Arthur Morgan School is a small, alternative boarding and day school for up to 27 boys and girls in grades 7-9, ages 12-15. The 100-acre campus, located in the Black Mountains of Western North Carolina, consists mainly of woods and meadows and is largely surrounded by National Forest. The school fosters a loving, energetic, living/learning community, dedicated to supporting individuality while teaching group cooperation. Balance is sought between academics, outdoor activities, and meaningful work. Experiential learning and responsible participation in community are emphasized throughout. Boarding students live in homes with staff members and the entire community actively shares work, study, play, and decision making.
Interns may live in boarding houses (with 4-5 students and two house parents) and act as “assistant houseparents,” or live with other interns in a non-boarding house residence. Interns have a great deal of responsibility and are fully involved in our program. Responsibilities are adapted to the interest and skills of the intern and needs of the school. An AMS intern has the opportunity to be a part of every aspect of our community but is not be expected to take primary responsibility for leading or shaping any major program or activity. This difference in level of program responsibility creates a distinction between the expectations of a staff member and those of an intern. The core set of work expectations includes:
house parent assistance and relief or substitute house parenting
student supervision, including free-time supervision, chore supervision, and work projects
planning and staffing wilderness and field trips
participation in one Staff Meeting a week and in All School Meeting
In addition to the above core work expectations, each intern works with the intern coordinator in choosing one of the following areas in which to serve as an apprentice:
The intern coordinator works with each intern and other staff to create an apprentice opportunity which will result in a feeling of ownership for the work to be learned, with he opportunity to design and complete a project within the intern’s area of apprenticeship. While each intern is expected to take on one apprenticeship, it is possible to work in more than one area as opportunities arise and the intern coordinator, the intern and other involved staff agree that the workload is not excessive.
There are many other opportunities for interns to contribute to the AMS community. Some of these are listed below. The intern may choose to take assisting or lead responsibility for the following or for similar duties:
teaching electives – design and teach, or assist with teaching, classes such as arts and crafts, music, languages, wood and metal shop and outdoor activities
gardening or maintenance
Thanksgiving Play – volunteer to lead or assist
building or repairing our facilities
tutoring – one-on-one student work under a staff teacher’s guidance
The most important attribute an intern should have is an ability to relate well with the students – to “hang out” with the kids. Students sometimes describe good interns as “bridges” between staff and students – not quite students, but not exactly the typical staff either. Spending time with students at the house, during free time, etc., as a friend, is important, as is having the ability to assert oneself as a staff person. In light of this, an energetic and outgoing personality is helpful. A background in the following areas might be helpful for the intern, though they are not requirements: art, music, drama, dance, outdoor education, agriculture and gardening, psychology, sociology, and general education.
AMS is staff-run by consensus. We have no director or headmaster. A willingness to learn about and work within the consensus process is essential, as is a commitment to nonviolent conflict resolution. Flexibility, a sense of humor, and openness to new ideas, experiences, and personal growth are also important. We ask for a ten-month commitment (mid-August to early June).
AMS interns work full time, with the same time off as staff. The intern receives room and board and a small stipend of about $420/month. The position also affords the following:
Hands-on experience with alternative education, working with adolescents and consensus decision-making
Freedom to take initiative, to pursue one's own interests, and to take on responsibility
An intense and rewarding learning experience resulting from participation in our vibrant, supportive community of adults and teenagers living and learning together.
Send a resume and letter, including a statement explaining why you want to work at AMS and a description of any relevant past experience. There is no application deadline, although resumes received by March 1 will be given priority for the next academic year, and the position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate has been found. Call for more information about the school, or if you have questions about our intern program.
Arthur Morgan School admits students and hires staff of any race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or preference, gender identity or expression, or economic status.