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Instructional Specialist

Job Details

Northern VA: Prince William, Woodbridge, Stafford, Fairfax - Chapel Hill, VA
Fully Remote
Full Time
Up to 50%

Instructional Specialist - Elementary Education

Love What You Do and Why You Do It! 

Participate Learning is a force for good that connects teachers and students through global education programs to foster human understanding and create peace around the world. We offer purpose-driven, challenging work in a collaborative environment, a flexible and open culture, and encourage employees to pursue their professional and personal passions.


What You’ll Do:

The Instructional Specialist is laser-focused on providing instructional support, coaching,  and ongoing programmatic inputs for Participate Learning’s cultural exchange teachers. The position contributes to the successful arrival and orientation of all new educators; s/he facilitates a smooth transition to their new local environment and provides ongoing logistical support throughout the teacher's tenure with Participate Learning.


As a Participate Learning’s Instructional Specialist, you support the instructional well-being of Participate Learning’s international educators. You work closely with the Manager of Teacher Resources to provide support and instructional guidance to Participate Learning teachers in the K-12 setting. You diligently coordinate activities in support of the arrival and initial adjustment of teachers in addition to diagnosing problems and providing feedback in coordination with Participate Learning and onsite school administration. You work collaboratively with other team members to support the assigned cohort of teachers as well as other teachers as needed, providing timely 1:1 coaching (virtual and on-site), targeted 1:1 and small group instructional and curriculum planning, and resource support with a focus on instructional quality, teacher success, and retention. Furthermore, you proactively collaborate with the Teacher Resources team to handle issue resolution in a compassionate and professional manner.  


As a member of the Teacher Resources team, you actively participate in the development of projects related to the programmatic support of international teachers and share accountability for the successful arrival and orientation of all new educators, facilitating a smooth transition to their new communities, and on-going communications and support. The primary goal for the team you are a member of is teacher success and retention, focusing proactively on providing information and resources, as well as responding to issues or concerns. 


As a member of the TS team, you attend Participate Learning–sponsored teacher functions such as  social events and you take an active role in delivering professional development sessions in support of the successful teaching experience and retention of teachers.


Essential Functions (include but are not limited to):

  • Day-to-day operations includes regular phone, email, and online support for international teachers

  • Provide thorough follow-up and documentation of educator matters to ensure that all affected parties are informed of issues and resolutions. This includes effective communications with Account/Program Managers, school personnel, and other learning support staff as situations require.

  • Case management: manage and resolve difficult issues for assigned teachers by diagnosing problems, managing resolutions and arranging for follow up as needed. Coordinate with other Participate Learning staff as well as School and District Personnel, and any outside agencies in order to facilitate resolution.

  • Provides instructional guidance and leadership to program educators regarding methodology and best practices;

  • Visit teachers in school setting, as necessary, to assess any instructional or classroom management problems that may arise.  Provide constructive feedback to help teacher address any issues. Document visits & provides information of progress as needed.

  • Coaches Elementary teachers (and other subjects such as World Languages or ESL if applicable);

  • In collaboration with the team and other departments, coordinates online community activity and any teacher communications.

  • In collaboration with other Participate Learning staff, maintains consistency in program experience for teachers and administrators with regards to communications and support;

  • Address teacher concerns professionally and compassionately including explaining and enforcing policies clearly, managing emotional issues firmly yet compassionately and explaining the procedure and follow up for problem resolution. Ensures that school-based administration is informed appropriately.

  • Provides communication and process support to the Teacher Resource team, as needed, including but not limited to renewals, extensions, exit procedures, etc.

  • Works with Manager on resignations and terminations related to assigned teachers including; documentation of resignation/termination and conflict resolution in an attempt to retain position/teacher etc.

  • Use active listening, reasoning, and judgment skills in communicating with educators and apply to Participate Learning policies, regulations, and guidelines as appropriate.

  • Required to present or facilitate professional development sessions to teachers.

Key Knowledge, Skill, Ability and Education Requirements

Experience You Bring:

  • Bachelor Degree; advanced degree preferred.

  • Minimum 3-5 years of teaching experience required, U.S. public school system experience preferred.

  • Experience with mentoring/coaching teachers required.

  • Spanish language skills are preferred.

  • Skill to identify classroom issues and provide appropriate advice, support, or resources.

  •  Knowledge of the U.S. education system relative to the experience of an international teacher (e.g., organizational structure, terminology, current practices in education, etc.)

  • Knowledge of cultural adjustment theories and cross-cultural communications.

  • Strong leadership skills with the ability to work effectively in a team environment.

  • Excellent organizational skills; ability to prioritize, multi-task, and follow through.

  • Superior oral and written communication skills.

  • Creative, constructive problem solving and issue resolution with analytical skills.

  • Excellent customer service experience.

  • Comfortable with the use of technology and tech tools for communication, documentation, and community building. 

  • Skill to problem solve independently, review own work and the work of others in order to identify and correct errors. 

  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, dynamic environment and to influence and positively lead change and transition.

  • Demonstrated passion for cultural awareness and international education.

  • Ability to work weekends and/or evenings as required.

Travel required

  • Up to 50-55% travel to schools and districts across Northern Virginia (Stafford, Prince William, Fairfax)

  • Work from home when not traveling to schools

About You

  • Passionate about learning and welcoming people from all over the world, learning about their culture and sharing your own culture and experiences.

  • Love for international adventures - languages, dancing, food, travel, etc.

  • We are looking for impact makers who believe in business as a force for good. 

  • Eager to make a difference for today and tomorrow

  • Flexible with your time and energy and willing to expand beyond the day-to-day expectations of your work. (And the company reciprocates with flexibility!)

  • Cameras on during most zoom meetings - we want to see your smile. 

  • Believe global education is for everyone

  • Ability to travel and spend 50-60% of your work week on the road. 



What You’ll Love About Us: 

Participate Learning is a B Corporation headquartered in Chapel Hill, NC, that partners with K-12 schools and districts to provide cultural exchange teachers, global education, and language immersion programs in Spanish and Mandarin. As part of our B Corp commitment, one of the essential measures of the success of our business is the positive impact we make on our employees. Our work inspires everyone to be change agents, bringing more empathy and connection to the world.

  • Attractive benefit coverage for medical, dental, vision

  • Company paid long-term, short-term disability and life insurance

  • Paid Maternity/Paternity Leave

  • Generous Vacation and Separate Sick Time

  • Wellness Program

  • Adoption Assistance

  • Infant-At-Work and Bring Your Dog to Work Program

  • Cell Phone Reimbursement

  • Fully-Stocked Kitchen

  • Onsite Gym

  • Volunteer Time Off

  • Professional Development Funds

  • Tuition Assistance

  • Cultural Experience & Milestone benefit every 3 years