Description of the School and the General and Arts Curricula
Cistercian Preparatory School is rooted in the life and spirit of Catholic monasticism. It offers talents and motivated young men challenging programs within a supportive community, allowing them to develop their strengths and face their weaknesses in preparation for college and life beyond, all for the good of the whole person in service to God and neighbor. As a Catholic monastic school, Cistercian believes that individual growth in virtue and intellect is best achieved within the context of a community and that it should serve to strengthen the community as well as the individual. A humble pursuit of academic excellence allows a given particular academic discipline to become a source of truth and self-knowledge for both the individual and the community.
Cistercian highly values the place of art within the formative structure of its academic program and within the transformative experiences that come with individual or shared creative pursuits. When creative action seeks inspiration in the unity of the three transcendentals (the true, the good, and the beautiful) it echoes the Trinitarian love in and through which all things came to be and find their meaning. We are truly “the work of His hands” and whenever we try to create, we both develop our own talents and come to accept our own limitations; we then encounter and better come to know both the community and ourselves. Whether in the classroom or in the robotics lab, whether in math club or within a drama production, whether in painting acrylics in an art elective or building a Homecoming set on a weekend, whether performing in coffeehouse or delivering an Honors Seminar presentation, students are surrounded by a community that rejoices in using and growing their talents. The School asserts that we strengthen both our community and ourselves whenever we let the project of the moment call us to grow, that we most truly “own” our gifts when we use them for the sake of others. All teachers therefore strive to promote opportunities for the kind of personal transformation that comes with working with one’s mind and/or hands to make something that did not before exist, but which has the power to both communicate ideas and create connections between people.
Cistercian operates both a Middle (grades 5-8) and an Upper (grades 9-12) School, but the faculty is fully integrated: the same departments and teachers provide instruction for both school divisions. All faculty in core subjects are expected to have or pursue at least a Master’s degree in their teaching field. The curriculum is an eight-year, all-advanced honors program. Thus, in both Middle and Upper School, all students of the same grade (about 44 students in each) take the same full load of advanced courses from the same teachers.
The School embeds the arts into the required curriculum over the eight-year program. Middle School students are required to take Music in Forms I-II, Studio Art in Forms I-III, and then a Form IV interdisciplinary class in which students are divided into four smaller groups of 10-12 students which rotate each quarter among visual arts, music appreciation, art history (with a strong writing component), and drama. In addition, every year each Form (I-VIII) participates in a curricular Field Study (typically off campus) engaging with works of visual art, drama, music, etc. that correspond or connect to the works or periods being studied in their literature and history classes. Students study the material of the Field Study in the classroom in preparation for encountering it, and then write on the work afterwards. In addition, in every modern language class, students must encounter the artwork of the culture they are studying, from paintings and poetry to music and food. In the Upper School, history classes also include significant art and music history components. There are many upper school electives offered directly in the arts. The School also promotes artistic expression through participation in activities such as BraveArt Workshops, Coffeehouses, Art Exhibitions, Concerts, Middle and Upper School Drama productions, Junior Patron’s Guild, ISAS Arts Festival, and the activities of the Art Club and Arts Board.
All Upper School students are required to earn one credit in Fine Arts in order to graduate. Ninth grade students will take two semesters of Fine Arts elective courses, ranging in but not limited to Drama, Music, Studio Art, Photography, Dance, Technical Theater, Graphic Design, and Film Studies. These two semesters will count for half of the arts credit requirement. In order to fulfill the remainder of the one full credit of fine art needed to graduate, students in grades ten or eleven may choose to take two more semesters of upper level fine art electives, or the students may take and arts practicum
As a gifted-talented program, Cistercian students produce standardized test scores in line with their talents and education. Average SAT scores are approximately 1430, and ACT scores approximately 32. Cistercian offers no AP classes, preferring its own curriculum to that of the College Board, but many students choose to take AP exams independently. Of those taking AP Exams, 76% earn scores of 4 or higher, and over 92% of those taking AP Tests score 3 or higher.
Visual Art Teacher
Cistercian is seeking a dynamic, energetic, and experienced teacher with the ability to inspire and motivate both students and colleagues while working to fulfill Cistercian’s vision for its Visual Arts program. Ideally, this individual will teach both Middle School foundational courses as well as Upper School Visual Arts electives. A strong candidate will be someone who connects well with talented and gifted students while demonstrating his/her own desire for excellence and passion for continued learning. Of particular importance is a passion for guiding students not just in presenting the basic elements of art in practice, but creating scaffolded curriculum by which students can grow and flourish in the Visual Arts.
Responsibilities as a Teacher:
- Design and teach 4 Middle School courses in Visual Arts within the School’s curriculum with the possibility of offering Upper School electives to meet the Fine Arts graduation requirement. Balanced instruction includes foundational elements of art and application of a variety of processes including but not limited to drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture.
- Evaluate and grade students’ class work and homework.
- Compose, administer, and grade students’ culminating projects.
- Perform appropriately frequent and accurate assessments of students’ progress.
- Communicate effectively and punctually with administrators, colleagues, students, and parents.
- Keep abreast of developments in the academic field and within visual arts education by reading professional literature, talking with colleagues, and/or participating in appropriate professional development activities, etc.
- Provide curricular and extracurricular support for student activities related to visual arts pursuits including visual arts contests, gallery exhibitions on campus and off, and student participation in visual arts conferences or festivals.
- Participate in campus and community events.
Skills and Experience:
- Master’s Degree or beyond in teaching field preferred.
- At least 5 years teaching experience preferred.
- Effective written and verbal communication skills.
Salary and Benefits:
- Commensurate with experience and education level.