History of Maine Coast Semester at Chewonki
Now in its 30th year, Maine Coast Semester at Chewonki serves academically ambitious high school juniors from across the United States and around the world. What draws this diverse student body to Maine’s Midcoast is an insatiable curiosity about the natural world; a commitment to environmental stewardship; and the desire to be part of a uniquely progressive learning community.
Maine Coast Semester at Chewonki has a “once-in-a-career” science teaching opportunity to join the faculty at one of the premier semester schools in the United States. Building on a scientific legacy that began with Roger Tory Peterson, the next teacher has the opportunity to integrate the very best of Chewonki’s natural history-based approach to studying the ecosystems of the Maine Coast with unique local resources and dynamic pedagogy available today.
Chewonki is a multi-division school and camp, founded in 1915, that also partners with educational institutions to extend its mission:
Chewonki inspires transformative growth, teaches appreciation and stewardship of the natural world, and challenges people to build thriving, sustainable communities throughout their lives.
To meet the promise of our mission, Chewonki strives to be a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization. Our legacy of thoughtful self-reflection and purposeful change guides our efforts to create a place where all participants and staff can flourish. We seek to hire, develop and retain talented people from all backgrounds. Individuals from non-traditional backgrounds, historically marginalized or underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.
The ideal candidate has:
A high level of interest in teaching exceptionally motivated high school juniors in a semester school that values both intellectual pursuits, as well as building strong relationships with students and colleagues in order to foster a thriving sustainable community.
Is an excellent communicator who is comfortable using a variety of instructional strategies and enjoys working creatively and collaboratively to develop place-based curricula that includes field work and promotes interdisciplinary thinking.
A proven record of engaging students in place-based learning, fostering critical reading and writing skills, and inspiring a love of learning.
Responsibilities include designing place-based curriculum and teaching Maine Coast Semester’s honors natural history course that takes full advantage of our unique setting on the midcoast of Maine; advising a small group of students, serving as a member of the residential faculty and acting as a cabin parent (see below for a more detailed description of responsibilities).
Preferred qualifications include:
- Ability to develop close working relationships with all constituencies including students, families, faculty, and administration.
- Ability to allow for ambiguity; and to analytically and strategically solve complex educational problems; to work on teams and to participate effectively with colleagues from all parts of the Chewonki Foundation.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills with the ability to adapt your message to students, families, faculty, and administration.
- Willingness to embrace the lifestyle of working and living in a dynamic semester school by being a team-player, eagerly assuming many roles, and devoting the time required to model excellence in job performance.
- Commitment to active collaboration while also possessing the internal, self-starter motivation to learn independently.
Maine Coast Semester co-disciplinary science teachers collaboratively teach three sections of a place-based honors natural history course that intersects with the program’s environmental science and mathematics courses. Science is required for all students and is central to the program. The science teacher spends approximately five hours twice a week in the field, complementing the work in the classroom by visiting rocky intertidal zones, sandy shores, salt marshes, ponds, streams, bogs, and forests. Science teachers also support students to develop an appreciation for the beauty, complexity, and interconnectedness of natural surroundings.
Learn more an apply: