Friday, 2 December 2016

Academic Field Officer at Bridge International Academies

Bridge International Academies is the world’s largest and fastest-growing chain of primary and pre-primary schools with more than 400 academies and 120,000 pupils in Kenya and Uganda. We democratize the right to succeed by giving families living in poverty access to the high-quality education that will allow their children to live a very different life.
We leverage experts, data, and technology in order to standardize and scale every aspect of quality education delivery, from how and where academies are built to how teachers are selected and trained, and how lessons are delivered and monitored for improvement. We are vertically-integrated, tech-enabled, and on our way to profitability. Bridge expects to continue rapid expansion in East Africa, and will be launching operations in Nigeria in September 2015, with India to follow in 2016.

Job Title: Academic Field Officer

Description

  • A Field Officer is a former (or current) schoolteacher who is very good at observation.  
  • Each day, you're at a school.  
  • Mostly it's at one of Bridge’s many Academies, though sometimes it's at a government school or a non-Bridge low-cost private school.  
  • You're the "eyes and ears" of the Academic Team - a mix of experts at headquarters creating teacher training, books, lessons, and so forth.   

Responsibilities
There are 5 main tasks each day:

  • Observe 10 to 12 classes per day, and give them ratings, using Bridge's particular approach to feedback.  You rate the lesson itself (which comes from "headquarters"), the teacher, and the pupils. You write out a detailed description of what happened. 
  • You also interview teachers, parents, and the school leader.  We're constantly trying to better understand what is happening, and your interview notes help our team to make decisions.
  • Third, you observe little things that may be unique to a single academy. 
  • You notice problems like pupils who don't have the right books, or teacher computers that don't work properly. 
  • Finally, you sometimes shoot photos or video.  

Qualification

  • We're looking for a former teacher with a keen eye for observing others.  But that's not enough.  
  • The very act of visiting schools and noticing "What works and what fails" must be intellectually interesting to you - a daily puzzle you want to solve each day.  Otherwise, the work would get tiresome.  
  • You also must be an effective writer, able to communicate what you see and hear.  
  • And, you must be an effective interviewer - able to get teachers, parents, pupils, and academy leaders to speak honestly to you. 
  • Sometimes they will be nervous that if they share problems with you, it could cause trouble, so you need to be reassuring.  
  • You must be a self-starter.  
  • That means you don't need a manager to motivate you. 
  • You're always early to work, work hard, no excuses, that sort of thing.  
  • You need to be willing to receive professional feedback on how to get better. In fact, you need to want that.  Some people don't like when managers or colleagues tell them how to improve.  
  • That's not a good fit for Bridge culture - at Bridge you need to actually seek out and ask people "How can I do my job better?" 
  • A Field Officer is usually based near the national headquarters, and probably 80% of visits are straightforward - leave early in the morning, take transportation, return home that night.  Perhaps 20% of the visits require travel outside your immediate area.  

Location: Lagos

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