What makes teaching and living at Woodberry Forest special?
THREE THINGS: OUR PEOPLE, OUR CULTURE, AND OUR PLACE. Our student body is all-boarding, and more than 90 percent of faculty live on campus, creating an intimate, tight-knit community. We’re an all-boys school, focused on developing young men who are lifelong learners with strong moral character. One of the school’s defining characteristics is our 120-year old student-run-honor system.
Our campus is set on 1,200 acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This is a place where we can focus on teaching and learning without distractions. Students, faculty, and faculty families take full advantage of our safe and beautiful campus, enjoying hiking and biking trails in the woods or the natural beauty of the Rapidan River, which borders our land.
Our culture is based on moral integrity, intellectual thoroughness, a reverence for things sacred, and good sportsmanship. We seek faculty who are passionate about and trained in their discipline - but who are equally committed to working with boys on stage, on the athletic fields, and on dorm. Living and learning at Woodberry don’t just take place inside our classrooms.
Applying to Woodberry Teaching Faculty Positions
Candidates who wish to apply for a teaching faculty position at Woodberry will apply online through our website. Specific information about our teaching faculty hiring process may be directed to Matt Boesen, Dean of Faculty (matt_boesen @ woodberry.org or 540.672.6021). Woodberry values the following qualifications:
Bachelor’s degree in the area in which you are applying to teach (advanced degrees encouraged)
Previous classroom experience in grades 9-12
Willingness to coach one or more sports or lead afternoon programming
Interest in living on campus and to actively participate in residential life
Woodberry teachers set high standards for their students. Woodberry Forest runs two daily schedules simultaneously - one for underclassmen and introductory courses, the other for upperclassmen. Classes for underclassmen, as well as all music ensembles, meet five times a week for forty-five minutes. Classes for upperclassmen, along with all science classes, meet for forty-five minutes on Mondays followed by two ninety-minute sessions the rest of the week. Both this daily schedule and our curriculum emphasize structure and a focus on developing basic skills and study habits during a student’s first two years. Older boys are given more freedom to control their schedule an develop an expertise in topics that interest them. Classes for all students are held on Saturday mornings to allow for shorter days on Tuesdays and Fridays, when athletic teams travel to away games.
Responsibilities for boarding school faculty don’t stop when the school day ends. Faculty serves as coaches, drama directors, or program advisors during two of our three trimesters. If you’ve never coached before, we’ll pair you with an experienced mentor who will help you develop new skills.
All Woodberry faculty serve as advisors to a small group of students and serve as the first point of contact for parents and students when a boy is facing a personal or academic challenge. Advisors eat a family-style, coat-and-tie dinner with these students once a week before chapel. You’ll get to know these students very well and will find these relationships to be some of the most important you form at Woodberry.
All faculty are on duty slightly less than once a week. During duty days you will spend time on dorm, particularly to ensure study hall periods are used well. This time on dorm is a great way to get to know students outside of the classroom, whether you’re stopping to chat before lights out, helping with homework, or watching TV with boys in the common room.
Terry Dining Hall
The Terry Dining Hall is the center of campus life for Woodberry boys, faculty members, and families. It serves three meals a day - all of which are open to faculty and their families - during the school year. Three of the dinners each week are called “seated meals” and served family style. The rest are buffet. Stop by the dining hall and you’ll find families lingering together over a Tuesday night dinner or Sunday brunch. At lunch faculty catch up on news or discuss the boys they’re teaching.
The Honor System
A pillar of Woodberry’s community is the honor system. Each spring the headmaster, after a student vote and faculty discussion, selects a group of seniors to serve as prefects. The prefects collectively administer the honor system. They take this responsibility extraordinarily seriously. Students promise not to lie, cheat, or steal. If found guilty of doing so, they can be dismissed from Woodberry by the headmaster at the recommendation of the prefects. The honor system creates an unusual and priceless sense of trust and respect between the students and faculty. As a teacher, you won’t need to worry about watching over their shoulders during exam periods or worrying that answers are passed around before homework is due.
What is it like to live here?
Whether you live on dorm or elsewhere on campus, working at Woodberry is a demanding job. Between teaching, coaching, and regular dorm duty, long days are the norm. But this is also a place where you develop deep friendships with colleagues and students. Housing and meals for you and your family are part of your compensation.
The campus is truly idyllic. Faculty and their families enjoy access to a pool, two gymnasiums, squash and tennis courts, and a nine-hole golf course. Faculty children roam free with their friends, wandering from the athletic fields to the river and back to the dining hall without their parents worrying about their safety. If you have children, they’re sure to find close friends among the other fifty-five school-age children on campus.
Woodberry is in a rural location. The town of Orange, about ten minutes away, has a pharmacy, grocery store, and a few restaurants. Culpeper, a larger town, is twenty minutes away and has a small hospital, as well as more extensive shopping and dining options. Charlottesville, home to the University of Virginia, is forty-five minutes from campus. Washington, DC is between ninety minutes and two hours away, depending on traffic and where in the DC area you’re headed.
WOODBERRY FOREST SCHOOL IS AN EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER
Woodberry Forest is a highly selective, independent boarding school for 400 boys in grades 9 - 12 from 31 states, the District of Columbia, and 13 other countries. Woodberry is located in central Virginia about 45 minutes from Charlottesville and about two hours from Washington, D.C. Founded in 1889, it emphasizes an education based on intellectual thoroughness, moral integrity, and good sportsmanship.