MAA Career Resource Center

Teacher of Mathematics

Spotlight Preferred
Vista Grande Charter High School
Taos, New Mexico, United States
8 days ago



Located in the north-central region of our state, Taos is small community with a big story and an important history.  This history is rooted in our connection with Taos Pueblo, which is one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in what is now known as the United States. 

Through this connection with our past, Taos is rich with local culture, authentic foodways, and expansive outdoor exploration opportunities.  Visitors and locals spend time enjoying our three ski resorts, exploring our museums and galleries, and browsing the historic Taos Plaza, the beautiful downtown center of our community.

As a teacher at Vista Grande High School, you will have no shortage of opportunities to help your students make critical connections between the land and the history of its people.  Whether through feast days at Taos Pueblo or integration with our local food culture, our connection to our agricultural roots permeates our community.

OUR CULTURE.  Vista Grande High School is a place where students experience a transformative, holistic education focused on developing critical and creative thinking.  We have a long history (over 15 years!) of building deep connections with our students, their families, and the Taos community.  Vista Grande is a small school, built around the traditional wisdom and culture of our local elders, whose vibrant culture serves as the foundation for learning.

OUR PEOPLE.  We strive to ensure that all identities are affirmed, welcomed, and provided an environment that allows them to thrive.  And through close partnerships with Taos Pueblo, the Green Schools Network, the New Mexico Public Education Department, and many others, we are building a student body that is engaging in in the world around them. 

OUR MODEL.  To build this environment, we believe we must be excellent stewards of our land and our people.  At Vista Grande, you will immediately notice our outdoor classrooms and farm.  Our learning model emphasizes Project Based Learning, helping our students bridge the gap between theory and land-based practices.  At the same time, our teachers are continuously growing their practice, exhibiting a strong focus on culturally and linguistically responsive teaching. 

OUR STUDENTS.  Most of all, our students are at the center of all we do.  They are treated with love, respect, and care.  When they make mistakes, we practice restorative justice, giving them an opportunity to learn and grow.  When they succeed, we celebrate them as unique individuals with important gifts to share with the world. 

At VGHS, teachers focus on supporting students to read, write, think, and work as mathematicians. They use project-based learning and culturally responsive teaching practices to foster inquiry and enable authentic student work.  In addition, because appreciation and stewardship of the natural world is a focus of VGHS, environmental literacy is integrated into the science curriculum at all grade levels.


** Level III teachers will have additional responsibilities. **

  • Teach 4 PBL curricular units that focus on the 4Ps: Place, phenomenon, problem, project
  • 4PBL units are often based on controversial issues with local connections and that offer authentic applications of mathematics concepts
  • Students participate in scientific investigations and problem-solving that approximates adult math investigations and includes original research as well as collection, analysis, and representation of real data
  • Primary and secondary source materials replace textbooks
  • Math instruction includes fieldwork and interactions with experts
  • Curriculum explores the history and evolution of mathematical thinking and innovation
  • Project, products, and authentic service-learning lead to environmental stewardship
  • Curriculum integrates history, government, science, and mathematics to understand the field as a social enterprise
  • Students learn to reason mathematically and justify their thinking
  • Students articulate theories, arguments, claims and understandings through rich mathematics discourse and writing
  • Use protocols and instructional strategies that lead to generalization and transfer of concepts and procedures
  • Use of diagrams, tables, visual models, and equations to represent content
  • Students represent and reflect on thinking
  • Students must evaluate multiple perspectives in order to take and defend conditions and consider alternative views.
  • Use the tools of mathematics with accuracy and care
  • Teach comprehension strategies to understand an analyze mathematics problems
  • Teach writing mathematical justifications
  • Build knowledge by using multiple forms of documents, texts, maps, and media
  • Celebrate and display student work throughout the school
  • Reward curiosity, creativity, and thoughtful questioning
  • Teach students to use graphic representations, models, and peer teaching to demonstrate understanding of mathematics
  • Use multiple methods of assessment
  • Write learning targets to address concept knowledge and understanding, mathematical thinking and craftsmanship
  • Use frequent checking for understanding techniques to check for misconceptions
  • Track student discourse as an assessment tool
  • Use writing-to-learn activities
  • Explicitly teach academic vocabulary


  • Teach an elective of your choice with approval from an administrator. Electives require curriculum plans, lesson plans, and assessment as outlined below.
  • Teach credit recovery classes in your content area as necessary
  • Revise curriculum maps. Curriculum mapping is the essential foundation for rigorous learning expeditions.  The maps contain required standards and are revised on an on-going basis as needed.  These maps are horizontally and vertically aligned.
  • Implement 4PBL units by writing lesson plans aligned to curriculum maps.
  • Curriculum is planned backward with clear timelines and benchmarks.
  • Curriculum teaches to a product (project) and culminates in a Celebration of Learning during which student products are disseminated to the larger Taos community.
  • Arrange and facilitate well-planned fieldwork and service-learning experiences to support the curriculum. Experts from the community are brought in to supplement curriculum.
  • Literacy is woven into the curriculum written in any content area.
  • Technology is integrated appropriately into the curriculum.
  • Classroom climate of opportunity, cognitive complexity, and challenge is created and in which students are held accountable to deadlines.


  • Lesson plans are crafted on official VGHS lesson template and submitted to school leader a week prior to instruction
  • Lesson plans are created to meet clear learning targets
  • Lessons build student engagement and purpose for learning
  • Instruction is scaffolded to support learning and quality work
  • A debrief happens at the end of each class period
  • Differentiation is embedded in lessons
  • Students talk and think more than the teacher
  • Lessons are workshop- and inquiry-based formats
  • Other lesson formats are used appropriately in that they match the learning target (e.g., lecture, video, games, etc.)
  • Instruction emphasizes revision and critique and explicitly teaches to those learning targets
  • Assessment is ongoing and includes observations and anecdotes
  • Lessons require students to use graphic organizers, note-catchers, and other formats to represent thinking
  • Employ a range of effective instructional practices (active pedagogy) and culturally responsive teaching strategies to give students the support they need to complete projects and meet standards.
  • Reading and writing are taught in every content class
  • Students are not tracked – teachers use flexible grouping on a daily basis
  • Lessons are crafted so that multiple pathways exist for students to achieve targets
  • All students think and participate, which is encouraged by frequent use of checking for understanding techniques – cold call is used consistently every class
  • All students have the opportunity to work with grade-level texts and tasks
  • Teaching materials are high quality
  • The culture of students is taken into account in creating learning experiences
  • All students participate in exhibitions and performances
  • Teachers implement accommodations and modifications mandated in student IEPs
  • All teachers implement MLSS and maintain progress monitoring records


  • Teacher maintains a growth mindset for all students
  • Feedback on work is descriptive not numerical
  • Models, rubrics, reflection, critique, and work with experts are used to set expectations for quality work
  • Students track their own progress on learning targets and high stakes tests
  • Students analyze and discuss assessment results through data inquiry learning experiences
  • Students understand and are motivated to perform well on annual and interim assessment
  • HOWLs are implemented and assessed
  • Learning targets are well-crafted and based on state and national standards
  • Quality assessments are created and match the learning targets for the curriculum
  • Teachers create assessment plans prior to instruction
  • Teachers use results from data to guide instruction
  • Teachers actively analyze interim and summative assessment data and use it to craft interventions and to create data inquiry learning experiences for students
  • Teachers actively teach test talking sills and test literacy.


  • Grades are maintained via a written body of evidence and the proficiency-based, mastery grading electronic program chosen by the school
  • Grades must be updated at least weekly
  • HOWLs are assessed separately from academic content grades (effort, participation, etc. are NOT included in content grades)
  • Grades only communicate skills and content learning
  • Grades reflect current levels – formative assessment, like quizzes and quick writes, are not used in grades, and averaging grades is not done
  • Progress is communicated based on learning targets not task/assignment
  • Whenever possible, rubrics are used to assess work and provide the basis for grades


  • Ability to work with ethnic and socioeconomic diversity and a trauma-sensitive student population
  • Develop and implement detailed plans for Crew that are learning target-based
  • Develop classroom expectations that align with VGHS HOWLs and intentionally teach them
  • Prepare students for and participate fully in student-led conferences and portfolios/passages
  • Integrate opportunities for social emotional learning into classroom instruction.
  • Create an inclusive climate of learning
  • Use positive and consistent classroom management
  • Uphold school norms, rules, and procedures
  • Actively get to know students and families
  • High quality student work is displayed in the school (not commercial materials unless appropriate)
  • Class environments are characterized by a sense of intellectual adventure and rigor
  • Develop curriculum that includes focus on relational character
  • Participate fully and positively in the staff culture of the school.
  • Be willing and able to collaborate with peers in the development of curriculum and school structures.
  • Be willing to give and receive support from peers to improve teaching practices.
  • Attend and take full advantage of professional development


  • Instructional decisions are made based on data, and instruction is created based on what will best support students.
  • Use data to assess your own performance and set individual improvement goals
  • Work with school leadership to evaluate school performance and set school improvement goals
  • Common planning time is used appropriately and includes agendas, norms, roles, minutes submitted to school leadership, and follow through
  • Administer interims and any other assessments


VGHS has developed a culture where professional development is expected and embedded into the daily fabric of the school. VGHS staff participates in professional development every Wednesday from 3:00-4:30 pm in addition to one hour per week of common planning time meetings.  All teachers receive at least 6 hours of individual planning time per weeks.  A staff meeting is held for one hour per week as well.  Half day PD will occur on some Friday afternoons from 1-4 pm.  These professional development sessions will focus on developing high yield instructional practices, learning and implementing the effective lesson formats, looking at student data with colleagues and using the data to refine instructional practices to better support students.  Other PD topics are based on the school’s annual work plan, the results of formative walkthroughs, and leader evaluation observations as needed.

During the summer months, teachers at VGHS report early and have an extended school schedule for PD.  PD takes place for 5 additional work days at the end of the school year and 14 days before school begins.

Job Information

  • Job ID: 63262277
  • Location:
    Taos, New Mexico, United States
  • Company Name For Job: Vista Grande Charter High School
  • Position Title: Teacher of Mathematics
  • Area of Interest: Mathematics

Please refer to the organization's website or job descriptions to learn more about them.

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