Staff at Fairhaven School are hired by School Meeting each spring for the following school year. There is no tenure. We always welcome new staff applicants, whatever our current staff situation. We are also accepting applications for substitute staff.
Working as a staff member at Fairhaven is very different from working in a conventional school; if your primary interest is in “teaching,” then the Sudbury model of education is unlikely to be a good fit for you.
About the Position
Staff members at Fairhaven School ensure that the day-to-day environment and operation of the school reflects the school’s educational philosophy; act as role models of successful adult behavior; facilitate student access to resources; and perform the administrative and maintenance tasks required to run the school and care for the school property.
Successful staff members honor the choices of students even if they would not make those choices, and they trust the school’s peer-based judicial system to effectively resolve rule infractions. At Fairhaven School, students are in full control of how and when to pursue their interests and they determine the extent of staff involvement in their pursuits. Often, no staff involvement is required, while at other times staff may be called upon to support students as friends, facilitators, or mentors.
Applicants must have a solid grasp of the school’s educational philosophy and practices and a strong commitment to them. Before applying, staff candidates should develop a thorough understanding of the school's philosophy and its hiring process by familiarizing themselves with the content on this website. The Staff Hiring Committee also recommends that candidates read materials published by Sudbury Valley School.
Staff Hiring Process
A person interested in becoming a candidate for staff at Fairhaven School must contact the Staff Hiring Clerk and send a resume, cover letter and three references by mail or e-mail. One of these references must be from the candidate’s current or most recent place of employment.
Upon approval of Staff Hiring Committee, the candidate may visit the school for a day, and, upon approval of School Meeting, may then visit for up to four additional days. On the last visiting day, the candidate must take part in a formal staff hiring interview with members of School Meeting. A stipend is included for the candidate's time.
New and returning staff must be nominated by a majority of participating School Meeting Members on Nomination Day, which is on the 4th Tuesday of April, or by majority vote at School Meeting. The school must be in receipt of a clean security check report on the candidate in question for the nomination to be accepted. A nomination does not guarantee that a candidate will be hired at slates.
A special School Meeting known as the Slate Debate is held to determine how many days per week each staff member will be hired for the following year. Staff are traditionally hired for 3-5 days per week, 7 hours per day. Some evening and weekend events are included in staff contracts. Those who receive a majority vote at Slates are offered a 1 year contract with terms approved by the School Meeting.