work at the cutting edge of thinking and practice for girls’ social and emotional development; practice the techniques of educational theater; and experience a unique opportunity to teach and mentor girls outside of the student-teacher structure. The foundation of the Girls Leadership curriculum is educational theater. We prefer applicants with experience teaching arts-integrated curricula, but all interested educators should apply. As part of the application process, we may ask you to submit an original lesson that uses a creative art as a teaching method.

Teaching Counselors will be matched with a specific grade for each session. For example, a Teaching Counselor may work with the 6th grade in Session 1 and then the 9th grade in Session 2. Within the 5 Teaching Counselor positions, we are specifically hiring 3 Teaching Counselors to lead our Session 2 Soapbox Projects. These 3 Teachers will work during Session 1 with grades 6 – 8 and then work with grades 10 – 12 during Session 2. The three Soapbox projects are Spoken Word, Art Identity & Action, and Social Change in Action. We are looking for Teachers to design, implement and teach their curriculum during Session 2. You can learn more about the basic structure and nature of the Soapbox projects on the Girls Leadership Website. Each one of the 3 Soap Box Project Teachers will be expected to write their own three-week curriculum overview by May 6, 2016 for review. Provided GL core content and tools will be expected to be included in the curriculum.

Each Teaching Counselor will work with a Residential Teaching Counselor. The Residential Teaching Counselor will support the Teaching Counselor in leading morning games and facilitating morning workshop during Session 1 and Session 2.

Art: Identity & Action Teaching Counselor  (position open)
We are looking for a Teacher who has a passion, background and experience working with youth around the process of visual investigation, 3-4 art mediums and teaching with a project-based approach. We dare our girls to dream they could spend three weeks hanging out with pencils, charcoal, pastels, watercolor, acrylics, paper, a blank journal, huge pieces of paper, and 15 creative sisters at your side. In the first week of the project we aim for girls to be learning about how different artists express what makes them unique, from Frida Kahlo’s deeply personal portraits, to Lichtenstein’s emotional cartoons. Every day the girls should get to experiment with the medium and message that reflects who they are. Then, in week two they will get a glimpse of art that was created to change the world, including graphic novels or detailed collages for example. In the final week of the program, each girl will choose to work on one piece of art based in drawing, painting, collage, or some combination of all three!

Spoken Word Teaching Counselor (position filled)
In past years Spoken Word has been a highlight of our summer program, also part of our weekend Arts Fest. We have turned three great days into three weeks! We are looking for a Teacher who has a passion, background and experience working with youth around the process of investigation, writing and performing. Spoken Word is a freeing, inspirational and fun place to experiment with the power of your own voice. In a world that often pressures us to conform and fear difference, we want to encourage girls to view their uniqueness as a strength. We seek a Teacher that can guide girls in digging through the layers of who they are and explore the landscapes of their identity – from the quirky parts of their personality, to their community, to the people and places they come from. We seek a Teacher that can teach literary devices, performance techniques, and elements of strong writing in order to bring the girls’ stories to life. The girls will have the opportunity to read others’ works, watch live spoken word performances and speak their own personal truth at the final community celebration.

Social Change in Action (position filled)
We are looking for a Teacher who has a passion, background and experience with youth activism with the ability to scaffold and scope through a project-based approach. You will guide girls in what inspires, support them in raising their voice and in learn how to get results. Girls will explore what they wish they could change in their neighborhood, city, country, etc. The girls will investigate topics such as race, class, sexuality, gender identity, religion, etc. and the impact on who they become. In this project girls will learn the skills to make their voice heard, including project design, some web design, collaborative thinking, editorial writing, art media for social change and more. Over three weeks the girls will create a project they’ll be proud of and has a reach for growth and sustainability in their worlds outside of their Girls Leadership summer experience. In the past, projects have been designed around the interests of small groups within even a larger project.

Girls Leadership staff help girls participate in “Girls Leadership magic” that allows them to take risks that they never thought possible and to build stronger friends than they’ve ever known. What does the Girls Leadership magic look like? It is 40 screaming girls, covered in face paint, playing kickball. It is you cheering for every single girl at bat and then watching each girl start to cheer for every other girl. It’s leading a group sing along (when you can’t carry a tune) under a tarp in the pouring rain. It’s acknowledging and supporting a girl’s real emotions, just when you thought you were done for the day. It’s about taking risks and being your real self in order to give girls the permission to do the same.

Teaching Counselors receive one day off every 7-8 days and two days off in between sessions. Working as a member of the Girls Leadership staff is a unique, exciting and demanding opportunity. Creating the Girls Leadership community requires hard work, long hours, and significant commitment. Staff must maintain a high level of energy, patience, professionalism, and compassion from early morning wake-up to evening staff meetings. This intense work schedule requires stamina and dedication. The result is an incredibly rewarding job transforming the lives of adolescent girls.

Additional Information:

Please be advised that this position entails teaching Girl Leadership-branded curriculum in the morning sessions. Educators are expected to closely follow the curriculum and will be trained to deliver this content. Applicants should be comfortable with this arrangement in advance of application. Educators will teach their own original curriculum for the arts-integrated projects in the afternoons.

Overall Staff Statement:

All Girls Leadership staff are active members in creating an inclusive summer program community. By engaging the fundamental concepts of the Girls Leadership curriculum, we work together to ensure that members of the community identities are celebrated. It is our collective responsibility to challenge and support each other and the girls to work together to create a more socially just and empowering Girls Leadership community.

Primary Responsibilities:

Before the program:

  • All 5 Teaching Counselors prepare for summer program work by planning a 12-session arts-based project for Session 1 and 2 by May 6, 2016, for review (2 Teachers may re teach the same project for Session 2)
  • 3 Soap Box Project (Spoken Word, Art: Identity & Action, and Social Change in Action) Teachers will be expected to write their own three-week curriculum overview for Session 2 by May 6, 2016, for review. These 3 Teachers do not teach an additional project during Session 2

During the program:

  • Create a safe, nurturing, inclusive community that celebrates each girl
  • Role model the values and skills of the Girls Leadership curriculum
  • Lead morning games four mornings a week for 45 minutes each day
  • Teach morning workshop four mornings a week for 1.5 hours each day
  • Teach projects four afternoons a week for 1 hour and 45 minutes each day
  • Lead an advisory group four days a week for 45 minutes each day
  • Accompany and support their advisory group for the ropes course field trip up to four times over the course of the summer
  • Engage in and support up to 3 – 4 evening activities each session
  • Engage in and support the Residential Staff one “Weekend Day” each week
  • Collaborate with Residential Teaching Counselors to facilitate morning games and workshop
  • Support, coach and mentor Residential Teaching Counselors
  • Provide constructive feedback and assessment of existing curriculum to the Director of Curriculum
  • Serve as a mandated reporter

Additional Responsibilities

  • Call each advisee’s family mid way through each session to update and check in
  • Participate in regular staff meetings and teacher meetings to debrief lessons and discuss girls’ progress
  • Engage in a seven full days of staff training at Mount Holyoke College, June 24 – 30
  • Engage in two full days of clean up, pack up and staff evaluation at Mount Holyoke College, August 14 & 15

A sample of a typical day for a Teacher

8:00        Breakfast

8:40        Games (4 days a week for 45 minutes)

9:30        Workshop (4 days a week for 1.5 hours)

12:00     Lunch

1:35        Advisory (4 days a week for 45 minutes)

2:30        Projects (4 days a week 1 hour and 45 minutes)

6:00        Dinner

7-9           Prep Time (or Evening Activity 2 – 3 nights a week) or (Teacher Meeting, 1 day a week for 1.5 hours)


Candidates must be at least 25 years of age and have experience teaching young people (graduate degree in education preferred) through interactive lessons. Employment is contingent upon a clear background check.

The ideal candidate will:

  • Ability to create an inclusive community through intentional language use, activities, and role modeling.
  • Ability to facilitate conversations about equity and inclusion.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to equity and inclusion practices
  • Demonstrate excellent cross-cultural communication skills
  • Demonstrate social and emotional intelligence
  • Demonstrate the ability to care for oneself during a demanding work schedule
  • Demonstrate a “can do” attitude
  • Have experience as a teaching artist and/or in educational theatre
  • Be engaged and connected to teaching and facilitating an existing curriculum
  • Possess experience creating and executing original lesson plans and projects
  • Be responsible and self-motivated
  • Have the ability to remain flexible and patient in the face of time pressure and multiple demands
  • Be detail-oriented and committed to excellence
  • Approach crisis management and challenges calmly, creatively, and proactively
  • Approach challenges calmly, creatively and proactively
  • Work effectively with others as part of a team
  • Open to and participate in professional observation and regular feedback
  • Be passionate about girls’ empowerment and leadership


  • $4,900 for eight weeks of summer program inclusive of staff training, June 23 – August 16, 2016
  • Room and board at Mount Holyoke College for June 23 – August 15, 2016
  • Total travel reimbursement, for arriving to campus in June and leaving in August, is not to exceed $200 total if traveling beyond a 150 mile radius one-way from Mount Holyoke College. Point of origin and distance needs to be confirmed with the Summer Program Director before travel.
  • Upon arrival only, Girls Leadership will pick up staff arriving to Bradley International Airport, Amherst Bus Stop and Springfield Amtrak station. Girls Leadership is not able to accommodate transportation after the summer due to limited vehicle access.

To apply:
Applications will be reviewed and processed in the order received. Applications are accepted until the position is filled. This job posting will be removed once the position is filled. Applicants should send a cover letter, resume, the application (click here for application), and at least three references’ contact information in MS Word or a PDF format to Cora Garner at cora@girlsleadership.org.

The subject line of the email should include your full name and “Teaching Counselor Application” or ex. “Teaching Counselor Soap Box – Spoken Word” depending on interest. Please call 866.744.9102, extension 2 with any questions. To watch the Girls Leadership video, see photos from last summer, or read testimonials please visit www.girlsleadership.org. Girls Leadership is an equal opportunity employer. Individuals of color are encouraged to apply

Girls Leadership is committed to equal opportunity for all persons without regard to sex, age, race, ethnicity, color, religion, creed, national origin, marital status, gender expression, disability or sexual orientation.