Grassroots Jobsource

Internship in Alternative Education Posted Sep 09
Arthur Morgan School , Burnsville, NC
General Description

The Arthur Morgan School is a small, alternative boarding and day school for up to 27 boys and girls in grades 7-9, ages 12-15. The 100-acre campus, located in the Black Mountains of Western North Carolina, consists mainly of woods and meadows and is largely surrounded by National Forest. The school fosters a loving, energetic, living/learning community, dedicated to supporting individuality while teaching group cooperation. Balance is sought between academics, outdoor activities, and meaningful work. Experiential learning and responsible participation in community are emphasized throughout. Boarding students live in homes with staff members and the entire community actively shares work, study, play, and decision making.

General Responsibilities

Interns have a great deal of responsibility and are fully involved in our program. Responsibilities are adapted to the interest and skills of the intern and needs of the school. Interns will have an opportunity to be a part of every aspect of our community but will not be expected to take primary responsibility for leading or shaping any major program or activity. This difference in level of program responsibility will create a distinction between the expectations of a Staff member and those of an Intern. There will be an Intern Coordinator who will work with each Intern and the Staff to plan, monitor, improve and evaluate the Intern work experience. There will be a core set of work expectations to include:

houseparent assistance and relief or substitute house parenting
general student supervision, including free-time supervision, chore supervision, and work projects
planning and staffing wilderness and field trips
participation in one Staff Meeting a week and in All School Meeting

In addition to the above core work expectations, each Intern will be assisted by the Intern Coordinator in choosing one of the following areas in which to serve as an apprentice:
teaching assistant
maintenance assistant
gardening assistant
office assistant
kitchen assistant.

It will be the goal of the Intern Coordinator to work with each Intern and with whatever other Staff members choose to sponsor an Intern to create an apprentice opportunity which will result in a feeling of ownership for the work to be learned/performed. There will be an opportunity to design and complete a project within the Intern’s area of apprenticeship. While each Intern will be expected to take on one apprenticeship, it will be possible to work in more than one area as opportunities arise and the Intern Coordinator, the Intern and other involved Staff agree that the workload is not excessive.

There will be many other opportunities for Interns to contribute to the AMS Community. Some of these are listed below. The Intern may choose to take assisting or lead responsibility for the following or for similar duties:
Elective Class Teaching – design and teach or assist with teaching classes such as arts and crafts, music, languages, wood and metal shop and outdoor activities
Gardening or Maintenance
Thanksgiving Play – volunteer to lead or assist
Building or repairing our facilities
Tutoring – one-on-one student work under a Staff teacher’s guidance
Study Hall – monitoring with a Staff member.


The most important attribute an intern should have is an ability to relate well with the students – to “hang out” with the kids. Students sometimes describe good interns as “bridges” between Staff and students – not quite students, but not exactly the typical Staff either. Spending time with students at the house, during free time, etc., as a friend, is important, as is having the ability to assert oneself as a Staff person. In light of this, an energetic and outgoing personality is helpful. A background in the following areas might be helpful for the intern, though they are not requirements: art, music, drama, dance, outdoor education, agriculture and gardening, psychology, sociology, and general education.

AMS is staff-run by consensus. We have no director or headmaster. A willingness to learn about and work within the consensus process is essential, as is a commitment to nonviolent conflict resolution. Flexibility, a sense of humor, and openness to new ideas, experiences, and personal growth are also important. We ask for a ten-month commitment (mid-August to early June).


The AMS Intern Role will work full time, with the same time off as staff. The Intern will receive room and board and a small stipend, which together come to about $250/month. The position also affords the following:
Hands-on experience with alternative education, working with adolescents and consensus decision-making
Freedom to take initiative, to pursue one's own interests, and to take on responsibility
An intense and rewarding learning experience resulting from participation in our vibrant, supportive community of adults and teenagers living and learning together.

To Apply

Send a resume and letter, including a statement explaining why you want to work at AMS and a description of any relevant past experience. There is no application deadline, although resumes received by March 1 will be given priority for the next academic year, and the position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate has been found. Call for more information about the school, or if you have questions about our intern program.