Teaching at Student U

Our Why

We believe that all people are worthy of experiences and opportunities that honor the equal value of their lives and enable them to reach their full potential.

Student U’s Summer Academy is a core component of our college access and success programming for students. Summer Academy is a huge part of our organization, and it takes a lot of dedicated individuals to make it work daily. Our teachers are committed to helping our students feel success and growth by providing thoughtful, intentional academic experiences and sharing their own excitement around academic content. The impact Student U teachers have in the classroom is not only empowering students to discover their best selves but supporting them to become leaders that will transform our city.

Growth Opportunities at Summer Academy

Build your resume and workforce experience in our Student U’s Summer Academy

7-Week Summer Program (Full-Time)

  • 2 Week Teacher Training where you’ll learn or gain additional experience in:
    • Classroom Management Techniques 
    • Restorative Practices
    • Being an Anti-Racist Educator 
    • Being a Trauma-Informed Educator 
    • Plus, community building with your teammates and more! 
  • 5 Week Summer Academy with Students 
    • Teach MS or HS students a Core or Elective class 
    • Receive individualized mentorship from a veteran Durham educators
    • Work with a team of teachers to develop the best ways to support your students 
    • Plus Talent Shows, Olympic Day, Spirit Week, and more!
  • 1  Evaluation Week (3 Days)
    • Share your summer learnings 
    • Gain Feedback from mentor teachers 
    • Complete Comprehensive Evaluations for your students

Our mission is to:

Empower and equip first-generation college students in Durham Public Schools, their families, and educators to become the leaders that will transform our city.

Our vision is:

We envision and work for a Durham where all students succeed.

Frequently asked questions and answers:

1. What is Summer Academy?

Summer Academy is a 5-week, full-day program for our rising 6th-10th grade students that includes academic programming, enrichment opportunities, intentional community building, and exposure to college and career options.

2. Where does Summer Academy take place?

Our Summer Academy takes place at Durham Academy Middle School, at 3116 Academy Road in Durham, NC. Students come from all over Durham to attend our programming!

3. If I am hired as a teacher this summer, will I really be teaching, or will I be more of a teaching assistant?

You’ll be a teacher! As a summer teacher at Student U, you will be asked to complete the responsibilities professional teachers do every day, including lesson planning, managing a classroom, assessment, and parent communication. We will provide you training and support for all of these responsibilities!

4. Do I need to have teaching experience in order to be a successful teacher?

No! While we love to work with experienced educators, you are not required to have previous experience in order to apply. We often hire summer teachers for whom this will be a first time working with middle schoolers or high schoolers, and will provide you with the training and support you need to teach students this summer.

5. Do I have to be an education major to apply or know that I want to be a career teacher?

No. We welcome all those who are committed to a Durham where all students succeed, whether you are a community member, college student, current teacher, aspiring teacher, as long as you are excited by working with our students!

6. Are the dates for the summer flexible?

Unfortunately not! We know that summer is a busy time, but we really work to prioritize the five weeks we have with students. We expect teachers to be present for our full summer with students.

7. Is housing provided?

We do not currently provide housing for our summer teachers. However, we have a warm and helpful community, and if you are in need of finding housing for the summer, we will work to connect you with someone who might have leads!

8. I’m coming from a nearby location (Chapel Hill, Raleigh) but I don’t have a car. Can I still apply?

Yes! We can’t provide transportation for you, but will connect you with another employee where possible to help you get to Student U each day.

9. What does this job pay?

All un-licensed Middle School & High School teachers at Student U get paid at a rate of $18/hour. Licensed Middle School and High School teachers get paid at a rate of $22/hour. Mentor and Interventionist positions are paid at a different rate.

Our goals are:

Prepare students for academic success.

Summer Academy aims to combat summer learning loss by teaching key academic content and nurturing crucial executive function skills so students can walk into their next grade as confident, prepared learners.

Engage students in healthy identity development.

Summer Academy aims to help students dream fearlessly about themselves and their world by explicitly integrating identity development, teaching social justice issues and movements, and creatively imagining change throughout lesson plans and curriculum.

Build authentic community.

Summer Academy aims to create a safe community where each person is valued, included, and invested in growing and learning together.

Team Work Makes the Dream Work

Making fearless dreams come true is tireless work. Our staff and board of directors are investing their time, talent, and treasure to ensure our vision for a Durham where all students succeed becomes a reality.

Student U students and families built Student U and continue to actively create our community. It is not defined by a certain program or activity, but rather by a culture and a way of operating within the world.

Grounding Beliefs

  • We believe that all people are worthy of experiences and opportunities that honor the equal value of their lives and enable them to reach their full potential.

  • We believe that education needs to be transformed and has the power to be transformative.

  • We believe students, parents, and community members are the most critical assets for building a more just Durham.

  • We believe that building an equitable Durham is a shared responsibility and that our entire community must participate in this work.

  • We are committed to the never-ending work of using a racial equity lens in all of our work.

Core Values

I will energize my community

It is not enough to simply be a great student or teacher. We expect all members of our community to take what is learned at Student U and use that knowledge to make a difference in the larger community. This means both serving others and inspiring peers to do the same.

I will achieve greatness

We have exceptionally high expectations for everyone at Student U. All members of the Student U community will strive to be excellent in all areas of life. Success can be defined differently for each individual. As long as progress is always being made towards clear, challenging goals, individuals are achieving greatness.

I will respect myself and others

The Student U community is comprised of unique individuals who come together to achieve a common goal. We value the background, skill set, and characteristics of each person. We understand that no person has reached his or her full potential. In order to respect all individuals, we must first respect ourselves by treating ourselves with love and kindness.

I will discover my best self

We will constantly work to enhance our skills and discover our passions and strengths. We will take risks, challenge ourselves, and work to love ourselves for both who we are and for whom we can become.

I will dream fearlessly

As a member of the Student U community, we recognize the importance of having “I dreams” and “we dreams.” No societal boundaries will limit our personal goals and aspirations. No challenges will prevent us from envisioning a world more just than the present and from taking steps to make that world a reality.

I will share my brilliance

All individuals have skills to share with the community. It is our responsibility to fully spread our talents and gifts to those around us. Only when all individuals do so, can we solve the world’s most difficult challenges.

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