The Van Andel Institute (VAI) is currently seeking to hire a Learning Specialist. As a Learning Specialist, you will create and deliver innovative lessons and activities for K-12 students. You’ll integrate the instructional strategies that prove most effective into professional development workshops and/or instructional resources. You’ll work as part of a passionate team to drive innovation in content, instructional strategies, use of technology, research, delivery methods, and other areas to ensure VAI offers best-in-class student instruction and teacher professional development.
Van Andel Institute is an independent non-profit biomedical research and education institute. The Institute is home to more than 500 scientists, educators and support staff that work in on-site laboratories and in collaborative partnerships that span the globe. K-12 Education (VAI: K-12) aims to inspire and prepare the next generation of scientists and problem solvers by creating classrooms where curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking thrive. We provide inquiry-based, hands-on learning experiences for students grades K-12 as well as innovative teaching resources and practical professional development so teachers everywhere bolster their instruction with authentic learning experiences that are memorable, meaningful, and fun!
- Create and deliver inquiry-based science lessons aligned to the VAI instructional model to K-12 students.
- Integrate the work with VAI’s K-12 students in the creation and delivery of high-quality professional development focused on inquiry-based and project-based learning.
- Assess delivery of both student and teacher programs and keep accurate records of all engagements.
- Manage content creation process to meet quality, time, and budget constraints.
- Prepare and maintain all lesson materials, equipment, and supplies.
- Act as a subject matter expert for inquiry-based science and project-based learning.
- Propose innovative content marketing and product ideas and develop as necessary.
- Work independently and collaboratively to ensure content supports VAI’s mission to create classrooms where curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking thrive, while making the world a better place.
- Actively seek new learning that will help VAI better serve teachers and students, at a local and national level.
- Participate in continuing development and evaluation of VAI: K-12 programs.
- Work with sales to understand customer needs that may influence development.
- All other duties as assigned.
Who We Are Looking For:
You have a sustained track record of creating authentic learning experiences that are memorable, meaningful, and fun. Teaching brings you joy!
You understand the fundamentals of inquiry-based and project-based instruction. You are passionate about transforming instruction to incorporate more authentic learning strategies in schools nationwide. Your depth of knowledge in these topics allows you to apply these principles flexibly to meet a variety of learning environments and scenarios.
You love teachers. You understand how important and how difficult it is to do the job well and you are selfless in your commitment to helping teachers improve their craft while also honoring their expertise, their experience, and the constraints of their realities.
You work with confidence and without ego. You have a deep knowledge of instruction and work with a high level of autonomy, but you are also adept at seeking and implementing feedback, are willing to be proven wrong, and are quick to support fellow teammates in need.
You have an entrepreneurial spirit. You understand and embrace the startup mentality, undaunted by the idea that there is no clear roadmap or proven path to follow. You are driven by understanding the big picture and contributing your unique perspective for us to achieve collective success.
You value, see out, and foster diversity. You welcome ideas that are different from your own and are skilled at finding common ground.
You are a creative thinker, not bound by "the way things have always been done." We don't need educators who know all the answers; we need educators who can invent the answers no one has thought of yet, to the questions yet to be asked.
- Bachelor’s degree in Education, Science Education-related field, or the equivalent required.
- Master’s Degree in Education, Curriculum and Instruction, or the equivalent preferred.
- Ability to travel when needed.
- Knowledge of the Next Generation Science Standards and expertise in science-related and project-based learning preferred.
- A proven track record of 5+ years of highly-engaging classroom instruction in a K-12 setting.
- Two or more years of professional development/instructional coaching experience required.
- Experience in the design and development of innovative experiences for students that support inquiry, a rich learning environment, and scientific habits of mind.
- Genuine passion for teaching, learning, curriculum development, science, and students.
VAI Core Values
Candidates must contribute to the shared values of the organization:
- Be Curious
- Take Risks
- Work with Urgency
- Respect Everyone
- Do the Right Thing
How to Apply
If you possess these attributes and wish to be part of impacting human health, while benefiting from a highly generous compensation package with an annual salary of $70,000-$90,000 (based on background and experience); we would welcome speaking with you and encourage you to APPLY TODAY! https://jobs.silkroad.com/VAI/VAICareerSite/jobs/1019
- Online application
- Cover Letter outlining your interest in the position, qualifications and goals
This position will be open until filled. If you have any difficulty uploading your application or any questions, please email Megan.Doerr@vai.org.
VAI is committed to achieving excellence through increasing diversity. We actively encourage applications from women, persons of color, persons with disabilities, and other underrepresented groups.
Van Andel Institute is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) Employer.
As Van Andel Institute is a drug and alcohol-free employer, all prospective new employees undergo a urinalysis/drug test as part of our pre-employment process. This is a 7-panel drug screen and it includes testing for marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, PCP, barbiturates, and benzodiazepines.
About Grand Rapids, MI
Van Andel Research Institute is located in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. A remarkable combination of a cosmopolitan atmosphere and small-town warmth, Grand Rapids is known for its philanthropic and sustainability-driven community. It’s fun affordable and family friendly.
Located on the banks of the Grand River, Grand Rapids offers all the big-city excitement you'd expect from a million-resident metropolis, featuring hundreds of restaurants and nightspots, theatres, museums, sports and concerts. The safe and clean downtown is surrounded by an eclectic mix of walk-able neighborhoods and natural areas. With a medical and life sciences industry boom, strong entrepreneurial activity, dedication to green building and living, and innovative employers, Grand Rapids' diverse economy continues to grow, offering endless career opportunities.